alaskan scenery

The Ultimate Alaska Summer Bucket List: Top 5 Must-Do Activities with AVIS Alaska

Alaskan scenery

If you’re planning a trip to Alaska in the summer, you already know what you want to see and do. After all, Alaska is a state full of adventure, natural beauty, and unique experiences. However, there are certain bucket list items that most people have on their itinerary when they plan a trip to Alaska in the summer. As a car rental company based in Alaska, AVIS Alaska has helped countless travelers explore the Last Frontier. Here are the top five bucket list items that most people have on their itinerary when they plan a trip to Alaska in the summer.

Visit Denali National Park

Located in central Alaska, Denali National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the state. Home to the tallest peak in North America, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), the park offers incredible views of glaciers, wildlife, and the stunning Alaskan wilderness. Visitors can take guided tours of the park, hike on one of the many trails, or even take a flightseeing tour to see the park from above.

Cruise the Inside Passage

    The Inside Passage is a stunning coastal route that stretches from British Columbia, Canada, to Skagway, Alaska. Many travelers cruise this route to see the glaciers, whales, and other wildlife that call this area home. Stops along the way include Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka, each with unique history and charm.

    Explore Glacier Bay National Park

    Another must-visit destination in Alaska is Glacier Bay National Park. The park has over a dozen glaciers and stunning fjords in southeast Alaska. Visitors can take a boat tour to see the glaciers up close or even kayak in the bay. Wildlife lovers will also be thrilled to see humpback whales, sea lions, and porpoises.

    Take a scenic drive on the Seward Highway

    The Seward Highway is a scenic route that stretches from Anchorage to Seward. The drive offers stunning views of the Alaskan coastline, glaciers, and wildlife. Highlights along the way include the Chugach Mountains and the Kenai Fjords National Park. There are plenty of places to stop along the way to take photos and explore the area.

    Visit the Kenai Peninsula

      The Kenai Peninsula is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Home to the Kenai River, visitors can go fishing for salmon, trout, and other species. The area is also known for its hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and stunning scenery. Other activities in the area include kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting.

      In conclusion, a trip to Alaska in the summer offers countless opportunities for adventure and exploration. Whether visiting Denali National Park, cruising the Inside Passage, exploring Glacier Bay National Park, taking a scenic drive on the Seward Highway, or visiting the Kenai Peninsula, there’s something for everyone in the Last Frontier. As a car rental company based in Alaska, AVIS Alaska is here to help you explore all this great state offers.

      10 Fun Summer Activities in Whittier, Alaska

      Whittier, Alaska

      Whittier, Alaska, is a hidden gem tucked away in the pristine wilderness of Alaska. This quaint town, located on the shores of Prince William Sound, is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whittier is the perfect destination for a summer adventure with its stunning natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and various outdoor activities. If you’re planning a trip to Whittier, here are ten activities you won’t want to miss:

      1. Kayaking in Prince William Sound: Prince William Sound is a breathtakingly beautiful location best explored by kayak. Paddle through the crystal clear waters and take in the stunning scenery, including glaciers and wildlife. Estimated time: Half-day to full-day.
      2. Hiking to Portage Pass: The Portage Pass trail offers some of the most spectacular views in Whittier. This moderate hike takes you to a scenic overlook where you can enjoy panoramic views of Portage Glacier and the surrounding mountains. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      3. Fishing for Salmon: Whittier is renowned for its salmon fishing. Head out on a fishing charter and catch your own salmon for dinner. Estimated time: Half-day to full-day.
      4. Scenic Drive along Turnagain Arm: Take a scenic drive along Turnagain Arm, one of Alaska’s most picturesque stretches of road. Keep an eye out for Dall sheep, beluga whales, and eagles. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.
      5. Wildlife Cruise: Take a wildlife cruise to see whales, sea otters, seals, and other marine life in their natural habitat. You can also see the many glaciers that dot the coastline of Prince William Sound. Estimated time: Half-day to full-day.
      6. Bird Watching: Whittier is home to a variety of bird species, including bald eagles, puffins, and oystercatchers. Bring your binoculars and go bird watching in the lush forests and along the shoreline. Estimated time: Half-day.
      7. Visit the Whittier Museum: Learn about the fascinating history of Whittier at the Whittier Museum. The museum features exhibits on Whittier’s military history, its role in the Alaska earthquake of 1964, and its development as a commercial port. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.
      8. Go Glacier Trekking: For the more adventurous, go glacier trekking on the nearby glaciers. You’ll be led by a professional guide and provided with all the necessary equipment. Estimated time: Half-day to full-day.
      9. Visit the Begich Towers: The Begich Towers is a unique sight in Whittier. This massive structure was built during World War II to house soldiers and their families. Today, it is home to the majority of Whittier’s residents. Estimated time: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
      10. Take a Train Ride on the Alaska Railroad: The Alaska Railroad runs through Whittier, and a train ride is a fantastic way to see the scenery. Choose from various routes that take you through Alaska’s most stunning landscapes. Estimated time: Half-day to full-day.

