50 Best Things to Do & See

50 Best Things to Do & See

If you’re searching for an unforgettable vacation spot that gives one thing for everybody, look no additional than Alaska. With large glaciers, huge mountain ranges, crystal-clear lakes, and numerous natural world, the state supplies the proper backdrop for outside actions like climbing and fishing. With a lot to see and do, it may be powerful to know the place to start out. Here are a number of the finest locations to go to in Alaska.

The state’s distant capital, Juneau, will make you are feeling the genuine Alaskan expertise with its mountainous and glacier-studded terrain (accessible solely by boat or airplane). Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park are additionally incredible choices, the previous being house to North America’s tallest peak (Denali/Mt. McKinley) and the latter boasting large glaciers. All three present their very own distinctive experiences, like canine sledding, whitewater rafting, and whale watching (to call just a few). Now that we now have a glimpse of what awaits us on the Last Frontier, let’s go forward and take a look at the remainder of the most effective sights, vacationer sights, and issues to do in Alaska.

1. Visit The Smallest National Forest (Adak)

Near the furthest tip of the Aleutian Island chain is Alaska’s tiniest ‘national forest’, Adak National Forest. It is so small that the signage says all of it: “You are now entering and leaving the Adak National Forest.”

During WWII, a (Christmas) tree planting program was initiated between 1943 to 1945 to spice up the troops’ morale on the location. Due to the tough climate circumstances, nonetheless, this system failed, and the signage was put up as a joke. Miraculously, round 33 pine timber survived to at the present time, clumped collectively like a big bush as a result of local weather.

Although it isn’t formally acknowledged as a nationwide forest, it’s a distinctive sight in Alaska positively price visiting. The native Aleuts enhance the entire forest every Christmas as a nod to its origins.

Adak National Forest in Alaska

2. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center (Anchorage)

Opened in 1999, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a cultural establishment devoted to preserving and strengthening the cultural heritage of Alaska’s native teams. It is situated a few miles northeast of Anchorage.

The Heritage Center homes a number of reveals on the historical past, artwork, and traditions of the native teams of Alaska. The heart additionally hosts quite a lot of cultural occasions all year long, together with dances, live shows, and workshops.

Alaska Native Heritage Center

3. See the Burial Spirit Houses (Anchorage)

The native village of Eklutna in Anchorage is house to the colourful spirit homes, a mixture of Russian Orthodox and Native Alaskan Athabascan custom. It is situated within the graveyard exterior the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church.

These tiny homes are painted by households in several colours and had been mentioned to supply a brief dwelling place for the souls in the course of the 40 days they’re believed to linger on the earth. A picket three-bar Russian Orthodox cross can be positioned in many of the spirit homes.

Burial Spirit Houses in Alaska

4. Hike Chugach State Park (Anchorage)

Chugach State Park is among the finest locations to go climbing in Anchorage. The park has quite a lot of trails, starting from simple walks to difficult climbs. And with practically 500,000 acres of land, there’s loads of room to discover. 

Here are a number of the finest hikes in Chugach State Park:

  • Eagle and Symphony Lakes Trail: This average hike affords gorgeous views of each Eagle and Symphony Lakes. The path is about 12 miles lengthy and may take round 4 to five hours to finish.
  • Powerline Pass Trail: This difficult path is just for skilled hikers. It runs alongside a powerline, so there aren’t any views. However, it’s an awesome exercise and the proper option to get away from the crowds. The path is about 11 miles lengthy and may take as much as 6 hours to complete.
  • Bird Ridge Trail: Bird Ridge is among the hottest trails in Chugach State Park. It’s recognized for its unbelievable views of Turnagain Arm and the Chugach Mountains. The path is about 5 miles lengthy and takes round 4 hours to finish.

Chugach State Park in Anchorage

5. Take within the Street Art (Anchorage)

You won’t look forward to finding a lot avenue artwork in Anchorage, Alaska, however in case you take a stroll round downtown, you’ll be confirmed in any other case. The metropolis is definitely full of colourful murals, graffiti, and sculptures, all of that are made by native artists and depict town’s historical past and tradition. How lots of them will you discover?

6. See the World’s Largest Chocolate Waterfall (Anchorage)

Yes, you’ve learn that proper. Seemingly coming straight out of a candy tooth’s dream, the Alaska Wild Berry Products manufacturing unit in Anchorage is house to the world’s largest chocolate waterfall.

Made in 1994, this 20-foot waterfall churns out 3000 kilos of actual chocolate cascading down genuine copper sweet kettles and settling in a swirling chocolate pool on the backside. As tempting as it could appear, nonetheless, you aren’t allowed to eat/drink from it. Fortunately, you will get your self some scrumptious chocolate on the close by sweet counter. You may watch the workers making delectable goodies in motion by visiting one in all their 4 kitchens.

