There’s something about Alaska that reaches out and sparks peoples’ curiosity all over the world. Maybe it’s the wildlife, the scenery, the remoteness or perhaps a combination of them all that makes it one of the greatest vacation spots on earth.
Whether you are driving, flying or taking a cruise, there are five things you must do while you’re in Alaska. It’s the trip of a lifetime, and we here at Bradley Smoker want to make sure you’re taking advantage of all that the Last Frontier has to offer.
Fishing is a large industry in Alaska. You can’t leave the Land of the Midnight Sun without going sport fishing. The halibut and salmon are aplenty and a blast to catch. Get ready, battling a 35 lb King salmon or a 150 lb halibut will make a fishing fan out of you real quick. You can smoke up your fresh caught fish for dinner and enjoy for breakfast the next day! Or you can learn from the locals how to smoke salmon to last you through the winter months. They’ve been doing it for centuries. You don’t have to wander far to find an expert on the subject.
Most outfitters will take care of the one-day or three-day fishing license for you, or you can find a local store and pick one up for $20 or $35 respectively to fish from the shore. Have the meat shipped back home where you can enjoy it fresh or smoke it up in a Bradley smoker. Enjoy it while you can, because fishing will never be so good.
Some of the best wildlife viewing in the world can be seen in Alaska. It’s home to four types of bears – black, brown, polar and kodiak. There’s a wonderful variety of wildlife ranging from humpbacked whales and orcas to moose and gray wolves. Wildlife tours include flying in a helicopter, whale watching from a catamaran or being shuttled through some of Alaska’s temperate rain forests. Experiencing these animals while undisturbed in their natural habitat is a real sight to behold.
Glaciers, Gardens & Gold Mines
Whether you are inland or down along the coastal regions of Southeast Alaska, beautiful glaciers, gardens and historic gold mines are only steps away. Alaska, being larger than Texas, California and Montana all put together, can make it hard to pinpoint exactly where you want to visit. However, no matter where you visit, you’re sure to experience at least some of the best the state has to offer including innumerable glaciers, rain forest gardens and old gold mines.
Brews & Berries
If there’s one thing you should know about Alaskans, it’s that they are loyal to their local brews. Juneau is home to the famous Alaskan Amber where it is brewed locally. Take a tour to learn how it’s made, and sample great-tasting beers while you’re there. Considering how long, cold and dark the winters are, you can imagine how many great pubs and bars there are, some of which date back to the mining era. A bar such as the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau is one of the top tourist attractions.
Wild berries are abundant in Alaska’s wilderness. They’ve been a mainstay of the Native Alaskan diet for hundreds of years. It doesn’t take very long to fill a hat with salmonberries, raspberries, blueberries and more.
Outdoors & Hiking
Bring along a pair of binoculars and your best camera to capture the rugged coastlines, snow-capped mountains and everything in between. The scenic vistas are magnificent during the day whether you’re treading through thick forest, climbing a mountain or walking along the ocean shores. If this is your type of thing, then visiting the Denali National Forest and majestic Mount McKinley are both musts! It’s situated between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
As evening approaches look to the North for the Aurora Borealis to light up the sky with beautiful turquoise colors. You think the calendars and wallpapers are a wondrous sight? They’re even better in real life!