Holiday season is here and gift buying is in full swing. Consider giving an opportunity to see a new place, or a familiar one with a new lens, in your National Heritage Area. Here are nine splendid ideas to get you started. Please post more experience-based ones on our Facebook page, or tag KMTA on Instagram when you’re out playing with loved ones.
1 – Seward is one of KMTA’s portals to Prince William Sound, and you can help enjoy the view at the Alaska Sealife Center. Consider giving an annual membership or add on a special tour, such as:
- Puffin Encounter
- Octopus Adventure
- Ice Seal Adventure
Alaska Sealife Center hours of operation vary seasonally so be sure to check their website for updated hours.
2 – Blessed with spectacular vistas of the southern end of Turnagain Arm, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a conservation, education and research sanctuary, which is adjacent to the Seward Highway in Portage. Visitors may view animals by walking around the Center or by driving. Consider giving an annual membership and providing the chance to take part in Animal Programs which include:
- Walk on the Wild Side Tour
- Bear Encounter
- Moose Encounter
The hours of operation vary seasonally so be sure to check their website for the latest updates.
3 – Discover the stories of people and places that shaped the communities of today. Consider giving one of these books that KMTA helped bring to life. Titles include “Gold Rush Wife”, which tells the story of Nellie Frost on Turnagain Arm from 1895-1901 and “The Spaces Between” by Doug Capra, which tells various stories ranging from Alaska’s “worst criminal” to the first Mt. Marathon race.
- • GOLD RUSH WIFE
The Adventures of Nellie Frost on Turnagain Arm, 1895-1901 as Told to Her Daughter Dorothy Frost By Dorothy Frost
- • A HISTORY OF MINING ON THE KENAI PENINSULA
Alaska By Mary J. Barry
- • MEMORIES OF OLD SUNRISE
Gold Mining on Alaska’s Turnagain Arm: Autobiography of Albert Weldon Morgan
- • THE SPACES BETWEEN
Stories from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords By Doug Capra
- • TRAILS ACROSS TIME
History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor
- • PEOPLE, PATHS, AND PLACES
A Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska
- • GOLD RUSH WIFE
4 – Spend some time reading a picture book with a child in your life. Consider gifting a copy of “Hello, Water – Snowflakes to Glaciers, a Wild Alaska Story” by Taylor Hoku Haden. From raindrops to rivers and snowflakes to glaciers, Water is surprised to learn all the many forms it can take through the seasons. Set in the KMTA corridor’s landscape, the illustrations include recognizable places such as Mt. Marathon and Turnagain Arm. The book is available to purchase on Amazon.
5 – Consider gifting a stay at Alaska Hut’s Manitoba Cabin, located a short way off the Seward Highway. Bask in forest and mountain beauty with a stay at the Manitoba Cabin, which is a fully refurbished mining cabin with additional sleeping yurts that provides a unique experience different from most regional public use cabins. The huts come with mattresses, a communal kitchen, firewood, and propane for cooking. You need to pack your hot chocolate and other favorite drinks, sleeping bags, appropriate clothing, delicious food and a sense of adventure. For more info and booking check out Alaska Hut’s website.
6 – Celebrate by giving Alaska State Park Day-Use Passes or Boat Launch Passes. With the largest State Parks system in the country, these little stickers can lead to a many big adventures! The southern reaches of Chugach State Park lie within the Hertiage Area’s boundaries and their trailheads provide access to great hiking and fishing opportunities in and around the KMTA communities of Bird and Indian. Visit the Alaska State Parks website to purchase.
7 – Support your local ski club by purchasing a membership:
8 – Buy a Max Romey print! Max creates beautiful watercolor art of the KMTA area – check out his site here.
9 – Finally, consider purchasing a gift certificate to a locally-owned restaurant, brewery or coffee shop in the KMTA Corridor. There is sure to be a favorite haunt that would delight.