What To Do With 40 Hours in Alaska - United Hub

What to do with 40 hours in Alaska

By The Hub team

My first voyage to the Last Frontier certainly won't be my last. Alaska makes you appreciate how much our country has to offer. The U.S. is truly an amusement park of terrain filled with an array of deserts, forests, mountains and glaciers. Alaska is home to some of the most fascinating land I've seen in the U.S., and possibly throughout all my travels around the globe.

From the airport, Anchorage is only twenty minutes via cab. I sat in the back seat with a big awestruck smile on my face as I admired the beauty of the mountains and glaciers in the distant background. I knew I would get closer to this natural beauty later in my trip, but the anticipation was intoxicating.

Once in Anchorage, I immediately stopped at Glacier BrewHouse and had a few beers while eavesdropping on the patrons. It was 10 PM on a summer Tuesday, and there were a ton of people out and about. As I sat wondering whether the food was what drew this large of a crowd, I happened to peer out the window and register that it was still quite light outside. So light, in fact, that kids were playing across the street at a skate park. As I looked at my phone and debated whether I had time traveled, it became clear that the diners were drawn out by the long hours of sunlight. That said, the Grilled Sockeye Salmon I ate was one of the best salmon dinners I've ever had, so I'm sure the food helped bring the crowd as well.

The next morning, I hiked to the Alaska Railroad train station. The price of a ticket was a little over $100, but well worth the cost. (If you pay a little more, you get a roof seat with an even better view). I'll admit time and time again that this four hour journey was by far one of the most exhilarating train rides I ever have, or likely will, be part of. The glaciers, grayish metallic waters surrounding the mountains, and wildlife were breathtaking, and the tour guide was excellent.

Foggy Day, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

As soon as I got off the train, I was already on a cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park. I chose to do the six hour National Park Tour. We hit some heavy bumps on the Atlantic Ocean along the way, and pulled up within twenty feet of a magnificent sheet of ice that moves six feet every day. The glacier was caving and everyone on the boat was ooohing and awing in delight. Surprisingly, we even experienced wildlife while on the boat. We came up close to birds that could dive 200 feet into the ocean waters, humpback whales, sea otters, harbor seals, and even watched two orcas swim right by the boat.

Time on planes, trains, automobiles and boats took up several of my limited hours in Alaska, but it was easily one of the best 40 hour periods of my life. Definitely stay longer if you go—I just got a glimpse of this wonderful piece of land, will be back soon–preferably racing in the Iditarod or lying on my back glazing at the Northern Lights.

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