My voyage to Alaska: The last frontier

What I learned on my latest voyage to our 49th state: Anchorage truly is the worst dressed city, it’s not that cold in Alaska during the summer, Kodiak is absolutely beautiful and Xtratuf boots are a necessity.

Our time spent in Alaska was just what I needed. We spent the first part of our vacation touring Anchorage and it’s outskirts, including an awesome drive through the beautiful Hatcher’s Pass. I could have gone without the steep winding hills that lacked guard rails, but hey we made it out alright.

To be honest, when planning for my first ever trip to Alaska, I was more nervous about what to wear not what we would be doing. I would ask my boyfriend Charlie, a native Alaskan, question after question. Is 7 pairs of shoes too much? What do people wear on a Saturday evening? Typically the answers included heavy eye rolling and a brief explanation that no one “dresses up.” No one. Apparently his suggestion was correct, in a recent study by Travel & Leisure Anchorage was named the worst dressed city of 2012. Refusing to accept this, I went ahead and packed my 7 pairs of shoes and set out to dissolve the stereotype .

So we stopped at Blush, a boutique in Anchorage that Elle magazine listed as one of the 50 best boutiques in the U.S.

It’s sad the shopping is so limited in Anchorage, but Blush seemed to have nailed casual chic. I have to say, I don’t blame Alaskans for their lack of fashion sense. The good weather days are slim and in a state with minimal shopping options and rising and falling temperatures, dressing to the nines seems a million times more difficult than say in Chicago. And yet, the weather didn’t stop me from scoring an amazing ombre formal maxi dress! So I’d say I agree partially with the folks at T&L, no the city isn’t a fashion mecca, but it’s Alaska. Let’s cut them some slack.

And speaking of weather, August is one of the best times to visit the state. Temperatures ranged from low 50’s to upper 60’s. All around pleasant, but layers are key as is a strong waterproof jacket/wind-breaker. My olive-green Eddie Bauer one paid off!

After our time in Anchorage, we drove south four hours to Homer. The drive was stunning. We saw glaciers peeking out of mountain tops, glistening inlets and straights and so. many. trees. We spent a casual evening in Homer, munching on fish tacos and slinging Homer Brewing Co. Irish red ales at the world-famous Salty Dawg Saloon. The bar’s decor features dollar bills stuck into every crevice and bras and business cards taking up whatever space is leftover. It’s worth the stop if you find yourself in Homer. 

But the true adventure was hopping the 10 hour ferry, the Tustumena aka the Tusty, to Kodiak. In our twin bunk bed cabin, we watched movies and attempted to sleep during the infamous “pitch and roll.” However, the Dramamine finally won out, we had enough with the swaying and fog horns.

We spent the rest of our trip in Kodiak, exploring the island, noshing on seafood and wine and meeting up with friends.

I did finally realize that 7 pairs of shoes was too many and I could pass on about 2-4 pairs. But the shoes I didn’t have and needed desperately were a pair of Xtratuf insulated boots. These boots were a lifesaver when it came to rain, getting on and off the boat, our adventure to Woody Island and for fitting in with the locals.

It was sad when our trip eventually came to an end, we had a fun and relaxing vacation to The Last Frontier and I miss it dearly.

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