      There you have it, ten great activities to enjoy in Whittier this summer. Rent a car from AVIS Alaska and explore all this beautiful town offers. From kayaking to fishing and hiking to glacier trekking, there is something for everyone in Whittier.

      10 Fun Summer Activities in Skagway, Alaska

      Downtown Skagway

      Hello from AVIS Alaska! We are excited to share our top ten picks for things to do in Skagway, Alaska, during the summer. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this historic gold rush town.

      1. Take a scenic drive on the Klondike Highway: This iconic highway is a must-see for anyone visiting Skagway. The road winds through the mountains and offers stunning views of glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Estimated time: 4-6 hours for the entire drive.
      2. Visit the Skagway Museum and Archives: This museum preserves the history of Skagway and the surrounding area. You can learn about the gold rush, the native Tlingit people, and the town’s role in World War II. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.r
      3. Go on a whale-watching tour: Skagway has several companies that offer guided tours. You’ll be able to see humpback whales, orcas, and other marine life. Estimated time: 3-4 hours.
      4. Take a scenic train ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route: This historic railroad takes you through the mountains and offers stunning views of the Alaskan wilderness. You can choose from several different tours and packages. Estimated time: 2-4 hours.
      5. Hike the Chilkoot Trail: This historic trail was once a major route for gold rush prospectors. Today, it’s a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views of the mountains and valleys. You can choose from several different hikes of varying lengths and difficulties. Estimated time: 3-8 hours.
      6. Visit the Red Onion Saloon: This historic saloon was once famous for gold rush miners. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction that offers guided tours and live entertainment. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.
      7. Explore the Dyea Historic Site: Dyea was once a bustling town during the gold rush. Today, it’s a historic site that offers guided tours and hiking trails. You can learn about the town’s history and see remnants of the gold rush era. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      8. Go kayaking in the Taiya Inlet: The Taiya Inlet offers calm waters and stunning views of the mountains and wildlife. You can rent kayaks or book a guided tour. Estimated time: 2-4 hours.
      9. Visit the Jewell Gardens: These beautiful gardens offer stunning views of the mountains and glaciers. You can also take a glassblowing class and create your souvenir to take home. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.
      10. Visit the Gold Rush Cemetery: This historic cemetery is the final resting place for many of Skagway’s gold rush pioneers. You can take a self-guided tour and learn about the lives and stories of those buried there. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.

      We hope you enjoy your time in Skagway and make the most of all that this beautiful town has to offer. And remember to rent a car from AVIS Alaska to make getting around a breeze.

      downtown fairbanks

      10 Fun Summer Activities in Fairbanks, Alaska

      downtown fairbanks

      Greetings from AVIS Alaska! We are the premier car rental company in Alaska, and we are excited to help you explore all our beautiful state offers. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there are plenty of fun and exciting activities to enjoy during the summer. Here are ten of our top picks:

