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ALASKA STATE - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - TRAVEL & LODGING GUIDE

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Bridal Veil Falls, Keystone Canyon, Alaska, USA
Bridal Veil Falls, Keystone Canyon, Alaska, USA Photographic Print
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USA TRAVEL GUIDE:
ALASKA, USA TRAVEL INFORMATION
Anchorage - A City Like No Other

Alaska USA - A Bit Of History

Peter, a Danish sea Captain, who belonged to Russia landed in Alaska and established Russia's claim to this Northwestern part of North America.
 
After this many British, Spanish and French people also started exploring the land in search of fur. They started killing each other until the Chartering of Russian American Company in 1799. Under this Company's rule for the next 20 years fur was cut systematically.

However in 1802 the settlement was broken by the local Tlingit Indians and they captured the Russians and then Russia sent forces to rescue them. Battles continued between the two until 1806 when most of the Russians left.

The economics of Russia had a disastrous effect in domestic Russia. So they wanted to sell the land to America. The deal took many years to materialize and on 8th May, 1867 a treaty was signed by President. Andrew Johnson. The sale price was $7,200,000 and very shortly Alaska was nicknamed Seward's Icebox.

Denali National Park near Wonder Lake, Alaska, USA
Denali National Park near Wonder Lake, Alaska, USA
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Until 1895 the territory of Alaska was totally neglected and then in 1896 Gold was dug out from Central Alaska along the River Yukon. Many Gold seekers started pouring into Alaska and new laws had to be enacted. By 1907 a Tongass National Forest Reserve was created, Alaska's very first.
 
Floatplane on Beluga Lake and Kenai Mountains, Alaska
Floatplane on Beluga Lake and Kenai Mountains, Alaska
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On 24 August, 1912, Alaska gained the territorial status by U.S.A. In spite of such a status Alaska still had a weak economy and the population was also thinning. A Rail track was laid in 1914 between Seward and Fairbanks. Several subsidies were provided to Farmers who were brought there and settled in Matanuska Valley Colony.

World War II did bring an influx of Military people and a building boom.  The Cold War in the 1940's brought about a huge population bloom and economic growth because of defense U.S. Military Government's spending here.

In 1949 Alaska started campaigning for statehood and on 3 January 1959 Alaska got inducted as U.S.A.'s forty ninth State.

Up to now Alaska is economically better with Timber, Sea Food, Oil and the Tourism attractions.
 
Gold! The magic word drew thousands of Gold seekers into Alaska by 1886. They found scattered Gold in many parts like Talkeetna Mountains. Robert Lee Hatcher discovered and staked claim on the first lode Gold in the Willow Creek Valley in September 1906. Lode mining was a little expensive job so many new Companies came & started digging until all were brought together under one Company 'Asia-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company. In 1942 when America got into the World War II, all mining in U.S.A. was stopped, but Independence Company continued to operate because the presence of sheelite. Sheelite along with Gold was a source of Tungsten, a strategic metal.

In 1943 The Independence Mine was ordered to close. The ban was lifted after the War, but still the Gold mining was rather slow. Due to post-war inflation mining was not a profitable business. Eventually in 1974, The Independence Mine got the status of a Historical Heritage.

South of Alaska - when Gold was discovered in Canada's Yukon Territory, many Gold seekers went there from Seattle across the country. Today it has been made a Park and has a visitor centre at Skagway, the center of Gold seeker's rush called Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Yearling Brown Bear Cub in Habitat, Hallo Bay, Alaska
Yearling Brown Bear Cub Hallo Bay, Alaska
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Devinder reckons a trip to Alaska is definitely worth thinking about. www.london-airport-shuttle.co.uk

COOPERS LANDING HOTELS - ALASKA

Cooper Landing, also commonly referred to as Cooper's Landing or The Landing, is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States, about 160 kilometers south of Anchorage, at the confluence of Kenai Lake and Kenai River. The town was first settled in the 19th century by gold and mineral prospectors, and has become a summer tourist destination thanks to its scenic wilderness location and proximity to the salmon fishing of the Kenai River. As of the 2000 census, the population in Cooper Landing was 369.

Cooper Landing was named for Joseph Cooper, a miner who discovered gold there in 1884. However, Peter Doroshin, a Russian engineer, had identified gold prospects as far back as 1848 when the territory was still part of Russian America.

