Senior Voice -

By Dimitra Lavrakas
Senior Voice Travel Correspondent 

It's the season for Alaskan travel discounts

Fall brings time to see the state in its colors

 

September 1, 2022 | View PDF

The Aurora Winter Train travels north to Fairbanks, crossing the Susitna River along the way.

Courtesy of Alaska Railroad/ Ken Edmier

Fall in Alaska is to be treasured by Alaskans-no tourists, no tour buses clogging the roads, no sightseeing planes or helicopters flying overhead.

Just the sound of the tree leaves floating through the air after they turn gold and fall to the ground.

It's time to take a trip and enjoy the beauty of Alaska.

September with Get Lost Travel Vans in Anchorage.

Travel van and SUV rental rates are just $199 per night plus tax, with just three-night minimum for a savings of up to $100 per night over peak season rate. All of the basics are still included - bedding, kitchen equipment and place settings - all of that, plus unlimited mileage, which is amazing considering gas prices. Travel valid from Sept. 6 – Oct. 2, 2022.

Call 907-222-3233 to book.

Leave the car, take the train

Often overlooked is the Alaska Railroad for a few days of adventure and getting out of town. The train offers a leisurely pace of seeing the sights without the task of driving a car and the fear of possibly hitting a moose while they are under the spell of rutting season.

The Anchorage – Denali – Anchorage includes round-trip rail and two nights in Denali Park. It's $1,079 for the GoldStar Service and $699 Adventure Class.

To properly view the huge landscape of Alaska, seeing them requires a big window. The Alaska Railroad offers the GoldStar Dome service, an upgraded train experience that includes reserved seating beneath full-length dome windows that offer expansive 360-degree views. The cars have two levels, both of which are wheelchair accessible.

GoldStar train car seats are wide and comfortable, set in rows of four with an aisle running down the middle, and equipped with fold-down tray tables. All seats face forward with all seats having a great view.

The upper level also houses an outdoor viewing platform and bar area. GoldStar cars are private, and only passengers with ticketed seats can access the upper dome area.

While underway, each GoldStar dome car has a dedicated host who provides narration throughout the route.

On the lower level of GoldStar dome cars is the dining room with four-person booths with tablecloths and silverware - a dining experience of comfort with a touch of luxury.

Adventure Class cars offer comfortable seating and large picture windows. Guests are encouraged to travel between railcars, whether to take advantage of the open seating in the Vista Dome cars, or to visit the Wilderness Café.

Features include confirmed seats with large picture windows, onboard dining and bar service in the Wilderness Café, and the freedom to explore between Adventure Class cars.

Other excursions include the Anchorage–Denali–Fairbanks that includes

one-way rail and one night in Denali Park for $725 GoldStar service  and $425 for Adventure Class.

 If you live in Fairbanks then take the Fairbanks-Denali-Fairbanks train that includes round-trip rail and one night in Denali Park for $559 in GoldStar Service or $325 for Adventure Class.

 Call 800-208-0200 to talk to a reservation agent.

Talkeetna getaway

Hop on the Aurora Winter Train in Anchorage and enjoy a smooth ride to Talkeetna, arriving in Talkeetna mid-morning on Saturday to check in to the Talkeetna Cabins. Sunday also offers plenty of time to take a quiet stroll through the snow, cross-country ski, snowshoe hike, or curl up with a good book by the fire. Board the Aurora Winter Train in Talkeetna at 4:50 p.m. for the return journey to Anchorage on the evening Aurora Winter Train.

This package, two days and one night, is $289 per person with double occupancy.

The railroad has other packages including the Aurora Winter Train so you can get out of the city lights and view the northern lights in comfort.

While you can book online, there's a reservation agent by calling 800-208-0200. That's a much easier way to book for those who do not do computers, and as Alaskans, the folks at the Alaska Railroad know that.

There's still fish to catch

Valdez's 55th year of fish derbies will give you the opportunity to get in the car and see the countryside, passing through spectacular Thompson Pass.

The Halibut Derby, Silver Salmon Derby and Tagged Fish Derby run until Sept. 4. So you've got a few days to get out there and cast a line.

For more information go to https://www.valdezfishderbies.com/.

Dimitra Lavrakas photo

Nothing compares to the view of a big halibut on the hook and rising to the surface.

Way in the future, there's the 2023 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 18, 2023. There's plenty of time to get ready.

This tournament is the largest fishing tournament on the West Coast with over $200,000 in prize money for the largest kings caught. 

There are additional opportunities to win prize money through side tourneys and random merchandise prize drawings every hour of the tournament.

In 2022, 15-year-old Weston Marley was the grand champion with a fish weighing 27.38 lbs. Weston's total payout including side tourneys was $84,619.

In 2022, the total tournament cash awards were $218,189. 

For questions call the Homer Chamber of Commerce at 907-235-7740, or go to info@homeralaska.org or https://www.homerwinterking.com/.

 
 

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