      1. Visit Pioneer Park: Pioneer Park is a historic park with exhibits and buildings showcasing the history of Fairbanks and the surrounding area. You can also catch live performances and events throughout the summer. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      2. Take a scenic drive on the Steese Highway: This scenic drive takes you through the heart of the Alaskan wilderness and offers breathtaking views of the state’s natural beauty. You can stop at several scenic pullouts to take in the scenery. Estimated time: 4-6 hours for the whole drive.
      3. Go rafting on the Chena River: The Chena River is a popular spot for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, and it’s a great way to experience the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. You can choose from various guided tours or rent equipment to go alone. Estimated time: 2-4 hours.
      4. Visit the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center: This center showcases the culture and heritage of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. You can learn about the state’s rich history and see authentic native artifacts. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      5. Take a scenic flightseeing tour: See Alaska’s stunning landscapes from above, and several companies offer flightseeing tours of the state. You’ll get breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and wildlife you can’t see from the ground. Estimated time: 1-3 hours.
      6. Explore the University of Alaska Museum of the North: This world-class museum is home to various exhibits showcasing Alaska’s natural and cultural history, as well as contemporary art and science. It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Fairbanks. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      7. Go gold panning: Fairbanks is the heart of the Alaskan gold rush, and several companies offer gold panning tours. You’ll get to try your hand at finding gold and learn about the history of the state’s gold rush. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      8. Visit the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge: This nature preserve is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers and is home to various migratory waterfowl. You can take a guided tour or go it alone and explore the trails. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      9. Take a scenic drive on the Elliott Highway: This scenic drive takes you through the heart of the Alaskan wilderness and offers breathtaking views of the state’s natural beauty. You can stop at several scenic pullouts to take in the sights. Estimated time: 4-6 hours for the complete drive.
      10. Explore the Fairbanks Ice Museum: This unique museum showcases the art and science of ice carving. You’ll see a variety of ice sculptures and learn about the history of ice carving in Alaska. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.

      We hope you enjoy your summer in Fairbanks and all it offers! Remember to rent a car from AVIS Alaska to make the most of your trip.

      10 Fun Summer Activities in Anchorage, Alaska

      Chugach state park

      Welcome to AVIS Alaska! We are the premier car rental company in Anchorage, and we are excited to help you explore all that our beautiful city has to offer. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there are plenty of fun and exciting activities to enjoy during the summer months. Here are ten of our top picks:

      1. Hike Chugach State Park: Located just a short drive from downtown Anchorage, Chugach State Park is home to over 500 miles of trails, offering something for hikers of all levels. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness and get some exercise. Estimated time: 2-6 hours, depending on the trail chosen.
      2. Visit the Anchorage Museum: This world-class museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Anchorage. It features exhibits on Alaska’s natural and cultural history, as well as contemporary art and science. Estimated time: 2-4 hours.
      3. Go salmon fishing: Alaska is known for its abundant salmon populations. So, what better way to experience it than by going fishing? You can choose to go out on a guided tour or rent equipment and go it alone. Either way, it’s a unique and exciting way to spend a summer day. Estimated time: 4-8 hours.
      4. Take a scenic flightseeing tour: Alaska’s stunning landscapes are best seen from above, and there are plenty of companies offering flightseeing tours of the state. You’ll get breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, and wildlife that you can’t see from the ground. Estimated time: 10-15 hours, depending on the trip chosen.
      5. Check out the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: This center is home to a variety of Alaskan wildlife, including bears, moose, and bison. It’s a great place to learn about the state’s native animals and see them up close. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      6. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center: This center is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture and traditions of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. You can take part in cultural demonstrations, see authentic native crafts, and learn about the rich history of the state. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      7. Go whale watching: The waters around Anchorage are home to a variety of whale species, and several companies offer whale-watching tours. You’ll have the chance to see these majestic creatures up close and learn about their habits and behaviors. Estimated time: 3-4 hours.
      8. Explore the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: This center is home to a variety of Alaskan wildlife, including bears, moose, and bison. It’s a great place to learn about the state’s native animals and see them up close. Estimated time: 2-3 hours.
      9. Visit the Alaska Railroad Depot: The Alaska Railroad is an iconic part of the state’s history, and the depot in Anchorage is a must-see for history buffs. You can learn about the railroad’s role in the development of the state and see vintage trains on display. Estimated time: 1-2 hours.
      10. Go dog sledding: Dog sledding is a popular activity in Alaska, and several companies offer guided tours. You’ll get to experience the thrill of riding in a sled pulled by a team of powerful huskies. Estimated time: 3-4 hours.

      We hope you enjoy your summer in Anchorage and all that it has to offer! Don’t forget to rent a car from AVIS Alaska to make the most of your trip.

      Must See Hot Springs in Alaska

      Have you just stepped off a cruise ship in The Last Frontier? Looking to squeeze a bit more out of your adventure in Alaska? If that sounds about right, we’ve got you covered. Every local knows that no winter vacation is complete without dipping your toes in one of the best hot springs in Alaska. 

      Today, we’re divulging our top picks for visitors looking to experience the transformative nature of Alaska’s hot springs. We have rounded up some of the best hot springs from all over the state, so you can check another item off your bucket list no matter where you’re staying. From local favorites to lesser-known gems, you can find them all here.

