Princess Lodges Blog

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 →

#NoFilter Needed: 5 Alaska Instagram Accounts to Follow in 2015

Alaska WOW - M .Gale

Thanks to the multitude of smartphone photo apps, it has never been easier or quicker to make pretty photos. We especially love Instagram and all its fun filters (though when it comes to Alaska, our filter of choice is no filter at all). The social media app is our favorite place to find a constant stream of Alaska-tastic photos. With a simple “follow,” you can fill your feed with gorgeous images of the Last Frontier as you gear up for your next dream vacation in the 49th state.

Best Alaska Travel Experiences

Best alaska experiences

photo via Paxson Woelber
The best things in life aren’t things. They’re experiences. If you’re on the hunt for happiness, forget the jewelry and big-screen TV, and choose a memorable experience instead.
Not convinced? Don’t take our word for it. Research from Cornell University has proven that buying vacations makes us happier than purchasing clothes, electronic gadgets or even a new car.
How so? Researchers uncovered a few reasons:
Zest for living
Life is juicier when you get out and experience a new corner of the world. It’s the difference between watching a nature documentary on PBS and actually seeing a bear or moose from the … Read More →

Stars, Trees and Santa: Must-See Holiday Icons in Alaska

Some rights reserved by Troy B. Thompson

Though only 55 years old, Alaska as a state has its fair share of icons. In the spirit of the holidays, let us introduce you to some our favorite icons that take center stage this time of year.