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Posted by Cayla Capri
Alaska Northern Exposure
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Snow swirling, oil gushing, gold-rushing Alaska likes to spout a big and bold philosophy – the couple that roughs it together, stays together. Both Paul Bunyan-brawny and brave-heartedly rugged, this jaw-dropping knock-out of a true north state, offers icy wonderment and lush recluse for passion-hungry lovebirds craving a wildlife pastiche that packs a punch alongside a lifestyle manifesto rooted in bona fide bare necessities.
the romance
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Alaska is chockfull of hidey-holes and peek-a-boo retreats - rent a cherry wood cabin on the lake with a smoking fire pit and shrimp pot at low tide, or a fur-clad lodge suite offering Milky Way panoramas and outdoor hot springs. Cuddle up on a pebbly, salt-tinged beach or feed hummingbirds by hand against a giantess mountain backdrop drenched in sunset. Savor a catered dinner of king salmon and shallots by waterfall and Douglas fir before escaping into the emerald green Fjords to watch elk graze during the state’s deliciously long twilights.
the scenery
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As much as the luminous glaciers like to steal the show, flora and fauna teem and entwine across this mystery-surging landscape, masking such geo-magnific treasures as the Kenai River Flats and Sadie Cove. Rumbly bumbly black bears, playful puffins and porpoise, slick sea lions and seals, not to mention rippling pods of crooning orca whales make this a must-see pit stop for ultimate photomania. Patrol the "Top of the World Highway” for a winding tour of tidewater glaciers, fairy-tale inlets, mountainous carvings, and cloud tufts punctuated by airy graces of migrating shore birds.
the attractions
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Alaska is an exquisitely rich deposit of culture – from Aleut, Yup’ik, to Russian and American pioneer ancestry, evident in the wealth of ultra-cool artifacts and handicrafts featured within its museums. Peer up at an intricate totem pole at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, or observe a blanket tossing ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Centre. Sightseers will want to snoop around the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Beluga Point Interpretive Site, and Alaska Sea Life Center for a looksie at some of the finest of fine-whiskered snouts. Top your journey off with a visit to Denali National Park for a gracious pan of the highest peak in the North America, Mount McKinley himself.
the adventure
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Every water-sport under the sun is offered in this charismatic corner of the world, from canoeing and kayaking, to fishing and cruising. If you do happen to tire of the life aquatic, set your sites on the skies, with a float-plane trip out to a remote resort – skimming over sweeping plains of ice fields, valleys and piedmont glaciers before heeding to the call of the wild with a wooly free-for-all in the four-legged day-long mushing expedition.
Explore the Prince William Sound, the Harding ice field, or Dawson City before heading back down the lustful, red-blooded Chilkoot trail. The undeniable chill in the air is sure to send shivers down the spine - Alaska boasts the largest ghost town in the world, the infamous Kennecott, dating all the way back to 1938, when it came jam-packed with fortune-hungry ‘sourdoughs’ and only the roughest and toughest of men.
the secrets
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For the most elusive of lightshows, this is the place to be - the shimmering bedazzlement of Aurora Borealis hits its stride during the months of December through March right before the clock strikes twelve, when legend has it, the souls of animals rise up to dance across the humbling dark expanse. Check out the area of Fairbanks for a moonless deluge of picture-perfect viewing. A train ride straight into the heart of Mount McKinley’s forest range makes for an-out-of-body experience - the highlight of the track-hopping excursion being the bridge at Hurricane Gulch. Sneak out onto one of the car’s private viewing decks for a gander that’s anything but sub-zero.
Alaska northern exposure collage