- CENTENNIAL: In 2015, Anchorage will celebrate its centennial with a variety of events commemorating the state’s largest city.
- NEW TOURS: Northern Alaska Tour Company has expanded its offerings include tours to see the summit of Mount McKinley and aerial views of Denali National Park and Preserve.
- BEAR EDUCATION: The Bear Education Awareness Research Sanctuary at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center now allows visitors to walk on an elevated boardwalk above the bear enclosure.
- Alaska Native Heritage Center: Discover the rich heritage of Alaska’s 11 cultural groups in the hall of cultures. Anchorage.
- Sitka National Historical Park: A remarkable collection of totem poles carved by Tlingit and Haida artists.
- Museum Of The North: Explore 2,000 years of Alaska’s art with a unique light and sound environment that emulates the dance of the aurora borealis. Fairbanks.
- All Aboard ARRC: Founded back in 1923, Alaska’s frontier spirit lives on at the Alaska Railroad Corporation. The Alaska Railroad is now one of Alaska’s most popular attractions and provides one of the best ways to see the state.
- Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (March), Anchorage to Nome.
- World Ice Art Championships (February/March), Fairbanks.
- Kodiak Crab Festival (May), Kodiak Island.
- Alaska State Fair (August/September), Palmer.
- Alaska Bald Eagle Festival (November), Haines.
- Fairbanks: Alaska’s second largest city offers year-round recreation under summer’s midnight sun or beneath the glow of the northern lights.
- Skagway: The gold rush era of the late 1890s is preserved in old town storefronts and on the 53-kilometre Chilkoot Trail.
- Juneau: The gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.
- Anchorage: Alaska’s largest city offers luxury hotels, fine dining and shopping just minutes from state parks.
- Valdez Museum & Historical Archive: Provides a window into the early history of the town.
- Creek Street: The heart of downtown Ketchikan is the once-infamous Creek Street, where the bars and bordellos have turned into galleries and restaurants.
Did You Know?
- State Flower: Forget-Me-Not
- State Bird: Willow Ptarmigan
- State Motto: North To The Future
- Region: NORTH WEST
- Alaska’s Byways: Alaska’s Marine Highway, Dalton Highway, Glenn Highway, Haines Highway, Parks Highway, Richardson Highway, Seward Highway, Sterling Highway, Steese Highway, Alaska Railroad, Taylor & Top of the World Highways, Prince of Wales Island Road System, Copper River Highway, Kachemak Bay Route, Walden Point Road.
- Direct Flights: Air Canada.
- Shopping: The Fifth Avenue Mall, Anchorage.
- Cruise Lines: Carnival, Crystal, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea, Un-cruise Adventures, Alaskan Dream.
- Info: Travel Alaska
Light Up Your Life
Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks
They may not appear with a flip of the switch, but the stunningly hypnotic aurora borealis like to reveal themselves in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The “Aurora Season” begins mid-August and extends to mid-April, and Fairbanks’ position under the “Auroral Oval”— a ring-shaped region around the North Pole – makes it one of the best places in the world to see these magical lights.
The location offers a great blend of clear nights and occurrence frequency that draws people from all over the world. Beautiful and mysterious, auroral curtains range in colour from green to red to purple, with the brightest and most common being a beautiful yellow-green.
Intensity varies from night to night, with the best displays happening in the late evening to the early hours of the morning. When the nights are clear and dark enough, there will be aurora visible on an average of four out of five nights – but if you stay for a minimum of three nights, your chances of seeing the aurora increase to more than 90 per cent.
Take a drive to a nearby vantage point and wait for the northern lights to appear, or see them from a heated “aurorium” cabin, during an overnight dog sled adventure or on a flight over the Arctic Circle.
Check the local newspaper or visit www.gi.alaska.edu for an aurora forecast. There may be no guarantees, but the longer you visit, the better your chances of seeing a great show.