I love living in Alaska, and enjoy touring as much of this huge state as possible. There are so many beautiful places, comfortable lodges, great restaurants, roads to take, and adventures to share.  These are some of my favorite places in Alaska, and I love sharing my state, its beauty, and the wonders that make it special.

 

MOOSE GALLOPING RUNNING AROUND ALASKA

This young moose was galloping, running and kicking in my yard. He wandered to the window, and paused to look inside. When my little dog started barking, the moose stared, then began galloping and running round the yard. He seemed a little aggressive, thinking, "Get down here, little yappy dog. This kick is for you!"

3 MOOSE - TWINS AND MOTHER MOOSE ALASKA

Watch this female moose and her twin babies enjoying breakfast of bushes and grasses. These 3 moose were enjoying a sunny morning in Alaska. The moose family is munching on tall grass and alder leaves. You can tell when a moose has been in your yard, the ends of the branches are bare of leaves! Stay safe around moose. Give them plenty of room to enjoy themselves. I love Alaska!

MOOSE MOTHER AND BABY EATING ROSES ALASKA

Watch this female moose and baby enjoying plucking roses and rose hips from the Rugosa, or Sitka roses from tall branches. These moose were enjoying an early morning breakfast. These roses grow 8-10 feet tall, and have sharp long thorns. The thorns don't seem to bother the moose. The baby moose is munching on tall grass and alder leaves.

You can tell when a moose has been in your yard, the tops of the branches are bare of leaves! Stay safe around moose. Give them plenty of room to enjoy themselves. I love Alaska!

Give moose plenty of space, at least 50 feet, and never force them into a corner.

Keep dogs on a leash and under control.

Be especially wary if the moose seems irritable or if calves are around. They will charge, kick, and stomp you if threatened.

Male moose are aggressive during the fall, their annual rut cycle. Steer clear.

Never approach a wild animal to get a "selfie" up close!

BULL MOOSE SCRATCHING HIMSELF ALASKA

This young bull moose, antlers still in velvet, was eating in my yard. He wandered around eating and paused to scratch his face with his hind leg and scratch his hip with his antler. The antlers of this young bull moose are still in velvet. The moose will scratch and rub to remove the velvet in fall.

The moose continued eating alders and roses and disappeared into the woods.

Moose grab branches in their mouth, slide all of the leaves off with one turn of the head. I say they are flossing the branches. You can tell when a moose has been in your yard, the tops of the branches are bare of leaves.

Tips to stay safe around moose

Give moose plenty of space, at least 50 feet, and never force them into a corner.

If you have dogs, keep them on a leash and under control.

Be especially wary if the moose seems irritable or if calves are around.

Male moose tend to be more aggressive during the fall, their annual rut cycle, and spend virtually all their energy looking for females to impress and mate with.

Never approach a wild animal to get a "selfie" up close!

BEAR RUNNING THROUGH MY YARD ALASKA

This small black bear has been a frequent visitor in my yard lately. Finally, I got a video of him. My little dog loves to bark and chase bears. Luckily, none have turned on him. They all have run away.

Black bears are usually afraid of humans. When bears come into contact with humans, they will generally run away.

You can avoid bears by making noise so they know you are in the woods.

Your activity in the wild is noisy enough to let bears know you are there and they avoid you.

Never approach a bear to take a "selfie".

BULL MOOSE ON MY FRONT PORCH ALASKA

This young bull moose, antlers still in velvet, was eating in my yard. He investigated the barbed wire, put up to keep moose off of the roof, and walked across my front porch. He continues eating alders and roses and disappeared around the corner of the house. Good thing my deck is upstairs! I don't want to surprise a bull moose on my porch by coming out of the front door.

Moose grab branches in their mouth, slide all of the leaves off with one turn of the head. I say they are flossing the branches. You can tell when a moose has been in your yard, the tops of the branches are bare of leaves.

Tips to stay safe around moose

Give moose plenty of space, at least 50 feet, and never force them into a corner.

If you have dogs, keep them on a leash and under control.

Be especially wary if the moose seems irritable or if calves are around.

Male moose tend to be more aggressive during the fall, their annual rut cycle, and spend virtually all their energy looking for females to impress and mate with.

Never approach a wild animal to get a "selfie" up close!

BLACK BEAR ANCHORAGE, ALASKA  

A black bear crossed a very busy street right in front of us in Anchorage, and took off towards homes and a playground.  Bears can pop up just about anywhere in Alaska, so be bear aware and stay safe.  Never approach a bear to get a better picture!