9. See the Barrow Whale Bone Arch (Utqiagvik)

The Barrow Whale Bone Arch is a novel arch created from the jawbone of a bowhead whale in Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska. Believed to have been constructed in the course of the late nineteenth century, it serves as a continuing reminder of the city’s whaling historical past and custom. As Utqiagvik is sort of distant, you possibly can solely attain it by airplane.

Barrow Whale Bone Arch in Alaska

10. Check Out Igloo City (Cantwell)

Igloo City is among the hottest sights in Cantwell, Alaska, situated alongside the George Parks Highway. Constructed in the course of the Nineteen Seventies by builder Leon Smith, it was alleged to be a four-story lodge formed into a large igloo. Unfortunately, the lodge was by no means absolutely completed and stays closed to at the present time. Still, this big igloo has continued to fascinate and appeal to guests worldwide.

Igloo City

11. Visit the Quirky Town of Chicken

Chicken is a small city 200 miles east of Fairbanks in Alaska finest recognized for its gold mining historical past and is among the final surviving gold rush cities. It was alleged to be referred to as “Ptarmigan,” after the birds within the space of the identical identify. However, as a result of conflicts with the spelling, they lastly agreed to call the city “Chicken” as a substitute.

The city has an official inhabitants of seven, with the numbers going as much as 100 or extra in the course of the summer season as a result of miners and vacationers. They even have 4 outlets: a energetic saloon, a normal retailer, a restaurant, and a liquor retailer. Due to the city’s distant location, there is no such thing as a electrical energy and plumbing (the locals do have mills although). For answering nature’s name, they’ve a three-door outhouse named ‘Chicken Poop.’

Chicken Statues at Chicken Alaska

12. Explore Kennicott Ghost Town (Chitina)

Kennicott Ghost Town is a captivating place to discover. Once a thriving copper mining city, Kennicott was deserted in 1938 when the final of the mines closed. The ghost city was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Today, solely a handful of buildings stay, providing a glimpse into the city’s previous. The most iconic construction is the massive pink mill constructing standing a few storeys above the Kennicot glacier. Visitors may discover the stays of the totally different mines within the space, such because the Bonanza, Jumbo, and Erie mines (all strenuous hikes).

Kennicott Ghost Town

13. Cross the Kuskulana River Bridge (Chitina)

The Kuskulana River Bridge is a historic metal truss bridge above the Kuskulana River in Chitina, Alaska. The bridge was created in 1910, sitting 238 toes above a deep rocky gorge and spanning 525 toes (160 m) in size.

With the addition of guard rails and new picket planks on the bridge, it will not be as thrilling to cross as again then. Still, it affords a picturesque view of the encompassing space and the river beneath.

Kuskulana River Bridge

14. Tour the Husky Homestead (Denali)

Husky Homestead is a tour operation situated in Denali National Park. Visitors to Husky Homestead can tour the kennels, meet the canines, and find out about their lives as working animals. The tour additionally features a brief sled experience, climate allowing. Husky Homestead is a good place to find out about life within the Arctic and to stand up shut and private with a few of its furry residents.

15. Spot Wildlife at Denali National Park (Denali)

Denali National Park is among the hottest vacationer locations in Alaska. Located within the coronary heart of the Alaska Range, the nationwide park is house to an abundance of wildlife, together with bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. The park additionally accommodates Denali (Mount McKinley), the tallest mountain in North America.

Denali National Park

Visitors can discover the park by foot, bicycle, or automotive (albeit solely a brief portion in the course of the summer season, as there is just one highway). There are many climbing trails and tenting websites out there, in addition to quite a lot of ranger-led applications. Whether you’re searching for wildlife viewing alternatives or an opportunity to problem your self with some troublesome hikes, Denali National Park has one thing to supply everybody.

16. See the Lady of the Lake (Eielson AFB)

While it’d sound like a supernatural entity or Alaskan legend, the Lady of the Lake is definitely the stays of a WWII B-29 Bomber airplane on a lake contained in the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. It as soon as flew between Alaska and Japan, serving as a recon plane for locating proof of Soviet nuclear testing.

Although nobody is aware of precisely how the plane ended up within the lake, it was believed to have been put there for water rescue coaching. Visitors can enter the bottom by offering a Military ID or a Visitor’s Pass (which you will get on the Visitor Control Center).

17. Check Out Cars at Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum (Fairbanks)

The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum in Fairbanks is a must-see particularly for anybody who loves automobiles. The museum homes a powerful assortment of over 95 vehicles from the early 1900s, together with a Model T and a 1906 Cadillac Model Ok. Most of those are operable, so that you’ll get to see the automobiles in motion as nicely.

In addition to the automobiles on show, additionally they have a set of classic clothes worn by folks again within the day. The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is an effective way to spend a day, and it’s certain to please any automotive fanatic.