      Chena Hot Springs

      Chena Hot Springs is the most popular (and therefore most visited) of these tourist locations in Alaska. Open year-round, these hot springs maintain a cozy temperature of 106°F and a depth of four feet. 

      Located just an hour’s drive northeast of Fairbanks, this hotspot is ideal for families, friends, and couples alike. If you’re looking for a little extra enjoyment during your visit, the resort offers lodging, dog sled rides, and Northern Light tours. 

      Goddard Hot Springs

      Next on our list is Goddard Hot Springs, the site of some of Alaska’s earliest mineral springs. They lie roughly 16 miles south of Sitka on Baranof Island, which means you must access them by charter boat or floatplane. (The latter is bucket list material if you haven’t already ridden on one.)

      At Goddard Hot Springs, there is plenty of hot water to go around (coming in at piping temperatures of 153°F) and access is free to the public. Additionally, there are outhouses nearby and plenty of boardwalks that make transportation a breeze. 

      Tenakee Hot Springs

      Located 45 miles outside of Juneau, this winter tourism Alaska destination is one for the books. Tenakee Hot Springs features a beautifully restored bathhouse that was originally constructed in 1900 and is surrounded by stunning Alaskan wildlife like eagles and whales.

      While the springs are open around the clock, clothing is not allowed. Therefore, there are separate bathing hours for men and women. Additionally, visitors must scrub with soap and water before entering to preserve the cleanliness of the water. 

      Manley Hot Springs

      Manley Hot Springs is over a century old and offers guests a unique soaking experience unlike any other. Nestled inside a greenhouse, this resort feels like nothing short of a luscious, otherworldly oasis. Visitors can choose between one of three concrete soaking tubs and bathe amongst a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 

      Manley Hot Springs is the home of some of the best hot springs in Alaska and is located just outside Fairbanks. Visitors can make the breathtaking drive through Alaska’s many mountains and valleys to experience what gold miners roamed some 100 years ago.  

      Chief Shakes Hot Springs

      Chief Shakes Hot Springs lies 28 miles outside of Wrangell, Alaska. To get there, visitors must hike a breezy 0.3 miles off of Hot Springs Slough. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by two unique redwood tubs – one that is sheltered and one that is left open to the elements.

      These forest-owned hot springs are a local favorite and it’s important to note that the tubs tend to fill up quickly on the weekends. However, any local would agree that they are still some of the best hot springs in Alaska and are well worth the wait. There are also outhouses, benches, and dressing rooms available for guests to use. 

      Baranof Warm Springs

      Last but not least, Baranof Warm Springs is located on Warm Springs Bay near Chatham Strait. These hot springs are incredibly scenic (read: no paved roads, vehicles present, or marine transport) and can be accessed only by a floatplane from Sitka. 

      These remote pools maintain a temperature of 124°F and overlook some seriously awe-inspiring waterfalls. Visitors can choose from nine different options, all located just a short 0.25-mile hike from the Bay. 

      Final Thoughts

      There you have it, folks. In our humble opinion, these are the 7 best hot springs in Alaska. While there are plenty of winter tourist locations in Alaska, there is something about soaking in nature’s bathtub and embracing the magical scenery all around you that just can’t be beaten. If you need a ride to your hot spring oasis, AVIS Alaska has got you covered. As the only statewide car rental agency, we’re able to accommodate wherever your travel plans may take you. 

      You can rent a car in Anchorage, drive to Chena Hot Springs, then drop the car off in Fairbanks. Or, you can rent and drop off a car in Juneau. The options are endless. Regardless of where your adventure takes you, our friendly staff, excellent service, and wide selection of vehicles are a guarantee. 

      Contact our team today to learn more about how we can serve your Alaskan vacation.

      Camping in Alaska During the Winter With a Rental Car

      Are you searching for the ultimate adventure? Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking for a new kind of challenge or an experienced camper ready to check winter camping off your bucket list, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about winter car camping in Alaska.

      As a team made up of adventurers, outdoorsy types, and adrenaline junkies alike, we are uniquely qualified to show you the ropes from a local’s perspective. Before you embark on your next (or first!) winter camping adventure, read on for all of our expert tips, tricks, and more.

      Why Winter Camping?

