First Experiences From our Family Vacation to Alaska

Wow!  That sums up our family vacation to Alaska in one word!  All of our planning really paid off, and we had a fantastic trip!  Alaska is beautiful, unexpected, unique and full of fun for the whole family.  I heard the expression “that was a first” more than once!  Now that we are home and trying to get back into the swing of things, I wanted to share a quick post with some photos of our fantastic first experiences.

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This post is part two in our series on family travel to Alaska.  Be sure to read the other posts to help you plan the best family vacation ever!

I’ll start with the food.  There is no better time to sample some new food than when you are traveling.  The runaway favorite of this vacation was the reindeer sausage.  We generally don’t make a habit out of eating from food carts on random street corners, but this is where the best reindeer sausage came from!  We ate there three times…

reindeer sausage from food cart in Anchorage Alaska

Reindeer sausage from the food cart on 4th Street downtown Anchorage.

It’s pretty hard to travel to Alaska and not eat some fish and seafood.  We didn’t have any problem anyways!  We had fish and chips for a few meals, but our favorite was the halibut tacos that we got at the farmer’s market in Homer.  Fresh and flavorful!  Plus, it cost only $6.

Halibut taco

This was breakfast, paired with a glass of rhubarb lemonade and just maybe a slice of blueberry pie…

We spent two nights at a bed and breakfast (that was a major first) near Seward, and enjoyed the most flavorful and fancy breakfasts ever!  Breakfast was a three course meal and that’s something that just doesn’t happen at home!

Pretzel Eggs

Pretzel Eggs…Baked eggs with pesto in a pretzel roll cup

Nutella filled ebelskiver

Nutella filled ebelskiver. This was a favorite for the kids.

This trip was all about fishing for my husband, and we now have a freezer full of halibut and salmon.  He took two fishing charters out of Homer, and did a guided fishing trip on the Kenai River.  Fishing in Alaska was a first, and a return trip is already in the works!

Salmon fishing in Homer Alaska

The salmon catch for the day!

If you are driving anywhere in Alaska, this book is an invaluable resource.  It will tell you what you can expect along EVERY mile of the roadways in the whole state!  Click the image for more info.

One somewhat adventurous thing that I’ve always wanted to do is to go river rafting, so I did!  I took the girls on a 14 mile float down the Upper Kenai River.  There were a few rapids, but we didn’t lose anyone overboard!

River rafting on the Upper Kenai River Alaska

Our two hour float down the Upper Kenai River was an awesome way to see Alaska!

My kids are major dog and puppy lovers, so we couldn’t leave Alaska without visiting some sled dogs.  This was a fun and unique way to spend a couple of hours.  Plus, the puppies couldn’t have been any cuter!

Dog sledding tour in Seward Alaska

Dog sledding in Seward…just needed some snow!

People always say that you have to see the glaciers before they are gone (especially in Glacier Nat’l Park), and I have to agree.  We hiked to Exit Glacier in Seward, and we also took a boat tour of the glaciers out of Whittier and were very impressed by the sight of all the glaciers.  They are really beautiful and I can’t even imagine how much larger they were just 50 or even 25 years ago.

Surprise glacier from boat tour Whittier Alaska

Up close to Surprise glacier, and waiting for it to calve into the water.

My youngest loves driving through tunnels, so she was excited that we would be going through the longest highway tunnel in North America.  That’s 2 1/2 miles of a narrow road and darkness.  To enhance the experience, you are also driving on a one way road over a railroad track.

Anton Anderson tunnel to Whittier Alaska

The entrance to the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel.

We were in Alaska for 9 days and only saw darkness once.  Yes, we arrived in Anchorage at 1:30 in the morning…everyone loved that.  The kids never got tired because of all the sunshine, and more than once, 10 pm came and we were outside doing something.

Long days in Alaska

Skipping stones at 10 p.m., no time for sleep!

I saved the funniest first for last…

Pool capacity

What? Only 4 people?! I guess a small pool is better than no pool.

We stayed at some nice places while in Alaska, but one place just happened to have a pretty small pool.  It was still fun though!

We had a blast while in Alaska!  There is still so much more of the state that we have yet to see, so I’m sure a return trip will be in our future.  Stay tuned for more detailed posts about our amazing adventure!

Alaska is a great place to visit for a family vacation and full of first experiences! Food, scenery, puppies, glaciers, and fishing means there is fun for everyone!


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  • Molly | Miss Molly Moon August 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    This is so neat! Alaska is definitely one of the places I’ve got on my travel bucket list.

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

    • Vicki August 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you! Alaska is really amazing, and it’s hard to believe that we only visited a small portion of the state!

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  • Amanda Kruse August 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Wow, so beautiful! My husband and I are dying to go to Alaska!

    Amanda ||

    • Vicki August 4, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Pick a date, and no matter how far away it is, start planning and make your dream trip a reality!

  • Elise Cohen Ho August 3, 2017 at 12:56 am

    This looks like an incredible adventure. I would love to go one day.

    • Vicki August 3, 2017 at 6:15 am

      It certainly was incredible! Start making your plans now!

  • Sam @ The Haunted Housewife August 2, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska! I absolutely loved your pictures. Especially of the glacier! Just, wow!

    • Vicki August 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      The glaciers were amazing to see! Start planning your trip!

  • Stephanie August 2, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Sounds like a great trip! Alaska is on my list of places to visit when my boys get just a little bit older.

    • Vicki August 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      There are a lot of fun things for families to do in Alaska! You definitely want your kids to be old enough to appreciate the trip.

  • Karla Cruzado | The Wise Lark August 2, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Wow! Seems to me like you had so much fun! 🙂 I would want to do “a first” with my family too! 🙂 you have an awesome blog and you’re a good story teller 🙂

    • Vicki August 2, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Thanks, we had an awesome trip! Start planning those firsts now, don’t wait!


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