Visit Alaska's Historical Cities and Towns
Seeing everything there is to see in Alaska would probably take years. However, you can sample the diversity of the state in its urban centers and historic coastal towns.
Among the most popular travel destinations are
Alaska Facts: Its weather, the Arctic Circle and other natural wonders
The State of Alaska: Its people, history and geography
Cities & Towns: Explore the towns and cities of Alaska
Alaska Cruises: Discover the Land of the Midnight Sun and the Inside Passage
• Anchorage Alaska
• Valdez Alaska
• Juneau Alaska
• Ketchikan Alaska.
Anchorage is Alaska's largest city, accessible by road, air, and cruise ship. Since it is bordered by the Turnagain and Knik arms of the Cook Inlet and surrounded by scenic mountain ranges, Anchorage offers breathtaking views from anywhere in this modern city. Forty percent of Alaska's population lives in Anchorage, so it's not surprising to find that it has become a financial, communications, cultural and transportation hub for the state.
If you're visiting Anchorage, you'll have many fine restaurant and hotel choices (many with awesome views), a cornucopia of museums and native art centers, and wonderful shopping all over the city. Native art pieces and Russian items—such as the world famous nesting Russian Dolls—are a delight to collectors.
Anchorage is also a great jumping off point for the many outdoor pursuits that visitors cherish: dog sledding, cross-country skiing and sightseeing, parcticularly to Mt. McKinley. In the summer, you can plan to fish, charter a float plane, or drive out to visit nearby Portage Glacier. On the way to Portage Glacier, you'll probably catch sight of Dall sheep hopping around on the cliffs that border the road, or with luck, see a breaching whale catching some air as he checks out Cook's Inlet.
Ice Without Cold?
You’ll soon find out that Alaska has it all when you point your camera at the walls of blue ice that seem to surround your ship. Fire and ice await you on your Alaska Cruise with
Princess Cruise Lines.
Valdez is located on the edge of a deepwater fjord in Prince William Sound. Since Valdez is an ice-free port, it became the logical drop-off for miners headed to the Klondike in the gold rush years. It also became a supply center for gold miners at the turn of the century, and was incorporated as a city in 1901.
The famous earthquake of 1964 brought a tsunami that destroyed the city, but it was soon rebuilt in a safer area. Shortly after that, Valdez enjoyed rapid growth, as it became a terminal of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Today, visitors
flock to glimpse the famous Alaska Pipeline, and to enjoy outdoor adventures that involve river rafting, sailing, halibut and salmon fishing, flying over mountains and glaciers, touring Prince William Sound, walking the trail to Worthington Glacier and mountain biking.
Skagway, the starting point of the White Pass and the Yukon Route, has historic districts where its gold rush history is on display. Additionally, a narrow gauge railroad takes visitors to the gold fields of White Pass where, today, the real treasure is the view.
Juneau has a mild, maritime climate that is the best in Alaska. It started out as a fish camp for Tlingit Indians but quickly grew into a gold mining center with its supporting industries like sawmills, canneries and transportation services. In 1906 the capital of the Alaska Territory was moved to Juneau from Sitka. Some mines closed in the early part of the 20th century, but gold mining continues to this day. Juneau is also home to the largest silver mining operation in North America.
Tourism is an important part of Juneau's economy. Although the city is accessible only by air or sea, it is an important cruise destination with over 500 ships calling each year and bearing more than half a million visitors. In Juneau, you can make arrangements to view glaciers and ice fields, or climb aboard a tram to the top of Mount Roberts. Many attractions await you in this modern city that is the capital of the State of Alaska.
Talkeetna, at the foot of the mountain range of the same name, is a modern jump off point for many Alaskan adventures. Not far from Anchorage, the way to this community gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife such as Dall sheep, moose, and, with luck, the occasional grizzly bear. Though remote, there are popular lodges and cabins that provide amenities equal to those in any city with the added attraction of being sung to sleep by coyote songs. Travelers in the vicinity of Talkeetna should put this quaint frontier town with its roving moose and rustic gift shops on their travel agenda.
On Frederick Sound, the native village of Kake provides a stark contrast to the modern day world. Populated by 600 residents who are members of the Tlingit tribe, Kake lets you experience life in a modern-day Tlingit village that still echoes with the clan myths and legend from time out of mind.
Ketchikan is often a stop-over for cruise ships making their way north. Once a rough-and-tumble mining community, Ketchikan Alaska has become a delight to the eye and a truly enjoyable place to visit. Even the infamous Creek Street—once the location of bars and brothels—is now host to museums, art galleries and shops.
Haines, another history-laden town, is the location of Fort William H. Seward and home to the Native Chilkat Center for the Arts.
Ketchikan is located on beautiful Revellagigedo Island, with a year-round temperate climate and plenty of rain to keep it green and lush. The city has been home to fishermen, gold rush pioneers, a thriving seafood industry and, more recently, the forest industry. Visitors to the city will appreciate a lively culture based on the diversity of its population, as Ketchican continues in its role as an important transportation hub.
Expect the Unexpected
If you’re looking for boredom and low levels of visual stimulation, an Alaskan Cruise is definitely not for you. But if you’re looking for adventure, served to you amidst luxurious surroundings, breathtaking vistas, and memorable moments, then check out your options with Princess Cruise Lines!