      If you’ve never been camping during the winter season, it may not sound all that appealing. After all, it’s cold and miserable, right? Actually, not if you plan well. There are plenty of reasons why you should consider winter car camping in Alaska, including:

      Kiss the Crowds Goodbye

      Once Labor Day hits, the crowds quickly start to clear out of Alaska’s coolest (pun intended) camping spots. Winter is an ideal time to go if you don’t want your scenic camping trip to be diminished by someone else’s crying baby or campfire stories. Of course, there will also be significantly more parking options for your home away from home.

      Take in Unique Views

      Sure, wildflowers are beautiful. But, have you ever gone leaf-peeping in the Alaskan wilderness? If you plan your camping trip towards the end of fall or early winter, you can catch the tail end of Alaska’s natural fireworks show. And if you’re too late for the changing leaves? Our snow-capped mountains are a pretty phenomenal sight as well.

      Go Backcountry Skiing

      Take it from us, there’s no better winter camping activity than backcountry skiing or snowboarding. Depending on your campsite location, you can hike, snowshoe, skin, or even helicopter to those coveted untouched slopes and cruise down.

      Of course, you will have to take certain precautions beforehand, like getting avalanche certified and investing in backcountry gear.

      What You Need

      If you want your camping experience to be enjoyable, you’ll need to pack the proper gear. Here is everything you need to go winter car camping in Alaska:

      Good Sleeping Gear

      Sleeping in the cold is brutal if you aren’t prepared, so your sleeping equipment is your best friend. Therefore, you shouldn’t skimp on it! I recommend getting a mummy-style sleeping bag (meaning it covers your head) that is rated to -20°F.

      If you need some inspiration, Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost sleeping bag or Western Mountaineering’s Lynx sleeping bag are some of our favorites.

      Additionally, we recommend packing a comfortable sleeping pad to place below your bag. Not only will this make your slumber a tad comfier, but it can act as another barrier against the cold. Another thing to consider is a sleeping bag liner, as it can increase the interior temperature of your bag by 10°F or so.

      Means of Condensation Management

      If you aren’t already familiar, tent condensation manifests as a thin layer of frost covering the inside of your tent. It also consists of moisture droplets that transfer onto your clothing and gear. As you can imagine, this is less than ideal for winter camping in Alaska.

      The best way to prevent tent condensation is to help it escape by venting your tent. To do this, opt for a tent that has both a front door and an interior bug screen. You can completely unzip the outer door (which allows condensation to escape) while keeping the bug screen closed (which prevents snow from entering).

      Ways to Generate Heat

      The final way to stay warm during your winter car camping trip is to generate your own heat. Stuffing hand or foot warmers into your sleeping bag is a good start. However, if you don’t have any on hand (pun intended), heating a plastic water bottle will do the trick.

      Since you are car camping (as opposed to backpacking), you have the luxury of packing heavier items for the trek. Therefore, bringing a propane heater or electric space heater might be worth the investment. You can also invest in candle lanterns, which provide both light and warmth.

      Best Alaskan Car Rentals for Winter Camping

      Planning to go winter car camping in Alaska this year? The most important thing you’ll need is a vehicle that has been prepped for driving in snow and ice. Because most people travel to Alaska by plane, renting a car from a reputable agency is your best bet.

      Avis Alaska is the only statewide car rental agency, and we boast some of the best options for car camping. Not only does our team know which cars are best suited for Alaska’s varying terrain, but our flexible drop-off/pick-up policy makes trip planning a breeze.  Give us a call to make your car camping dreams a reality this winter season!

      Top 10 Things to Do in Fairbanks

      The city of Fairbanks is an ideal base for those seeking an authentic taste of life in Alaska. From there you can embark on wilderness tours in winter that include everything from dog sledding and ice fishing to viewing the aurora borealis. Several state parks in the area offer fun outdoor adventures year-round, as well as summer festivals for families. Whether you have just one day for Fairbanks activities or a long weekend, there are plenty of things to do:

      1. Chena River State Recreation Area

      This nearly 400-square-mile recreational area is located along the Chena River and offers authentic Alaskan outdoor adventures year-round. You can see an abundance of wildlife here including beavers, eagles, moose, wolves, and sometimes grizzly bears. Enjoy summer hikes in Fairbanks, catch-and-release fishing, rock climbing and camping. Fairbanks winter activities include skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and more. Adults will love soaking in Chena Hot Springs to soothe sore muscles after an active day. Red Squirrel, Rosehip, and Tors Trail Campground Areas offer overnight stays. Address: 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709. Phone: (907) 451-2705.  

