BORN TO TRAVEL’S INFO BANK: ALASKA
The Bear Lodge hotel gift shop has wonderful Alaskan made items. We have learned that we should have purchased things there, as they ended up being cheaper than other places we went to. Just a tip.
The Pump House Restaurant in Fairbanks is excellent. Cheap cab from hotel. We recommend for lunch or dinner if you have free time.
The Fairbanks Ice Museum, I am told is wonderful. 500 2nd Ave in Fairbanks. 907-451-8222. Its in downtown Fairbanks. The cruise line recommended Hot Tamale restaurant for mexican. It was just ok, in our book.
If you want to whitewater raft, you should try to set it up when you are in Denali. If you want to flightsee over Denali, you should try to set up in Talkeetna. We know tour operators in both places. If you want a flatwater rafting trip, there is one in Talkeetna. Email us for details.
We highly recommend a visit to Mendenhall glacier. You can hike there as well. Or you can take a sea kayak adventure there. We have contacts for kayaking. There is a cheap bus to and from Mendenhall or we have a guy who can take you to Mendenhall and Glacier gardens. Let us know if interested. Glacier gardens is a unique botanical garden-worth seeing. Email us for details.
In Junea there is a very tiny jewelry store on main drag. Size of a shack. The owner makes his jewelry from coral, Alaskan jade, etc. The store name is Jim Hopkins, fossil ivory jewelry design. Address is 422 S. Franklin St. Juneau. Not to be missed.
If you have time, be sure to walk to Creek Street in Ketchikan and see the old red light district, now excellent stores for shopping. Also fabulous items made in Alaska can be found at Exploration Gallery 633 Mission Street in Ketchikan. Be sure to see the porcelain Christmas ornaments–to die for.
DO NOT MISS DO NOT MISS DO NOT MISS: MISTY FJORDS CRUISING. It is from 6-8 pm on the day you are in Ketchikan (Wed). GO TO VIKING CROWN LOUNGE. It’s the best place to see it. When you get off the elevator you are facing the bar in the lounge. Walk behind the bar, (steps/ramps to either side of the bar) There you will find no one and floor to ceiling windows. Decks on either side to go out for a while and take pictures. It’s the place to do it and be warm and sip a cocktail. Make alternative Dinner arrangements.
The helicopter tour/dogsled adventure is the cat’s pj’s.
Also, you can just sightsee in town, hang out at Red Onion saloon.
The Loom in Skagway has beautiful rugs, etc.
You can do helicopter in morning and still go on the Whitepass Railroad in the afternoon. Do not go on railroad in morning. Usually foggy and defeats the purpose-to see hair raising vistas.
The Glaciel Brewhouse and Orso are very very good restaurants. Walking distance from hotel. (short)
In Anchorage the Alaska Museum of History and Art is pretty small and has paintings from a guy that are really something. He painted polar bears and Eskimo children. The museum is small, and can be done in about an hour-to hour and 1/2. You can walk from hotel. (about 10 blocks)
DON’T forget binoculars.
Remember to pack separate suitcase for the land portion so you can have them store your cruise clothes and not have to go through all you bags and you don’t have to take them to/from bus everyday.
Born To Travel’s Info Bank: Hawaii
Be sure to visit Lava Light Galleries to purchase amazing photographs. 75-5707 Alii Drive, Kona. Web: www.lavalightgalleries.com
Eat at Ken’s House of Pancakes. Has every kind of food. A Hilo landmark.
Visit Volcano National Park
Take a tour to top of Mauna Kea
Visit Pearl Harbor