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

18. Visit Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (Fairbanks)

Nestled deep within the coronary heart of Alaska, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is among the most distant and untouched corners of the world. There aren’t any roads or trails within the park, and guests should journey by foot, canoe, or small airplane. This wild setting supplies an unbelievable alternative to expertise true wilderness and see firsthand the fantastic thing about the pure world.

The park is house to a tremendous array of wildlife, together with grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, and wolverines. It can be a birder’s paradise, with practically 150 species of birds having been noticed within the park. For these searching for a real journey, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is an unforgettable vacation spot.

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

19. Visit the Museum of the North (Fairbanks)

If you’re seeking to study extra about Alaska’s tradition and historical past, then a visit to the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North is a should. It boasts a whopping 2.5 million artifacts in its assortment, organized into ten analysis disciplines like archaeology, high quality arts, ethnology, and extra.

Some of the museum’s highlights embrace the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery, which showcases native (and non-native) Alaskan artwork; The Place Where You Go To Listen, an audio-visual exhibit that includes the sounds and motion of the solar, moon, earthquakes, and auroras; and two auditorium reveals throughout summer season referred to as Dynamic Aurora and Winter. They even have a Museum Store the place they promote Alaska-made merchandise equivalent to artwork, books, and jewellery, excellent for locating your memento.

20. Tour the Running Reindeer Ranch (Fairbanks)

The Running Reindeer Ranch is a family-owned enterprise situated north of  Fairbanks, Alaska, offering guests with an up-close and private take a look at Alaskan reindeer for over 15 years. They supply quite a lot of interactive experiences that enable friends to get to know these superb animals.

These embrace strolling alongside reindeer via the encompassing birch forest, doing yoga with reindeer, having fun with the native music with reindeer, and even having a novel Alaska-style marriage ceremony with, you’ve guessed it, reindeer!

21. Soak In Natural Hot Springs At Chena Resort (Fairbanks)

Chena Hot Springs Resort is a world-famous sizzling springs vacation spot situated 61.3 miles northeast of Fairbanks. The resort options an open-air naturally-heated rock lake (adults solely) and an indoor sizzling tub and pool, making it a preferred spot for guests to soak and calm down in its mineral-rich waters. It can be probably the greatest locations on the earth to see the Northern Lights, which is all the time a plus.

In addition to the new springs, the resort additionally affords cabins, RV websites, and quite a lot of different facilities like enjoyable massages and scrumptious eating.

22. Chill-ax at The Aurora Ice Museum (Fairbanks)

Located at Chena Resort, the Aurora Ice Museum is house to a set of intricate ice sculptures created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow by husband-and-wife duo Steve and Heather Brice, who’re each achieved ice sculptors as nicely.

The ice sculptures vary from big chess units to igloos to whole rooms constructed fully out of ice and a lot extra. Even the ice bar (together with the glasses and stuff) are all product of ice. Adding to the museum’s attraction are the glimmering lights resembling the colours of the Aurora Borealis.

Aurora Ice Museum

23. See the Northern Lights (Fairbanks)

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is among the most lovely pure mild shows on the earth, with totally different coloration shades dancing across the sky. While the aurora is technically current all 12 months spherical, it may be seen clearly in the course of the Aurora Season (late August to early April) when the skies are darkish sufficient.

Some of the most effective spots in Fairbanks embrace the Chena Hot Springs, Cleary Summit, and Murphy Dome.

Northern Lights

24. See the Animals on the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (Girdwood)

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a non-profit animal sanctuary devoted to the conservation, training, and care of Alaska’s wildlife. They primarily absorb orphaned and injured animals, nearly all of which name the middle their everlasting house as a result of missing the mandatory expertise wanted to outlive within the wild.

With over 310 acres of land (110 acres of that are devoted solely to wooden bison), the middle has loads of house which permits the animals to stay in massive, pure environments. Some of the animals embrace lynx, brown bears, moose, wolves, and extra.

Bear at at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

25. Be in Awe of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (Gustavus)

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is among the hottest vacationer locations in Alaska. The park is finest recognized for its glaciers, which will be seen up shut on a cruise (I visited whereas on a Holland America Alaskan cruise!)or from the air. The glaciers are a significant draw for guests, however the park additionally affords alternatives to see wildlife, discover inlets and coves, and expertise the Alaskan wilderness.

Glacier Bay National Park

The park is situated a few miles west of Gustavus, Alaska, and covers an space of three.3 million acres. It was established as a nationwide monument in 1925 and was upgraded to a nationwide park in 1980. Glacier Bay National Park is a must-visit vacation spot for anybody curious about glaciers or Alaska’s pure magnificence.

