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Things you must buy, places you must eat at or shop at!

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A long time ago, there was a thread on this that I can’t find...

 

What is the one “must have” souvenir from Alaska? Where are the key stores, restaurants you must visit? Is there an over-hyped place you can skip?

 

Thx! Looking forward to my first Alaskan cruise on Radiance in June :)

 

 

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We like to purchase one item per cruise that we will remember the trip from.

 

We want it to be something that is made in Alaska and not in Asia.

 

Basically something handcrafted or some type of art work.

 

We look for stores that carry local merchandise.

 

Keith

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When buying souvenirs, look for the official "Made In Alaska" logo to ensure you are getting something authentic.

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When buying souvenirs, look for the official "Made In Alaska" logo to ensure you are getting something authentic.

 

Absolutely.

 

Keith

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The Red Dog Saloon in Juneau was fun! We had a snack and a craft beer there. Next door is their shop. I bought a sweatshirt/hoodie and my husband bought a baseball cap. I had something warm to wear (that I still love) and he still enjoys the cap. Somewhere on the trip I also purchased a coffee mug which is still a favourite when family comes over. I guess it depends on what you want, and how much you wish to spend. Our memories and photos are our greatest souvenir.

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I think my ULU knife I bought in Alaska is the best souvenir I got there. It is unique (though a hunter friend told me it's like a knife he uses) to me, and I use it several times a week in my kitchen.

 

My mom didn't get one when she was there, and asked me to pick one up for when we later went. My second trip I bought several for Christmas gifts after I found mine so useful. Again, look for one that is made in Alaska. I bought mine at our last stop, which now I don't remember which port was last.

 

We found that the last sea day of the cruise there were vendors on the ship selling them in the atrium area, but I don't know if they are made in Alaska, or cheap ones from China! :eek:

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I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.

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My favorite store was in Ketchikan on Creek Street: Fish Creek Company. It's a nicer store but they had some interesting things. My favorite item, I bought there. It's a puzzle made from thin plywood and the pieces are not like regular jigsaw puzzles - each piece is in the shape of things like a bear, eagle, cougar, man with rifle, etc. They had several different puzzles to pick from. I chose a bear puzzle. There aren't any straight edge pieces so it's kind of difficult starting out - I think it took me about 3 months of working on it off & on to finish. They are a little expensive (around $100) but it's unique. Here's an example:

 

Front

 

45e86dc8e855434b4f0f1e4d25cdee84.image.400x318.jpg

 

Back: (you can see the puzzle piece shapes)

 

wolf_sue_coccia_puzzle_01.jpg

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We were on the Radiance in May and loved it. To me it is the perfect size ship for Alaska. It offers enough food and entertainment options without being overwhelming or crowded.

 

We have been trying to de clutter and our souvenirs now are mainly pictures and memories. We will pick up a Christmas ornament, if it is unique and reminds us of the trip.

 

As far as over-hyped, it’s crab legs for me. I know many rave about them and certain places to get them, but the effort to get to a small amount of meat isn’t worth it for me. Of course everyone has different tastes in food and I am sure others would not prefer some of my food choices.

 

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Edited by JT1962

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I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.

 

There was a shop right next to Berth 1 in Ketchikan that was full of Christmas related items. We had fun looking through it.

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My favorite store was in Ketchikan on Creek Street: Fish Creek Company. It's a nicer store but they had some interesting things. My favorite item, I bought there. It's a puzzle made from thin plywood and the pieces are not like regular jigsaw puzzles - each piece is in the shape of things like a bear, eagle, cougar, man with rifle, etc. They had several different puzzles to pick from. I chose a bear puzzle. There aren't any straight edge pieces so it's kind of difficult starting out - I think it took me about 3 months of working on it off & on to finish. They are a little expensive (around $100) but it's unique. Here's an example:

 

Front

 

45e86dc8e855434b4f0f1e4d25cdee84.image.400x318.jpg

 

Back: (you can see the puzzle piece shapes)

 

wolf_sue_coccia_puzzle_01.jpg

 

This puzzle is amazing! What amazing artwork. I'm adding this to my Ketchikan notes. Thanks for sharing it.

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I collect Christmas Ornaments as we travel at different ports when we cruise. Does anyone know which store is best place to find them.

 

That's what we do. If you're not particularly picky about what kind of ornament, then it's easy. It's a very popular souvenir item in Alaska.

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I'm also in the group of people who hate buying souvenirs made in China. I've found the best place to get actual made in Alaska souvenirs is at the Native Hospital in Anchorage. They have a gift shop and it's where I do most my shopping for people who want things from the 49th state.

