Decades of Dining in Anchorage

Anchorage, like all major cities does not have a shortage of restaurants. Even in the middle of our winters, we brave the cold temps and dine out often. But how do you pick great restaurants while visiting Anchorage? Some of the longest standing restaurants provide the best fare in town. Anything from a great breakfast with a unique Alaskan atmosphere to dinner at a small, intimate steakhouse we can point you in the right direction.

Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant located at 4333 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK, provides a uniquely Alaskan themed restaurant. Either sitting upstairs or downstairs you are surrounded by photos and paraphernalia from the beginning of Alaska’s Statehood to the present. Enjoy a hearty breakfast of Reindeer Sausage, eggs and home fries or something as simple as pancakes and waffles. Known for great atmosphere and food Gwennie’s will satisfy your stomachs and provide a great atmosphere. (more…)

Seward Alaska Day Trip from Anchorage

I have defined many words in my years of high school. Ranging from ascorbic and acidic, to picaresque and punctilious, I have covered a great breadth of vocabulary. But if I were to be put to the task of defining Alaska, I would be forced to fall short. In a task too daunting, I would simply be forced to write “You must see for yourself.” After exploring Alaska on a recent day trip to Seward, I saw that it could not be simply defined through its glaciers and mountains, or its wildlife and human life. I saw that it could only be defined through a firsthand experience.
 
Many people know the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but I would take it a step further in saying that an experience is worth a thousand pictures. Millions and millions of photographs exist that depict many aspects of Alaska. But until a person truly experiences Alaska, those pictures will not have any real meaning. Take a picture of a breeching orca, if you are amazed by that still candid, then the true experience will be like no other. To witness such a monstrous creature arc and spout, knowing it is outside all human control, is both breathtaking and new. For it is a natural show, nothing planned, but still much more than any scheduled event.

My girlfriend and I set forth on our day trip to Seward on an early summer morning from Anchorage. We had made the decision to take the Park Connection bus down, and the Alaska Railroad back later that day. Boarding the bus from the Egan Center in Downtown Anchorage, we left at around seven that morning. Because travelers often prefer to take the afternoon bus, our morning departure only had five or six other passengers on the bus with us. Through the first portion of our ride the driver had a good amount to say about Anchorage, Seward, and many of the places we were passing along the way. As we reached the more scenic portion of the drive, our driver allowed us to sit back in the comfortable seating and enjoy all that Alaska had to offer for us. It was almost surreal to watch the rivers flow by, accented by the bright green pine trees and vibrant wildflowers of every color. I soon drifted off to sleep, lulled by the beauty of Alaskan nature.  (more…)

Summer Events at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

This summer, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is hosting some unique artists for a very rare project funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. In the next few months, the creation of four carved house posts as part of the Southeast village site completion, are to be installed on the existing posts inside the house. Traditionally in Southeast Alaska, carved house posts were inside many houses to tell stories of the clan. In recognizing that the Southeast house represents many clans throughout Southeast Alaska, each of the four cultural groups (Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian) will have one post to carve a story that best defines the culture though a central theme.  Interns, students, visitors and the general public can witness the entire process of traditional Alaska Native carving that will give each of the four cultural groups equal representation inside the house. Each carved house post will tell its own story through traditional Southeast artistry. Each post will exhibit a different aspect of Respect, the core Alaska Native value this exhibit will express. The separate posts will reflect Respect for the Environment, Respect for the Culture, Respect for Family and Respect for Self as were chosen by each group. (more…)

Alaska Travel Photo Contest!

We’re giving away Gold this summer! Alaska Tour & Travel is celebrating this summer’s travel season by giving away an 1-Ounce, 24k Gold Official State of Alaska Medallion to the photographer who submits the winning photo to photos@alaskatravel.com depicting Alaska’s spectacular wildlife, scenery, people or adventure.  The 24K Gold Medallion, currently valued at over $1500, is made in Anchorage, Alaska at the Alaska Mint, owned by life-long Alaskan Michael Robuck and his family.  The Alaska Mint is located at 429 W. 4th Avenue, just a block away from the Egan Convention Center and the Anchorage Visitor Center Log Cabin, is worth a visit.   The northern most Mint in the world, The Alaska Mint produces its own art work and hand makes the medallions in their Anchorage shop.   The Alaska Mint is open every day, but if you visit the shop Monday through Friday, you can observe the craftsmen as they work on the Alaska State Medallions as well as other collectable items.  The Alaska Mint also has unique historical mining displays for viewing.

Last year, we celebrated Alaska’s 50th Anniversary of Statehood by giving away Sydney Laurence’s print “Legacy of Alaska” depicting Alaska’s Mt. McKinley.  In selecting the Gold Medallion as this year’s  photo contest award, we’re satisfied that we’ve chosen a high quality, unique, Alaskan made item that is symbolic of Alaska, The Last Frontier.  Last year’s winning photographer was Jim Allen from Dover, Florida for his photo entitled “The Fisherman”, an incredible photo of an Alaska Brown Bear.  For complete details and rules, as well as to view many of last year’s photos, rules visit www.alaskatravel.com/photo-contest.

The New Anchorage Museum

You may not think a visit to a museum would normally be on your list of must see places to visit in Alaska, but a visit to the Anchorage Museum earlier this week gave me reason to believe otherwise.  I am really excited about visiting the Anchorage Museum this summer as it has been under renovation and expansion for the last three years. The Grand Opening occurs on May 22nd for the new Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, the Imaginarium Discover Center, and the Thomas Planetarium among other new features of the museum. (more…)

Anchorage’s Wildlife

Anchorage borders Chugach State Park, America’s third largest state park, and has over 225 greenbelts, local parks, other natural creek corridors within the Anchorage area which allow seasonal movement of animals throughout the area.  As a result, living among us within the Anchorage area are several thousand moose and sheep, a couple hundred bears, and many other animals.  Most residents of Anchorage have moose regularly visit their back yards and some residents see bear, coyote, fox and an occasional wolf in their neighborhoods, on the golf courses, or while biking along a local trail.  It may be a little more difficult for visitors to observe our abundant wildlife, but it is possible given the time and opportunity.   (more…)

Whittier Car Rentals and Cruise Transfers

whittier-cruise-terminalPlanning on taking an Alaska cruise with Princess Cruises this summer and also renting a car from either Whittier or Anchorage?   We are currently offering a web special that includes a free motorcoach transfer to or from Whittier with the Park Connection, with a mail-in rebate, when you purchase your car rental through Alaska Tour & Travel.   A terrific savings due to the high cost of one-way rentals from Whittier plus you get the free ship transfer! (more…)

A Popular Hike to Flat Top Mountain

flat-top-trailTo get some of the most scenic views of Anchorage many locals hike Anchorage’s most popular hiking trail each year, Flattop Mountain Trail. The Flattop Mountain Trail is located in Chugach State Park, a popular outdoor recreation area located in the Chugach Mountain Range. Chugach State Park is the third largest state park in America, and has multiple easily accessible trailheads located in Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska. Flattop is known for its panoramic views of Anchorage and the surrounding area, including Cook Inlet, and on clear days views of Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker, Mt. Spurr, and Mt. Redoubt are very possible. (more…)

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