26. Visit the World’s First Hammer Museum (Haines)

The metropolis of Haines is house to the world’s first hammer museum, aptly referred to as The Hammer Museum. Founded in 2002, they’ve a large assortment of hammers amounting to over 2000 and coming from totally different time intervals and trades. They even have an enormous hammer standing at round two tales tall simply exterior the museum!

World's First Hammer Museum

27. See the Rescues at Kroschel Wildlife Center (Haines)

The Kroschel Wildlife Center is a 60-acre wildlife refuge situated 28 miles north of Haines, Alaska. They function rescued animals from over 15 totally different Alaskan wildlife species, equivalent to grizzlies, wolves, moose, snowy owls, and extra.

Aside from the animals, additionally they have a 600-yard groomed path the place you possibly can take pleasure in a simple hike whereas taking footage of the surroundings and animals. There’s additionally a present store the place you will get some handmade Alaskan souvenirs.

P.S. Reservations are required earlier than you possibly can go to the middle.

28. Drive One of the Famous Highways

Drive the Alaska Highway

The Alaska Highway is among the most iconic roads in North America. Spanning virtually 1,400 miles, it traverses a number of the most rugged and exquisite terrains on the earth. The freeway was initially constructed throughout World War II as a option to join Alaska to the continental United States.

Today, it’s a well-liked route for highway trippers and journey seekers from all around the globe. While the journey will be difficult, it’s also extremely fulfilling. Those who make the journey are rewarded with gorgeous views, distinctive experiences, and a way of accomplishment from conquering one of the vital difficult roads on the planet.

Alaska Highway

Dalton Highway

The Dalton Highway is a 414-mile lengthy highway that runs via the guts of Alaska. It was initially constructed as a provide route for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, however has been open to the general public since 1994. Despite its distant location, the Dalton Highway has develop into a preferred vacation spot for journey seekers worldwide. The highway winds its method via gorgeous mountain surroundings, providing alternatives for climbing, fishing, and wildlife watching. In addition, the Dalton Highway is among the solely roads in North America that crosses the Arctic Circle.

For many guests, driving the Dalton Highway is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. Due to its excessive climate circumstances and distant location, the freeway generally is a difficult drive. However, with a little bit preparation and warning, anybody can take pleasure in a secure and unforgettable journey on one in all North America’s most scenic roads.

Dalton Highway in Alaska

Denali Highway

The Denali Highway is one in all Alaska’s most scenic drives. The highway winds its method via the Alaskan mountains, providing breathtaking views of the encompassing panorama. Wildlife is often seen alongside the freeway, together with caribou, moose, and bears. The drive will be difficult at instances (be careful for potholes!), however it’s nicely well worth the effort. The Denali Highway is an effective way to expertise the fantastic thing about Alaska.

Denali Highway in Alaska

Seward Scenic Highway

The Scenic Highway is among the hottest vacationer locations within the state. The winding highway takes guests via a number of the most lovely surroundings within the space, together with towering mountains, dashing waterfalls, and pristine lakes. Along the best way, there are many alternatives to cease and benefit from the view or discover the various climbing trails.

The Scenic Highway can be a preferred vacation spot for bicyclists and motorcyclists who benefit from the challenges of the winding highway. Whether you’re searching for a day journey or a prolonged trip, the Scenic Highway is certain to supply an pleasant expertise.

Seward Scenic Highway

29. Leave a Dollar Bill on the Salty Dawg Saloon (Homer)

One of essentially the most iconic landmarks on Homer Spit, the Salty Dawg Saloon is among the first cabins ever constructed within the metropolis of Homer. What makes the place a preferred vacation spot are the hundreds upon hundreds of greenback payments signed and tacked to its partitions by guests (which it is best to too!), a beloved custom of the saloon.

Although there is no such thing as a meals, you possibly can take pleasure in their vast choice of drinks and beers whereas socializing with the locals. They additionally produce other gadgets on the market, equivalent to shirts, mugs, and extra.

30. Ride the World’s Largest Zip Rider at Icy Strait Point (Hoonah)

Alaska is famend for its pure magnificence, and the ZipRider at Icy Strait Point is among the finest methods to expertise it. With a peak of over 1,300 toes and a size of 5,495 toes, soar via the air at speeds of as much as 60 miles per hour as you descend down the mountain. Of course, being excessive up lets you will have the possibility to absorb the encompassing panorama… whereas screaming on the prime of your lungs!

Icy Strait Point

31. Walk on Mendenhall Glacier (Juneau)

You in all probability already knew that you can see A LOT of glaciers in Alaska, however do you know that you can truly stroll on one? Yep, that’s true! Enter Mendenhall Glacier, one in all its hottest vacationer locations. Covering an space of 95.27 km² and reaching elevations of as much as virtually 5,200 toes, it has attracted hundreds of individuals annually to see and stroll on its floor.

