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See the accommodations listed for some good places to eat in the Valley. In addition, there are unlimited fast-food spots and roadhouse burger places. One place of note is Vagabond Blues, in Palmer at 642 S. Alaska St. (www.vagblues.com; tel. 907/745-2233), a coffeehouse and cafe offering sandwiches, wraps, baked goods, homemade bread and soup, and music. The food is great and the music is exceptional: A steady stream of national folk and alternative acoustic acts that come to Anchorage also make a pilgrimage to this small-town venue; check the website for dates. The coffeehouse is open Monday through Saturday 6am to 8pm, Sunday 8am to 6pm.

Two good, down-home places to eat -- popular with the locals -- can also allow you to escape franchise food. On the Parks Highway in Wasilla, the Windbreak Cafe (www.windbreakalaska.com; tel. 907/376-4484) serves good diner food in a price range of $5 to $30, and is open in summer Sunday through Thursday 6am to 11pm, Friday and Saturday 6am to midnight; off season it opens half an hour later and closes an hour earlier. In Palmer, on the Glenn Highway, the Noisy Goose Cafe (tel. 907/746-4600) is also a friendly rural eatery full of locals. It's open daily 6am to 10pm, closing an hour earlier off season. The price range is $6 to $26.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.