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Articles written by dimitra lavrakas

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History haunts this landmark Anchorage hotel

When you travel to Anchorage, yes, you can stay downtown at the Sheraton, Hilton or Captain Cook, but why not try something with more of an Alaskan flavor? This year the Historic Anchorage Hotel...

 

Young dreams realized in Alaska

There was a generation of women who grew up without heroines, without much hope for fulfilling their wildest dreams, but then there were those women who changed all that by sheer will and...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    May 1, 2016

A leisurely sail to the end of Alaska

Go south-way south, to Alaska's little visited Dutch Harbor on the Aleutian Chain. The Aleutian Chain, including Unalaska and Amaknak Islands, began about 40 million years ago when the volcanic...

 

Travel perks for Alaskans – and seniors

Native corporations, cruise lines and state ferry bargains bring Alaska to you on the cheap this season. First off, get a Puffin Pass through Cook Inlet Region, Inc.'s travel subsidiary CIRI Alaska...

 

Staying close in a time of uncertainty

I remember the morning of 9/11 when I woke out of a deep dream that my truck was in the emergency room for repair but it was so full of people I had to abandon it, then there was a long stairway that...

 

Canada is more affordable than ever

The currency exchange with Canada has gotten even better – now it's 72 cents on the U.S. dollar. Oops, that was a couple of weeks ago when I first started on this column, but as of Jan. 20 it was 69...

 

Europe is right next door

When I was about 10 years old, my dad took my sister and me on a camping trip up the New England coast from Massachusetts to Quebec. It was memorable to me for what we ate all along the way: Chef...

 

Thailand is an ideal winter trip for Alaskans

One of the favored spots of Alaskans looking to avoid winter and live on $30 a day, Chiang Mai, the capital of Northern Thailand, offers great food, warm, welcoming people and cultural sites. It's...

 

Portland! Paradise of coffee, beer, books and other delights

I like to find places that have an Alaska connection, and Portland, Oregon is one. A favorite old dead guy of mine, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, spent some of his early years in Alaska, but left...

 

Connecting with a parent through travel

I have traveled with my mother when she was sighted and then not, and I wish this book, "Planes, Canes and Automobiles," had been available to me after she was hit with temporal arteritis, a rare...

 

London's allure is not bound by seasons

Yes, the termination dust is telling us that it's time to think winter and how to avoid it. You could go to Hawaii and blend in with all the other Alaskans wearing the same swim suit from Eddie...

 

Luxurious sleep and dreams of gold

On a 6-hour layover in Seattle, we took the train into downtown. I've wanted to see the historic Arctic Hotel for a long time. And in my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants traveling style, I didn't look up...

 

A retirement to remember in Skagway

Honorary plaque in arms, retiring Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Carlin "Buckwheat" Donahue regaled a crowd of well-wishers at the Red Onion Saloon on May 1. After 16 years in the...

 

The Haul Road: A classic Alaska road trip

Summertime means road trips, and no Alaskan can call themselves a true Alaskan if they haven't done the Haul Road. Yes, you may have done the Alaska Highway to the Lower 48, but it's not so gnarly...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    May 1, 2015

Celebrating Jack London

San Francisco, where the city's port ships out hundreds of thousands of tourists north to Alaska on cruise ships, has another Alaska connection nearby, a literary one – Jack London Square in Oakland...

 

The Cook Inlet of France

In winter, although I hanker for Hawaii and know it's the cure for cabin fever, I usually obsess with a location farther north and farther away. This winter it's Mont Saint-Michel on the Normandy...

 

Chicago!

Many Alaskans I know say that Chicago is a great city and they love to visit. Traveling there in April for my son's wedding, I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that this is a city with a capital...

 

It's always party time in New Orleans

Alaskans will find the terrain of New Orleans definitely alien - flat with no mountains, with a whiff of sulfur in the muggy air off the Bayou. But in February, it's worth a visit when temperatures...

 

Cruising Alaska has been a tradition for over a century

Cruising to and around Alaska is nothing new. From the cruises of the Treasury Department's Revenue Cutters to today's floating cities, people have come to Alaska for furs, gold and the scenery. They...

 

The old west is closer than you think

Driving across Oregon's Columbia Valley on my way to see a friend in Pendleton, I kept looking at the green cuts in the hills indicating verdant vineyards. But approaching Pendleton, I was struck by t...

 

Mexico's island in the sun

Perhaps you've been avoiding Mexico because of drug cartels and kidnapping, but here's one destination far away from all that. Floating in the Caribbean Sea along the eastern shore of the Yucatan Peni...

 

Amsterdam

Sex, drugs and great museums are what this city is all about. You can either be a traditional tourist and take in the Rijksmusem or the van Gogh museum, or go off the chart and cruise the Red Light...

 

Lured to Gloucester's grand past, colorful present

Long before Dutch Harbor became America's No. 1 fishing port, there was Gloucester, Mass. Visit here and you'll be pulled up short at how old it is and how young Alaska is in comparison. Established...

 

Forget your fears and embrace New York City

In 1995, I flew from Barrow to New York City on MarkAir for $200, and the pilot flew right down Fifth Avenue at night, over the Empire State Building, at a height where we could see people walking on...

 

Visit to New England finds an Alaskan connection

New Bedford, a whale of a place to visit Before Alaska was bought by the United States, there was one Massachusetts city that already had direct links to the Territory. New Bedford, the number one fis...

 

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