Mendenhall Glacier

The glacier can solely be reached by helicopter or guided stroll. Fortunately, you’ll discover just a few Alaskan cruise excursions that take you from downtown Juneau to Mendenhall Glacier by way of helicopter.

(We did the Holland America commonplace guided stroll, the place we flew across the glacier for a chicken’s eye view earlier than touchdown and strolling on the glacier. I even drank glacier water, which can be an choice! 

As the climate will be unpredictable, ensure to decorate appropriately, and naturally, all the time comply with the park service’s guidelines and rules to make sure a secure and pleasant expertise for everybody.

32. Go Whale Watch in Juneau

If you end up in Juneau throughout whale watching season, you’re in for a deal with! Humpback whales will be seen within the waters round Alaska from May via September, and Juneau is among the finest spots to see them.

There are a number of tour firms that provide whale watching excursions, and most of them depart from the downtown space. While on tour, you’ll have an opportunity to see humpback whales up shut as they feed, play, and breach. You may even see a whale tail or two!

So whether or not you’re a nature lover or simply searching for a novel exercise, you’ll want to add whale watching to your Juneau itinerary.

Whale Watching in Juneau

33. Take a Glacier Trail at Tongass National Forest (Juneau)

If you’re searching for a panoramic outside journey, try the Glacier Trails at Tongass National Forest in Juneau! Some of those embrace East Glacier Trail, West Glacier Trail, Herbert Glacier Trail, and Laughton Glacier Trail.

The trails wind via a number of the most lovely surroundings in Alaska, together with glaciers, mountains, and forests. There are trails for all talent ranges, so everybody can benefit from the views. In addition, the realm is house to quite a lot of wildlife, together with bears, eagles, and salmon.

The Glacier Trails are an effective way to expertise the fantastic thing about Alaska and get some recent air on the identical time. So whether or not you’re an skilled hiker or simply seeking to take a leisurely stroll, you’ll want to try the Glacier Trails at Tongass National Forest in Juneau.

Tongass National Forest

34. Explore the Mendenhall Ice Caves (Juneau)

The Mendenhall Ice Caves are one of the vital enchanting vacationer locations close to Juneau, Alaska. These are fashioned when the ice contained in the glacier melts, reworking its insides into ever-changing ‘ice caves.’ And as a result of the ice displays blue mild from the solar, it provides the caves an otherworldly feeling it is best to expertise at the least as soon as.

As the caves are solely fashioned due to the melting ice, their look and site contained in the glacier can differ. Sometimes there aren’t any caves in any respect. Be certain to verify with the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center first in case you’re planning to go contained in the ice caves. You may try this FAQ for extra info.

Mendenhall Ice Caves

35. Explore Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is one in all Alaska’s hottest vacationer locations. And it’s no surprise, as a result of the park affords a variety of actions for guests to take pleasure in. Here are only a few of the most effective issues to do at Kenai Fjords National Park:

  1. Take a cruise: A cruise is the proper option to see the gorgeous surroundings of Kenai Fjords National Park up shut. There are plenty of totally different cruise choices out there, so you possibly can select the one which most closely fits your pursuits and schedule.
  2. Hike: There are loads of trails to discover in Kenai Fjords National Park, starting from simple strolling paths just like the Exit Glacier Overlook Trail to difficult hikes such because the Harding Icefield Trail. No matter what your health degree, you’ll be capable to discover a path that’s best for you.
  3. Wildlife watching: Kenai Fjords is house to an unbelievable number of wildlife, together with whales, dolphins, harbor seals, sea otters, and birds. A wildlife tour is the proper option to see these fascinating animals of their pure habitat.
  4. Camping: The park has a 12-site, tent-only campground at Exit Glacier on a first-come, first-serve foundation. Backcountry tenting can be an choice. As for RV tenting, the closest ones can be across the metropolis of Seward, which is east of the park.

Kenai Fjords National Park

36. Visit the Totem Bight State Historical Park (Ketchikan)

Totem Bight State Historical Park is a state park situated ten miles northwest of Ketchikan, Alaska. The park contains a duplicate of a standard chieftain home and 14-15 totem poles, all of which had been restored by expert Tlingit and Haida carvers. Visitors can study in regards to the tradition and historical past of the Native peoples of Alaska via totem poles, paintings, and reveals. The park additionally affords alternatives for climbing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

Totem Bight State Historical Park

37. See Misty Fjords (Ketchikan)

The Misty Fjords is among the must-see (and should-see) locations in Alaska. It is a part of the Tongass National Forest, comprising the biggest wilderness space within the forest (2.3 million acres of the forest’s 16.7 million acres.) It is understood for its breathtaking mountain views, deep fjords, rainforests, and wildlife. The Misty Fjords can be solely accessible by boat or floatplane as a result of space’s remoteness.

