Any river or creek nearing dusk: Check out the feeding spots
Find a place safely away from threatening the wildlife, and where you can get away from the animals if they are disturbed by your presence. Nearing dusk is the time to see wildlife quite often, but do it safely. Safely for you and for them - as it gets dark, watch for animals on the road.
Dress Code: Dress warmly and protected from bugs.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Skinny Dicks Half Way Inn!: A "must see"
Sold by Skinny Dick in 2003; he passed away in 2008. Beloved assemblage of tackiness and crudity in the middle of no where. Bras and panites along with dollar bills were tacked up every place. I hear that the new owners have removed all of the items and kept the name.
Address:Parks Hwy., Ester, AK
Directions:At milepost 328 on the Parks Highway, roughly halfway between Fairbanks and Nenana.
Dick sold it in 2003, died in 2008 and I hear it is not the same place. SO IF YOU STOP IN JUST KNOW IT'S NOT THE SAME OLD ALASKAN PLACE THAT IT USE TO BE.
Dress Code: Once an Alaskan icon now just a bar with a unique name.
Alaska: Aurora Borealis
On a clear dark night, kick back and watch as charged particles from the sun slam into the atmosphere at a million miles per hour, and create dancing colors in the sky.
Theres no cover charge and you can stay all night. (byob)
Unfortunately for most visitors to Alaska, it is unlikely that you will see the lights between May and August, due to the lack of darkness.
Its worth enduring a little cold to see the northern lights. Generally the further north, the better the chance of seeing the Aurora. The best shows, at least in interior Alaska, seem to be in the spring and fall.
If youre lucky enough to find yourself in Alaska on a clear dark night, drive a few miles away from the city lights, and you may see a show you wont ever forget.
Heres a forecast, courtesy of the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks
Dress Code: Anything you like, as long as its warm.
Homer beach and lighthouse: Come on Girls...this is Homer Spit! :)
Homer is definitely not for party animals but if you're looking for young people bars and company you should go and check out the Spit! In good weather you will find lots of campers on the beach chatting and sitting around campfire. Many of them just travelers but I've met seasonal workers as well. If you're looking for a bar go and see the little lighthouse and ask someone for its history while drinking a beer:)
In the cities and lots of smaller "towns", you should be able to find a great local hangout. I've noticed a popular name is usually "the Pioneer Bar" which is found in most towns. I'm not sure if they are related but they're all about the same (from what I've seen). Always a great local hangout, friendly people, music or sports (or both) and very laid back. Ordering wine is high class...most people drink beer.There's no impressing anyone here--people are just there to relax and enjoy their time off. It's also popular to name bars after the highway they're on or the latitude of where the town is located. There are clubs scattered around the state, too--the fancier ones being in the larger cities and the ones I like more, in the towns with less than 10,000 people (which are most places here in Alaska). Some of the bush villages do not have drinking but chances are if you just visiting the state, you'll find a wonderful local hangout with Alaskan Amber on tap
Dress Code: Relaxed, laid back...some have signs that say "shirt and shoes required" but for god's sake, it's Alaska. How often can you wander around not fully clothed without freezing?
Crow's Nest Lounge: Bar Hopping Cruise Ship Style
Where else can you down your beer while wearing a tux and relaxing on a chaise lounge?
This picture was taken in the ship's nightclub called the Crow's Nest. It was at the top of the ship at the bow, so it was the perfect place to come for a fantastic view of where we were going. These lounge chairs were in hot demand, too, so if we didn't get there by 7:30 pm, we were out of luck and had to sit at regular chairs.
The dance floor is in the background in this photo. The same band played every night and they let us know at the beginning of the cruise that they would take all requests and in fact wanted them. So, one evening when I thought the music was too slow, I asked them to play "All I Wanna To Do" by Sheryl Crow. They said they couldn't because they were permitted only to play lounge music until 9:30 pm, but they would play it if we came back after that. We did...and we didn't even have to ask. When they saw us return, they played the song. I was impressed!
Dress Code: Then, later that night, I asked them if they could play Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5", a favorite of mine. They said "Sorry, we don't play that one."
So, you can put in requests, but they have to be at the right hour and you have to ask for the right song.
Don't order a margarita. It was ghastly. It was poured into a huge tumbler with very little tequila, no Cointreau that I could tast and lots of sweet and sour and 7up. Yuck. The bartender definitely didn't know how to make a margarita. Or maybe he had to follow corporate directives. After that experience, I stuck with wine.Related to:
Piano Bar: Lounge Lizard
Yet another bar on the ship is the piano bar. This is a smaller, more intimate bar for those who want booze but don't want to have to drink it with those rowdy revelers in the Crow's Nest. The centerpiece of this bar is a grand piano, surrounded by a lacquered wooden bar. In this photo, the Piano Bar was decorated for 4th of July.
We stopped by briefly. I haven't spent much time in piano bars, so I was kind of expecting something like Bill Murray's lounge lizard act, but the Statendam's piano player wasn't that funny -- or that obscene.Related to:
in popular places especially: Not so casual what comes to ID's
I was a bit suprised about this in Alaska. My International Driving License was not a valid ID in many bars. It shoould be, but these places follow thier own policy. It is interesting, because there are those places in Alaska, where nobody cares how old u are or do you have a prrof of your age. Then there were these places, where they didn't accept a valid European ID. They demanded me to bring my passport with me, which is a bit insane especially when your visa is attached to it...but that was what they wanted.
