the Yukon. Each offers immersion in the
culture of the region, which is nothing
short of amazing.
Denali National Park comprises
6 million acres of wild land—nearly the
size of Massachusetts—just 240 miles
north of Anchorage. One of Alaska’s
premier sites for wildlife viewing,
beneath Denali mountain—at 20,310
feet above sea level, the highest mountain
peak in North America—it’s a broad
expanse of open tundra, braided rivers
and abundant wildlife.
In addition to viewing the multitude
of wildlife roaming the area, you’ll find
plenty of other activity options, ranging
from whitewater rafting, hiking and zip
lines to an amazing 90-minute Denali
North Face flight expedition, where you
can still see untouched Alaskan terrain.
You can also tour part of the wilderness
old-fashioned style, in horse-drawn
covered wagons. You can even pan for
gold at Guggieville Campground or
at Claim 33 on Bonanza Creek near
Dawson City, where the 1898 Klondike
gold rush began.
In Talkeetna—the base for expeditions to Denali—head to the deck of the
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, where you will
see perhaps one of the best views of
Denali, along with rolling green lawns,
forest, rivers, tundra and the foothills.
Whittier is about 58 miles southeast
of Anchorage, at the head of the Passage
Canal in Alaska, with a population of
about 200 people. To get there you’ll go
through the Anton Anderson Memorial
Tunnel, built underneath Maynard
Mountain. This 2.5-mile tunnel is the
longest combined rail and highway
tunnel in North America.
Another great adventure in Whittier
is viewing glaciers from a water scooter.
You’ll see the glaciers and the wildlife
of Blackstone Bay from an amazing
When you’re done, check out Varly’s
Swiftwater Seafood Cafe—the shrimp,
halibut and Pacific cod are all locally
sourced out of Prince William Sound.
My favorites are the homemade clam
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
and seafood chowder, as well as the “left
handed halibut,” which is a secret recipe.
Whether you start or finish your
cruise with a land tour, the sights and
experiences of inland Alaska will stay
with you for life.
The sea portion of an Alaska
cruise tour usually includes
up-close views of glaciers.
On land, Alaska
wildlife is abundant.
I love Anchorage for
the moose. Not far
from the airport you’ll
find one of the best
sighting spots along
Point Woronzof Road,
which provides scenic
views of Cook Inlet
and is a great place
to watch the sunset;
in addition to moose,
look for bald eagles,
ravens and bank
And then there’s
the world’s largest
inside the Alaska Wild
Berry Products store.
The popular fountain
pumps more than
3,000 pounds of
down a 20-foot-long
series of copper
kettles and cascades
into a chocolate pool.
Last but not least,
try the reindeer dogs
at the International
House of Hotdogs.
This tasty Alaskan
hot dog blends
reindeer or caribou
with pork or beef
and gets topped
with grilled Coca-
You might be tempted
to add ketchup,
mustard and relish,
but take my advice:
This hot dog deserves
to be eaten without
Costco Travel offers a variety
of Alaska cruise tours, as well
as cruises, vacation packages,
rental cars and hotel-only
options for destinations in
the United States and around
the world. To learn more, click
“Travel” at Costco.com or