It seems like it was just yesterday we were welcoming 2014, and here we are again, toasting the change of another digit and a new set of resolutions. This year, why not make one of your resolutions to finally start checking “trip to Alaska” off your bucket list? We’ve created a little Alaska bucket list of our own with suggested travel plans to help you get the year started on the right track.
Hold on tight, because the first item on the list will send you flying. Alaska’s zip lines are the perfect solution for anyone who has ever wished for wings. In Talkeetna, just a short distance from Westmark’s McKinley Chalet Resort, experience America’s northernmost zip line tour. Soar high above beautiful Alaska tundra and glacial rivers with Denali Zipline Tours and take in a bird’s-eye view of Denali and the Alaska Range from the best seat in the house.
After such adrenaline-pumping excitement, it is only fitting to take it down a notch in Alaska’s Golden Heart City with a tour of Fairbanks’ breweries. Tours run Tuesdays through Saturdays with free guest pick-up at Westmark Fairbanks Hotel. The tour starts with a trip to HooDoo Brewing Company where you will visit the custom-built taproom and learn how the brewery came to be while sampling some of the finest craft beers offered in the North. Before heading to the next brewery, the tour makes a quick stop at the trans-Alaska pipeline system viewpoint for a short “pipeline 101” on the largest pipeline system in the world. Next, at Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company, enjoy craft beers in your own private seating area. Work up your appetite with a catwalk tour of the 12,000-square-foot brewery followed by dinner and a flagship brew of your choice.
The next destination on our Alaska bucket list is Girdwood, where you can experience the official Alaska state sport of dog mushing when you guide your own dog sled team across a snowcapped glacier. Operated by Alpine Air Alaska, an exhilarating 15-minute helicopter ride takes passengers through beautiful backcountry scenery over the Chugach Mountains and lands on Punch Bowl Glacier, 3,200 feet above sea level. Get a quick dog-mushing tutorial and learn about the endurance that makes Alaska’s huskies so unique.
Alaska’s state capital was named after a gold prospector by the name of Joe Juneau. Join Alaska Travel Adventures in a 90-minute historic gold mining and panning adventure at Gold Creek Mine, where Joe Juneau first struck gold in 1880. The bonus? You get to keep anything you find! Surrounded by remains of the original Alaska-Juneau Mining Company buildings, you will get a true appreciation of what Alaska looked like more than a century ago.
Not all resolutions are created equal; some are more fun than others. Resolve to move your bucket list Alaska trip to the top of your list in 2015! Happy New Year and safe travels from all of us at Westmark Hotels.