Anchorage: A Starter's Guide, Vol. I
PHOTO: Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center (c) Sery Kim
Recently I had a chance to visit Anchorage, Alaska and I was repeatedly asked, "It's off-season, why would you come and visit now?" For me, I really hate going anywhere during the high-season particularly hot spots like Alaska, which has been getting crushed under the weight of cruise traffic during the high season, but I've always wanted to visit Anchorage. So this off-season seemed like the perfect time to visit.
PHOTO: Lobby of luxury hotel The Hotel Captain Cook during the run-up to Halloween (c) Sery Kim
I embarked on my trip and landed very quickly from Washington, D.C. to Anchorage via a one-hop connection through Minneapolis, Minnesota. No flight delays and a relatively quiet flight. Flights run around $500 and you can choose between Delta, United, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. I chose Delta and thought I found a good deal. Nice experience.
As for the weather, Anchorage itself was a hazy, drizzly gray in late October. I had in mind there would be snow, but there wasn't any sadly enough. "It's the off-season," I was gently reminded, however the quintessential imagery of snow-capped Alaska remained stuck in my brain. Before landing, I was also reminded of the picturesque views in flying into Anchorage and I did see this, which was nice.
PHOTO: Reindeer Hash at The Hotel Captain Cook (c) Sery Kim
I stayed at The Hotel Captain Cook, considered the best luxury hotel in Anchorage. The hotel most definitely needs a full interior upgrade but the food is phenomenal, certainly the best aspect of the hotel. Breakfast, in particular, exceeded my expectations, particularly this Reindeer Hash photographed above. I've never had reindeer meat before and I was surprised to find it both light and spicy. It tasted like the best sausage I've ever had. Then the hotel restaurant dressed it with fresh avocados -- all fruit and veggies get shipped into Alaska but still remain so vibrant --; perfectly cooked potatoes; and various onions and peppers. I really could not have loved it more.
PHOTO: Mount McKinley painted by Sidney Lawrence
Since the weather was so blah outside, I went straight the newest addition to the Anchorage Museum, the Rasmussen Center. I got to see one of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world: the Mount McKinley painting by Sidney Lawrence. I love art and I never knew how massive the painting was. As you can see from the photo above it is larger in scale than even a moving van. I stood in awe of the tremendous amount of effort it must have taken Mr. Lawrence to paint it.
The museum is really fun and you should certainly add it to your list of things to do (after eating at The Hotel Captain Cook) when you come to Anchorage. Entry fee is $15 and there is so much cool art to see.
More on Anchorage to come! Stay tuned!!
PHOTO: Gallery wall at Anchorage Museum (c) Sery Kim