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In Juneau...Tracy's Crab Shack .... Alaskan Fudge Company

 

In Ketchikan... KetchiCandies .... Burger Queen... Alaska Fish House

 

In Skagway... Skagway Brewing Company

Edited by Ashland

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The only thing I ever buy in Alaska are tee shirts at Ray Troll's Coho Soho gallery in Ketchikan and books about Alaska or Alaska history. I am seldom tempted to spend a small fortune to eat off the ship, with the following exceptions: all you can eat fresh Dungeness crab at the St. George Lodge in Ketchikan (need to do it on a shore excursion), Sand Bar (halibut and chips) or Hanger in Juneau, and the brewery in Skagway for halibut and chips.

 

If you are in Whitter, the best seafood in Alaska is at the Swiftwater Seafood Café. You will probably see your captain or cruise director there... it's at the far end of town from the cruise ship dock.

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We too always get an ornament on every trip. Creek Street has the best variety but found some beautiful hand blown glass ones in Skagway.

 

Gifts for my Mom, sister, female friends and relatives--always go to the glacier soap store in Juneau! You can get bars of soap that contain glacier silt. My peeps always request them-- great smelling, good quality soap and locally made!

 

 

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I know I posted earlier but just wanted to emphasize that we avoid all of those chain shops and we look for small stores operated by locals that sell locally made items.

 

Keith

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The first cruise to Alaska, I had planned to buy a small totem to place on the mantle or somewhere else to display.

 

Good grief. I didn't want to mortgage the farm to do it. Alaskan art is pretty much out of my price range. Just as well because we're decluttering at home anyway.

 

Okay, here's a tip but not what you might expect for a meal in Alaska. In Skagway, if you're kicking around town and want to grab a bite to eat, try the Bonanza Bar and Grill. They make the best Buffalo Chicken Wraps ever! No lie, try one and get a specialty beer to wash it down with. You won't be sorry.;) Plus we liked the music.

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I think my ULU knife I bought in Alaska is the best souvenir I got there. It is unique (though a hunter friend told me it's like a knife he uses) to me' date=' and I use it several times a week in my kitchen.

 

My mom didn't get one when she was there, and asked me to pick one up for when we later went. My second trip I bought several for Christmas gifts after I found mine so useful. Again, look for one that is made in Alaska. I bought mine at our last stop, which now I don't remember which port was last.

 

We found that the last sea day of the cruise there were vendors on the ship selling them in the atrium area, but I don't know if they are made in Alaska, or cheap ones from China! :eek:[/quote']

 

I bought one in Ketchikan on my last day Southbound. I gave it to a friend who uses it in her kitchen every day. She hasn’t even had to sharpen it yet after three years. I’m going to get myself one this year!

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A little room option and beautiful art, is a Spear Pin. Long time vendor in Juneau on Franklin St. also, Stop in at the Fudge Store and the Alaskan Hotel, for an historic look- great Alaskan Amber stop. :) Just a few steps apart,

 

Avoid the Red Dog- if you want to get away from fake tourists. :)

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If you are going to be in Anchorage on Saturday, check out their outside market downtown. We bought most of our souvenirs there before even sailing on our cruise. They were from local artists and craftsman and the prices were great. We also went to Alaska Wild Berry Products in Anchorage and picked up a few things there.

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I think my ULU knife I bought in Alaska is the best souvenir I got there. It is unique (though a hunter friend told me it's like a knife he uses) to me' date=' and I use it several times a week in my kitchen.

 

My mom didn't get one when she was there, and asked me to pick one up for when we later went. My second trip I bought several for Christmas gifts after I found mine so useful. Again, look for one that is made in Alaska. I bought mine at our last stop, which now I don't remember which port was last.

 

We found that the last sea day of the cruise there were vendors on the ship selling them in the atrium area, but I don't know if they are made in Alaska, or cheap ones from China! :eek:[/quote']

 

Can you please explain what a ULU knife is

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Can you please explain what a ULU knife is

 

 

 

IMG_1733.jpg.d38522a98a20ffc3599094a206ec89b5.jpg

 

This is an ULU knife. It is a traditional Alaskan knife.

 

 

 

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I, too, collect Christmas ornaments, and my very favorite is from Alaska, but not from a cruise port. We did a road trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back. Great fun. We stopped at the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla and I found this tiny handmade Eskimo on snow shoes. Our next visit was a cruise and my ornament from Sitka, also handmade, is a felt bear paddling a canoe. What will be my prize this year?...Happy shopping!