 

 

ALASKA RAILROAD DENALI STAR TRAIN - ANCHORAGE TO DENALI NATIONAL PARK

 All aboard the Alaska Railroad for a trip to the last frontier - Alaska!  The Denali Star is Alaska Railroad's premier passenger train, traveling 358 miles from Anchorage, to Denali National Park, and Fairbanks, Alaska.  More train routes and stops are available on the Alaska Railroad.

The Alaska Railroad’s flagship Denali Star train runs every summer morning, departing from Anchorage for the 356-mile, 12-hour journey to Fairbanks, with whistle stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park, on the way to Fairbanks. The southbound Denali Star runs in reverse from Fairbanks to Anchorage.  Ride the train north or south, and include a stop at Denali National Park.

The Alaska Railroad route spans two of Alaska’s five geographic regions – South-central and Interior Alaska.  On a clear day, passengers enjoy sights of the train’s namesake peak - Denali, the tallest mountain in North America.  The Alaska Railroad train runs daily from May thru September. 

Come along as I ride the train to Denali National Park.  The Alaska Railroad is full of beautiful views, and is a great experience.  Carry a credit card; no cash is accepted on board!  Military discounts, specials deals, and some days kids ride free. Be sure to ask for the best price.

 

PUFFIN BIRDS ALASKA SEA LIFE CENTER - SEWARD, ALASKA  

The Alaska Sea Life Center includes a huge aquarium which includes Puffin Birds.  Watch from below to see the Puffins dive and search for clams and food.  Tours offered by the Alaska Sea Life Center are conducted by interpretive and animal care staff to pass on knowledge and understanding of Alaska's marine ecosystems.  Tours include unforgettable opportunities for animal interaction and observance. See puffins and other resident bird species in the aviary.  Learn how the extreme seasons in Alaska influence bird behavior and appearance throughout the year.

Sea Lions Seward Alaska Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise

 A highlight on a cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park from Seward, Alaska, is the sight of sea lions.  A large group of Sea Lions is called a colony or pod. Thousands of sea lions may reside within a colony, dividing into many subgroups.  Sea lions love to live in very close groups even when they have plenty of room to spread out for more space. 

ORCA KILLER WHALE WATCHING SEWARD ALASKA KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK CRUISE

 Take a cruise to the Kenai Fjords National Park, leaving from Seward, Alaska.  You may see Orcas, also known as killer whales, along with many other marine mammals, glaciers.  Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on Earth.
 

HUMPBACK WHALE TAIL SLAPPING HOMER, ALASKA KACHEMAK BAY

A humpback whale was tail slapping near Homer, Alaska.   We were halibut fishing in Kachemak Bay, and this humpback whale came next to our boat.  The whale was slapping and flapping his tail.  Sometimes called lob tailing, this was a fantastic experience to witness.  Whale watching in Homer, Alaska is fantastic.

SEA LIONS FIGHTING ALASKA KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK CRUISE SEWARD ALASKA

On a trip to Seward, Alaska, I took a cruise to the Kenai Fjords National Park.  A highlight of the trip was two male sea lions fighting for dominance.  Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  

 

 

Price of Gas Alaska - Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving in snow, sleet, ice is treacherous.  A few winter driving tips will keep you safe and help you get to your destination safely. 

Slow down to stay safe.  

Clean snow and ice completely off your car, including your headlights.  Visibility is important, and snow left piled on your car will slide off, possibly blocking your view.  A sturdy ice scraper with a snow broom is a winter driving "must have" item. 

Have basic supplies in your car.  You never know when you may get stuck, in a traffic delay, or stranded.  Be ready to take care of yourself with food, water, first aid, and a way to stay warm. 

Make sure your tires are in good shape, have snow tires, all season treads, studded snow tires, tire chains are in the trunk.  Have the proper tires to keep you going through the snow and ice conditions when you plan to travel. 

If you drive long distance, check the road conditions of your route, and stick to major roads.  Always tell someone where you are going. 

Check your antifreeze, battery, and windshield wipers.  Keep your fluids topped off, and pay attention to outside temperatures. 

Keep your gas tank nearly full, no matter the weather.  

A few precautions can see you safely to your destination in winter weather, or any time of year.

 

How much do groceries cost in Alaska?  

Alaska Supermarket prices, prices of food and gasoline.  If you wonder about the cost of living in Alaska, perhaps this will help you find the information you are looking for.  I do most of my shopping in Anchorage.  Shop with me to find the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, fish, meats, pantry items, and take a tour of New Sagaya's Midtown Market.  See the  current price of gasoline in Alaska, and more.
 

