• Anchorage Facts Hero - Anchorage Skyline - Frank Flavin
    Destination Guides

    Where to Stay in Anchorage: Best Areas & 7 Top Hotels

    As Alaska's largest cities, Anchorage is the biggest entry and/or exit point for Alaska travelers. While some people disparage it for having too much "city" feel, I love Anchorage and think it's worth at least a day or two during your Alaska itinerary. After all, I grew up in the Anchorage area and spent 15 years getting to know its different neighborhoods and things to do...

  • Cruise Tips,  Destination Guides

    The 9 Best Sitka Shore Excursions for Your Alaska Cruise in 2023

    Located on the Pacific coast of the Inside Passage, Sitka is a bit off the main cruise routes through Southeast Alaska. While many companies do offer itineraries with a port stop in Sitka, plenty more itineraries stick to the calm waterways further inland and make other port stops like Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point. If you're on this post, you may have stops in those ports of call too – but you also want to know what to do during your time in Sitka, and which Sitka shore excursions are the best...

  • Unbound Merino Hero
    Packing Lists for Travel,  Reviews

    Unbound Merino Review: Your New Essential Travel Layers?

    Over the years, I've gotten worse at packing. When I first started this site, the whole premise was packing light and using a valise (a weekend bag) to explore the world – hence the name of "Valerie & Valise." I was young (and dumb), with a strong back and loads of energy; now I'm a bit more mature, with back pain and a rolling carry-on, like so many others...

  • Denali National Park Worth It Hero
    Destination Guides

    Is Denali National Park Worth It?
    An Alaskan Perspective

    There are few places in our world where we can escape the evidence of humans who have come before and the crowds we tend to create while traveling. Alaska is one of those places, and there are many destinations in Alaska where you can discover that feeling – perhaps for the first time in your life. Denali National Park is one such place, but I often receive questions asking some variation of is Denali National Park worth it?...

  • Icy Strait Point Excursions Hero
    Cruise Tips,  Destination Guides

    The 9 Best Icy Strait Point Excursions for Your Alaska Cruise in 2023

    You've finally decided: 2023 is the year to take the Alaska cruise you've been dreaming of – whether it's been a few years or a lifetime of waiting. One of the most exciting prospects when booking an Alaska cruise is choosing your Alaska cruise excursions in each port. These ports are where you can experience the real Alaska – if you know which excursions to choose, that is...