5 Unforgettable Experiences in Seward, Alaska
"Alaska Starts Here" is the motto of the small town of Seward, Alaska, located on the Kenai Peninsula. With a population of a little over 3,000 it seems like a bold claim, but this coastal community truly delivers, giving visitors the chance to experience all the nature, sports and excitement that Alaska has to offer, with lodging under $200/night. Here, five ways to enjoy Alaskan pursuits in Seward.
1. GO FISHING
Alaska is home to some of the world's best fishing spots, and in Seward the waters are teeming with Pacific salmon, lingcod, halibut, and rockfish. Beginners, experts, and all kinds of fishing enthusiasts in between can join a guided fishing tour to some of Seward's top fishing spots. Spend a calming day fly fishing for salmon at the Ptarmagin creek as they migrate to and from Kenai Lake or catching fish for Sockeye on a drift boat in the Kenai River. From guided saltwater or freshwater charters to share fishing you can do it all here. Tour companies provide necessary supplies along with professional guidance, and then lead you to some of the region's most plentifully lakes and rivers.
2. TRY DOG SLEDDING
Get into the Iditarod spirit by partaking in one of Alaska's greatest traditions; the sport of dog sledding. In Seward, you will learn that there's more to dog sledding than just a team of fast dogs. There's strategy, training, and endurance required to become a winning dog sled team. Feel the excitement as your sled team steadily trots through the Alaskan terrain while learning the commands "Gee" and "Haw" to signal turns to the team of dogs. At the Turning Heads Kennel in Seward, the home of Iditarod musher Travis Beals, not only can you meet the athletes (both dog and human) but you can also reserve a dog sled ride for as low as $69.
3. TAKE A CRUISE OR BOAT TOUR
Since Seward is surrounded by the Kenai Fjords National Park, there are plenty of chances to observe Alaska's natural wonders. For a great overview of the Kenai Fjords, hop aboard a day cruise and spend a thrilling day at sea, searching for marine wildlife, gazing upon glaciers, and learning about the history of the fjord and the Alaskan Bay. With Major Marine Tours you can choose from a variety of boat tours including whale watching, national park tours, and wildlife cruises, with prices ranging from $94 to $239. All cruises offer snacks on board with some of the longer full day cruises including a deli lunch.
4. GO HIKING
Alaska's picturesque landscapes and wild nature attracts outdoor buffs and adventure seekers from around the world. Whether exploring the forests, climbing mountains, or navigating around rivers and lakes, hikers enjoy the unique outdoor challenges, some of which can only be discovered in Seward. One of the most stunning hikes is to Exit Glacier with trails leading to multiple vantage points around the glacier, including a trail accessible to those with disabilities. Trails lead to right beside the glacier where visitors can experience the massive blue wall of ice, listening to its thunderous cracks as Exit Glacier slowly inches down to the Resurrection River from the Harding Ice Field. You can hike there on your own or join one of Seward Windsong Lodge's guided walking tours for $48 to learn more about this glacial environment from a naturalist guide.
5. ENJOY FINE ALASKAN CUISINE
There's never a shortage of fresh seafood in Alaska, especially in Seward when the Kenai River and Copper River, two main sources of Alaskan salmon, are close by. At the Seward Windsong Lodge's Resurrection Roadhouse, chef KC Loosemore uses minimal ingredients to create exquisite dishes. Utilizing the region's abundance of fish, chef Loosemore creates delicious dishes such as Seared Alaskan Halibut on a bed of toasted Alaskan-grown barley couscous dressed with arugula, lemon, golden beets, and goat cheese, an Alaskan-caught salmon filet with seasonal vegetables, fennel-arugula salad, and warm herbed quinoa, as well as a variety of favorites including fish and chips and burgers.
For more information visit the Seward Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
Do YOU Live in America's Coolest Small Town 2015?
What does it feel like to live in America's Coolest Small Town? Ask the folks in Berlin, Maryland. In February, they topped our list, edging out Cazenovia, New York, and 13 other finalists to win the 2014 title. And they threw one heck of a victory party. (We know because we were there!) How can YOUR town get to be America's Coolest Small Town 2015? Well, it's really up to you. If you think your town has got what it takes, we want to hear about it. Nominate Your Town Now and share what you love about living in—or visiting—your fave town. And don't forget to talk it up and share photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (tag them #ACST2015) to help your town's chances of being named a finalist. (When you share photos of your town on Instagram and tag them #ACST2015, you may even see them featured on our "Trending Cool Towns" page—how cool is that?) Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns 2015 contest is looking for American towns with a population under 10,000 and a certain something that no place else has: great shops, food, a unique history, a breathtaking location, peerless music scene, art galleries, or maybe something cool we haven't even thought of yet! We invite you to tell us a little about your town today (click on Nominate Your Town Now). And don't forget to share your town's coolest restaurants, attractions, and lodgings on social media—tag your posts with #ACST2015 to help generate buzz! We'll gather nominations until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2, then we'll review them to narrow the list to 15 finalists. We'll use your votes (from BudgetTravel.com and from social media posts tagged #ACST2015) as a guide, and also look for diversity in geography, attractions, architecture, and other factors we consider cool. In January, we'll post the 15 finalists and ask our audience to cast their votes. In February, we'll announce the 10 winners. Wanna know what it really feels like to live in America's Coolest Small Town? It all starts today. Nominate Your Town Now!
