There are a couple of different ways one can vacation in Alaska, and not all of them are equal. Some people come to Alaska for the experience of visiting a place that most consider “exotic.” Yet when these travelers finally reach the Far North, they stay in chain-style hotel rooms, and attend tourist attractions that barely differ from other tourist attractions elsewhere. Since they aren’t aware of what they missed, they leave Alaska happy, glad they finally made it to the “Last Frontier,” and yet they experienced none of the magic that makes for an authentic Alaskan experience.
Interestingly, an authentic Alaska vacation can be surprisingly inexpensive, especially for those traveling by RV. The vacationer interested in truly experiencing the North will often spend much less money than many others, because experiencing Alaska is less a matter of reaching into the pocketbook and more a matter of finding those things that make Alaska unique and then experiencing them in a tangible way – oftentimes completely for free!
If you choose to stay in family-owned and operated lodgings or an RV-park like ours, you have an incredible resource in your site hosts. When you stay with folks who have spent years in this great state, you have your very own walking-and-talking tourist guidebook at your disposal. So, ask your Alaskan hosts what they recommend you do while visiting their community, or, better yet, ask them before you book. Chances are, most of them will rattle off a number of different excellent recommendations, and some will likely suggest a variety of free activities that are available to all who lodge with them (hint: book with them!).
For example, one of our favorite things to do with guests, so simple and yet so unique and memorable, is to take them on a hike down from our property to the Kenai river. It’s a fairly short trail, but we have to go through a rich and diverse estuary wetland in order to get to those famous glacier-fed waters. And if you’re here during migratory season, it’s a bird-watchers paradise. It’s also completely free!
Another experience that’s always a favorite is taking all interested campground guests down to Clam Gulch and go digging for Razor Clams on the beach and walking along the beach looking for the tell-tale dimple that signals a clam underneath – all against the backdrop of the majestic volcano, Mt. Redoubt, and the stunning chain of mountains nestled alongside. We then troop back to the Diamond M Ranch Resort, some of us more covered with ocean mud than others, but all of us grinning from ear to ear and ready to fix an authentic clam chowder. It is always enjoyed with “Oohs” and “Aahs” at our regular Saturday Potluck Social event, another completely free event where all of our guests gather to eat and swap stories and celebrate the sun-filled Alaskan summer evening together.
Plenty of people go on vacations, but the seasoned RVer knows that while finding a place to park for a night can be fairly simple, finding a high-quality place to truly enjoy an authentic vacation can add a treasure chest full of memories to any vacationing experience.
About the author:Molly Aley is a freelance writer, mother of five and proud to be of Alaskan Aleut heritage. She currently makes her home in Alaska and enjoys helping guests enjoy their stay at the Diamond M Ranch Resort, spending summer days on the wild Northern beaches and forests, and occasionally making muttering noises about the freezing temperatures during the long Alaskan winters.
For more information about the Diamond M Ranch RV resort, visit www.DiamondMRanch.com.