Alaska is as remote as another country, but your dollar goes just as far as it does at home -- and there's a lot to explore in what is, in many ways, the nation's last great frontier.
And no, an Alaskan vacation isn't just about the big boats. While it's true that most people who visit Alaska in summer do so from the deck of a cruise ship, there are many ways to shed the crowd here, and have an experience shared by few others. Here are four adventures to consider:
Chill with the bears: Admiralty Island, a 30 minute floatplane flight from Juneau, is known for its bears. It has a larger population of black and brown bears than in the lower 48 states combined, and there are special viewing areas that you can access to watch these great creature as they go about their day.
Stay on the island at Favorite Bay Lodge, which is well known for its fishing excursions. In late May, anglers will find high concentrations of king salmon, rockfish, trout and steelhead.For non-anglers who want to get out on the water, there's also whale watching and kayaking.
Rates at Favorite Bay are $3,600 per person for three nights based on double occupancy, and include scheduled roundtrip transportation on seaplane from Juneau, all meals, lodging, a full day of guided activities each day and standard freight for your trip over to the lodge.
Fish and ski: If you love to fish and you love to ski, there's no need to choose between the two -- even in June. Tordrillo Lodge offers "King and Corn" packages that include helisking (on granulated spring snow known as "corn") and king salmon fishing in the same day.