Monday, August 5, 2013

Alaska is so cute!

I love small town charm. 
Alaska has that hands down. 
Of course my suburb near Fort Worth has more residence than the largest city in Alaska so really it's made up of nothing but small towns. 

Our first stop was Ketchikan. We had two excursions that day so we didn't have time to look around. 

Some of these towns have no road access. You can only get to them by plane or by boat. 

Icy Strait Point in Hoonah is adorable. 
It has restaurants and shops in an old cannery. 

We had a whale watch and a bear search planned but we still had ample time to shop even with or excursions. I would have liked to do the zip line but we couldn't fit in anything else. 

Our next port was Juneau.
It was the "big town" on our ports stops. It wasn't visible from our side of the ship but I did get a few shots of the main street. Stores lined both sides of the road.

One thing you will notice about each town except Hoonah is the presence of jewelers. These places sell in Alaska in the summer and in the Bahamas in the winter. I don't feel that they bring an authentic feel but basically I bypassed all of them and shopped in the local stores farther down the street.

Our main goal at these ports was to take excursions to see the animals. Our focus wasn't about the shopping but if we had time to browse the ladies were happy. 
The guys liked checking out the local saloons.  

When we left Juneau we went to Skagway. It was my favorite of the towns. It had it's share of the cheesy jewelry stores but there was more to see. 

There was a little museum which only cost $2.00 to get in. A bargain in a world of high priced tours and excursions. Don't get me wrong the excursions were awesome and wonderful and I would do them again but this was simple. 
Know what I mean? It felt touristy.

Is this Klondike Kate or Pea Hull Annie?
Local "girls" guide folks around town giving a history tour.  
It ends with a look at the old brothel. 
None of our group chose to partake of that experience.

You can see the large influx of people that the ships bring in. 

All of these towns have ample shopping. 
I had as much shopping time as I needed even with my goal to shop only Alaskan made. 
I tend to gravitate toward Christmas ornaments for souvenirs. They are much easier to pack then other stuff. 
 I wasn't able to find one in every town but I did get a well rounded representation of our sights and excursions. 

That's it for the ports. 
We disembarked in Seward for the land tour so I will explore those towns in another post. I'll also write a post just about the animals we saw. Amazing!

The overcast skies were a perfect backdrop and a great break from the Texas heat. 
Oh I love Alaska! 


  1. Hi Katie, I wonder what ship you were on? We were doing the southbound tour/sea on Princess while you were going northbound. We started in Fairbanks, thru Denali, McKinley and boarded the ship in Whittier. I loved Alaska; our weather was high 70's and 80's. I found three quilt stores but loved the one in Ketchikan the most. Although we were supposed to go to a Mushers camp, we weren't on their list-which saved us some $$$. I wanted to go on a float plane but maybe next time. I hope you had as wonderful a time as we had.
    Hugs, Noreen

    1. We were on the Celebrity Millennium. We left Vancouver the 19th of July.

  2. Looks like the Wild West! I had the same shopping strategy as you -- Alaskan made only! I do have Alaska "picture envy" -- all of your shots are gorgeous.

    1. Oh thank you. We took our Olympus point and shoot and my Nikon D5600. We realized we shouldn't have taken a brand new camera. We each should have had time to take pictures for a while to get familiar. I also should have gotten the zoom for the Nikon. Lessons learned but we're pretty happy with the pics.