ALASKA TURNAGAIN ARM, SEWARD HIGHWAY, WILDLIFE AND SCENERY

Visiting Alaska?  Drive South along Turnagain Arm on the Seward Highway, Alaska.  This highway is also known as Highway 1.  Highlights of the Turnagain Arm drive include Potter Marsh Coastal Wildlife Refuge, McHugh Park, Bird Point, Beluga Point, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Park.  

Watch for bald eagles, Dall Sheep, Trumpeter Swans, Sand Hill Cranes, and Beluga Whales.  The Alaska Railroad parallels the highway.  

Continue on to Whittier, Homer, or Seward.  The Turnagain Arm Seward Highway drive is one of the most beautiful drives in America.

Visiting Alaska in the summer?  Pack layers of clothing, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.

 

DALL SHEEP, TURNAGAIN ARM DRIVE, SEWARD HIGHWAY, ALASKA

Visiting Alaska?  See Dall Sheep just south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway along Alaska Highway 1.   Follow the shoreline of Turnagain Arm, part of the Cook Inlet, to Windy Point.  

Dall sheep can often be spotted on the hillside cliffs.  

Dall sheep are similar to mountain goats; all white, with horns that curve on the sides of their head.  Dall sheep are found in relatively dry country and try to stay in a special combination of open alpine ridges, meadows, and steep slopes with extremely rugged ground in the immediate vicinity,

 

BIGFOOT ENCOUNTER - YUKON HOWLER ENCOUNTER

I may have tempted Fate when I dressed like the Yukon Howler's Fairy Godmother for Halloween.  The Yukon Howler is a Bigfoot or Sasquatch discovered in Alaska.  I took my young grandson out for some Halloween Trick or Treat fun, and was I surprised when I found a trail of footprints and poop, probably from the Yukon Howler.  Have you ever gone Squatching?  Have you had a Bigfoot or Yeti encounter?  Does this prove that Bigfoot came through my yard in Alaska?  I would never hurt or try to catch the Yukon Howler, as he has done no harm to me.  I love knowing he felt safe visiting my yard.   Yukon Howler, Sasquatch, or Bigfoot; I wonder what he thinks his name is?

BEAR ENCOUNTER ALASKA HALLOWEEN

I took my little grandson out for some Halloween Trick or Treat fun.  We found a big pile of black bear poop in the yard.  Know that there are 600,000 bears in the United States, and they eat insects, plants, nuts, small animals.  Bears spend much of the winter in their den, but come out on mild winter days to search for food.  Be bear aware all year round.  Make noise in the woods, and keep your eyes and ears open.

ALASKA STATE FAIR

Welcome to the Alaska State Fair, home of record-setting giant vegetables and beautiful flower gardens.  This year a 1,469 pound pumpkin broke the Alaska State Fair Giant Pumpkin record.  The Alaska State Fair is held in Palmer, in the heart of the Chugach Mountains, in the fertile Matanuska-Susitna Valley.  The fairgrounds are just an hour north of Anchorage.  Each fall, the Alaska State Fair provides Alaska’s last blast of summer,  Head to the Alaska State Fair for a showcase of Alaska’s uniqueness and beauty.  Food, rides, artwork, hand crafts, agriculture exhibits, and entertainment abound.  The Alaska State Fair is held August 25 through September 5.

BROWN BEARS - ALASKA

Did you know that all grizzlies are brown bears, but not all brown bears are grizzlies?  Grizzly bear here in Alaska,  really refers to any brown bear found in interior North America.   Brown bears typically live along the southern coast of Alaska where they have access to seasonal spawning salmon.  There are approximately 32,000 brown bears living in Alaska. 

Bear safety is serious business if you live or visit bear country.  How to stay safe in bear country?  Keep your trash indoors until pick up time.  Keep pet food indoors.  Take down your bird feeders until the bears go back into hibernation.  

Never get between a mama and her cubs.  Make noise in the out of doors.  Be bear aware at all times.  Enjoy bears, but use bear safety skills.
 Look for posted signs about recent bear activity. Watch ahead for bears or for tracks on the trail. Don't surprise bears, and never approach a bear.  Make plenty of noise when hiking,  groups are safer than hiking alone.  

Never leave food out when not in use.  Do not camp near a wildlife trail or salmon stream.  Do not cook near your camp, cook smelly foods, sleep in clothes with food odors, or bring any food or lotions into your tent. Never leave food out when not in use.  Store food, pots, lotions, clothes with food odors, and trash away from camp.  If there are trees, cache your food out of a bear's reach.  

Be bear aware at all times.  Enjoy bears, but use bear safety skills.