Floatplane on Beluga Lake and Kenai Mountains, Alaska
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Cooper Creek was first recorded in 1898 by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1900, the Census found 21 miners and 1 wife living at Cooper Creek. The Riddiford Post Office began operations in 1924, and the Riddiford School opened in 1928.  In 1938, a road was constructed to Seward. In 1948, a road to Kenai was opened, and by 1951, residents could drive to Anchorage. The Cooper Landing Community Club was first formed in 1949. The Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Facility was constructed in 1959-60.
Coopers Landing Alaska Hotel Reservations Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Coopers Landing
Each of the bungalow-style rooms at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge has been designed for the utmost in comfort and relaxation. Vaulted ceilings made of naturally finished wood, cozy sitting areas with wood-burning stoves and private porches help make any occasion memorable. The perfect mix of tranquility and adventure characterizes your Alaska lodge experience. The main lodge is as inviting as the guest rooms. The lobby has vaulted ceilings and a fireplace surrounded by chairs for relaxing and visiting with friends. Just beyond the lobby is an expansive deck, optimal for viewing the Kenai River valley, nearby mountains and the bright blue waters of the Kenai River just below.
Kenai River Drifters Lodge B&B, Coopers Landing
Drifters Lodge is a small locally owned and operated fishing lodge situated at the headwaters of the world famous Kenai River in Cooper Landing, Alaska.We have been in operation for 11 seasons and strive to improve and expand our services we offer to our guests.  Most of our staff and volunteers have been here for many years. The lodge staff tries to help you with all your needs which we refer to as, “Relaxed Pampering” this is what we strive for most Special Requests: Drifters Lodge will do what we can to make your Alaskan Vacation a vacation to remember.

SEWARD HOTELS - ALASKA

Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,016.

It was named after William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In 1867, he fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska which he finally negotiated to acquire from Russia.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.5 square miles (55.8 km²), of which, 14.4 square miles (37.4 km²) of it is land and 7.1 square miles (18.4 km²) of it (32.93%) is water.

Seward is the seventh most lucrative fisheries port in the United States per value. In 2004, 49.7 million dollars worth of fish and shellfish passed through Seward according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. 

Low Tide at Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, Seward Scenic Highway, Seward, Alaska
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Another major industry in Seward is tourism. Seward is also an Alaska Railroad terminus which has a maintained dock for cruise vessels and it controls a shipping terminal for coal from Usibelli. The Railroad and Aurora Energy Services employ dozens of people in the local area.
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Seward Alaska Hotel Reservations Hotel Alyeska, Seward
Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska, is located at the base of the Chugach Mountain Range and is twenty miles from Prince William Sound. It is two miles from Crow Creek Gold Mine. Portage Glacier is 15 miles from the hotel. Downtown Anchorage is 40 miles away. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the lobby of this smoke-free property, offering visitors unobstructed views of Alaska's Mount Alyeska. Open beams and cathedral ceilings accent the heated indoor pool, 16-person spa tub and the hotel's full fitness facility with massage services. The hotel offers a complete list of business services including high-speed Internet access, exhibit space, conference rooms and meeting facilities.
Best Western Edgewater Hotel, Seward
Relax and savor the spectacular views from the newly renovated (2008) Best Western Edgewater Hotel in Seward, Alaska. With the largest selection of room types in Seward, the Edgewater Hotel can accommodate every travel budget. This Seward hotel boasts both balcony ocean front rooms directly overlooking Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Mountains. If you are planning to visit Seward as part of your Alaska vacation, stay at the Best Western Edgewater Hotel on beautiful Resurrection Bay. The Hotel is only one block from the Alaska SeaLife Center, and is centrally located in Seward's historic downtown district. While staying at our Seward Hotel, you can explore the various specialty shops, restaurants, and art galleries in Seward, AK.
Hotel Seward
We are Seward’s best hotel, located in downtown Seward at the shores of Resurrection Bay! Whether you come to Seward for our world class Alaska Sea Life Center, sightseeing tours, Halibut and salmon fishing, Whales Watching, business, or just to relax, you will leave with unforgettable memories. Join your Hotel Seward family for the Alaskan adventure of a lifetime! The best of Alaska’s hotels offering the finest of Seward lodging, the Hotel Seward features quality Seward accommodation for all visitors to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. We offer top quality rooms, incredible customer service and the most beautiful scenery in Alaska.
Van Gilder Hotel, Seward
Long a favorite of tourists and Alaskans,the Van Gilder Hotel was built in 1916 and placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1980. It is located in downtown Seward within easy walking distance to restaurants and shopping and only two blocks away from the Alaska Sealife Center and the Seward Museum. You will find The Van Gilder a quiet, impeccably clean and comfortable inn. Brass beds and period antiques allow guests to enjoy the authentic Victorian charm of an early century hotel. Our Alaskana collection of books and historic photo histories completes the "step back in time". For your comfort we also feature modern amenities such as in-room phones, private baths and cable TV. This is a non-smoking hotel.
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SOLDOTNA HOTELS - ALASKA

Soldotna is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 3,759. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 4,087 It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Soldotna is located on the banks of the Kenai River on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. It is named after nearby Soldotna Creek. There are three explanations of the origin of the word Soldotna: one, that it is derived from soldat, the Russian word for soldier; two, that it is derived from an Athabaskan word for "stream fork" and three, that it is derived from Tseldatna, the Athabaskan name of an herb.

Hansen's Wood Carvings Store on the Kenai Peninsula, Soldotna, Alaska, USA
Hansen's Wood Carvings Store on the Kenai Peninsula, Soldotna, Alaska, USA 
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In 1947, after World War II, United States government allowed settling of land on parts of the Kenai Peninsula under the Homestead Act. Veterans of the United States armed services were given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting land and filing for property. Also in that year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was cleared of trees from Cooper Landing to Kenai. The location of present-day Soldotna was selected as the site for the highway's bridge crossing the Kenai River.

