Contrary to popular belief, Alaska offers an unexpected culinary experience that will surprise travelers’ taste buds and exceed their expectations. With more to the state than just smoked salmon and baked Alaska, we reached out to Entrée Destinations to find out all Alaska has to offer.
Q: Where do you think the food and culture capital of Alaska is, and why?
The food and culture capital of Alaska is where you’d least expect it, and it can be enjoyed many times over. Tucked within remote forests and along pristine waterways, Alaska’s wilderness lodges showcase authentic Alaskan culture and local cuisine.
As the descendants of Alaskan homesteaders with survival and resiliency in their blood, many of the lodge owners even grow and harvest their own produce onsite. Living off the land is an Alaskan way of life, and wilderness lodge owners are happy to share this culture with their guests. Lodge menus are entirely dependent on what grows best in the region and may include freshly caught halibut or crab, pine needle infused honey or homemade rhubarb pie.
Q: What are some trips or tours that are a must for visitors to Alaska?
Magic happens in Alaska’s faraway places. The backcountry is where true Alaska is found, away from the cruise ships and crowds but in the hard-to-reach pockets of the state only accessible by bush planes. There’s no better way to get to know Alaska than through the outdoors, and one of the best ways to do that is through aerial adventures.
Soar over jagged mountain peaks covered in snow and ice, spot a colony of walruses along a shoreline, or for the real adventure-seekers, dangle out the side of a plane and photograph oblivious wildlife on the ground below. Some of the best and most unique Alaskan lodges are only accessible by air, and even the journey getting there is spectacular.
Q: What’s your favorite cultural experience in the region?
Fishing! Fishing in Alaska is some of the best in the world. From deep sea fishing for Halibut just outside Homer to casting a line for salmon along the Kenai river, there are countless remote regions where your only competition are whales and bears. Truly an angler’s dream, all five species of salmon, as well as Halibut, cod and Rockfish call Alaskan saltwater home. Found in freshwater are Rainbow Trout, Steelhead, Arctic Char, Grayling and Northern Pike – just to name a few!
Another epic and unique cultural experience is Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Known as ‘The Last Great Race on Earth’ and extending over 1,049 miles, this race takes mushers and their team of dogs though some of the roughest and toughest country in North America. Watching the race is unforgettable, and even more unique is the chance to drive your very own team of sled dogs. Stay at a wilderness lodge near the route, and you’ll get a chance to experience the Iditarod Trail for yourself before heading into Anchorage to witness the race from its start line!
Q: What’s a unique food or culture experience most travelers miss out on in Alaska?
Truly tasting the flavors of Alaska. There’s more to the state than smoked salmon and baked Alaska. In Southeast Alaska, herring roe reigns supreme and can be found on the menus of innovative wilderness lodges, alongside locally harvested fiddlehead ferns or rockfish fritters.
We believe in creating a meaningful connection between our guests, the local people and the land, and one way we facilitate this is through tasting Alaska like the locals do. One of our preferred wilderness lodge partners offers a cooking school onsite, where guests cook under the guidance of an award-winning chef, learn about the local cuisine and discover innovative ways to incorporate locally grown ingredients into beautiful recipes.
Q: What food or culture options does Entrée Destinations offer that travelers can’t find anywhere else?
Entrée Destinations provides an insider’s glimpse into Alaska – the type of things that can’t be Googled or found on TripAdvisor. This may mean coming face-to-face with a village elder, strolling across the sand with bears just a few feet away, or tasting the best Alaska has to offer with exclusive cooking classes or dining experiences.
Everywhere an Entrée Destinations guest goes, they travel in style and authenticity – which can’t be replicated or found online. Through bespoke travel experiences, we connect our guests to the kind of Alaska they can only dream of – whether it’s traversing a glacier, mushing a team of sled dogs or tasting oysters shucked straight from the sea.
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