 

 

CRUISE SHIP LIFE BOAT DRILL FOR ALASKA CRUISES

Are you planning a cruise to Alaska?  No matter where you cruise, every cruise begins with a lifeboat drill shortly before or after sailing, like this one on Holland America Cruise Lines.  When you first board your ship, find your cabin, and locate the safety information on the cabin door.  Locate where your life jackets are stored.  

As you familiarize yourself with your ship, notice the emergency exit signs, and find where your lifeboat station is.  Now you are ready for the life boat drill, sometimes called a muster drill, and for any emergency that should happen at sea.  Have a fun and fabulous cruise, one of my favorite ways to travel!  No matter where you cruise, a lifeboat drill is an important safety drill the first day you sail.

 I have cruised Alaska many times, and find it to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  The Inside Passage of Alaska usually has land in sight on both sides, wildlife viewing from the decks, and 20 hours of Alaska summer sun each day.  Enjoy your cruise, knowing you are prepared for anything.

ALASKA GREEK FESTIVAL

Mid August is Greek Festival time in Alaska, and 2015 is the 21st celebration.  Head to the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church at 2800 O'Malley Road in Anchorage, Alaska for a fun-filled three day festival each summer.

greek seasoning.jpg

Check out the baked goods, gyros, complete meals, refreshing beverages, and a children's bounce house.  

There is live music, hours of dancing, cooking demonstrations, tours of the church, and the Agora, or marketplace.  

Rain or shine, the Greek Festival in Alaska is always fun.

SPENARD ROAD HOUSE RESTAURANT, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

If you are visiting Anchorage, Alaska, plan a visit to the Spenard Road House Restaurant which is located at 1049 W. Northern Lights Blvd.  

A popular neighborhood setting, the Spenard Road House features casual comfort foods with contemporary twists including Bacon Of the Month. 

Delicious meals at the Spenard Roadhouse include burgers, pizza, Thai Curry lettuce wraps, fish and chips.  

My favorite dishes are the fish and chips made from Rock Fish, sweet potato tater tots, and the bacon jam burger.  Spenard Roadhouse has good food in a clean establishment with great service, a winning combination.

 

ALASKA TIDE ON FULL MOON AT TURNAGAIN ARM 

Turnagain Arm, the upper part of the Cook Inlet in Alaska, has the highest tidal range in the United States, 4th in the world.  The tide can send a Bore Wave of up to 6 feet high toward the inlet as it narrows.  The tide can travel at 5 miles per hour, and the water depth can become 40 feet deeper with the change of the tide from low to high.  Never wander into the tidal area in the inlets in Alaska, as you risk becoming trapped in the silt and overtaken by the incoming tide.  Lives are lost each year by those unaware of the dangers and power of nature.

 

KRINER'S DINER, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

Are you looking for a family friendly diner with delicious, home cooking?  Then head to Kriner's Diner at 2409 C Street in Anchorage, Alaska.  They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The portions are enormous, so bring a big appetite.  I love their biscuits and gravy.  They have delicious burgers, breakfast skillets, and family favorites like meatloaf and freshly roasted turkey dinners.  Many of their menu items are named for family members, as it is a family run business.  Clean, friendly, and filling are the words I use to describe enjoyable times at Kriner's Diner.  Whether you are a local or a visitor to Alaska, have a meal at Kriner's Diner.  Make sure to bring a big appetite!

KINCAID GRILL - Best Fine Dining In Anchorage, Alaska

Are you looking for high end dining in Anchorage?  Head to the Kincaid Grill at 6700 Jewel Lake Road.  An unassuming outside hides the charm of a well appointed wine bar and restaurant.  The Kincaid Grill has the best Alaskan regional cuisine for an ultimate dining experience.  Try Alaskan Halibut, Copper River Salmon, half shell oysters, Kodiak scallops, if you are a seafood lover.  Duck, roast chicken, filet mignon, and beef medallions are also on the menu.  Everything is made fresh and presented beautifully.  This is an award winning restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska, and my favorite for a special night.

TASTEE FREEZ - Anchorage Alaska Review

Are you looking for a great local ice cream parlor?  Tastee Freez at the corner of Jewel Lake and Raspberry Road in Anchorage is fun, friendly, and has delicious ice cream treats.  Tastee Freez has been serving customers since 1958 with good service and a large menu of sandwiches, burgers, chili dogs, and more in addition to ice cream.  The owner, Rich Owens, is a great guy who supports the local schools, sports team, neighborhood events, and gives jobs to lots of kids.  Tastee Freez chili dogs are my favorite.  Tastee Freez ice cream is so good they can sell ice cream to eskimos!

