| Quick Links:
|The conference will be held at the
Hilton hotel. We have reserved a substantial block of rooms in this hotel
at US $195 per night plus 12% room tax (per room; single occupancy; exclusive
of meals; second person in same room is an additional $20). More information on
booking will be provided at a later date.
Please note that there is no other sales tax on meals or other purchases.
If you are booking an accompanying cruise package, please let us know. We get
credit toward our minimum room block obligation if you stay at the Hilton even
if you book through a cruise line (but you have to tell us so we can claim
Hotel check in 3 PM; check out is 12 noon.
The ACVB web site has a lot of
useful information about Anchorage. Also see our family
vacation page, and our Call for
Participation brochure. ACVB has also set up a
DSN-specific Anchorage web page.
The Hilton is centrally located in Anchorage's safe, compact downtown
district. It is an easy walk to all downtown attractions.
Planning note: late June is high season in Anchorage. The city is typically
100% full on the summer solistice, which immediately preceeds DSN. Probably it
is already too late to get a hotel for June 21st, but the Hilton has set aside
some rooms for us a day or two before and after the conference (first come,
first serve). Make your travel plans early!! If you are going with your family,
we strongly suggest making travel reservations by late February 2008. (It is
possible to arrange travel later of course, but prices might increase and
availability decreases after that point, especially if you are planning a pre-
or post-conference cruise.)
Anchorage is the 49th state of the US, and a visit is identical in almost
every respect to visiting the Continental US. The currency is the US Dollar,
electricity is standard US 110V AC, visa, and customs rules are identical.
Telephone service, cell phones, automobile driving rules, and so on are also
per usual US standards. The Hilton offers broadband Internet service for a fee.
Changing foreign currency will be difficult except at the airport (as is
typical in the US), but there are automated teller machines readily available
and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. The universally accepted
credit cards are Mastercard and Visa, with many places also accepting American
Alaska and Anchorage have no sales tax, and the US doesn't have a VAT, so
shopping in Anchorage is tax-free. (There is a "bed tax" but that
only applies to hotel rooms, not other hotel charges.)
Alaska is famous for its seafood! While you are there, try Alaskan King
Crab, Halibut, and shellfish. Be sure to try the distinctive, deep red, wild
salmon caught nearby. Sample local specialties such as reindeer sausage,
caribou steaks, and wild blueberries. Dont miss the award-winning
microbrew pubs near the hotel. See the
ACVB Restaurant & Shopping
Guide for suggestions.
Here are some places we enjoyed or have heard are worth considering and
relatively convenient to the hotel (but, we can't promise anything and these
aren't official endorsements):
- Downtown Deli & Cafe; 525 W 4th Ave. (Breakfast -- sourdough pancakes;
very close to hotel)
- Snow Goose Restaurant & Sleeping Lady Brewery; 717 West Third Avenue.
(Casual dining and micro-brews; easy walk)
- Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria; 3300 Old Seward Hwy. (Pizza and beer; a
couple mile drive)
- Sacks Cafe & Restaurant ; 328 G St, Anchorage. (Very nice for a fancy
dinner; new American cuisine)
- Orso; 737 W 5th Ave. (Upscale european cuisine)
Tipping is the typical US 15-20% of the bill before tax; toward the low end
if you've had expensive drinks and toward the high end if you haven't. Service
speed can vary considerably, so don't be in too much of a hurry if you eat out.
Anchorage in June is informal and has mild weather. It is America's Last
Frontier -- ties are scarce.
Warmed by the Japanese currents in the Pacific Ocean, Anchorage's summer
weather is said to be similar to San Francisco. Summer highs average 65F/18C,
but warmer days can make a pair of shorts advisable for hiking. The conference
hotel has recently installed air conditioning because global warming is causing
more hot days (high 70s F) during the summer. Evening temperatures are about
50F/10F, so bring a light jacket and wear layers, but you can leave your winter
coat at home! Also, bring a pair of walking shoes -- Anchorage is a very safe
and easily walkable city, with many things to see and do within a few blocks of
A light rain jacket, medium sweater, and perhaps some very light gloves are
highly recommended for the excursion, because Prince William
Sound has a much wetter and cooler micro-climate than Anchorage. (You can stay
inside the ship and see everything if you like, but going out on deck is a lot
If you plan on flightseeing bring a sweatshirt or medium weight jacket and
-- very important -- sunglasses! The planes generally provide snow boots if you
are landing on a glacier, and it isn't all that cold in late June, even on a
glacier, as long as the sun is out.
