Normally AKontheGO fam is not likely to be found utilizing the services of an organized touring outfit. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we, like most visitors who have children, believe that the boundaries imposed by some of the larger tourism companies are too rigid for families. Eat now, sleep here, do this, go there; it almost gives me hives just thinking about marching my four-year-old in lockstep with a hundred or so other people.
But we can change, with the help of out-of-the-box companies that savor the individuality and interests of each visitor. Salmon Berry Tours, operating out of a small office at 527 W. 3rd Avenue in downtown Anchorage, has nailed the do-it-yourself-agenda. What, you say? No big bus barreling down the Seward Highway, no buffet line restaurant experience? No Love Boat cruise director herding visitors through the museum at record pace to be at the next destination in time for the photo ops?
Yep. You got it. Candice and her staff at Salmon Berry take great pride in allowing anyone and everyone who wants to visit Alaska the ability to do so. On.Their.Own.Terms. Amen!
Candice, who has been in business for almost four years, says that Salmon Berry grew (ha, just like the bush itself) like crazy after she noticed people wanting to individualize their Alaskan experience but weren’t sure where, or how, to start the process. Salmon Berry’s Web site lists options ranging from a one-hour quickie tour of Anchorage that includes a trip to Earthquake Park, the infamous spot where part of the city dissolved into Cook Inlet in 1964, to personally escorted trips up to Denali National Park for a little bear-viewing, hiking, or river rafting. Your family wants to experience it? Candice will find a way.
With package trips suitable for the whole family (and I mean the entire kit and kaboodle) and the option of customizing interests, abilities, and financial availability into a trip of the lifetime, Candice and her crew of six guides will send you on a truly memorable Alaskan adventure.
Candice’s big tip? Come in the winter, when rates are low, low, low, and the same personal attention awaits. They’ve got great ideas for snowmachining, sleigh rides, skiing, and wowee, Iditarod packages that are sure to include dog sled riding. We’re all over that in 2010.
Salmon Berry Tours is also offering a special for those Mayor’s Marathon participants who want to get out the day before the race. The Turnagain Turn includes pick-up at any hotel, a drive down Turnagain Arm, visit to Girdwood for a ride up the Alyeska Tram to have lunch at the top, and a stop at the famous Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to commune with our state’s wild critters. For $139 per person, that’s a pretty good deal considering the tram ride and lunch alone could cost you that much if you went on your own.
Salmon Berry Tours can be reached via their toll-free number 1-888-878-3572 or their Web site www.salmonberrytours.com.
With flexibility the key to traveling in Alaska with families, and with Alaska’s great size, it’s great to know there are companies willing to truly travel the extra mile to ensure guest satisfaction. We’re going to check out some of Candice’s tours soon, and we’ll report back to AKontheGO readers.