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Alaska

Touristic attractions of Alaska
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Your vacations in Alaska

Alaska is the largest state of the United States of America by area. It’s situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. Approximately half of Alaska's residents reside within the Anchorage metropolitan area. As of 2009, Alaska remains the least densely populated state of the U.S.

The U.S. Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million at about $4.74 per km². The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organised territory on May 11, 1912 and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was already introduced in the Russian colonial time, when it was used only for the peninsula and is derived from the Aleut alaxsxaq – meaning "the mainland" or, more literally, "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed". It’s also known as Alyeska, the "great land", an Aleut word derived from the same root.

Official language

English

Currency

US dollar

Electricity

120 volts, 60 cycles

Shopping

In Alaska, cruise ports – especially Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway – offer the tourist a shopping landscape dominated by jewelry, t-shirts and trinkets. Still, there are good buys occasionally – especially at the end of the tourist season; but, local products can be difficult to find. Work by local Alaskan artists can be found in creative co-ops and locally-owned galleries. And, if you’re looking for a good read, there are many books – from fiction to non-fiction to children's stories – by Alaska writers, photographers and illustrators.

Useful information

Alaskans love their food. The portions in this state are huge. Almost every little town will have a local diner where one can get a filling breakfast and lots of hot coffee. Try the reindeer sausage with your eggs and hash in the morning and you'll feel like a true Alaskan. Some foods indigenous to this area are fireweed honey (distinctive and quite uniquely delicious), and spruce tip syrup made from the Sitka spruce which grows very commonly throughout Alaska; and of course there is perhaps the most well know of all Alaskan produce: seafood.