The construction of the Sterling Highway provided a link from the Soldotna area to the outside world. More homesteads were taken and visitors came to fish in the area. The Soldotna post office opened in 1949 and other businesses opened in the next few years.

Oil was discovered in the Swanson River region in 1957, bringing some new economic development to the area. In 1960, Soldotna was incorporated as a city with a population of 332.

Sport fishing and tourism are currently the mainstays of the economy in Soldotna. It also receives some economic advantage from being the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Les Anderson holds the record for the largest king salmon, caught on May 17, 1985 and weighing in at 97 lb 4 oz. Most local taxidermy businesses will stuff and mount a salmon for free if it is over 70 lb (32 kg) for the business exposure. Fish counts are determined by sonar fish counters. They are rough estimates based on averages over a prolonged period.

Soldotna Alaska Hotel Reservations Aspen Hotel Soldotna
While famous for world-class salmon fishing, the Soldotna / Kenai area of Alaska also offers a rare combination of Russian and Native History, an exciting range of outdoor activities and unique cultural events. This vibrant community offers both the pleasure and business traveler virtually everything they need. The new 63 room Aspen Hotel is in the heart of it all. Our beautifully appointed rooms and suites, excellent added-value amenities and affordable rates make us your perfect choice in Soldotna!  With fabulous views of the world famous Kenai River, Soldotna’s Aspen Hotel brings comfort after a long day in the corporate conference room or a place to get away and tell tall-tales of the fish that got away! 
Best Western King Salmon Motel, Soldotna
Stay at this Soldotna hotel in Alaska with beautiful scenery and offering a host of convenient amenities while traveling. The Best Western King Salmon Motel is conveniently located with easy access to Kenai Peninsula College. Hotel guests will appreciate the variety of nearby recreational activities including great fishing and golfing.  Each well-appointed room features free high-speed Internet access, cable satellite television with HBO®, room service, free long distance access and all the standard amenities to make guest comfortable while traveling.
VALDEZ HOTELS - ALASKA
Valdez is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,020. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska.

Valdez is a fishing port, for commercial and sport purposes. Freight moves through Valdez, utilising the year-round ice-free harbour, bound for the interior of Alaska. Sightseeing of marine life and glaciers, together with both deep-sea fishing, and heli-skiing support a tourist industry in Valdez. The oil from the Trans-Alaska pipeline is loaded onto ships at the Valdez oil terminal. It is sometimes called the Switzerland of Alaska.

Valdez, Alaska - Aerial View of the Resident Area of the City
Valdez, Alaska - Aerial View of the City 
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Alyeska Pipeline Service Company is one of the primary employers in town but it started to move several positions to its headquarters in Anchorage, after the town council passed a resolution levying a tax on all tankers coming into the port to be loaded with oil, which has had an impact in the population size and the economy.

Valdez is connected to the interior of Alaska by the Richardson Highway, and is a port of call in the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system. Just north of Valdez on the highway is Thompson Pass, which has spectacular waterfalls and glaciers next to the highway. Thompson Pass is also known for treacherous driving conditions during the winter.

Valdez is also known for heli-skiing, the city hosted the World Extreme Skiing Competition (WESC) in the early 90's. Soon afterwards, guided heliskiing was offered for visitors from around the world. Today there are several heli-ski outfits based in the greater Valdez area.

Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn, Valdez
Majestically located on the waterfront in picturesque Valdez, Alaska, the Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn is a step above for casual luxury and friendly, professional service. Just walk out the door and watch the tour boats gather at the docks as they embark on a unique Alaskan adventure of viewing beautiful Alaskan landscape and wildlife. You may decide to charter a trip with one of our experienced captains and fulfill the dream of a lifetime to catch Alaskan halibut and salmon. The Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn overlooks the Valdez boat harbor on three sides. We are conveniently located within walking distance of local gift shops, Public Library, Valdez Visitor Center, Valdez Museum, Whitney Museum and the Annex Museum that displays the old town Valdez before the 1964 earthquake. 
VACATION RENTALS IN ALASKA
ANCHORAGE EXTENDED STAYS - ALASKA
Extended Stay Deluxe Anchorage-Downtown
Welcome to Extended Stay Deluxe Anchorage - Downtown. Our hotel is designed especially for longer stays with one bedroom suites featuring amenities you won't find in a typical hotel room.  Kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, and stovetop. Wireless Internet - one time fee of $4.99 per stay. DVD players, In-room iron and ironing board. On-site guest laundry. On-site fitness center. Swimming Pool. Hot Tub
COOPERS LANDING VACATION RENTALS - ALASKA
Kenai River Drifters Lodge B&B, Coopers Landing
Drifters Lodge is a small locally owned and operated fishing lodge situated at the headwaters of the world famous Kenai River in Cooper Landing, Alaska.We have been in operation for 11 seasons and strive to improve and expand our services we offer to our guests.  Most of our staff and volunteers have been here for many years. The lodge staff tries to help you with all your needs which we refer to as, “Relaxed Pampering” this is what we strive for most Special Requests: Drifters Lodge will do what we can to make your Alaskan Vacation a vacation to remember.
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