      2. Pioneer Park

      For families who arrive in Fairbanks during the summer, you’ll definitely want to visit Pioneer Park. It’s a theme park with historical features, offering kids a fun-filled day out. There are 15 educational and cultural attractions, including four museums, a mini golf course, playground, a carousel, and Mining Valley, a mock gold rush town. Families can attend performances at the Palace Theater and dine at the Alaskan Salmon Bake. Gazebo Nights is a concert series that adds music during the summer. Pioneer park is free to visitors and open year round, although many attractions are closed during winter. This offers a full day of Fairbanks summer activities for families. Address: 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99701. Phone(907) 459-1087.

      3. Fairbanks Autumn/Winter City Tour

      This half-day tour is a must if you really want to experience Alaska’s culture and history. The tour includes the Santa Clause House in North Pole, Alaska, which all kids love, the Alyeska Pipeline Viewing Point where visitors learn about the amazing engineering feat of building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. You’ll also go to the Morris Thompson Cultural Museum, with an array of fascinating exhibits. Mon-Sat the tour visits the Museum of the North, and on Sundays it goes to the Antique Auto Museum, which everyone loves. This offers a half day of Fairbanks activities for families year-round. Book through 1st Alaska Tours at or phone (907) 590-5900.

      4. Guided Fishing Excursion in Fairbanks (Full-Day)

      If you feel like casting your rod for Arctic grayling, northern pike and other fish, this full day of fishing won’t disappoint. You’ll have your own guide who knows all the best spots along the Chena River. As a bonus you will learn special techniques and how to use both fly and spinning rods. Spend the day relaxing in the beautiful Alaskan outdoors and enjoy a tasty lunch on shore. This is a full day of Fairbanks activities year-round. Book through 1st Alaska Tours at or phone (907) 590-5900.

      5. Running Reindeer Ranch

      Running Reindeer Ranch is located in the boreal forest of Goldstream Valley, north of Fairbanks. This is a private family ranch that allows visitors to mingle with reindeer, take photos and even pet them. Adding to the excitement, the owners have a lot to say about each member of their herd. It’s cold during winter, so make sure you are dressed warmly. Once you’re finished mingling with the reindeer, you are welcome to enter the Farmhouse for homemade cookies, and a drink. This is a daytime Fairbanks activity for families year-round. Address: 1470 Ivans Alley, Fairbanks, AK 99709. Phone(907) 455-4998.

      6. Face the Outdoors: Aurora Viewing in Private Log Home

      When visiting Alaska you shouldn’t miss the aurora borealis. Instead of being out on a cold winter night, why not enjoy the experience in the comfort of a private cedar log house located in Alaska’s interior? Groups of no more than 10 are transported from the crowds of Fairbanks to witness this amazing natural phenomena under the dark skies of Delta Junction. This is an extended stay Fairbanks winter activity for groups. Address: 763 Warren Way Suite 1586, Delta Junction, AK 99737. Phone(907) 590-1567

      7. Dog Sledding & Mushing Experience

      Enjoy the thrill of traveling on a dogsled like a native Alaskan. You and your party will hold on tightly while being towed by a mushing team of Alaskan Huskies on five miles of snowy trails 20 minutes from Fairbanks in North Pole, Alaska. You can make voice commands from the rear of the sled and take photos afterward while petting the Huskies. This Fairbanks winter activity varies from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Book through Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service at 3355 Repp Rd., North Pole, AK 99705. Phone: (907) 378-1851.

      8. Santa Claus House in the North Pole

      Santa Claus House is in North Pole, Alaska, a charming town just outside Fairbanks, “Where it’s Christmas Every Day” and where Santa and Mrs. Claus live. The streets are lined with jumbo candy canes and other Christmas decorations. Meet Santa inside his house and shop for holiday gifts. This is a daytime Fairbanks activity year-round for families. Address: 101 St. Nicholas Dr. North PoleAlaska 99705. Phone: (907) 488-2200 and Toll Free: (800) 588-4078. 

      9. Ice Fishing Expedition in Heated Cabin with Fish Cookout

      This experience is unlike any other fishing trip you’ve ever been on. You’ll be taken to a nice warm cabin located in a remote area a short distance from Fairbanks. Your guide will get your fishing gear all set up while giving you tips to make sure you actually catch some fish. You’ll also enjoy hot chocolate and a fish cookout that includes reindeer sausage. This is a half-day Fairbanks winter activity. Book through Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service at 3355 Repp Rd., North Pole, AK 99705. Phone: (907) 378-1851.