ALYESKA HOTEL AND SKI RESORT, Girdwood, Alaska

The Alyeska Hotel near Girdwood, Alaska is a luxurious resort for skiing in the winter, or hiking and relaxing in the summer.  They are set in the mountains surrounded by beautiful forests and lush flower gardens.  The hotel has a fine collection of artwork and animals of Alaska.  They have a variety of shops and restaurants and lovely grounds.  Make a visit to the Alyeska Hotel for a fun stay.  Remember, you are in bear country, so be bear aware if you are hiking.

GLACIER BAY ALASKA CRUISE

I had the pleasure of sailing on Holland America throughout Southeast Alaska, including a day sailing in Glacier Bay.  Glacier Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  This day had exquisite weather, so calm and sunny.  The pristine beauty of Glacier Bay is amazing.  Sail past snow capped mountains, rivers of ice, waterfalls, and animals such as eagles, seagulls, and seals floating on icebergs.  Splashing in the icy waters are whales, otters, seals, and dolphins.  I can now say I swam in Glacier Bay, even if it was only in the ship's pool.  Fun!  The protected status of Glacier Bay grows more restrictive with time, making it less accessible, and harder to plan a trip there.  Make a trip to Glacier Bay a priority on your life list.

BEST CINNAMON ROLLS, GIRDWOOD, ALASKA - ALPINE BAKERY

If you are headed down the Seward Highway, Alaska Highway AK 1 toward Seward, Whittier, Kenai, or Girdwood, stop at the little shopping center at the  Alyeska junction.  The Alpine Bakery has the best cinnamon rolls ever, served warm and sticky.  They have a fine selection of pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee drinks.  You can also purchase gas and gift items in the shops.  I can't drive by here without stopping for a fresh, warm cinnamon roll.  The Alpine Bakery is just before the turn off to Portage Glacier and the Alaska Wildlife Center about 30 minutes south of Anchorage.

HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN BEAR COUNTRY

Here are 3 yearling bear cubs and their mother in my neighborhood.  If you live in bear country, keep your trash indoors until pick up time.  Keep pet food indoors.  Take down your bird feeders until the bears go back into hibernation.  Never get between a mama and her cubs.  Make noise in the out of doors.  Be bear aware at all times.  Enjoy!


SELDOVIA, ALASKA VISITORS GUIDE

Seldovia, Alaska, is located on the Kenai Peninsula.  The port town of Seldovia is accessible only by boat or air.  Catch a flight on Alaska Air Taxi from Anchorage to Seldovia, or ride a ferry from Homer to Seldovia.  The old town of Seldovia was connected by a boardwalk until the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 which caused the town to drop 6 feet.  This allowed the high tide waters to flood the city every day.  Since rebuilding, Seldovia is a quaint, warm, and welcoming town of about 255.  Spend time in Seldovia fishing for salmon, halibut, or cod.  Spend summer afternoons berry picking in the hills surrounding Seldovia for blueberries, watermelon berries, and salmon berries.  Hike on the local trails, relax in the local restaurants and pubs like the Linwood.  Stay with Seldovia Fishing Adventures for a waterfront B&B and sport fishing in their 30 foot boat.  The people of Seldovia are kind, friendly, and welcoming.  I love visiting Seldovia, Alaska!

ALASKA BUSH FLYING OVER GLACIERS AND KENAI

I recently took a charter flight with Alaska Air Taxi from Lake Hood in Anchorage to Seldovia on the Kenai Peninsula.  Seldovia is only accessible by plane or boat.  We had a clear day and were able to view all of Anchorage.   We crossed Turnagain Arm, and flew over the unbelievable blue waters of the Kenai River, over the town of Sterling.  You can see where the summer forest fires have blackened much of the area.  We flew over several glaciers since the day was so clear.  We passed over Homer, you can see the Homer Spit.  We flew over Kachimak Bay, and looked down where the Kilcher Family from Alaska,The Last Frontier television show run their cattle.  We had a smooth landing in Seldovia, with a dirt runway and their tiny shed of a termin


LINWOOD BAR AND GRILL - SELDOVIA, ALASKA

If you are looking for the best bar and restaurant in Seldovia, Alaska, head the the Linwood.  Seldovia is just across Kachemak Bay from Homer.  The Linwood Bar and Grill is located right on the waterfront, at 235 Main Street, with a lovely outdoor patio where you can enjoy a sunny afternoon, watch the boats come and go, and see otters playing in the bay.  The food is very fresh and delicious at the Linwood.  I love the burgers, fish and chips, clam chowder, and the pizza is some of my favorite of all time.  I always eat at the Linwood when I am visiting Seldovia, and I love the charm of the place, the friendliness of the people, and the fresh, good food.  They even have live music!  On my first visit to Seldovia, everyone recommended the Linwood, and I am so glad they did.  I have eaten many times at the Linwood, and always felt welcomed.  I look forward to another trip to Seldovia.


SKAGWAY, ALASKA TRAVEL TIPS

Skagway, Alaska is located at the upper end of the Inside Passage, and was a jumping off port for the Klondike Gold Rush, dating back to 1897.  Skagway grew from a few people to 10,000 overnight as prospectors headed to the gold fields to search for fame and fortune.  Most of the downtown area of Skagway is preserved and maintained, giving a real sense of the 1890's.  The White Pass and Yukon Narrow Gauge Railway departs from Skagway, and follows the Trail of '98 into the Yukon.  Flight seeing, helicopter sightseeing, kayaking, ziplining, sled dog rides, and fishing are among the great activities to try in Skagway.  Most visitors arrive by cruise ship.

 

SKAGWAY DAYS OF 98 SHOW - ALASKAGRANNY DANCES THE CAN CAN

AlaskaGranny was called to the stage to dance the Can Can!  Skagway, Alaska is the Gateway to the Yukon, and a popular port of call for cruises to Alaska.  Gold Rush miners from 1898 passed this way by the thousands.  Overnight, the town grew as young and old, most ill prepared for the journey over the mountains in Alaska's cold winter.  This vaudeville show retells the story of Soapy Smith, Skagway's most notorious character, and his soiled doves during the heyday of the Klondike Gold Rush.  This show is lively, well done, and performed by talented young people.  I was called to assist the dancers.  Look out, Can Can girls, AlaskaGranny is on the stage!  Thanks for letting me help with the retelling of the Life And Times Of Soapy Smith.  Don't miss the Days of 98 Show on your travels to Alaska.

 

RED DOG SALOON - JUNEAU, ALASKA

The Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, Alaska is not to be missed.  Live piano music adds to the appeal of sawdust on the floor, rustic furniture, delicious food, and great beer of course.  The decor is old time Alaska, and the servers are dressed in costumes from the Gold Rush Days.  The Red Dog Saloon is a family friendly restaurant, so bring the entire family.  Stop in for lunch, a cold beer, fun times, and a good look at the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau. Next, pass through the swinging bar doors to the attached gift shop for unique gifts.  The Red Dog Saloon is a fun place to visit for a good time, good food, great service, clean restrooms on your Alaska travels.  

 

JUNEAU, ALASKA TRAVEL TIPS

Juneau is Alaska's Capital city.  Juneau can only be reached by air or boat.  Most visitors sail into the Gastineau Channel on a cruise, and are in for spectacular views.  Take an easy walk downtown and tour many historical buildings, some from as early as the 1800's.  Downtown Juneau includes a variety of shops with beautifully hand crafted Native art, restaurants, coffee shops, and locally crafted beer.  Visitors can ride the Mount Roberts Tramway 1800 feet up for spectacular views, hiking trails, food, and art displays.  The tramway leaves from the downtown cruise ship dock area.  Hop a tour bus north to view the Mendenhall Glacier.  Juneau is a great place for whale watching, flight seeing, helicopter sightseeing, sled dog rides on glaciers, and fishing excursions.

 

GREAT ALASKAN LUMBERJACK SHOW, Ketchikan, Alaska

The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is the # 1 rated excursion in Ketchikan, Alaska.  The Lumberjack Show is located right downtown, and is a few minutes walk from the cruise ship dock.  This extravaganza will introduce you to the world's best lumberjacks having a competition.  The lumberjacks are world champions,  and athletes.  This is authentic competition, not just a staged show.  The seats are covered and heated, so even on cold rainy days you will be comfortable cheering for your favorite competitors.  The show has fun filled action, and the performers are great at interacting with the audience.  Experience wook chopping, log sawing, log climbing, ax throwing, log rolling, and more in this competition setting.  The tickets are definitely worth the price.  This is a first class show with rugged woodsmen and rowdy good times.

KETCHIKAN, ALASKA TRAVEL TIPS

If you are planning a trip to Alaska, be sure to visit Ketchikan.  Ketchikan is located in Southeast Alaska, and is a popular port for cruise ships traveling the Inside Passage.  Ketchikan has a wonderful Visitor's Bureau where you can pick up a free walking tour map.  Walk to many of the sites, take a shuttle, duck boat, bus, or tour.  You can even rent a bike or sport suv to tour around.  Visit Creek Street, Dolly's House, Totem Heritage Cultural Center,  Totem Bight State Park, Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, and the many shops and restaurants in this historical town.  Be sure to bring a raincoat as Ketchikan is known as the Rain Capital of Alaska with an average of 155 inches of rain per year.  Ketchikan is the gateway to Misty Fjords National Monument, and offers flight seeing and helicopter tours of glaciers and fjords.