Visitors can make the most of the various climbing and tenting alternatives within the space, with loads of actions to take pleasure in like kayaking/canoeing, flightseeing, wildlife viewing, and visiting sights just like the New Eddystone Rock (a 237-foot basalt pillar lined in timber.)

Misty Fjords

38. Go Bear Watching at Katmai National Park (King Salmon)

Located close to King Salmon, Alaska, Katmai National Park is understood for its abundance of various bear species and sockeye salmon (which the bears like to eat). Moose, caribou, wolves, sea otters, and the occasional humpback whale are simply a number of the different animals you will see that on this bear nation.

Visitors to the park can take pleasure in totally different actions, equivalent to climbing, tenting, fishing, and naturally, bear-watching. One of the most effective spots for bear-watching is Brooks Camp, which has 4 viewing platforms. One different spotlight of the park is a hike to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, an ash-filled valley. 

Bear Watching at Katmai National Park

39. See the Eldred Rock Lighthouse (Lynn Canal)

The Eldred Rock Lighthouse is the oldest and the final of ten different lighthouses inbuilt Alaska nonetheless standing as we speak. It sits upon Eldred Rock island in Lynn Canal, round 55 miles northwest of Juneau.

The lighthouse stands at 17 meters (56 toes), with an octagonal-shaped base, and as soon as has a novel lens that permits flashing of pink and white lights alternately. The lighthouse can solely be considered from cruise ships or ferries passing via the canal, as there aren’t any excursions or docks within the island.

Eldred Rock Lighthouse

40. Go to Santa Claus’s House within the North Pole

Would you consider me if I informed you Santa Claus is actual? And it’s not simply him, by the best way. Even his helpers and home within the North Pole just about exists!

That’s proper, within the metropolis of North Pole, Alaska, stands the Christmas retailer referred to as Santa Claus House, the place day-after-day is Christmas Day. They have a large assortment of merchandise starting from pastries to Christmas ornaments to color-changing mugs and a lot extra. And in line with the Christmas custom, you possibly can even write Santa a letter or meet his reindeers subsequent door. Of course, you wouldn’t wish to miss good ol’ Santa Claus and his spouse for some image taking!

41. Walk the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes on the National Park (Arctic Borough)

Sands and sweltering temperatures. These two are in all probability the final issues that may cross your thoughts (or if it should even cross your thoughts) when in Alaska.

Enter the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, one in all Kobuk Valley National Park’s most iconic sights. These sand dunes attain as much as 100 toes in peak and canopy an space of about 30 sq. miles. Due to the wind, the panorama’s look adjustments ever so typically. Temperature-wise, it reaches 100 levels Fahrenheit in the course of the summer season.

Of course, it isn’t all sand. The surrounding woods and tundra is house to totally different animals like bears, wolves, and moose. During spring and fall, you may even see a large caribou migration.

42. Get Your Photo on the Arctic Circle Monument Sign

While it could not appear as a lot at first look, you possibly can consider the Arctic Circle Monument Sign as a ‘save point’ of kinds for vacationers, serving as the doorway to the Arctic Circle and a relaxation cease earlier than persevering with your journey. Before you cross over to the Arctic facet, you’ll want to commemorate it by having your picture taken!

As a bonus, the again of the signal options stickers positioned by guests indicating the place they got here from. Be certain to deliver one in all your personal 🙂

Arctic Circle Monument Sign in Alaska

43. See Hubbard Glacier (Wrangell-St. Elias National Park)

The Hubbard Glacier is among the most lively glaciers on the earth, the place it grows and advances at a fee of round 80 toes per 12 months in the direction of the Gulf of Alaska. With a complete peak of 600 toes (the place 350 toes is above water) and stretching out 76 miles lengthy and seven miles vast, it’s also one of many largest glaciers in North America.

One of the glacier’s most thrilling sights is its calving. Visitors can go on a  cruise that takes them near the glacier’s face, the place they’ll see icebergs calving off into the ocean. Adding to the expertise are the thunderous sounds it makes because the ice separates from the principle glacier.

Hubbard Glacier

44. Cruise the Inside Passage

For many individuals, an Alaskan cruise is the journey of a lifetime. And one of many highlights of an Alaskan cruise is the Inside Passage (I did mine with Holland America!). The Inside Passage is a community of waterways that runs alongside the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. It is house to a number of the most spectacular surroundings on the earth, together with towering mountains, pristine glaciers, and energetic wildlife. Cruising via the Inside Passage is a very unforgettable expertise. And it’s no surprise so many individuals select to take an Alaskan cruise annually!