          10. Borealis Basecamp Igloo Experience

      Where else but Borealis Basecamp can you spend the night in an authentic Alaskan igloo? These igloos have plenty of room inside for relaxing while viewing the aurora borealis. Beds are comfy cozy with luxurious bedding for a night of snuggling while gazing up at a star-filled Arctic ski through a huge 12-foot clear ceiling that lets in plenty of light during the day. Guests can dine at Latitude 65, an onsite restaurant. Packages and activities are available from 1 to 4 nights winter only. Address: 2640 Himalaya Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712. Phone(907) 885-2845.

      April in Alaska: Tips, Trips, and the Transition

      April in Alaska is a beautiful time of year when the landscape comes back to life after a long and dark winter. The weather begins to warm up, the days start getting longer, and travelers can enjoy the breathtaking scenery without all the crowds of peak season.

      If you’re considering visiting Alaska in April, aka “break-up season” if you’re chatting with a local, allow us to break down everything you’ll need to know. In this guide to April in Alaska, our travel experts are sharing insights on what to expect, how to prepare, and how to make the most of your next great Alaskan adventure. 

      What is the Break-Up Season in Alaska? 

      April in Alaska is not quite spring, but it’s no longer a true winter. During this time of year, many of our frozen lakes and snowfall begin to melt. As you can probably imagine, this causes an abundance of slush and ice that litter the roadways around Alaska. Many of the locals call this time “break-up season” because it’s the time when we slowly break up with the winter season and prepare for the warmer, sunnier springtime. 

      So, what does this mean for April tourists? Be ready for anything. We recommend packing plenty of layers and stocking your Alaskan car rental with both a winter emergency kit (temperatures can still drop pretty low at night) and a spring rain jacket. If you plan on hiking, stow a pair of winter-safe shoes with good tread alongside your sneakers and sunglasses. 

      When driving in April in Alaska, always exercise caution. It’s easy to become overly confident behind the wheel during the changing seasons (which is true whether you’re renting a car in Alaska or Oklahoma). However, we strongly advise you to remain vigilant, drive slowly, and anticipate slippery sections of roadway. 

      Our top piece of advice is to drive with the same caution as you would if the roads were iced over—because they might be! 

      April in Alaska Tourism

      When you visit Alaska in April, don’t expect a bustling tour scene. Many tourism companies choose to close up shop during the winter months and stay closed until May, which is when many tourists start to return. 

      While you might be able to catch the tail-end of winter touring season for some companies, you will have more options for touring if you wait until springtime is in full swing. That being said, there’s still plenty to do and see on an April in Alaska trip that wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding during peak season when all the crowds come in.

      Springtime Outdoor Recreation in Alaska

      Alaska weather in April is somewhat of a catch-all, which means there are plenty of outdoor recreational activities to explore. While winter activities like ice fishing and skiing are still usually in session, traditional fishing exhibitions are also starting to kick off. April in Alaska is the perfect time to start fishing for halibut and cod—and you won’t have to sit in a warmed-up hut to do it! 

      Because the lakes are starting to melt, we recommend staying off the ice for your fishing endeavors (unless you’re accompanied by local professionals). It’s important to remember that just because the ice looks thick, that doesn’t mean it is. Spoiler alert:  breaking through sheet ice is just about as fun as you can imagine.

      Sometimes, April tourists make the mistake of assuming that all winter sports are viable options just because many of the ski resorts are still open. While you might get lucky and encounter some fresh powder in April, it likely won’t be enough snow to bring your snow-shoeing dreams to life. Stay open-minded and embrace whichever activities come with the weather that April in Alaska chooses to bring you. 

      Traveling to Alaska in April 

      Wondering if you should you travel to Alaska in April? Truthfully, it’s all a matter of personal preference. While you might not make a skiing trip out of it, touring Alaska in April is still a worthwhile experience. In addition to the vast array of scenic trails, vibrant cities like Anchorage will offer plenty of shows to see, museums to visit, and local bites to enjoy. 

