Alaska road trip offers a rare look at the last frontier

Alaska road trip offers a rare look at the last frontier

If you really want to see Alaska, you need wheels.

Most visitors come to the Last Frontier on a cruise ship or a plane. A motorcoach picks them up at the airport and delivers them to a hotel, to an airstrip or a national park, and they only see a small sliver of this state.

It’s a beautiful sliver, to be sure — but too small considering Alaska’s vast size. Continue reading “Alaska road trip offers a rare look at the last frontier”

Who has America’s best bears?


Mention the Smoky Mountains, and especially Gatlinburg, Tenn., and bears are probably the first thing that come to mind.

Black bears, to be exact. The nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the last remaining places in the eastern United States where they live in the wild.

But this Tennessee tourist town, where images, wood carvings and sculptures of black bears are literally everywhere, isn’t the only place that claims to be America’s bear capital.

A few years ago, after we checked into our vacation rental in Big Bear Lake, Calif., we were greeted by a large black bear on our porch. No one could believe it. After all, we were just a short drive from Los Angeles, and you’d think the only creatures here would be, you know, animatronic. Continue reading “Who has America’s best bears?”