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In this April Alaska Travel News Bulletin you will find:
Social Media Spotlight



@iloveanchorage
View Alaska’s largest city through the lens of locals.
 
The "@iloveanchorage” Instagram account rotates different hosts weekly and showcases a week in the life of an Anchorage local. Each host has a different day-to-day lifestyle, bringing new light to Alaska’s largest city and sharing how each of these individuals enjoys and celebrates their city. 
1. The bears of Alaska

DisneyNature’s “Bears,” which hits theaters this Earth Day, April 18, follows the journey of a family of Alaska brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The national park is home to an estimated 2,200 bears within its 3.6 million acres. Visitors to Alaska can experience this once-in-a-lifetime activity firsthand with a variety of tour operators across the state that bring them up close and personal with one of Alaska’s most well-known mammals.
 
Southcentral:

Hallo Bay Bear Camp
Along with an experienced guide and no more than 8-12 guests, Hallo Bay Bear Camp tours depart out of the port town of Homer for a day trip to the Pacific coast of Katmai or Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, depending on the time of year. Guests are treated to breathtaking surroundings while getting the unique opportunity to walk amongst Alaska’s brown bears in their natural habitat during the 5-6 hour day tour. Visitors on overnight trips stay at a small camp in Katmai National Park in private, eco-friendly cabins. Overnight itineraries range from one-night stays to weeklong excursions at the camp. www.hallobay.com
 
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Located just 50 miles south of Anchorage, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is gearing up for the summer with the continued development of Bear Education Awareness Research Sanctuary (BEARS), consisting of a boardwalk spanning the 30-acre black and brown bear enclosures. The sanctuary aims at educating guests about Alaska’s three bear species as well as the state’s unique habitats. The BEARS boardwalk provides guests an opportunity to conveniently and safely view bear activity in the enclosures at the wildlife center. www.alaskawildlife.org
 
Interior/Far North:

Northern Alaska Tour Company
Based in Fairbanks, Northern Alaska Tour Company offers one of the most unique opportunities in the state: viewing polar bears in their natural habitat. On this day trip out of Fairbanks, the small group tour departs on a flight north to the village of Kaktovik, located on the coast of Barter Island in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Upon landing, the tour makes a quick stop at a local inn for lunch and proceeds to a boating excursion with a Coast Guard licensed captain to safely view and photograph polar bears. www.northernalaska.com
 
Inside Passage:

Above and Beyond Alaska
Above and Beyond Alaska operates guided day trips to the Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor area the Inside Passage’s Admiralty Island, boasting one of the highest concentrations of brown bears not just in Alaska but in the world. The adventure begins with a short flight from Juneau, followed by sea kayaking to view the brown bears in a highly protected, isolated area where general visitation is limited. Groups experience up-close wildlife viewing from the water or at a nearby observation tower. www.beyondak.com
 
Southwest:

Kodiak Brown Bear Center
The Kodiak Brown Bear Center is a premier destination to observe Kodiak brown bears in their undisturbed natural habitat. Located on Kodiak Island, visitors travel via float plane for exclusive access to 112,000 privately-owned acres in the heart of Karluk Lake in the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge, an area renowned for one of the largest bear gatherings in the world. Small, guided groups take advantage of the minimum three-night stay itineraries, immersing themselves in the surrounding bear viewing habitat, including resort-style guest accommodations. www.kodiakbearcenter.com
 
For more information on bear viewing in Alaska, visit www.TravelAlaska.com.

Media contact:
Contact: Jennifer Thompson, Thompson & Co. PR
Email: jennifer@thompsonpr.com
Phone: (907) 561-4488
Facebook: Alaska Travel News

Twitter: @alaskatravlnews

URL: TravelAlaska.com

Photo credit: State of Alaska/Chris McLennan
2. Spring provides unique opportunity to view gray whale migration

Spring visitors to Alaska’s Southcentral region can treat themselves to specialized boat tours that showcase the annual 5,000-mile migration of gray whales from California to Alaska. The spring months of April and May provide abundant feeding opportunities for the migratory whales passing through Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska on their way to the Chukchi Sea, which opens up a wildlife viewing opportunity too exceptional to pass up. Kenai Fjords Tours offers guests an early season gray whale watching cruise out of Seward, where visitors can witness this annual migration, among other marine mammal sightings, from April through mid-May (www.kenaifjords.com). Also based in Seward, Major Marine Tours operates a gray whale watching boat tour highlighting nearby Resurrection Bay, home to the resident orca and returning humpback and gray whales. Visitors may even be lucky enough to spot all three whale species in one tour. (www.majormarine.com). While these tours are convenient to do for a day-trip from Anchorage, both companies also offer overnight packages that include hotel accommodations in Seward and passes to the Alaska SeaLife Center.
 
Media contact:
Contact: Jennifer Thompson, Thompson & Co. PR
Email: jennifer@thompsonpr.com
Phone: (907) 561-4488
Facebook: Alaska Travel News

Twitter: @alaskatravlnews

URL: TravelAlaska.com

Photo credit: Kenai Fjords Tours/Chris Batin
3. Alaska summer farmer's markets on the horizon

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 760 farms currently operate in Alaska. Summer is just around the corner in Alaska, signaling the return of a very intense growing season, the perfect setting for cultivating Alaska’s iconic produce. Despite the shorter growing season, Alaska’s extended daylight during the summer months (up to 20 hours per day) causes plants to grow faster and often larger than normal. Many of these record-setting crops are put on display at the annual Alaska State Fair in the Southcentral community of Palmer. Travelers to the state can try locally grown products at up to forty farmers markets throughout Alaska’s five regions. The Alaska Grown program, administered by the State of Alaska’s Division of Agriculture, markets fruits, vegetables, meats and aquaculture grown in Alaska to showcase the state’s agricultural industry. Look for the yellow, blue and green Alaska Grown emblem to identify what products have been grown locally. Many farmers markets begin summer operation in May, though there are several that operate year round.
 
Contact: Franci Havemeister, Division of Agriculture
Email: Franci.Havemeister@alaska.gov
Phone: (907) 745-7200
Facebook: Alaska Grown
URL: dnr.alaska.gov/ag

Photo credit: Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture
Our mailing address is:
State of Alaska
550 W. 7th Ave.
Suite 1770
Anchorage, AK 99501

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