9 Best Places To Visit In Argentina
From the jungles and waterfalls of the tropical north to the glaciers and penguins of the arctic south, Argentina is a country like no other. As the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina stretches over a large portion of South America and because of this, contains numerous quality destinations to visit, depending on your interests. From the vineyards of Mendoza to the big city of Buenos Aires, here are 9 places you definitely don't want to miss when making a trip to Argentina. Iguazu Falls Often cited for its place on the New Seven Wonders of Nature list, Iguazu Falls is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Located in the northern tropical region of Argentina, a visit to Iguazu Falls National Park offers incredible views of the falls, as well as different types of tours to explore the surrounding jungle. In addition, because Iguazu is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil, visitors have the option of viewing the falls from both sides, each offering its own advantages. Buenos Aires As the capital city of Argentina and one of the most visited places in all of South America, Buenos Aires is the starting point for most tours in Argentina and definitely a must-see when visiting the country. Offering a plethora of museums, an incredible nightlife, historic architecture, and a bustling and developing port area, Buenos Aires is above all famous for its tango and unique porteño culture. Perito Moreno Glacier One of the world's biggest glaciers—and one of the few that is actually growing instead of shrinking—is located in Argentina's Patagonia region. Just 78 km (48 miles) from the town of El Calafate, the Perito Moreno Glacier is located within the Los Glaciares National Park and situated on the shores of Lake Argentino. Visitors can take a boat tour out to the glacier, or if interested in exploring it from a closer angle, can hike or trek the glacier. Mendoza Wine Country One of the things Argentina is most known for is its delicious wine. Just to the east of Chile, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, Mendoza is home to more than 1,200 wineries, accounting for more than 70% of the country's total wine production. Visitors can enjoy hikes in the Andes, or stay grounded and ride horses or bikes through some of the area's family-owned bodegas. Northwest Argentina: Salta & Jujuy Located in the Northwest corner of the country, the province of Salta is known for its famous salt flats and the Calchaqui Valley, with its picturesque red rock formations. Nearby Jujuy also offers some incredible natural landscapes, archaeological sites, and cultural opportunities to explore. El Chalten Recognized for its incredible hiking opportunities, El Chalten is a must-see for nature lovers looking to explore the gorgeous landscape of Patagonia. Located just three hours from El Calafate, visitors can take a bus from Calafate that offers spectacular views of the region along the way. Ushuaia One of Argentina's most prized possessions lies in its claim to the southern-most city in the world. Just north of Antarctica, the city of Ushuaia has a very unique history, including the site of a prison during the early 1900's. Visitors can take advantage of a number of cruises departing from Ushuaia, many of which travel down the famous Beagle Canal. Puerto Madryn Famous for its arctic wildlife, Puerto Madryn is Argentina's prime location for whale watching and penguin watching in Patagonia. The nearby Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to sea elephants, orcas, and southern right whales. Depending on the time of the year, visitors can get a glimpse of these whales, or can venture a short distance south to find South America's largest Magellan penguin colony in Punta Tombo. Bariloche Surrounded by the Andes Mountains, skiers will want to visit Bariloche during the winter months for the best conditions. If skiing is not on your itinerary, visitors can choose between a number of other exciting adventures, like the nearby Nahuel Huapi National Park, which is home to the gorgeous Nahuel Huapi Lake and offers opportunities for day hikes and mountain climbing as well as kayaking across the lake. This article was written by Will Collier on behalf of Say Hueque, a company specializing in tours to Argentina and Chile.
Coolest Small Town Nominations End on TUESDAY!
We are thrilled to see so many awesome towns toot their own horns during the online nominations for America's Coolest Small Town 2015! Congrats to Hillsborough and Washington, two towns in North Carolina that have done a truly magnificent job of rallying their supporters—and they sure have gotten our attention! But there's still time to get your town noticed—online nominations run until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2. Will your town join the ranks of Huron, Ohio; Delhi, New York; and Allegan, Michigan? Those burghs are some of the highest ranking in our nominations, and we have enjoyed getting to know a lot more about what makes them so, well, cool. If you think your town has got what it takes, we want to hear about it. Nominate Your Town Now and share what you love about living in—or visiting—your fave town. And don't forget to talk it up and share photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (tag them #ACST2015) to help your town's chances of being named a finalist. (When you share photos of your town on Instagram and tag them #ACST2015, you may even see them featured on our "Trending Cool Towns" page!) Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns 2015 contest is looking for American towns with a population under 10,000 and a certain something that no place else has: great shops, food, a unique history, a breathtaking location, peerless music scene, art galleries, or maybe something cool we haven't even thought of yet! We invite you to tell us a little about your town today (click on Nominate Your Town Now). And don't forget to share your town's coolest restaurants, attractions, and lodgings on social media—tag your posts with #ACST2015 to help generate buzz! We'll gather nominations until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, then we'll review them to narrow the list to 15 finalists. We'll use your votes (from BudgetTravel.com and from social media posts tagged #ACST2015) as a guide, and also look for diversity in geography, attractions, architecture, and other factors we consider cool. In January, we'll post the 15 finalists and ask our audience to cast their votes. In February, we'll announce the 10 winners. Is your town already on the list? If not, you know what to do… Nominate Your Town Now!
Vote NOW for America's Coolest Small Town 2015!
Will YOUR favorite town be named America's Coolest? Budget Travel's 10th annual America's Coolest Small Town contest is now open—place your vote today! We've assembled 15 semifinalists—cool towns from Hawaii to Maine, from Washington State to Florida, and two from North Carolina!—based on our audience's online nominations. When voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on February 25, one town will be named coolest for 2015, earning themselves bragging rights and the top spot in an upcoming online feature and story in our tablet edition. How can your nominated town win? Vote early and vote often—and remind your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same. And don't forget to talk it up and share photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (tag them #ACST2015) to help campaign for your cool town. Check out our profiles of the 15 nominated towns—including photos and videos!—and vote for your favorite. You'll find a superb collection of beautiful American vacation spots, each one a vibrant community where natural beauty, art, music, history, and great food are a regular part of everyday life. The race is on! Which town will win? Now it's up to you!