Alright, my fellow adventurers, let’s talk about Alaska – that massive, wild, and drop-dead gorgeous chunk of the U.S. that everyone secretly dreams of exploring.
You want glaciers? Check. Wildlife that’ll blow your mind? Double-check. A cultural experience that you’ll never forget? You bet.
So, buckle up, because we’re diving into the ultimate list of things to do in Alaska, curated for those who crave a healthy dose of excitement and awe. Let the Alaskan journey begin!
In this article...
1. Conquer Denali National Park & Preserve
There’s no better place to start your Alaskan adventure than Denali National Park & Preserve.
Home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), this park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies alike.
Traveler’s tip: Take the park bus for an unforgettable wildlife spotting experience.
2. Cruise Through Glacier Bay National Park
Nothing screams “Alaska” more than the sight of massive glaciers calving into the icy waters.
A cruise through Glacier Bay National Park is an absolute must-do to witness the power and beauty of these natural wonders.
Traveler’s tip: Hop aboard a smaller vessel for an up-close and personal experience.
3. Immerse Yourself in Native Alaskan Culture
Alaska’s rich indigenous heritage offers a unique cultural experience.
Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage to learn about the state’s 11 distinct Native cultures, watch traditional dance performances, and get hands-on with native crafts.
Traveler’s tip: Check the center’s events calendar for special workshops and performances.
4. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with Dog Sledding
Channel your inner adventurer and try your hand at dog sledding.
Learn to mush your own team of sled dogs, or sit back and enjoy the ride. Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience that screams “Alaska.”
Traveler’s tip: Book a dog sledding tour in a remote location for a true wilderness experience.
5. Explore Alaska’s Gold Rush History
Head to the historic towns of Skagway and Juneau to get a taste of Alaska’s Gold Rush days.
Visit restored buildings, pan for gold, and learn about the area’s fascinating history.
Traveler’s tip: Don’t miss the picturesque White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad in Skagway.
6. Witness the Northern Lights
Catching a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern Lights is a bucket list experience.
Fairbanks is one of the best spots in Alaska to witness this natural phenomenon.
Traveler’s tip: Plan your visit between September and April for the highest chance of seeing the aurora.
7. Get Close to Wildlife in Kenai Fjords National Park
If you’re all about spotting whales, seals, sea lions, and more, Kenai Fjords National Park is the place to be.
Take a boat tour or kayak through the fjords to get up close and personal with Alaska’s marine wildlife.
Traveler’s tip: Dress in layers and pack waterproof gear for a comfortable experience.
8. Catch Some Fish in the Salmon Capital of the World
Ketchikan, the self-proclaimed “Salmon Capital of the World,” offers unparalleled fishing opportunities.
Try your luck at catching salmon, halibut, or even crab while taking in the breathtaking coastal scenery.
Traveler’s tip: Book a guided fishing charter for the best chance of reeling in a big one.
9. Hike the Trails of Chugach State Park
With over 280 miles of trails and stunning mountain vistas,
Chugach State Park near Anchorage is a hiker’s dream. Choose from leisurely strolls to challenging backcountry treks.
Traveler’s tip: Keep an eye out for moose, bears, and other local wildlife.
10. Sip Local Brews at an Alaskan Brewery
Alaska’s craft beer scene is booming.
Take a break from the great outdoors and sample some local brews at one of the state’s many breweries, like Anchorage Brewing Company or Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau.
Traveler’s tip: Many breweries offer sampler flights, so you can taste a variety of brews.
11. Experience Alaska’s Aviation History
Alaska’s rugged terrain and vast size have made aviation essential to the state’s history and development.
Visit the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage to learn about the fascinating world of Alaskan aviation and see rare vintage aircraft.
Traveler’s tip: Don’t miss the chance to try a flight simulator for a truly immersive experience.
12. Take a Scenic Flightseeing Tour
For a bird’s-eye view of Alaska’s jaw-dropping landscapes, book a scenic flightseeing tour.
Soar over glaciers, mountains, and pristine wilderness areas to truly appreciate the grandeur of the Last Frontier.
Traveler’s tip: Choose a tour that includes a glacier landing for an unforgettable adventure.
13. Relax at Chena Hot Springs Resort
After all that excitement, unwind and rejuvenate at Chena Hot Springs Resort, located near Fairbanks.
Soak in the natural hot springs, enjoy a massage, or even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights on a clear night.
Traveler’s tip: Visit the unique Aurora Ice Museum, located on the resort grounds, for a frosty experience.
There you have it, folks – a whirlwind tour of the 13 best things to do in Alaska, crafted to satisfy your appetite for adventure, culture, and everything in between.
Alaska is a land of endless surprises, so get out there and start exploring.
Just remember to pack your sense of humor and be prepared for the unexpected – that’s the true spirit of the Alaskan experience.