      No matter when you plan on visiting, renting an Alaskan car rental will help you make the most of your experience. Not only will it ensure that you’re able to visit the incredible national parks, hiking trails, and excursions that Alaska has to offer, but you will be prepared to navigate any kind of weather that the Last Frontier throws your way. 
      If you’re looking for the best car rentals in Alaska, look no further than Avis Alaska. As the only statewide car rental agency, we have spent the last 60 years helping travelers explore all that this magical state has to offer. Contact our team to book your Alaskan car rental today.

      SUV vs. Sedan: Which is Best for Winter?

      With temperatures regularly dropping below 0°F and snowfall a common occurrence, Alaskan winters can be brutal on drivers. If you’re planning a trip to Alaska during the winter season, choosing the right car is essential. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which winter Alaska car rental is right for you?

      In this guide on choosing the car rental that works best in winter, our Avis experts are breaking down everything you need to know before deciding between an SUV or a sedan. Stay tuned to find out what to look for and how to choose the best car for winter drives.

      AWD vs 4WD vs 2WD

      Vehicles with different drivetrain configurations have distinct differences in the way they drive and the conditions they are best suited for. AWD, or all-wheel drive, allows for the ability to provide maximum forward traction during acceleration. This system is helpful when driving in poor road conditions caused by heavy snow and ice. When an axle detects slippage, the system diverts power to the other axle to regain traction. AWD is most commonly found in SUVs, but is also present in certain types of cars and vans.

      While the terms 4WD and AWD are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two systems. In most cases, 4WD (four-wheel drive) systems are designed for extreme off-roading drives like climbing up steep hills and through deep waters. This type of system typically uses a heavy-duty transfer case with a high and low gear range. For the average driver, 4WD vehicles function at a level that generally isn’t necessary.

      2WD, or two-wheel drive, is the standard system on most passenger vehicles. This system is lighter and more fuel-efficient, as the engine sends power to two wheels at a time while allowing the others to spin. This type of system is best for operating a vehicle in mild weather conditions and can handle rain or very light slow. When it comes to driving in Alaska during the winter, AWD/4WD vehicles offer levels of traction control and acceleration that 2WD vehicles cannot compete with.

      SUV For Winter Driving

      When choosing the right winter Alaska car rental for you, it’s important to consider your needs. Do you plan on engaging in winter sports? Are you traveling with children? Are you on a tight budget? Keep in mind that not all SUVs are created equal.

      If you require plenty of cargo space for equipment, a full-size SUV might work best. Otherwise, you would likely be better off with a mid-sized SUV. If you’re traveling with children and want to opt for the safer route but don’t have much cargo to worry about, a crossover would be a smart choice. Here are the pros and cons of SUVs to consider.

      Advantages of SUV

      • Enhanced sense of safety and security
      • Better traction control
      • 4WD/AWD offers quicker acceleration
      • Additional cargo space
      • Better collision protection

      Disadvantages of SUV

      • Decreased fuel efficiency
      • Increased stopping time

      Sedan For Winter Driving

      If you’re traveling solo or with another adult and don’t have any large cargo to haul around, a sedan is a solid choice for your winter Alaska car rental. This option would allow you to save money and stop for gas less frequently but would require extra care on the driver’s part to guarantee your safety. Here are the pros and cons of sedans to consider before choosing the rental car that works best in winter for your needs.

      Advantages of Sedans

      • Increased fuel efficiency
      • Reduced stopping time
      • More cost-effective

      Disadvantages of Sedans

      • Reduced traction control
      • 2WD cars have slower acceleration
      • Less cargo space
      • Reduced collision protection

      SUV vs Sedan FAQs

      Which is better: AWD or 4WD?

      AWD and 4WD vehicles are both great options for Alaska car rentals during the winter months. While vehicles with 4WD are more capable of maneuvering extreme road conditions, an AWD vehicle will work just fine for the average driver looking to get around.

      What are the best sedans for snow?

      If you opt for a sedan car rental, it’s best to choose one with an AWD system that can handle snow. Vehicle makes like Nissan, Volvo, Subaru, Acura, and Mazda all offer some of the best AWD sedans available on the market. Contact our team to speak with an expert about the best AWD sedans in our Avis fleet.

      What is the best SUV for snow?

      Any of the 4WD/AWD SUVs in our fleet would be great options for your winter Alaska car rental. Vehicles with these types of drivetrains are best suited for maneuvering through snow, which is a necessity when driving in Alaska during the winter months. We offer a wide range of safe and comfortable vehicles that allow you to make the most out of your Alaskan experience. Stay safe this winter and reserve your rental today with Avis Alaska.