 

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[ATTACH]416951[/ATTACH]

 

This is an ULU knife. It is a traditional Alaskan knife.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Thanks for the visual. I can see where the shape of this knife would be useful in all sorts of situations throughout the kitchen. Now that I know what it looks like I will be on the lookout when in Alaska in August.

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We found the most authentic art and crafts in Ketchikan - it was a breath of fresh air compared to the other ports (for us).

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Thanks for the visual. I can see where the shape of this knife would be useful in all sorts of situations throughout the kitchen. Now that I know what it looks like I will be on the lookout when in Alaska in August.

 

No problem! I am a visual person as well!

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We found the most authentic art and crafts in Ketchikan - it was a breath of fresh air compared to the other ports (for us).

 

I'm interested to know, where did you shop at?

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Okay, so I'll ask. What is a ULU knife?

 

See the 5th post above yours.

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If you are going to be in Anchorage on Saturday, check out their outside market downtown. We bought most of our souvenirs there before even sailing on our cruise. They were from local artists and craftsman and the prices were great. We also went to Alaska Wild Berry Products in Anchorage and picked up a few things there.

 

I second the outside market in Anchorage. They not only have some great souvenirs but the food is good too. I had some delicious fish and chips (halibut) on one of my trips. Just as good as the fish and chips I paid double for in a restaurant in Seward!

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There was a shop right next to Berth 1 in Ketchikan that was full of Christmas related items. We had fun looking through it.

 

 

 

Excuse me, where is Birth 1?

 

 

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I'm interested to know, where did you shop at?

 

I don't recall the street names but we walked into town and down some side streets. There were a few little authentic shops with beautiful items. The art was beautiful there too.

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[ATTACH]416951[/ATTACH]

 

This is an ULU knife. It is a traditional Alaskan knife.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I bought an Ulu knife in 1983 when I was in Alaska, and we still use it! May be time to get a new one.

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[ATTACH]416951[/ATTACH]

 

This is an ULU knife. It is a traditional Alaskan knife.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Does anyone know what ULU stands for? Just curious

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Does anyone know what ULU stands for? Just curious

It doesn't stand for anything and shouldn't be in all caps - but the biggest local maker capitalizes their name (The ULU Factory) so many folks now seem to think it should be a contraction, U.L.U., standing for something: Un-named Lopping Utensil perhaps;-)

 

It actually translates to something like "Woman's knife" in English from Inuktituk and Inuvialuktun as it would be used for 'in home' tasks like hide scraping and general cutting rather than hunting or fighting. Other arctic first nations have different names for the same thing - and there are several different styles, breadth of blades, tightness of curvature etc. which are optimised for different tasks but all share a curved blade with a parallel handle above.

 

Used with a curved cutting board (buy a boxed set) they are very effective for fine chopping/mincing - all the double-bladed 'rocking herb knives' you see around were obviously ripped off from the concept - but for most folks it'll probably end up on a shelf as a conversation piece barring a real effort to learn how to maximise the utility of the shape. That said, if you lack strength/have arthritis you may find a knife in this style involves less strain to use than a traditional 'blade sticks out from the end of the handle' knife.

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It doesn't stand for anything and shouldn't be in all caps - but the biggest local maker capitalizes their name (The ULU Factory) so many folks now seem to think it should be a contraction, U.L.U., standing for something: Un-named Lopping Utensil perhaps;-)

 

It actually translates to something like "Woman's knife" in English from Inuktituk and Inuvialuktun as it would be used for 'in home' tasks like hide scraping and general cutting rather than hunting or fighting. Other arctic first nations have different names for the same thing - and there are several different styles, breadth of blades, tightness of curvature etc. which are optimised for different tasks but all share a curved blade with a parallel handle above.

 

Used with a curved cutting board (buy a boxed set) they are very effective for fine chopping/mincing - all the double-bladed 'rocking herb knives' you see around were obviously ripped off from the concept - but for most folks it'll probably end up on a shelf as a conversation piece barring a real effort to learn how to maximise the utility of the shape. That said, if you lack strength/have arthritis you may find a knife in this style involves less strain to use than a traditional 'blade sticks out from the end of the handle' knife.

 

Thank you for this info -- I love learning the back story. I got excited when everyone started talking about the knives, and then when I saw the picture, I was like, WOW that's crazy - will definitely have to make it it makes it into the checked bag for the flight home! Knowing the backstory, makes me that much more interested in looking for one. I know prices will vary, but what does these typically average?

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