Mosquitoes are sometimes jokingly referred to as the "state bird"
of Alaska. However, we didn't notice any problem with them in the city. On the
excursion there will probably be a light wind that discourages them. Packing a
few mosquito wipes would be wise. If you plan on going to the wilderness, then
bring a small bottle of some serious insect repellant, just as you would in
Don't forget your camera for the excursion. We expect some spectacular
Each attendee will receive one of these native-made ornaments.
Anchorage airport can be reached by many non-stops from the US and a few
from Europe and Asia. It is accessible as a one-stop flight from most major
cities in the world.
If you are coming from Europe, be sure to check out the
Condor Airlines non-stop from Frankfurt to
Anchorage, which flies several times per week. From Asia, you most likely will
connect in Seattle for the shortest trip duration.
Once you are in Anchorage, the airport is six miles from downtown. A taxi
from the airport costs about $15 one-way and is best if you aren't renting a
car. The Hilton, unfortunately, does not offer an airport shuttle, but some of
the budget hotels do (this arrangement might not make sense, but the situation
involves taxi/hotel labor relations).
If you want to see things beyond the immediate hotel area, renting a car is
a good idea. Traffic is generally light and roads are relatively simple to
navigate. Book your rental car in advance since we will be there at a very
popular time of year! If you are renting for more than a few days, consider
picking up your rental car at a downtown location and saving the 12% additional
airport fee charged on the entire cost of airport pickups. The hotel charges
for parking in a garage a short block away ($8/day self, $14/day valet
currently), and can bill it to your room.
Passport and visa requirements are identical to mainland US. Please see the
US Dept. of State web
site for information on visa requirements to visit the US.
If you need a visa letter, please send a visa request form to the
Registration Chair (download: MS Word;
Acrobat) as instructed on
the form. If you don't get an e-mail acknowledgement within 48 hours, please
Visa letters will be issued
accordance with IEEE policy. Visa letter requests may take up to one week
to process. If you are not speaking, presenting, or serving on a conference
committee, IEEE policy requires your credit card payment for registration to
have cleared before we can issue a visa letter.
Here are Copy & Shipment Centers near the hotel. They can probably accept
web submissions to print posters so you don't have to ship them to the
conference. But, be sure to check with them in advance for availability and
Postcards and letters can be mailed at the same rates as in the rest of the US.
Mailing alcohol (even unopened bottles) is prohibited by law.
- Fedex Kinko's, 2210 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK, 99508, USA.
Phone: +1 (907) 276-4228. Open 24 hours, 7 days/week.
- PIP Printing, 833 E 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA. Phone +1 (907)
There are plenty of activities for families, even with young kids, during
the DSN meeting times. The city and most activities are quite family-friendly.
The conference organizers will make special efforts to make it easy for
accompanying families to sign up and plan activities. Additionally, we will
provide contact information for families desiring to take pre-conference and
post-conference vacations, especially on the very popular Alaska cruises. See
our family and toursweb page for more information.
Example activities are below:
- Flightseeing tours on a float plane to see wildlife and
(also see this golfing page) on
- Nearby glacier-seeing cruise on a lake
- Scenic train ride to Mt. McKinley/Denali Park
- Gold panning
- Canoeing / kayaking
- Alaska Native Heritage Museum (live performances & native art; huge
- Anchorage Museum of History and Art (more of a "natural history"
museum, but very nice)
- Wildlife cruises (eagles, whales, sea lions, puffins)
- Hiking (wildlife; floral; glacier; coastal trail)
- Fishing (especially salmon & halibut -- see the
tour brochure for suggestions)
- Whitewater river rafting
- A nice walking park in downtown
- Regional shopping: Eskimo/Inuit items
- Other shopping: a large downtown shopping mall with a Nordstrom's and
NO SALES TAX!