Alaska

Traveling by Bush Plane in Alaska

Traveling by small plane is a thrilling glimpse into another way of life or an exotic way of reaching the next adventure. Of course, the act of getting into a small plane can be either scary or exciting, because it’s so unlike any jet you’ve ever flown in. With that in mind, here are a few things you should know about traveling in small aircraft.

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Alaska Breweries and Books: A Perfect Pairing

Everyone knows that a cup of coffee and a good book are an iconic duo—but an ice-cold pint gives the ol’ cup of joe a run for its money. And if there’s one single thing that unites Alaska, it’s beer. It houses 5.3 breweries per 100,000 adults, making Alaska the eighth densest state for breweries in the nation. With a brewery practically around every corner, you’ll always have a spot to cool off and cozy up with whatever you’re reading at the moment. And it just so happens that many of Alaska’s best breweries are just a stone’s throw from wonderful independent bookstores that showcase Alaska’s rich literary culture.

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Seeing Alaska’s Northern Lights

The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are among Alaska’s most awe-inducing sights. One moment they’re there, curtains of green, white, purple and even red light dancing in the sky, a visual display of charged solar particles colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere. The next moment, they’re reduced to a few thin candles of light or gone altogether.

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Top 9 Alaska Towns to Visit

Every Alaska town is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. But it’s their determinedly individual and often quirky nature, combined with a hardworking ethic, that kicks into overdrive during our long summer days that really makes them special.

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Alaskan Ferry Services

The Alaska Marine Highway operates two primary state networks: one from Bellingham, Washington, and throughout Southeast Alaska; the other through Southcentral Alaska from Cordova all the way to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. In addition, a ferry sails between Whittier and Juneau twice monthly in the summer, linking the two regions.

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Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage in 10 Days

The Inside Passage is one of the most popular destinations in Alaska. The island communities, beautiful landscape, and great whale watching are all custom-made for travel by sea. But not everybody is cut out for cruise ship life. Independent travelers can take the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries through Southeast instead. Here’s a sample of what a (mostly) ferry-based Southeast itinerary might look like.

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Three Week Best of Alaska Itinerary

Because Alaska is so big and the logistics of transport are challenging, it can take three weeks to hit the highlights. To plan a shorter trip, choose one or two regions from the following Alaska itinerary. Plan additional rest time (or time cushions in case of weather delays) into your trip as you think you’ll need it.

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Best Small Towns in Alaska

When it comes to Alaska, the “big” cities—Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, with populations of 300,000, 32,000 and 32,000 respectively—offer the widest range of shopping, accommodations and transport options. But it’s the small towns that give you the clearest window into the quirky, independent and generous spirit that characterizes “The Great Land.” Consider adding at least one of these charming, small-town destinations to your trip.

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Featured Alaska Travel Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

moon author Lisa Maloney

Lisa Maloney

Lisa is the author of Moon Alaska.

Lisa Maloney has lived in Anchorage, Alaska since the late 1980s, and travels extensively throughout the state for work and play. Even though she lives in “the big city,” Lisa thrives on the self-sufficient mentality that drives the rest of the state forward.

She makes her living as a freelance writer, focused primarily on travel, the outdoors, and profiling the unique personalities that call Alaska home. She is also the author of 50 Hikes Around Anchorage and a second guidebook tentatively titled Day Hiking Southcentral Alaska.

See more of Lisa’s writing at maloneywrites.com, or catch up with her latest adventures at hikingalaska.net and cometoalaska.net.