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Bird Watching

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Get Inspired For many people, a trip to Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime dream fulfilled. For others, it’s a return to one of their favorite places on the planet. And some visit once and decide to make the state their home. There are reasons aplenty to come to the Great Land and explore: An abundance of wildlife, unique cultural experiences, and unparalleled scenery are just a few. Building time into your itinerary to relax and absorb the small delights is always a good idea, too—enjoying quirky cafes, strolling through a boat harbor, groovin’ to some live local music. And if you’ve never been here, we hope these photos nudge you to start planning. Who knows, in just a few short months, you could be watching humpback whales bubble-net feeding or be flightseeing around the summit of Denali. After all, every adventure starts with an inspiration. —Susan Sommer 1. A pair of…

Nome delights visitors year-round Known as a rough-and-tumble, gritty gold rush town and the finish line of the renowned Iditarod race, Nome offers more than precious minerals and mushing. The Seward Peninsula city of roughly 3,600 residents located on Norton Sound in the Bering Sea might be remote, but that doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible. In fact, warming winters have opened up Bering Strait waters for all but the coldest months of the year, leading to construction of the nation’s first deep-water arctic port. Slated to be completed within the next seven years, the $600 million project will allow 4,000-passenger cruise ships, cargo ships, and military vessels to dock 10 boats at a time, providing supplies to isolated outlying villages, protection from the increasing threats of foreign vessels, and additional tourism revenue for a city on the isolated tundra. In addition to major cruise line guests and Iditarod race followers, birders…