Inside Passage

45. See the Tracy Arm Fjord

There is not any scarcity of gorgeous locations to go to in Alaska, and Tracy Arm Fjord is only one of them. The fjord is situated about 45 miles south of Juneau and is understood for its gorgeous surroundings and considerable wildlife. Visitors to Tracy Arm Fjord can see glaciers (don’t miss the dual Sawyer Glaciers!), waterfalls, and mountains, in addition to whales, seals, and different marine life. There are additionally quite a few climbing and tenting alternatives within the surrounding space.

46. Pan for Gold at Independence Mine (Palmer)

The Independence Mines was as soon as the location of a gold mining operation in Palmer, Alaska in the course of the Fifties. It grew to become part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and a state historic park was established on the location in 1980.

Tourists can study extra in regards to the mines’ historical past via the customer heart and their interactive reveals. You will even discover restored buildings across the mining complicated, which embrace a timber shed, warehouse, and mess halls. As the place is a gold mine, guests may expertise panning for gold from a stream beneath the mines. And did I point out it’s also possible to take it house with you?

Independence Mine

47. Take a Farm Tour at Musk Ox Farm (Palmer)

Founded in 1954, Musk Ox Farm is a novel non-profit group devoted to the domestication of the musk ox, a mammal that has existed for the reason that Ice Age (how cool is that?!). This 75-acre farm is situated within the Matanuska Valley simply north of Palmer, Alaska.

The 45-minute strolling tour will take you across the farm, the place you’ll stand up shut and private with these pleasant oxen. They even have a stunning reward store the place they promote merchandise created from musk ox wool referred to as qiviut.

Musk Ox Farm

48. See the Salmon Run at Lake Clark National Park (Port Alsworth)

Lake Clark National Park in Port Alsworth is among the finest salmon fishing spots within the state. The park affords quite a lot of salmon fishing alternatives, particularly throughout salmon runs (round May to September), the place the fish are available in droves to spawn. They will be present in each the Kenai and Copper Rivers, and Lake Clark is house to a number of species of salmon, together with sockeye, pink, and chinook salmon.

In addition to salmon fishing, the park additionally affords alternatives for climbing, tenting, and wildlife viewing.

Lake Clark National Park

49. Take a Train Trough the Alaskan Wilderness

McKinley Explorer

The McKinley Explorer is an Alaska Railroad practice that gives each day service between Denali and Anchorage. The practice’s higher degree options comfy seating, massive home windows, and loads of legroom, making it an effective way to calm down and take within the gorgeous surroundings of Alaska.

In addition to attractive views of mountains, forests, and wildlife, the McKinley Explorer additionally affords an onboard eating automotive on the decrease degree, the place passengers can take pleasure in Alaska-inspired delicacies whereas touring.

Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad is a Class II railroad that runs from Seward to Fairbanks, traversing a number of the most scenic and distant territories within the United States. It is owned by the state of Alaska and operated by a non-profit company.

The railroad’s principal line is over 470 miles lengthy, making it one of many longest railroads in North America. Several department strains additionally exist, together with one on the metropolis of Whittier.

There are many alternative methods to expertise the Alaska Railroad, from brief scenic rides to multi-day excursions. Whether you’re searching for an journey or only a option to calm down and take within the surroundings, the Alaska Railroad has one thing to supply everybody.

Alaska Railroad

50. Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward)

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a world-class marine analysis facility and aquarium in Seward, Alaska. Visitors can study in regards to the heart’s analysis applications, see numerous marine life up shut, and take part on academic applications. Different public reveals equivalent to contact tanks, swimming pools, and aviaries additionally exist inside the heart.

One of the middle’s key roles is the rehabilitation of sick and injured marine animals. Depending on the circumstance, the marine animals are returned to their pure habitat as soon as they’ve been nursed again to full well being.

With its dedication to scientific analysis and public training, the Alaska SeaLife Center supplies an inspiring and informative expertise for all who go to.

51. Take the Totem Pole Trail at Sitka National Historic Park

Totem Pole Trail in Sitka National Historical Park might be one of the vital distinctive trails one can expertise in Alaska. The path winds via a dense forest of spruce and hemlock, and affords gorgeous views of the ocean and close by mountains.

It can be house to quite a lot of wildlife, together with otters, eagles, and salmon. Totem poles line the path, offering guests with a glimpse into the wealthy tradition of the Tlingit and Haida folks.

52. Visit the Most Popular Park in Alaska: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Skagway)

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park commemorates the stampede to the Klondike gold fields and the achievements of those that succeeded in reaching the gold fields. It consists of 4 models: the Skagway Historic District, Chilkoot Trail/Dyea Townsite, White Pass Trail, and Seattle Unit (which is in Seattle). Each unit preserves and interprets totally different facets of the story of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

53. Get a Drink on the Red Onion Saloon (Skagway)

The Red Onion Saloon is a well-liked bar and restaurant in Skagway, Alaska. The Saloon is situated in an outdated mining city and is understood for its historic significance. The bar was initially established in 1897 and was a preferred hangout for miners in the course of the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, the Saloon remains to be a preferred spot for locals and vacationers alike.

