We love exploring America’s back roads and small towns and finding overlooked gems that the tourist brochures never cover. In a series of weekly blog posts, we will be sharing some of America’s lesser-known small town museums, historic sites, and oddball attractions, on a state-by-state basis.
Anchorage: The Alaska Aviation Museum tells the story of the bush pilots who transport people and supplies through the Alaska back country. Located at 4721 Aircraft Drive.
Anchorage: The Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum celebrates Alaska Native cultures with exhibits of Native arts, crafts, storytellers, and dancers. Located at 8800 Heritage Center Drive.
Anchorage: The Alaska State Trooper Museum at 245 W. 5th Avenue tells the story of the brave men and women who brought law and order to one of the most rugged landscapes in the world.
Delta Junction: The Alaska Homestead and Historical Museum honors the pioneers who settled Alaska. Included are a log house, green house, gardens, freight dog team, barns, corrals, logging mining, farming equipment collections and an operating sawmill.
Fairbanks: Musk oxen, reindeer, and caribou can be seen at the University of Alaska’s Large Animal Research Station. A mummified steppe bison, the state’s gold-mining history and largest collection of native gold and Alaska’s Russian heritage are all on display at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North as well.
Haines: The Hammer Museum at 108 Main Street has an impressive collection of more than 1,400 hammers.
Haines: Every year thousands of bald eagles come to the nearby Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to feed on spawning salmon. The American Bald Eagle Foundation Museum displays exhibits on Alaskan wildlife. Located at 113 Haines Highway.
Homer: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies at 708 Smoky Bay Way gives visitors a close look at the marine and coastal ecosystems of Kachemak Bay through guided and unguided hiking tours, as well as guided boat and kayak tours.
Juneau: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Last Chance Mining Museum exhibits one of the world’s largest air compressors, other equipment, and artifacts used in hard rock gold mining. The museum’s collection also features locomotives and rail cars used to carry workers to the mine and ore to the mill. Located at 1001 Basin Road.
Seward: At the Alaska Sealife Center, Alaska’s only public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue center, visitors can see everything from puffins, octopus, and sea lions to harbor seals. Located at 301 Railway Avenue.
Wasilla: The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry displays trains, aircraft, mining equipment, fire trucks, a sheepherder’s wagon, dog sleds and antique cars. Located at 3800 W Museum Drive.
Today is your last chance to enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of Gun Shy, the fifth book in Ben Rehder’s excellent Blanco County mystery series. I’m a big fan of Ben’s small town Texas series, and if you try it you will be, too. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – If midnight snacks are bad for us, why is there a light in the refrigerator?