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    Pocket Guide: Alaska

    Alaska is unlike anywhere in the continental U.S. Covered in glaciers, mountains, and wildlife parks, it’s a must-visit destination, where you can find both adventure and serenity. From marveling at the Northern Lights in the wintertime to catching sight of bears in the summer months, there’s always something to discover. Book cheap flights to Alaska today to explore and experience the wilderness and wildlife.

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    Geography

    Alaska is the largest of the 50 states, even though it’s not physically connected to the continental U.S. The Arctic Ocean is to the north and Canada is to the east, while Bering Strait is to the west, and the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Alaska are to the south. The state is referred to the Last Frontier, and it’s no surprise considering much of the state is still uninhabited.

    Alaska is home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain the country, and Bering Glacier, which spreads across nearly five percent of the state. In addition to the region’s mountain ranges and glaciers, there are over three million lakes and 3,000 rivers in Alaska.

    Best and Worst Times to Visit

    The best and worst times to visit really depend on your preferences and the regions you plan on exploring. If you’re looking to experience a winter wonderland, visit between December and March. This is when some of the state’s most celebrated events take place, such as ice-carving competitions, sled-dog relays, and snow-mobile races. While there are plenty of recreational activities and events to keep you entertained, expect frigid temperatures and shorter days during these months.

    For warmer temperatures and extended daylight, May through August are some of the best times to visit Alaska. Temperatures range between 60 and 80 degrees F, and the sun shines for around 19 hours on June 21. The sunny days and nights are pleasant, but this is tourist season, so you may face crowds and higher rates during this time.

    Lodging

    Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon or exploring the state with your family, you’ll find a variety of Alaska hotels to match your preferences. From luxury lodging to budget-friendly places, we’ve got it all. Sort through our selection and discover bed and breakfasts, which are a perfect option for your romantic retreat, or lodging with spacious rooms to help make your kids feel at home. Many places provide restaurants, fitness centers, and Wi-Fi access, while some may even offer business centers and shuttle service.

    The state also features a number of Alaska ski resorts, which are within easy access of the slopes. Resorts often provide additional amenities such as on-site restaurants, pools, recreational activities, and spa treatments. Take a peek at our selection to score cheap deals on Alaska resorts and hotels.

    Things to Do

    Bundle up and take advantage of Alaska’s outdoor activities during the winter season. Dog mushing belongs at the top of your list. This sport is a major part of Alaskan culture, and you can join a four-legged team, mushing your way through frozen terrain. However, if you’d prefer to pull your own weight, carve up the trails at Alyeska Resort. Or stay at one of the hotels in Anchorage and hit up the nearby slopes at Hilltop Ski Area. As long as you’re braving the winter temperatures, watch for the Northern Lights, which is a colorful aurora that illuminates the sky between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on clear evenings.

    Alaska isn’t always covered in snow, though. If you’re visiting during the summer months, soak up nearly 20 hours of sunshine each day. Cast a line for salmon at Ship Creek or canoe around the glaciers at Spencer Lake. Mountain bike along the Lost Lake Trail, hike the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, and venture over to the Chugach State Park to witness wild moose, eagles, and grizzly bears.

    In addition to its scenic landscape and magnificent wildlife, Alaska has an intriguing history. Learn about the Alaska natives at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, or visit the Eskimo Village and the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow. Stop at the Talkeetna Historical Society for exhibits on mining, and marvel at the world’s largest totem pole collection at Totem Heritage Center.

    Culture

    While Alaska only recently gained statehood in 1959, indigenous people have inhabited the area for more than 10,000 years. The Russians were the first Europeans to settle in the area during 17th century, and then miners flocked to the region during the gold rush in the late 1800s. However, despite massive changes over several hundred years, there are still natives who live off the land and continue to follow ancient traditions.

    Dog-sled racing is a fairly new, but extremely popular tradition in Alaska. The Yukon Quest dates back to 1984, when a team of mushers decided to embark on a dog-sled race along the historic gold rush trails and the Yukon River. Often called the Toughest Race on Earth, it’s a 1,000-mile course that runs through rugged and remote terrain and can take up to two weeks to complete. The Iditarod Sled Dog Race, also known as the Last Great Race on Earth®, is another popular mushing event. This race takes place a month later in March, with a course from Anchorage to Nome.

    Dog-sled races aside, the Alaska State Fair is much anticipated event. This annual fair has occurred in the Matanuska Valley since 1936. Each September, the fairgrounds are filled with carnival rides, giant vegetable contests, concerts, cultural performances, and more.

    Food

    This northern state is well known for cold water seafood, such as salmon, halibut, and Alaskan King Crab. However, large game certainly makes an appearance at the dinner table, too. It’s not uncommon to see moose, elk, caribou, and even bear on the menu. During the summertime, wild berries, including salmonberries, blueberries, and cranberries, are also a popular treat. They’re found in the southern regions and are often frozen or made into jam to last the winter.

    When it comes to booking your vacation in the Land of the Midnight Sun, check out our selection of the best resorts and hotels in Alaska. Make your reservations today and get ready for salmon cuisine, dog-sled races, outdoor adventures, and more.

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    Alaska Hotels
    Alaska Hotels

    Hotels in Anchorage

    Extended Stay America - Anchorage - Midtown - Anchorage Hotels
    Rating: 2.5 Stars

    Extended Stay America - Anchorage - Midtown

    700 E 34th Ave, Anchorage - Map
     
     
    "Nice room. BIG bed."
    It was a nice room. Me and my friend had enough space to move. The king bed was big which was very nice! We also had a small kitchen in our rom which was very good because we were able to prepare our own food. The room was clean, some spots at the walls though. But the rooms were renovated and they looked very modern! With bus no. 2 it is 15 minutes to get into Downtown Anchorage. Very nice! Buses have their own schedule, were very late sometimes. I would definitely recommend this hotel because it was a nice room. There was missing a dresser, we had to leave our clothes in our luggage, which was fine with us, though. The hotel has a bus shuttle. We weren't able to use it because we weren't able to call the shuttle because the phone number didn't really worked so we weren't able to reach the front desk. At our way back home the shuttle was not available. The shuttle is only available from 8 am- 8 pm.
    Traveller from NY, Germany
    This family-friendly Anchorage aparthotel is located in Midtown Anchorage, within 1 mi (2 km) of Z.J. Loussac Library - Main …More
    Hotel Captain Cook - Anchorage Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Hotel Captain Cook

    939 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage - Map
     
     
    "Nice hotel"
    The hotel is great. They are doing some much needed renovations to some of the rooms so we got moved to a different room than we booked. It does need to be redone to be worth the cost. The amenities were the best. We definitely enjoyed our stay.
    A Traveller
    Set in downtown Anchorage, this hotel is 3 blocks west of the convention center, 3 blocks east of the Tony Knowles Coastal …More
    Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage - Anchorage Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage

    4800 Spenard Rd, Anchorage - Map
     
     
    "Nice hotel"
    The hotel was under construction, but they are redoing all of the rooms to make them better.
    A Traveller
    This hotel, on the shore of scenic Lake Spenard, a major floatplane base, is 1 mile from the airport and 4 miles from …More

    Hotels in Fairbanks

    Regency Fairbanks Hotel - Fairbanks Hotels
    Rating: 3.0 Stars

    Regency Fairbanks Hotel

    95 10th Ave, Fairbanks - Map
     
     
    "good location"
    this is the 2nd time we've stayed here. good hotel. reasonable price.
    A Traveller
    Situated in the business district, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Alaska House Art Gallery, Fairbanks Ice Museum …More
    Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center - Fairbanks Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center

    813 Noble St, Fairbanks - Map
     
     
    "Nice but with some room for improvement"
    I booked at the Westmark because I wanted a comfy bed for the night and I got what I wanted! Other than that, the hotel was okay. They left a room service cart with half-eaten food on it outside the elevator for over a day but the room was clean!
    A Traveller
    Walking and running paths adjacent to this downtown Fairbanks hotel wind along the Chena River; various government offices …More
    Springhill Suites by Marriott Fairbanks - Fairbanks Hotels
    Rating: 3.0 Stars

    Springhill Suites by Marriott Fairbanks

    575 1st Ave, Fairbanks - Map
     
     
    "Second largest city in Alaska"
    We were somewhat disappointed in Fairbanks in general and Marriott in particular. It was probably the nicest hotel in Fairbanks, but that's like saying the tallest midget in the group. We were on a tour and our hotel (Westmark) was totally booked so we booked a room in the Marriott for two days. We eventually joined our group at the Westmark but wished that we could return to the Marriott.
    A Traveller
    Located in the heart of Fairbanks, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Fairbanks Ice Museum, Fairbanks Community Museum …More

    Hotels in Kenai Peninsula

    Best Western Plus Edgewater Hotel - Seward Hotels
    Rating: 3.0 Stars

    Best Western Plus Edgewater Hotel

    200 5th Ave, Seward - Map
     
     
    "Hotel across from the Alaska Sealife Center"
    Clean hotel, but the thermostat was too high. It was difficult to sleep in the hot conditions.
    A Traveller
    Situated in Seward, this property is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward Museum, and Kenai Fjords National …More
    Breeze Inn - Seward Hotels
    Rating: 3.0 Stars

    Breeze Inn

    303 North Harbor Drive, Seward - Map
     
     
    "Adequate room at a reasonable price for the area."
    We were a little disappointed by the location of our room and the quality of the room as the website made it sound better. All in all it was adequate and a nice location by the water/marina. The staff were very nice.
    Traveller from Newberg, OR
    Situated near the bay, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Seward Museum and Kenai Fjords National Park. Alaska SeaLife …More
    Hotel Seward - Seward Hotels
    Rating: 2.5 Stars

    Hotel Seward

    221 5th Ave, Seward - Map
     
     
    "Historical Seward"
    I chose this hotel for several reasons. It's been a part of Seward for many years. The decor is quaint and very relaxing. I had a wonderful night's sleep on the incredibly comfortable bed. There is adequate on site parking. It's within walking distance of the SeaLife Center. It has an on site restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner.
    Traveller from Alaska
    Located in the heart of Seward, this historic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward Museum, and Kenai …More