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A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Anchorage, AK
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A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Here are just a few facts on Central Alaska. The best travel months are June and July. They are the driest/sunniest months. August is okay, but can be rainy, May or September it is 40���s and 50���s at best. It is essentially daylight all the time during summer months. In Fairbanks in June and July the sun never really drops below the horizon, in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula its up for 18 plus hours and even after that, its never really dark, just dusk. Temperatures in summer range anywhere from 50 to 90, especially as you go inland away from the coast. Anchorage is a city of almost 300,000 and is similar to any city in the States of this size in the amount of services available. Prices in Anchorage are comparable to the States (Lower 48) exception being meat and dairy products which run slightly more. Fairbanks is about 70,000 and is a full service city. Wasilla/Palmer and Kenai/Soldotna have most major services and it drops off from there. The Glenn, Parks, Richardson, Alaska, Seward and Sterling Highways are all paved but outside Anchorage and Fairbanks they are 2 lane highways with occasional passing lanes. The North Pole is a suburb of Fairbanks, the physical North Pole is far north of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean. Moose are plentiful everywhere, even in the middle of Anchorage. Just don���t approach them, they can be very ornery and dangerous! Bears are less visible but use good sense when hiking/ fishing or in the outdoors. Fishing is most popular on the Kenai Peninsula and in the Matanuska Susitna Valley (North of Wasilla). Denali National Park accommodations must be booked in advance as well the shuttle buses that take you into the interior of the park. No vehicles are allowed very far into the park during the prime season. The Alaska Railroad is much nicer than Amtrak. It travels from Seward in the south to Fairbanks in the north and stops at Denali National Park. Ketchikan and Juneau in the southeast have a different climate than central Alaska. They are more like Vancouver, British Columbia and are accessed by ship or airline only. Alaska is a huge state, the size of 3 Texas���s, but its beauty makes it worth every penny spent to come here. And������..sorry but you won���t see any igloo���s or Polar bears (except maybe along the Arctic Ocean but I doubt it in summer).

Alaska, USA
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1. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

sounds like a pretty good assessment to me

pine hill, nj
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292 posts
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2. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

hi,

all of the above info is true. however, visiting a few times i'd like to add a few more tidbits. the mosquitos are at their worst in june and july. also, there were 3 forest fires when we went this year. our host at one of the bandb's said it was normal for that time of year(it was a little more extreme this year however). one last thing, we expected the food to be expesive, which it was. the service was horrible at every place we visited for 2 weeks; that i wasn't expecting. on our first visit, a local told us that people are just alot more relaxed and layed back. however, when i had to go into the kitchen at a resturant myself to get a drink, not once, but twice, then there is a problem(and this was at a popular resturant). have fun, and the pictures will last a lifetime.

mrn
anchorage,ak
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3. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Good job, Alaskaman!!! I totally agree with your summary. I just want to add, as far as the restaurants and the culture go...we Alaskans are extremely laid back. Standard wear is jeans and button down shirt or t-shirt, even for performances and in some of the fancier restaurants. Although you will see people dressed up too. This is "the Last Frontier" and many choose to live like such. It is a fantastic place to live and as I've heard over the years "a dream to visit". Welcome to Alaska.

Alaska, USA
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4. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

The fairbanks area and around Tok had some horrible fires last year but this is not the norm. I have lived here all my life. Like everyone says above Alaskans are laid back people and probably a bit reserved compared to easterners. there is nothing formal about Alaska. I also have never had any worse service here than anywhere else. But I have also never been on a tour either and i think those tend to get like cattle being herded through, unfortunately.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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5. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Actually Fairbanks is much smaller then that. I think recent census has it at 30,000 though it is traditionally 40,000. Though with the new Striker Brigade coming up, that may hike it back up to 40,000.

The wildland fires this year burned over 600,000 acres which is the worst fires in Alaska's history. So while there normally are some fires in the summer, they are no where near what we had last summer.

Alaska, USA
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6. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

30,000 is deceiving though, that is just within the city limits of Fairbanks. Throw in the peripheral areas like College, the Fort, Fox and North Pole and you are up around 70,000. Check the Borough population stats.

Anchorage, AK
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7. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

The main point here was to just give people an idea of what it is like here. Anchorage and Fairbanks are the only two real cities and many in the Lower 48 have no conception of these things.

pine hill, nj
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292 posts
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8. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Luckily, we were not on any tours when visiting. I guess us Easterners are just use to a different service.

Orlando, FL
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9. Re: A few hints on what Central Alaska is like

Alaskaman: You know the countryside well. I hope you can guide me just a little bit, as I am helping plan a short 3-day "post-cruise" salmon fishing trip, June 11-14. I talked to Andy Crouch in Wasilla area, and to Mike Fenton in Soldotna, both knowledgeable guides. I'd rather go with the guide than an internet sales pitch. Still, our wives will join our teenage sons so I would like some decent lodging. Alyeska ski resort is pricy and 1 hr 40 min from Soldotna; Gwins Lodge also comes up. It seems like a tossup between the two fisheries unless you have better information. Perhaps weather conditions (or mosquitoes) may be a factor in Kenai vs Wasilla/Palmer?

I also plan to take the Alaska RR from Whittier, our debarkation point, to Anchorage. Is there a rental car agency somewhere around the Train Depot in Anchorage? Finally, if the ladies want to do soething besides fish days 2 and 3, where could they drive to? Thanks for any advise you can give me.