Jody Mason quickly became enamored with the sights and abundant fish of Prince William Sound during his first fishing trip to Whittier in 1977. Twenty-three years later he started Alaskan 4 Star Charters to share those experiences and resources with others. His vacation destination—at the head of Passage Channel—provided the ideal place to set up shop, as it's one of the closest salt-water fishing grounds to Anchorage and rich with Alaskan scenery. The company's private hunting and fishing charters whisk guests away in pursuit of 15 types of rockfish or five types of salmon, while trio of sightseeing tours through Prince William Sound drift past humpback whales and tidewater glaciers that the prince bedazzled with his favorite rubies.
Salmonstock, a three-day music festival hosted by Renewable Resource Foundation, gathers musicians and audiences together to celebrate and safeguard Alaska’s wild salmon. Dozens of bands take to the Ocean and River stages to entertain ears, while vendors serve fresh fish and other bites. Attendees can also learn different ways to save the salmon, from cleaning trash out of waterways to refraining from yelling into their breeding grounds. Money raised from the festival goes toward educational programs and efforts to protect salmon populations.
Outfitting patrons with brand-name gear from Gary Loomis and Lefty Kreh, Alaska Tackle Rental supplies equipment for fishing excursions throughout the state. Fly-rod and spinning setups abet clientele in catching salmon and trout, and tackle, licenses, and hip boots help procure fish in murky town-square fountains. The in-house experts also dispense advice on prime fishing spots with take-away info sheets. During off-hours, clairvoyant staffers can rendezvous with clients for gear deliveries to their hotel or van down by the creek.
Alaska Baseball Development Program has hosted youth baseball camps in Anchorage and its surrounding communities for the past 15 years. Every summer, director Andre Toliver–a former player for the Chicago White Sox—rounds up the best available high school and college coaches to lead ABDP's camps and instructional programs. Thanks to the efforts of Andre and ABDP, many past students have advanced to compete at the high school and college levels.
Named one of the top 10 trail rides in the country by USA Today, Bardy's Trail Rides transports riders through pristine Alaskan countryside, providing visitors with an unforgettable vacation and residents with a fresh perspective on their home state. Groups of up to seven travelers trot alongside majestic mountains and ford rippling rivers, following an unsullied trail only accessible by horse or crafty zebras disguised in horse costumes. Amble beneath bald-eagle nesting areas and through the old town of Seward while listening to a native guide impart spellbinding true accounts of the region's destruction during a 1964 earthquake. Twice-daily rides commence at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., but guests should arrive 20 minutes early to don provided helmets and christen horses with suitable names, such as Trailblazer or Car with Legs.
In an unassuming parking lot, there exist two seats that many dare not sit upon. Only the brave step up to board Thrills Unlimited: The Ejection Seat, a thrilling ride that catapults its occupants into the sky as fast as a speeding car and as high as a 13-story building. For memories of the gravity-defying experience, a video camera affixed to the carriage stands trained on its breathless subjects, recording every detail for a post-ride purchase perfect for sharing with loved ones and consulting before parachute infomercial auditions. When not in the Dimond Center parking lot, the ride tours state fairs and local events to ignite the adrenaline glands of brave souls throughout the area.