Exhibitors: Travel to Alaska and Between Locations

Alaska Travel Information

Traveling to Soldotna (Fair date Wednesday, April 29, 2020)

All flights to Soldotna go through a connection in Anchorage. Once you get to Anchorage, you can fly to Soldotna on Ravn Alaska, a commuter airline that is affiliated with Alaska Airlines. Ravn has many 30-minute flights from Anchorage to Kenai every day. (Kenai and Soldotna are “twin cites” about 10 minutes apart.)

If you like to drive, I highly recommend that you drive to Soldotna instead of flying! The 3-hour (145-mile) ride from Anchorage to Soldotna on the Seward Highway and Sterling Highway is nothing less than magnificent, traveling first along breath-taking Turnagain Arm with wonderful views of glacier-capped mountains across the inlet, and then through a mountain pass before you drop down into the forest to drive alongside the glacier-fed, aqua-marine Kenai River.

SIGHTSEEING TIPS: You may want to consider flying in to Alaska early and taking a day to drive (or fly) an additional 70 miles south of Soldotna to enjoy picturesque Homer, “where the road ends and the sea begins.” Homer is the favorite vacation spot of Alaskans themselves, an artistic and scenic small community (pop. 5000) literally at “the end of the road.”

IF YOU DRIVE: If the sky is clear, it is fun to take the tram at Alyeska Resort up to the top of the mountain at 2,300 feet, where you can enjoy the magnificent view of Cook Inlet and have lunch, if you like. Although the Visitor’s Center at Portage Glacier is closed until Memorial Day, it is a short (5 mile) pleasant drive down a side road where you can see glaciers fairly close on the sides of the mountains alongside which you drive.

Traveling from Soldotna to Anchorage (Fair dates Thursday-Friday, April 30-May 1, 2020)

Again, you can drive or fly back to Anchorage from Soldotna. Considered a National Scenic Byway, the route along the Turnagain Arm is full of sightseeing opportunities.

Traveling from Anchorage to Fairbanks (Fair dates Monday-Tuesday, May 4-5, 2020)

This is your chance to relax and sight-see! Saturday and Sunday are free days, allowing plenty of time to sight-see in Anchorage and/or Fairbanks as well as travel between the cities. There are many flights between these two Alaska hubs on RAVN Alaska or Alaska Airlines. The flight is about 60 minutes long. Should you choose to drive the scenic Parks Highway, the trip is 365 miles between Anchorage and Fairbanks. If you drive, there is time to drive back to Anchorage on Wednesday, or you can leave your rental car in Fairbanks. Another option to consider is to take the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Fairbanks on Saturday. The train leaves Anchorage at 8:30 am and arrives in Fairbanks at 8:00 pm. If you take the train, you will have to fly or drive back to Anchorage, as the train does not run on Wednesdays at that time of year. (When checking schedules on their website, be sure to look for the “Aurora Winter Train.”)

SIGHTSEEING TIPS: It is fun to drive to Chena Hot Springs (a little over 1 hour northeast of  Fairbanks) to soak in the hot springs, tour the Ice Museum, or take a dog sled ride! Or you can drive a little north of the turn onto Chena Hot Springs Road, where there is an informative pull-out about the Alaska Pipeline, which is above ground there.

Traveling from Fairbanks to Juneau (Fair date Thursday, May 7, 2020)

All flights between Fairbanks and Juneau make a stop in Anchorage. While you can fly to Anchorage on Ravn Alaska or Alaska Airlines, Alaska is the only major airline that flies to Juneau. Juneau can only be reached by air or ferry (from Haines); the flight from Anchorage takes about 90 minutes.

SIGHTSEEING TIPS (Fairbanks-Anchorage): If you drive to Anchorage from Fairbanks, you might enjoy a side trip to Denali National Park, although the best views of Denali (previously Mount McKinley) can actually be found from charming Talkeetna, Alaska.

SIGHTSEEING TIPS (Juneau): Visit Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, 5 miles from the Juneau airport. In addition to the glacier, there is a bear-viewing platform, and you are quite likely to see a black bear there in the spring, particularly in the early evening.

Traveling “Outside” from Juneau

Alaskans call the continental United States “Outside” – always capitalized. Alaska Airlines is the only major airline that has flights out of Juneau. You may get tickets on other airlines that share flights with Alaska Airlines. Remember, you must stay until the Exhibit Hall closes!