My European Union Drivers License has been valid everywhere else in Lower 48 where I have been, in CA, NY, FL...but not in funny small places in Alaska. I haven't even got in! :) So my suggest is that carry a copy of your passport together with DL for example. If they don't let u in without a real passport, skip the place.
I do think it is very important the the age is checked and there ar eno minors. But I don't like it when foreigners get some unfair treatment. The bars can have a catalogues where all the foreign ID's are shown. If they don't bother order it and use it, I think it is their lack.
Be aware: They drink and drive...
This is something I wouldn't like to tell you, because I love Alaska from the bottom of my heart, but still, i do not accept this anyway. So Alaskans are very carefree what comes to driving under alcohol's (or weed's) influence.
I know that people over all States do it, but in Alaska it is somehow accepted. Or let's put it this way. You are in the party. People come to party by car (sure they do, there aren't really public transportation there) and they drink and leave by car. In Scandinavia the general attitude would be like, hey man you are drunk, do not drive. Or I cannot imagine any of my friends daring to drink and drive in public.
Dress Code: So please, be aware. After party or bar night, check out who offers you a drive. The slippery roads and mooses make situation even worse there. Of course there are people who are very careful, but to me, this came as a surprise, the attitude among old and youngs. Plus the most popular night club in Fairbanks, Blue Loon, is located so far away from town, that it is impossible to even reach it without driving. And taxes, well, there are few, and how expensive they are....
Northern Lights: Northern Lights
Its not exactly a nightlife activity, but its an unusual Alaska experience. The northern lights, otherwise known as Aurora Borealis, are a series of lights that appear in the night sky. The lights are generally yellow green in color, but can be pink, red, blue or purple.
The best viewing time is Sept through April and the best chance of seeing the lights is away from Anchorage, since the city lights interfere with the view. The lights appear in the sky in the area above the Alaska Range into the Arctic.
The Aurora Borealis........phenomenon*: Northern Lights
Near the poles, you can witness a very beautiful, dynamic, luminous displays seen in the night sky called "Northern Lights".
The aurora display is a very large-scale phenomenon encircling the entire polar regions, but when one views a particular display from the ground only a very small portion is visible, in the northern and southern latitudes.
If you live near the northern aurora oval, you will often see aurora along the northern horizon early in the evening, and the aurora will gradually move south. The gradual southward movement is caused by your location on Earth rotating under the thicker part of the aurora oval.
If you live farther south, look for aurora during periods of known high solar activity late at night or in the early morning hours, about 10 PM to 3 AM. Solar activity is currently on the increase
The northern lights are a permanent feature of the Earth. The lights are produced by the interaction of the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field, independent of human activity.
The beauty and wonder of the northern lights will to be an inspiration to artists and scientists for a long time to come.
Dress Code: *come as you are and bring plenty of film for beautiful pictures*Related to:
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
B & B Bar: The Oldest
Kodiak also claims the oldest bar in Alaska near the waterfront, none other than the B & B Bar, another nondescript building with limited spirit in its outward appearance. Inside (besides verifying the 1906 license on the righthand wall) you can throw darts, play pool or belly up to the bar with the other wastrels and misfits, call for a $4 can of beer, and listen to the latest gossip on town life. At the time of my visit, the witch/barmaid boasted having seen a bear along the Pasagshak road, while the others decried the local radio "selling hour," which VT member kaloz likened to "radio Ebay."
Dress Code: Dress is casual, and the more informal the better. You would occasion a number of hard glares from the roughened crowd who frequent this bar.
Diamond Jim's Harvester Inn: The Smallest
The small town of Kodiak (pop. 6,300) on the famous island of the same name claims two superlatives among Alaskan watering holes. One of these is Diamond Jim's on Mill Bay Road, reckoned the smallest bar in Alaska. Though it looks like a simple box, almost spiritless like a coffin, the capacity is reckoned at 40. Not standing room only . . . the bar claims the ability to seat as many patrons. As for service and selection, it may not warrant a visit to the island to wet your whistle, and the distinction of having a beer there might be dubious to some.
Dress Code: Dress in Kodiak is usually casual. Suits are rarely spotted on the island.
Don't miss Chilkoot Charlie's!...
Don't miss Chilkoot Charlie's in Anchorage! I know it's still there, unlike most of my other favorite spots, because I've talked to people who've been there in the past year. I think it's going to be there for awhile, because it's an institution up there. Everybody goes there, tourists and locals alike. If you miss it, people will look at you strange when you get back home.
Dress Code: Jeans and a flannel shirt are fine. Alaska is very informal, or at least the side of it I saw was.
Broadway style entertainment
There was great entertainment by very talented artists everynight on board. The ship has a very large theatre and several lounges with different styles of entertainment.
I especially enjoyed the Dance show about dances from around the world.Related to:
Excellent amenities, with an excellent outlook. The higher the room the better the view, always ask...more
We stayed twice in the past month for a couple of days each trip and found the front desk staff...more
We stayed at Sophie Station as part of our package tour and one night before the tour. It was clean...more
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