 

MUSK OX FARM, Palmer, Alaska

The Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska, has a program to help musk ox survive and thrive in Alaska.  Musk ox, called oomingmak by Native Alaskans, are prized for their thick, under layer of hair, which is combed out and woven into strong, fine, warm fiber known as qiviut.  Browse the displays, and take a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide to learn all about this prehistoric creature that usually lives above the Arctic Circle.  The farm has a variety of musk ox from new born calves, to cows, and old bulls.  The setting is beautiful, and it is enjoyable to be able to visit a working farm.  For a fun, informative trip, visit the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska.  John Teal's dream to bring musk ox back, and help native villages earn a living weaving thre wooly fur, or qiviut, is a success.

 

3 BARONS RENAISSANCE FAIR, Anchorage Alaska

If you are visiting Alaska, the Best Western at If you enjoy Renaissance Fairs, be sure to attend the 3 Barons Renaissance Fair in Anchorage, Alaska.  The fair is held the first 2 weekends in June every year.  The fair includes competition by the Red, Blue, and Green Barons and their courts.  You can follow a quest to become a knight or become a citizen of Hillshire.  The fair includes a town square, Living History Village, shows, dancing, games, booths for shopping, a tavern, and lots of food.  Pick up a schedule and map at the entrance, and plan your day.  The fair is open from noon to 8 pm each of the days.  I have attended many years, and am so pleased to see the 3 Barons Fair growing and thriving.

3 BEAR CUBS AND MOTHER: How to Stay Safe In Bear Country

Here are 3 yearling bear cubs and their mother in my neighborhood.  If you live in bear country, keep your trash indoors until pick up time.  Keep pet food indoors.  Take down your bird feeders until the bears go back into hibernation.  Never get between a mama and her cubs.  Make noise in the out of doors.  Be bear aware at all times.  Enjoy!

 

WASILLA, ALASKA - Best Western at Lake Lucille 

If you are visiting Alaska, the Best Western Hotel at Lake Lucille in Wasilla is a fantastic spot for natural beauty, right on the banks of a scenic lake, with snow capped mountain views.  The hotel is just off the highway, yet has the quiet solitude of a mountain lodge retreat.  The lakeside location is idyllic for relaxing, bird watching, and enjoying the natural beauty of Alaska.  Watch sea planes fly in, the occasional boat speed by, and a wide variety of wildlife.  The Best Western at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, is clean, comfortable, and reasonably priced with a full included breakfast buffet.

 

RED NECKED GREBES, Lake Lucille, Wasilla, Alaska

Look at the beauty of these Red Necked Grebes, and how sweetly they interact and court each other.  I watched them for several days at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, and enjoyed the courtship each pair presented.  Their bold markings and vocal calls made my experience memorable.

 

ARCTIC TERNS AND BONAPARTE'S GULL, Lake Lucille, Wasilla, Alaska

This pair of Arctic Terns is squawking and preening, and courting at Lake Lucille, Alaska.  Several pairs were enjoying the spring weather, and this pair seemed to be challenging each other for attention.  Notice the Bonaparte Gull paying no attention at the end of the dock.  The Arctic Terns have a black cap on their head and a red beak, while the Bonaparte's Gull has a black head and beak, and is a bit larger.  Both species have red legs and feet.

 

MT MCKINLEY - SEE IT FROM ANCHORAGE

If you are visiting Anchorage, Alaska, you can still see Mt. McKinley, or Denali, with a 1 1/2 hour drive up the Parks Highway.  No trip to Alaska is complete without a view of Mt. McKinley.  Drive north on the Parks Highway from Anchorage to milepost 76, and turn into the lot on the west side of the road at a lovely, scenic lake.  On a clear day, Mt McKinley and the surrounding snow capped mountains are magnificently presented before you.  It is worth a 1 1/2 hour drive to see America's tallest mountain.  You will love this great view of the great one.  Mt McKinley is so large, it creates its own weather.  The granite walls, snowy peaks, and alpine glacier walls are unforgettable.

 

TALKEETNA, ALASKA TRAVEL TIPS

When you visit Alaska, make sure to visit the pioneer town of Talkeetna, a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Anchorage just off the Parks Highway.  Talkeetna is halfway to Denali, and includes magnificent views of Mt. McKinley, as it is closer to the mountain than Denali National Park.  Talkeetna is a popular jumping off point for serious expeditions to climb Mt McKinley.  Talkeetna is the perfect location for for flight seeing, helicopter rides, river rafting, fishing, hiking, and camping.  The Alaska Railroad has a station right in town.  Loaded with restaurants, rustic lodges, gift shops, and tours, Talkeetna is charming and welcoming.  Stop at the shiny trailer, Spinach bread, and sample their fresh and delicious spinach bread.  Have a meal at the Talkeetna Road House, and relax on the patio of the Denali Brewing Company.

