Last night, the sun set just after 8 p.m.; a gain of nearly six minutes over the evening prior. In true Alaska fashion, people were everywhere, walking dogs, jogging, chipping away at a few layers of ice in driveways. That’s spring in the 49th state, and it’s why we grow antsy to get going.
Where? Anywhere, actually. The lingering spring season in Alaska is a time for all of us to hit ‘Refresh,’ to shake off the brain cobwebs of winter and turn our faces toward the increasing sunlight. It’s a glorious reminder of why we love to live here, and it’s also an excellent incentive for enticing visitors.
Right now is the perfect time to explore the Last Frontier. Crowds are thin, cost is low, and things to see – well, they’re abundant in a way most summertime tourists miss. Here are a few Alaska spring travel ideas, starting right now.
Spring skiing: Alyeska Resort is boasting a whopping 447 inches of snow so far this season, and with bluebird skies, soft spring snow, and all kinds of specials at the Hotel Alyeska, a getaway to hit the slopes is easy.
Alpine skiers are not the only ones reaping the benefits of longer days and spectacular snow. I wrote about skiing Denali National Park a few weeks ago, and spring is indeed a great time to visit this wonderful park. But other places, like Denali State Park just a few miles (OK, maybe a bit more than that), offer amazing Nordic ski opportunities at the Kesugi Ken campground and public use cabins. Down south, Seward has also been home to prime skiing as well. Visit Seward Chamber of Commerce for details there.
Whales and wildlife: Spring whale watching is just about perfect right now, whether you choose a larger day cruise with Major Marine Tours or Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, or go for a smaller, more intimate experience with a company like Seward Ocean Excursions. Gray whales are stopping by Resurrection Bay on their way to the Arctic region, and let me say there is nothing like seeing the season’s first whale pop out of the beautiful Alaska water. The folks in Seward tell me orcas are plentiful already, too, and the feeding frenzies have already begun. So what are you waiting for?
Road trips: Great Alaskan Holidays (an AKontheGO sponsor, fyi) continues with their “Odds and Ends Special,” meaning that if you suddenly decide to take to the highways and byways of Alaska this spring (within the next 30 days), the company has a special deal for you. Go HERE to see the full deal.
Where would I go? Oh, let me count the ways….
- Denali National Park. Yep. Riley Creek Campground is open right now for spring camping. No services, so you’ll have to plan ahead, but the access to skiing, fat biking, bird watching (wildlife, too), all in the comfort of a quiet, warm motorhome, is fantastic.
- Homer. Roads so far have been just fine down the Sterling Highway to the end of the road (literally), and the cosmic town of Homer. Stay in one of the in-town parks, or venture out toward the Spit and see who’s open already. The Chamber has a great listing of resources for spring campers. Listen to the waves, take a walk or bike along the Spit trail, or just read a good book with a lovely view. Homer has it all.
- Seward. Not unlike Homer for views and serenity, Seward has the benefit of the aforementioned whale-watching activities. It’s nice to couple a day cruise with a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center and then an overnight at the Seward City Campground right on the water, and we find this quick getaway to be very relaxing, indeed.
Ready, set, SPRING into action. We’ll see you out there.
Other stories about spring you might enjoy: