Take Your Alaska Summer Car Rental on a Tour of Farmers’ Markets Around the State

Spring has sprung! It may be slightly chilly, but the summer up ahead is set to be a warm one. And farmers are already preparing by bringing out their goods for sale. Farmers’ markets have begun popping up around the state, and it won’t take long for you to come across one in your Alaska summer car rental.

What better way to go camping than with fresh, local granola and fruit? These markets have everything from fresh produce to artisanal jams and jellies, honey and baked goods, homemade crafts and more. It won’t take a local to find them, either. Here are only a few (but don’t be scared to hunt for your own!).

Anchorage Farmers’ Markets

Many of our Alaska summer car rental clients stick around Anchorage, so you may have already seen this one. In fact, there are quite a few to be found.

From May 13 until September 10, the Anchorage Market and Festival runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm or 10 am to 5 pm, respectively. It’s the largest open-air market in the state.

The South Anchorage Farmers’ Market begins on May 13, as well. It is open every Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm, and Wednesdays from 10 am to 4 pm. This market runs a little longer, as well, as it closes October 7.

Mountain View Farmers’ Market is also open in Anchorage, but offers different times from what is available in others. Its hours are slightly more convenient for working individuals, running from 3 pm until 7 pm every Thursday. The market opens June 15 and runs through September 14.

Center Market again offers hours that are a little more convenient. Open three times a week from 10 am until 6 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays, you’ll have plenty of options to bring your Alaska summer car rental.

Finally, Spenard Farmers’ Market is another Saturday affair, running from 9 am until 2 pm weekly.

Fairbanks Markets

Fairbanks is another popular visitor spot for our Alaska summer car rental clients. The Birch Hill Market opens mid-May and runs through September each year. Open Thursdays and Fridays, this 1 pm open time market offers late closing hours at 8 pm.

The Market Festival Fairbanks opens this month early June, and runs until September 7. It’s open throughout the week, Monday through Friday, from 12 noon until 8 pm.

Southside Community Farmers’ Market opens on June 2 and lasts until September 29. While it’s only open one day a week – Thursdays – its 4 pm until 7 pm open times are convenient still.

Finally for Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley Farmers’ Market opened May 9 and runs until September 20. Head down between 9 am and 4 pm for bustling Saturday shopping. Or, between 11 am and 4 pm on Wednesdays or Sundays for something more relaxed.

The Haines Market

There may be only one major market in Haines, but it certainly holds its own. Head on down to the Southeast Alaska State Fair Grounds from June until mid-September for some great local goods. The fair opens from 10 am until 1 pm every Saturday.

Homer Markets

Two markets can be found in Homer, Alaska. Homer Farmers’ Market runs from May 23 until September 30 (a late run!). You can find it at Ocean Drive across from the Washboard every Wednesday from 3 pm until 6 pm and Saturdays from 10 am until 3 pm.

The second is Meadow Drive Market. This market opens on June 15 and has a very late run until November 1 – so you can get fall shopping in, too! Market times are Wednesday and Thursdays from 12 noon until 6 pm.

The Kenai Saturday Market

Taking your Alaska summer car rentals up to Kenai for a spot of fishing? Nothing goes better with fresh catch than fresh local produce! From May 23 until September 19, grab a few nice sides to your salmon every Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm.

This is just a taste of what Alaska has to offer. The farmers’ markets in this state are abundant, and beautifully supplied.

Reserve your Alaska summer car rental from Avis today so you can load up on local goods!

Keeping You – And Alaska’s Bears – Safe in your Summer Alaska SUV Rentals

If you’re traveling around Alaska in your summer Alaska SUV rentals, you’re likely going to see a bear. While many people speak of bears as scary creatures, they’re beautiful and, if you know what to do, will do you no harm. Unfortunately, there’ve been a great number of incidents of bear deaths by those who are scared. However, we want to stress that bears don’t need to be a threat. They’re part of our wildlife, and should be loved and protected.

That’s why we’ve put together a little list to keep both you, and our bears, safe from harm this summer. As long as you do everything right both you and our bear population should be able to co-exist peacefully! After all, if you want a truly Alaskan experience, that comes with living alongside these animals.

Remain calm

Remain calm. That is the most important thing to remember. If you have kids, this is the first thing you should stress to them before setting off in the wilderness. Remain calm, don’t run. Stay still and stay relaxed.

If you can, begin to back up slowly. But if the bear follows, don’t begin to run. Just stop, hold your ground, and avoid seeming threatening.

Let them know what you are

It’s good to let the bear know you’re human. This may sound silly, but speaking calmly to a bear can actually put the pressure off. That first moment of contact can be startling, but a calm voice to remind the bear you’re human may actually relax them enough to set them off in the opposite direction. Many bears in Alaska are more used to humans than you may think, and, hopefully, understand that we won’t hurt them.

Give them some space

If you see a bear while in your summer Alaska SUV rentals, and waiting for them to clear off your campsite, give them a minute. Just remain in the car, or find a new spot.

If you’re out and about, just give them some space. Bears will only attack if they feel threatened. They have no desire to attack humans. So if you see a bear, keep your distance (but you probably don’t need that reminder!) and let them do their own thing. Female bears and cubs need a little extra space. Mama bear doesn’t want her cubs to feel threatened, so show you’re no risk by leaving them plenty of personal space.

Move along

If you see a bear at the side of the road, some people will stop to take a picture. While this may be tempting if you’re just visiting and have never seen a bear, it’s best to move your summer Alaska SUV rentals along. Heavy crowds can be agitating and frightening – imagine how you’d feel!

Remember also to keep an eye out at night. Turn your lights up around bends with low traffic, and be aware of the shoulders. Any movement on the sides of the road should activate further response, like slowing down.

Avoid areas with animal smells

Fish and animal carcasses, areas with lots of berries, and areas with large, round balls of dung (bear dung most likely!) are best avoided. While it may seem appealing to camp near a berry patch, you’re also more likely to have a visitor at night.

Other areas to avoid are those with thick brush. In here it’s a lot harder to see bears or for them to see you.

Make noise and walk with the wind

When walking through the woods, make noise. Bears will be less startled if they know you’re coming. Speak loudly, sing, tromp on the twigs – whatever you need to let nearby animals know you’re on your way. Walking in groups is always best to help alert bears, as well. More likely than not, they’ll clear out to get their space and give you yours.

If possible, walk with the wind. When the wind blows across your back, it carries your smell in front of you. This helps alert the bear to your presence.

Keep your food to yourself

First, don’t feed bears. This only gives them reason to come back, and could cause protectionist behaviors around food. This means also that you should never give bears in the river any of your food. If you see a bear coming, stop fishing, or give your line slack in case there’s a fish on it.

Second, invest in a bear-proof food barrel. These can be found in most outfitter shops, perhaps even for rent, and will protect your campsite from unwanted nighttime scavengers.

In the case of attack, if bears come close despite your calm and assertive stance, make some noise. Bang pots or speak loudly. Always drive the bear away from you rather than run from it. If a brown bear looks ready to attack, play dead. Black bears are often scared off. If you’re really concerned of attack and playing dead isn’t working, finally you may bring out bear deterrent.

Bears are beautiful creatures, who are, generally, quite harmless. Don’t threaten them and they shouldn’t threaten you! Our summer Alaska SUV rentals clients rarely have close encounters with bears, and bear attacks in Alaska are quite rare. Remember, stay calm, and when in doubt, stay inside.

Reserve your summer Alaska SUV rentals today!

Camping with Kids? Be Prepped in your Summer Alaska SUV Rentals

Camping can be a challenge in itself. When you toss kids into the mix, the whole thing takes a lot more preparation. Worth it, of course! If prepared well, your camping trip will spur a lifelong love of camping and the wilderness in your children. If not, it could leave them whimpering to sleep in your summer Alaska SUV rentals.

We’ve created a small checklist to help you pack your summer Alaska SUV rentals accordingly. While many experienced campers may know these things already, it doesn’t hurt to have a little reminder.

Don’t overdo it with the snacks

While it can be extremely tempting to have a weekend full of typical camping food – hot dogs, marshmallows, s’mores, the works – it won’t offer a nutritional enough diet to keep the kids happy. Though they may be thrilled at the prospect of a weekend in the woods with junk, their stomachs will naturally start to say otherwise.

Try to balance out eat day with healthy food. Granola, fruit, and fresh veg will go a long way to keeping the kids happy. Keep in mind also that things like eggs and peanut butter can stay out of the fridge for a couple days without going off. Super nutritious and delicious!

You can’t go wrong with a little canned fish, as well. Tuna pasta tosses with K-D and broccoli on the fire are fairly healthy, tasty additions. Alternatively, fire top scrambles with veg, salami and cheese sandwiches, crackers with jam, nuts, and quick mix bean burgers are easy and nutritious.

Extra layers and tarps – camp uphill

While most campers know to keep the tent uphill to avoid runoff, those extra couple layers are often forgotten. As usual, use a tarp under the tent and even one over in case of rain. But once you’ve set your tent up, add an extra layer (or two!) of woolen blankets to the inside tent floor. Bring sleeping pads for extra comfort, as well as insulation.

It also doesn’t hurt to add a couple layers to the outside. A few additional blankets for around the fire can’t hurt. Fires are good for keeping your front warm, but the shoulders can get chilly quickly, even beneath a hoodie.

Don’t forget to top up first aid

It’s easy to forget to replenish first aid. Much of the time, having things like indigestion medication, allergy treatment, and cold and flu medication may not be an emergency – unless you’re out in the woods. Before setting out in your summer Alaska SUV rentals, make sure to top up your first aid kit. Marshmallows and hot dogs can be tough on a little one’s tummy, and you don’t want their trip to be ruined.

Toilet paper – and lots of it

When in doubt, bring another roll. Enough said!

Games and equipment

The great outdoors can keep most people occupied for hours. However, that doesn’t always apply after dark. You likely don’t want your child out and about exploring when dusk arrives. Bring along a few board games, some puzzles, craft supplies, books, and coloring books for the kids. Make games out of what they’ve found in the woods that day. Perhaps the shells and sticks become part of a new art piece or homemade costume.

Fireside games are also quite good. Put on little plays for each other, or bring out the story time fireside games to work their imagination.

Extra batteries

There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of batteries in your flashlight when a little one has to use the toilet at night! Make sure to bring an excessive amount of batteries and 2-3 flashlights. That’s what the storage in our summer Alaska SUV rentals is great for, after all!

Be prepared for bears

Bears shouldn’t bother you. If you’re concerned, our blog article on dealing with bears can help. It’s important to remember that bears aren’t a threat. Talk to your children in advance about how to deal with them. Come up with an action plan that is easy for them to remember. Rehearse it. Often, simply standing your ground, speaking calmly to the bear, and not threatening them in any way will be enough to have the bear move along.

Don’t surprise the bears, and don’t scare them – especially if cubs are around. Remember that mama bears are just as protective of their kids as you are! So threatening moves will cause a problem. Otherwise, you should be safe! Bear attacks are very rare around Alaska. We treat them as gorgeous, wonderful creatures with which we share this great wilderness.

Remember that bear mace should be used in rare and only emergency circumstances. To keep bears away from your campsite, don’t bring food in the tent, and invest in a bear-proof food barrel.

Begin your camping trip by reserving your summer Alaska SUV rentals from Avis today!

Visit Alaska’s Nationals: An Overview of the State’s Parks

What’s Alaska known for? Breathtaking views. Excellent, fresh seafood and game. Wild adventures in the great outdoors. A culture entirely its own. And, it’s stunning national parks.

There’s simply nothing more beautiful than waking up to the gorgeous landscape in one of our parks. Except, perhaps taking a scenic drive through in your budget Alaska car rentals. The only problem? How to pick just one park to visit!

If you live in Alaska, or if you’ve got your budget Alaska car rentals for an extended period, choosing a park won’t be a problem. You’ll have plenty of time to see them all. But whether you’re trying to choose the one to visit, or deciding on which one will be first on your list, you’ll need to know a bit more. Here’s a very brief overview of just a few of Alaska’s parks.

Denali National Park and Preserve

We’ll start with the big one. Almost everyone knows of Denali National Park and Preserve. It’s 100 years as a national park has been marked by photographic interest and heavy tourism. But don’t be diverted – the crowds never reach an unbearable point. It simply means you’ll want to book early if you want a camping site.

Driving the park road in your budget Alaska car rentals will offer you an exciting way to see a large section of the 6 million acres of land that make up Denali National Park. Wildlife and mountaineering – you’ll get a full Alaskan experience in this national preserve.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Despite being the largest park in the USA, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is one of the less visited. As such, there are fewer services and amenities in the region. However, you can drive across the 13.2 million acres to see various landmarks and wildlife sights, including the ghost town of Kennecott Mine.

The drive along is on the bed of an old railway, signifying the deep historical connections this region had to mining. See McCarthy, which is accessed by footbridge, or head up to Root Glacier for a bit of hiking. However, if you want to really see the extent of the region, buy a package from St. Elias Alpine Guides. It’s definitely worth it!

Kenai Fjords National Park

Simply put: the fjords are stunning. For this one, you’ll want to find a nice, safe place for your budget Alaska car rentals and leave them behind for a few hours – the fjords are best seen by boat. While you can walk in the park around the Exit Glacier in Seward, the boats offer marine-life sightseeing and a more extensive view of the fjords. Furthermore to top it off, it’s not uncommon to see puffins perched along the seaside cliffs.

In the meantime, visit the Alaska Sealife Center for a closer view of the fish, birds, and sea mammals that live in the park. But, you may also want to check out the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge near Aialik Bay. You’ll find great food, fun activities, and a chance at the glacier-and-wildlife cruise.

A wide selection

The problem simply is that there are just too many great parks in the area. Yet, to go into detail of all of them would be tough.

We could go on and on about the incredible hike through the pumice and rock by the Ukak River in the old volcanic site of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Or about the bear viewing opportunities in this same park.

And what about hiking and kayaking adventures in Lake Clark National Park? Or the Glacier Bay tour in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve that will offer extraordinary glimpses into the glacial habitats of wildlife? Have you hiked or flown into Gates of the Arctic to see the sheep, bears, and other wildlife that rest among the Arctic Tundra and boreal forests? Finally, the caribou, portaging opportunities, and sand dunes of Kobuk Valley National Park and Kobuk River may be enough to draw you in to this great park.

Needless to say, you’ll never run out of parks to visit in your budget Alaska car rentals. So reserve your vehicle from Avis today, and go on an adventure of a lifetime.

How to Stay Safe in your Alaska Spring Car Rentals During Fire Season

Spring is a beautiful time in Alaska. The snow and ice begin to melt, and the blossoms open up to offer a breathtaking backdrop to the myriad outdoor adventures this state offers. It’s a time when you can drive your Alaska spring car rentals around the state to explore the landscape, without worry of severe storm.

Or is it? Unfortunately, spring also means that fire season is nearly upon us. You may have caught news already of fires sparking up across the state. And while authorities are claiming that fire season this year won’t be as bad as the last, it’s still something about which you should have knowledge and protection.

You may think that staying safe in fire season is controlled by chance. However, there are some things you can do to make sure you stay safe in your Alaska spring car rentals road trips and daytime explorations.

What is fire season?

Fire season comes about in heavily wooded regions that are experiencing dry conditions. They can be the effects of natural causes, or consequences of irresponsible hikers and woodsmen. It often occurs around spring and summer, when the weather is driest.

In places like Alaska, where fire season can be quite devastating, crews and authorities are on call in case of fire. They have strategies and backup plans to prevent the fire from spreading as much as is possible. Unfortunately, wildfires are just that – wild and often difficult to deal with. That’s why we need every day people doing all they can to prevent the possibility of fire.

Always put your fire out

This may seem like common knowledge, but there’s no harm in a reminder. If you’re camping in Alaska, make sure to always put out your fire before bed or before leaving. Even a few embers can be enough to start a fire in the right circumstances.

A great way to ensure your fire remains under control is by keeping it small. Avoid the desire to use the “cheat method” with fuel if you’re an amateur camper. Always use fire starters instead, and keep your fire manageable. When you put water on the embers to snuff it, mix up the ashes with water using a stick or poker, and continue to pour more water on and mix until you’re sure the ashes are all doused.

Similarly, avoid smoking in the forests. Cigarette butts thrown into dry twigs or forest brush will ignite. If you must smoke, why not bring an ashtray in your Alaska spring car rentals? While we don’t want smoking in the vehicle, ashtrays will let you snub out the cigarette completely before disposing of the butt.

Camp smart: Pack your Alaska spring car rentals properly

Before setting off on your big camping adventure, make sure to check the restrictions, rules, and permits around fire usage in the area. Much of this information can be found online, but of course, a quick conversation with local officials can also be helpful.

Choose your site carefully. Campsites that are sheltered from the wind are ideal, as this will prevent embers and sparks from being picked up and carried. You’ll also want something close to a water source. Whether that’s a river, lake, or serviced campsite is up to you! Finally, bare dirt and rock flooring on the site is best. It may not be the most comfortable, but it’s better than flammable grass.

Once you’ve arrived to your site, make sure your site is properly prepared for fire. Clear away any brush, twigs, pine needles, leaves, and other dry flammables from the site. If you want to save time doing this, pack a broom in your Alaska spring car rentals. Have a bucket of water nearby at all times to put out fires that get out of hand.

If you’re a local of Alaska, you may already have an idea of how to behave during a wildfire. Just in case, this is a good source for a brush up on information.

Fire season doesn’t need to be dangerous for you. Be smart, plan well, and pack your Alaska spring car rentals with the proper equipment to stay safe.

Reserve your Alaska spring car rentals from Avis today to begin your wild camping adventure!

Reserve your Juneau Alaska Car Rental to Explore the Capital this Summer

Alaskan cities pack a big wallop. They may not be as glitzy and glamorous as the Lower 48, but they offer their own unique attractions and style. If you’re just visiting in your Juneau Alaska car rental, then you’re almost definitely familiar with Anchorage. But how much do you know about Juneau?

Juneau is a classic Alaska mix: history, outdoor adventure, beautiful surroundings, and an interesting cultural community. If you’ve never been to our state’s capital, we certainly recommend it. Tourism is still bursting in Juneau, despite its inaccessibility by road. But more than a million people arrive on its shores during the late spring and summer months, and trust us – they’re not mistaken. The sad fact is that many tourists are ready to see the capital, but many more Alaskans simply can’t be bothered to go, claiming costs of airfare or boat fees as the main reason.

It’s time to change that! Here’s just a bit of information about this great city.

Entertaining the kids

Of course, your experience of Juneau is going to be different depending on whom you’re traveling with. Is your Juneau Alaska car rental filled with rug rats or friends? If it’s rug rats, check out the kid-friendly Juneau Douglas City Museum. You’ll have the chance to learn about the intriguing history of Juneau, while your children explore the hands-on aspects of the museum and look at the more visually thrilling parts of the exhibit.

Travel the tramway

The Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway opened in 1996, and to this day remains the only aerial tramway in southeast Alaska. This incredible experience will open up unbelievably gorgeous views across the region. Rising from the docks in downtown Juneau, you’ll be taken up a steep ride over the rainforest and into the mountains. If you’re scared of heights, though, you may be a little off-put – the tramway is one of the most vertical in the world.

The price may seem as steep as the climb, but trust us when we say it’s worth it. Kids aged 6-12 ride for $16 for a full day pass and adults ride for $33 for the full day. Kids below 6 ride for free. You can purchase tickets at the Tramway Station at 490 S Franklin St. or, if you’re coming in a cruise, at your ship’s Shore Excursion department.

Once you’ve taken the tramway up, you still have plenty of things to see. Don’t just head back down to your Juneau Alaska car rentals! Take a hike through trees reaching 200 feet in the air to the sub-alpine meadow. Make sure to pack a snack! Or maybe you want something a little more substantial? In that case, head to Timberline Atop Mount Roberts for an unforgettable dining experience to enjoy the view.

We could go on. There’s so much more to do, including the Nature Center, the Raven Eagle Gifts & Gallery, and Chilkat Theater as well as the other natural wonders atop Mount Roberts.

Food in Juneau

Let’s be honest – Alaska is a state known for seafood and fresh game. We embrace that fact. And the chefs in Juneau definitely know how to make a mean meal. You’ll want to explore the culinary community of the city to make the most of the fresh products. You may never want to leave! But we can tell you one thing – driving your Juneau Alaska car rentals on day trips and to explore is a lot cozier with a belly full of fresh-off-the-shore fish.

Getting there

Getting to Alaska’s “big city” won’t allow for a straight shot down a highway. But that doesn’t mean that getting there is overly difficult, either. All charter, regional, and major airlines service Juneau International Airport and if you’ve got airline miles, it shouldn’t use too many to get from Anchorage to Juneau.

Not a fan of a fly-by over the state? Take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system. This is great to take either car-free or in your Juneau Alaska car rentals after traversing the Alaskan-Canadian Highway for an amazing driving experience.

Juneau has so much more to offer than what we can explore here. Whale-watching, hiking trails, aerial glacial sightseeing – Juneau is simply a place for relaxing, amazing experience. Don’t hesitate – book your Juneau Alaska car rentals from Avis today.