Getting there & around
Bus services link all the main towns in Alaska, with connections to the lower 48. Traveling by bus is not that much cheaper than flying, but you do get to experience the Alaska Hwy. From Seattle, WA, Greyhound (206-628-5526; www.greyhound.com; cnr 8th Ave & Stewart St) can get you to Whitehorse, Canada, via Vancouver. From Whitehorse, Alaska Direct (800-770-6652; www.alaskadirectbusline.com; 509 Main St) leaves three days a week for Anchorage.
The vast majority of visitors to Alaska, and almost all international flights, fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (www.dot.state.ak.us/anc). Alaska Airlines (AS; 800-426-0333; www.alaskaair.com) has direct flights to Anchorage from Seattle, Chicago and many West Coast cities. Other airlines also offer direct flights, including Northwest (NW; 800-225-2525; www.nwa.com) from Minneapolis, Delta (DL; 800-221-1212; www.delta.com) from Atlanta and New York, and American Airlines (AA; 800-443-7300; www.aa.com) from St Louis and Dallas. Within the state, Alaska Airlines serves many towns, while ‘bush planes’ can be chartered to the most remote areas.
Be sure to allow at least a week to drive from northern USA through Canada to Fairbanks on the mostly paved Alcan Hwy. It’s not worth the time it takes unless you can make some stops along the way and spend a few weeks in Alaska. Local rental cars are handy to get around the countryside; they start at $45 a day, with 100 miles free.
The Alaska Marine Highway (800-642-0066; www.ferryalaska.com) connects Bellingham, WA, with 14 towns in Southeast Alaska and is a very popular way to travel to this roadless region. The ferries also service six towns in Southcentral Alaska, and make six runs a year from Kodiak to Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands and from Whittier to Juneau.
The Alaska Railroad (907-265-2494, 800-544-0552; www.akrr.com) offers service between Seward and Anchorage and from Anchorage to Denali, before ending in Fairbanks. Book seats early on this popular train.