TAGS: Fresh salmon, sea kayaking, king crab
Alaska? For food? Hear us out. By virtue of its sprawling size (twice that of Texas) and its residents’ self-reliant ethos (the state is nicknamed the Last Frontier), Alaska is one giant countercultural foodie scene. Fly into Juneau, stay downtown at the Silverbow Inn (doubles from $89), and head straight to Tracy’s King Crab Shack, a wood hut surrounded by picnic tables near the cruise-ship docks. Order an Alaskan king crab leg ($24) steamed to perfection and slather it in butter—heaven. To taste some of the best Alaskan salmon, time your visit around the Copper River Wild Festival’s Taste of Cordova Seafood Cook-Off and Dinner, in Cordova (July 26–27), and stay at the nearby Orca Adventure Lodge (doubles from $165), a refurbished cannery. From there you can kayak straight off the dock into Prince William Sound. Prefer to catch your own? At Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge ($1,750 per person for two nights), on China Poot Bay near Homer, your guide will help you reel in and filet silver salmon or Dolly Varden char, then grill it over smoking alder. Just across the bay, perfect your cooking technique at the Cooking School at Tutka Bay Lodge, set in a renovated crabbing boat, where chef Kirsten Dixon will teach you how to make Russian salmon pie ($225 per day).