I’ve talked all about what to do in Juneau, Alaska but I haven’t discussed the other ports we visited. While each destination was beautiful and unique, I don’t think I’d do them justice if I wrote a post about each. Sometimes, spending twelve hours in a destination doesn’t guarantee enough content for a full blog post – either the photos don’t come out or we spend all morning and afternoon on a hike, which would be a boring post if it were multiple paragraphs and sections, right? So here are five places to visit in Alaska (that I can’t dedicate a whole post to).
Haines, Alaska is a small town along the southeastern coast. While in Haines, Adam and I went on a hike to Moose Meadows, a stunning, well…meadow filled with wildflowers that were almost as tall as I am. Here, Adam and I were able to see both the Rainbow and Davidson glaciers. Both are receding, but I’m sure that in a few years, that hike will just show views of the Davidson Glacier, as the Rainbow Glacier isn’t far from the summit now.
This hike was well worth it. For those going to Haines, I’d recommend booking this hike with a local guide. There are other options, as well, of course. People can trek to the Davidson and Rainbow Glaciers. I’m sure there are opportunities to land on them too.
Another reason for going to Haines is their beer. All along our cruise, people kept mentioning Spruce Tip beer. Apparently, the spruce tips have a high Vitamin C content.
People used to drink Spruce Tip tea, which isn’t that delicious. Well, someone got the bright idea to make spruce tip beer – because beer is delicious – and it’s been a source of Vitamin C ever since.
Our bus ride from Anchorage to Seward took us through Turnagain Pass and along the Kenai Peninsula. In this part of Alaska, we were able to see both the Holgate and Aialik glaciers. We kayaked one and took a zodiac ride along another. Both were magical in their own right but, what I loved the most was the fact that there were tons and tons of icebergs (both large and super small) all around us.
Here, in this part of Alaska, there appears to be a ton of other things to do, like Kenai Fjords National Park and Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Lake, Augustine Volcano, and tons of tour companies with a variety of excursions.
Wrangell, Alaska is another amazing spot for a hike. We ended up on a hike to Rainbow Falls. To be honest, I think we could have done the “Up and Over” portion, which took you over the summit and down some before turning you around to do it all over again.
This hike was unique in that it was a boardwalk hike. Basically, there were tons of stairs and landings along the hike. It was a great workout and no matter where we stopped to take a break, the scene was absolutely gorgeous. Just imaging various shades of brown and green scattered in all directions. I felt like I was in a painting and never wanted to stop taking photos. But, to be honest, photos of the temperate rainforest don’t do it justice.
It was here that we learned about how the native Hawaiians came to Wrangell to find some trees for their traditional canoes. The perfect trees were chosen and taken to the islands. Then, sometime after the canoes were built, some of the Hawaiian citizens canoed up to visit Wrangell to thank them.
To be honest, I’d love to put the fjords we visited into separate sections; however, since both were kind-of-but-not-really “sea” days, I felt as though I couldn’t. When our ship was anchored in these equally stunning fjords, Adam and I opted to take the kayaks out. These close up views of the Alaskan landscape and wildlife can’t be compared.
We saw whales, eagles, sea lions, seals, and bear. For those interested in this kind of excursion, I’d recommend a zoom lens – one that zooms in a lot…one that’s almost too heavy to carry. Good thing it can rest in your waterproof bag in the bottom of your kayak!
For those that would like to know, we visited Tracy Arm and Misty Fjords on our cruise.
Our first stop, Anchorage, was a great town to start our trip in. I feel like I could have seen puffins here but won’t let the fact that I didn’t take this city off the list.
Anchorage was a town that reminded me most of our life in downtown Orlando. With streets that mimic the blocks found in many downtown areas, Adam and I found our way around with ease. The delicious food we found, along with the various bars (especially the outdoor ones!), would make for a good nightlife experience. There were also historic spots, a shopping mall, and walking/bike paths.
For those that haven’t visited Alaska, it has so much to offer. While I’ve just visited the southeastern coast (who noticed that Denali National Park wasn’t part of this list?), there are lots of things to do. I’m sure that, if I ventured inland, I’d find more places.