 

TALKEETNA ROAD HOUSE - Best Food in Talkeetna, Alaska

If you travel to Alaska, a trip to Talkeetna is worth the drive.  About 100 miles north of Anchorage along the Parks Highway, Talkeetna is an historic town on the banks of 3 rivers.  Talkeetna was founded by trappers, hunters, and railroaders.  Talkeetna is a popular jumping off point for serious expeditions to climb Mt McKinley.  The Talkeetna Road House should be on your list of places to visit.  It has fabulous meals, rustic rooms for rent, and a fun atmosphere.  I love the Rudy Dog, a wiener wrap smothered in chili that is made with reindeer sausage!  They have the best sourdough pancakes, and fabulously large cinnamon rolls.  Folks from Anchorage drive to the Talkeetna Road House for a hearty, delicious, meal.

 

BALD EAGLE IN ALASKA

I am so pleased to see my bald eagle this spring.  I have been away for a while, and have missed watching him.  He sits on his favorite perch overlooking the marsh, looking every which way for a meal.  Welcome back, spring 2015.  American Bald Eagles are magnificent.  I have made several videos of him over the years, and you can watch more here.  

 

MT MCKINLEY PRINCESS WILDERNESS LODGE REVIEW

The Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the best place in Alaska to view Mt McKinley, or Denali.  The lodge has beautifully decorated public areas with comfortable, relaxing seats to enjoy the gorgeous views of the mountains, including glorious Mt. McKinley, or Denali as the Athabaskans called it.  The comfortable rooms are set in cabin like surroundings in the forest, with wide, easy trails with everything close by.  There are restaurants, an espresso bar, fire pits, and excursions galore.  Do as much or as little as you like.  I especially enjoy the hiking trails and relaxing on the huge outdoor decks.  If you want the best view of America's tallest peak, head to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.  You don't need to take a cruise to stay here.  Come by car, or ride the train to nearby Talkeetna.

 

MT MCKINLEY - PRINCESS WILDERNESS LODGE

If you want to see Mt McKinley, head to the Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.  It has the best view of the mountain in all of Alaska.  Remember, the sun stays up late in the summer in Alaska.  This is a view of sunset at midnight in May!  No matter what time of day you have the opportunity to view Mt McKinley, or Denali, at 20,320 feet in elevation, it is a majestic view.

 

ALASKA PARKS HIGHWAY ANCHORAGE TO DENALI

If you are visiting Anchorage, Alaska, take a drive up the Parks Highway to Denali.  Enjoy the beautiful scenery, the plants, the birds, fish, and perhaps a moose or bear.  Make the most of your trip to Alaska and enjoy the beauty.  Weather is changeable, so prepare for inclement weather.

 

ALASKA GLENN HIGHWAY ANCHORAGE TO GLENNALLEN

Are you planning a road trip from Anchorage, Alaska?  Include a drive on the Glenn Highway, heading east from Anchorage into the Matsu, or Matanuska Valley.  You will love the spectacular scenery, and the fun places along the way.  Stop at the reindeer farm, the musk ox farm, or Matanuska Glacier.  There are many wonderful scenic spots to pull over and admire the beauty on this 135 mile highway.  Enjoy the historic pathways and natural wonders of Alaska.

 

MATANUSKA GLACIER - PALMER, ALASKA

If you are traveling to Alaska, take a drive through the Matanuska, or Matsu Valley to view the Matanuska Glacier.  This is the largest glacier accessible by car.  You can drive up the scenic Glennallen, or Glenn Highway for a look.  You can even pay a small fee to park closer, take an easy 20 minute hike, and touch the glacier.  How exciting to be in the presence of a glacier!  Include a trip past Palmer to see the Matanuska Glacier in your plans to visit Alaska.

 

BEST HALIBUT SANDWICH IN ANCHORAGE ALASKA AT HAMBURGER HAVEN

If you are looking for the best halibut sandwich in Anchorage, Alaska, head to Hamburger Haven at 718 Muldoon Road.  They have cheese burgers, double egg bacon cheeseburgers, chili dogs, lots of sandwiches, and delicious Chinese cuisine.  The couple who run the Hamburger Haven have been there for years, and always deliver delicious, freshly prepared foods with a smile.  You will love this home town place!

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