Princess Lodges Blog

Way Back When: Fairbanks, Alaska


They don’t call it the “Golden Heart City” for nothing! Officially incorporated as a municipality in 1903, Fairbanks came into being with the rush for gold at the turn of the century. The mining town grew quickly and soon boasted churches, banks, a hospital, a school and a thriving downtown scene. No longer a small town, Fairbanks — located in Interior Alaska and home to our Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge — has become one of Alaska’s most popular travel destinations. Take a walk with us down memory lane as we revisit several vintage photographs from way back when.
Downtown Fairbanks,1955 (photo … Read More →

Five New Tips to Make the Most of Your Smartphone Photography

Some rights reserved by Karlis Dambrans  - iphone

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns
Today’s smartphone cameras are not what they used to be; they’re so much better! The photo quality has improved so greatly that many people are ditching their point-and-shoot cameras altogether, opting for the ease of a multi-purpose smartphone. We are all about finding ways to simplify, especially when on the road exploring the 49th state. Make sure you have plenty of storage available on your phone and use these tips to take incredible photos.
1. Download a fun photo-editing app. Whether you‘re looking for more filter options than the ubiquitous choices on Instagram or you’d just like to make … Read More →

7 Tips for Planning a Wedding in Alaska

Alaska Mountain Scenic Wedding

Congratulations! You’ve found your true love, and you’ve decided to get married in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Trouble is, you don’t live anywhere near Alaska. The good news: You don’t have to! We’ve come up with a few tips for the best way to plan a wedding in Alaska when you’re visiting from out of state.
1. First, choose your Alaska wedding venue
We can’t think of a more picturesque place to get married – think beautiful mountain vistas covered in wildflowers, overlooking a gorgeous blue river. You might even have your share of natural wedding crashers … Read More →

Four Extreme Alaska Hobbies to Try this Year

Turnagain Surfing

Photo by echoforsberg
There is no doubt that Alaska is a playground for adventure seekers. In sub-zero temperatures or under the midnight sun, Alaskans are never scared to gear up and head outdoors for some thrills. From paragliding to packrafting, hobbies in the 49th state are as extreme as the weather!
Hang ten on the bore tide
Turnagain Arm, one of the narrow branches of Cook Inlet located in Southcentral Alaska, has one of the biggest bore tides in the world. And despite its frigid waters year-round, it’s a summer hot spot for local surfers. A bore tide occurs when the incoming high … Read More →

Visit the Aurora Ice Museum and Bar

Ice Bar and Museum

photo by Jeff’s Canon
So you’ve adventured your way through Alaska’s unforgettable parks, spotted elusive wildlife, and traversed the Last Frontier’s gorgeous glaciers. Now, it’s time to kick back with a cold one. A very, very cold one.
For one of the most iconic and unique Alaska experiences, slide on down to the Aurora Ice Museum and Bar near Fairbanks. The clear, colorful carved beauty of the ice museum and bar is an unforgettable excursion to a fascinating, fun (and photogenic) place.
Getting there
The Aurora Ice Museum and Bar is located outside of Fairbanks. Try this Princess excursion to the ice bar while you’re staying in the city. It’s a … Read More →

Man vs. Wild: The Story of an Iditarod Bike Ride

marten close up Koitzsch

What music would you listen to if you had to bike alone through snowdrifts, headwinds strong enough to knock you over, darkness and insanely cold temperatures for more than 2,000 miles across Alaska’s rugged landscape? What would motivate you to keep going, even with a frostbitten toe and two others missing due to frostbite from a previous race the year before?
For Billy Koitzsch, a 42-year-old avid winter cyclist and owner of a fat bike rental and guiding business in Anchorage, the music had to be something fast, like techno or trance. But that only worked when the wind wasn’t blowing … Read More →

Why You Must Visit Portage Glacier in Anchorage

portage glacier alaska

photo by Frank Kovalchek
A visit to Alaska is never complete without taking the iconic Portage Glacier Cruise Tour. It leaves from Anchorage and takes about an hour to drive to one of the best Alaska glaciers in action. Here’s why it is worth carving out time for a visit to Portage Glacier during your stay in Alaska.
You’ll see one of Alaska’s wonders
Portage Glacier, located within the Chugach National Forest, once filled the entire 14-mile stretch of the Portage Valley, shaping its very landscape. Catch some hiking trails from the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center for a chance to see scenic vistas, … Read More →

Get ready for the 2015 BP World Ice Art Championships!


From Feb. 23 to March 29, Fairbanks, Alaska, will once again become the headquarters of the annual BP World Ice Art Championships. Blocks of ice are harvested from the clear waters of nearby O’Grady Pond to be turned into intricate works of art by modern-day Michelangelos. This extra cool event was founded in 1990 to keep alive the tradition of celebrating the arrival of spring by ice carving. These championships have more than accomplished that goal, and to date, have attracted world-class ice artists from a total of 45 different countries plus thousands of spectators from Alaska and beyond. Its … Read More →

Warm Up with a Little Romance this Valentine’s Day

heart drawn in snow

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Janet McKnight.
It might be a frosty February up North, but it’s love we’re feeling in the air right now. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we find Alaska’s incredible scenery to be very conducive to romance. We’ll save you some time spent deliberating what to do with this insider’s list of a few of our favorite romantic activities in the Last Frontier.
For the people that prefer their love on the go, what’s more romantic than a Valentine’s Day race? Lace up your running shoes and bundle up for the 5K Valentine’s … Read More →

Alaska’s Extreme Conditions make for Extreme Competitions

man riding bicycle with fireweed in foreground, Princess Alaska Lodges

Fireweed 400 Bicycle Race
Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Cecil Sanders.
Perhaps you have tackled marathons or an obstacle course, but how about competing in a race many people might not know exists? Alaska’s terrain has inspired people to come up with all sorts of extreme races that test not only skill but sanity, too. Grit your teeth and hold on tight as we take you through several of the 49th state’s most extreme competitions.
Each February, Alaska is home to the world’s toughest snowmobile competition, the Iron Dog Race. Racers take to the start line at Big Lake, 60 … Read More →