My mother and I took two weeks to explore Alaska via land and sea. During this trip we hoped on a cruise ship and toured the interior in a camper van.
Read on (3 minutes) to get a taste of the best experiences available in Alaska.
The best way to see many destinations along the inside passage is to hop on a cruise ship. My mom and I journeyed on the Norwegian Jewel for 7 days from Vancouver to Seward with stops in Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan. The cruise experience allowed for scenic and up-close view of glaciers in Glacier Bay National Parkthat were completely stunning.
Our excursions included salmon fishing at Knudson Cove Marina, Ketchikan which is known as the salmon fishing capital of the world. Post snagging some fish we then had processed and shipped home, we went into town to nab a bite. At the scenic Alaska Fish House enjoy fish and chips made of locally caught salmon, halibut & cod.
The second port in Junuea was long worth the wait for the first bite of of King Crab. I have refused to try King Crab for decades in order to have them fresh at the source and the recommendations to go to Tracy’s King Crab Shack was well worth the wait. In addition the the crab we enjoy crab cakes, soup and bread.Also, in Juneau there are great galleries where you can find carved wooly mammoth fossil jewelry and decor as well as gold and quartz.As for an excursion, we opted for a visit to Mendenhall Glacier and whale watch.
The third port of Skagway was the most scenic of the towns and filled with local artisan shops. Here I bought fur earrings that were made by a badger that was trapped and harvested then made by a husband and wife combo who own Wild Yukon Furs. In town we enjoyed reindeer hot dogs and chips at Skagway Brewing Company. To round out our visit we hoped on the White Pass & Yukon Railway out of town to observe the region so many Klondike miners journeyed through hoping to make their riches.
After seeing salmon spawning up river and be caught by local fishermen we enjoyed a delicious dinner The Seward Brewing company. Other places we enjoyed dining at were Gold Rush Bistro and Zudy’s Cafe which is located in the old railway depot.
For our final adventure we rented a camper van and drove from Anchorage to visit and camp in Denali National Park. One day we toured the park on a guided bus tour where we witnessed gorgeous autumn colors, full peaks of Mt Denali, a grizzly bear and mountain sheep.
After Denali we drove North to Fairbanks where we went to the ice sculpture museum and the holiday shop at the town of North Pole,
Cynthia is a recovering Travel Director turned TV host, creator of Her Drive Podcast, and lover of all things adventure, unicorns, van life, and wellness-focused. She can be found dining wherever octopus is on the menu.