The bar options a wide array of beer, wine, and cocktails, in addition to a menu of American consolation meals. The Saloon additionally has a stage for stay music and occasions, making it an awesome place to take pleasure in an evening out. Whether you’re searching for a spot to have a drink or to expertise Skagway’s wealthy historical past, the Red Onion Saloon is unquestionably price a go to.

54. See the Tiny Church of Soldotna

As the identify implies, the Tiny Church of Soldotna is a church situated within the small village of Soldotna, Alaska. Beside it’s a bigger domed church, each of them being owned and managed by the Trinity Christian Center.

What’s peculiar in regards to the church (apart from its measurement) is that it’s left open all through the day. The thought behind it’s that it permits anybody a quiet and personal spot for prayer/entry to God, no matter time of day they may want it. Inside the tiny church are three pews, songbooks, and Bibles.

55. See Proenneke’s Cabin (Sterling)

Proenneke’s Cabin is a historic website in Sterling, Alaska, constructed by hand by Dick Proenneke, a person of many trades who lived alone within the cabin for practically 30 years. Construction started in 1968 and it took Proenneke round two years to finish. It contains a log cabin with a seashore stone fire, a raised storage shed, and a woodshed that doubles as an outhouse.

Today, the cabin is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot and an inspiring reminder of Proenneke’s unbelievable self-sufficiency. Visitors can discover the realm across the cabin at any time, nonetheless coming into it’s only allowed in the course of the summer season months.

56. Get a Peek on the Dr. Seuss House (Talkeetna)

If you ever catch a glimpse of this quirky home within the woods exterior Talkeetna, Alaska, you’ll agree that it seems to be like one thing out of a Dr. Seuss ebook.

Officially referred to as the Goose Creek Tower, this 14-17 story home was initially deliberate to be a two-story log cabin. That is till proprietor Phillip Weidner determined so as to add an increasing number of flooring all through the years (and nonetheless ongoing!.)

As the home is on a personal, heavily-monitored property, seeing it up shut is out of the image (not to mention its actual location). Luckily, its 185 toes body stands out from the encompassing timber, making it simpler to identify throughout a flightseeing journey in Talkeetna. It can be attainable to see from Parks Highway or whereas driving via the Alaskan Railroad.

57. Visit the Quirky Mukluk Land (Tok)

Located 3 miles west of Tok, Alaska, Mukluk Land is a theme park constructed by husband and spouse George and Beth Jacobs. Throughout the years, they’ve collected plenty of Alaskan memorabilia, from busted equipment to doll collections to mini-golf and a lot extra. They additionally personal the world’s largest mukluk (reindeer/sealskin mushy boots). Whether you’re a child or a child at coronary heart, Mukluk Land will certainly be an unforgettable Alaskan expertise.

58. Witness the Alaska Bore Tide 

If you like browsing, this one’s for you! We know that Alaska is a hotbed for brand spanking new adventures and experiences, and it simply so occurs that it’s also one of many few locations on Earth to see (and even surf) a tidal phenomenon referred to as bore tides.

Simply put, bore tides are sometimes fashioned following a low tide when sturdy waves from the ocean’s rising water push inland towards a river or an extended, slim inlet. One of the most effective spots to see this in motion is Cook Inlet’s Turnagain Arm in Anchorage.

Alaska Bore Tide

59. Go Through the Longest Highway Tunnel in North America – Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is the longest freeway tunnel in North America, stretching as much as 2.5 miles in size and connecting the cities of Porter and Whittier. It is constructed beneath Maynard Mountain and shared by automobiles and trains coming from each instructions.

As the tunnel is one-lane solely, a complicated laptop system handles the visitors’s stream at common intervals (normally switching instructions each 30 minutes). Vehicle turnout areas are additionally current alongside the tunnel, full with safehouses, PA programs, and telephones, in case of emergencies.

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel in Alaska

60. See the Rock Carvings at Petroglyph Beach (Wrangall)

Petroglyph Beach is a seashore close to Wrangell, Alaska, well-known for its rock carvings that date again 8000 years in the past and are solely absolutely revealed throughout low tide.

The petroglyphs had been believed to be made by the Tlingit individuals who as soon as referred to as the realm their house. The etchings vary from what appears to be animals to geometric patterns to faces and extra. Although the historical past and which means behind the petroglyphs stay a thriller, it’s nonetheless one of the vital fascinating sights to see in Alaska.

. . .

And that’s a wrap on our Alaska Bucket List! We hope you’ve loved studying about all the most effective locations to go to and issues to do in Alaska. We’ll positively be again to verify off just a few extra gadgets on the record, and we hope you’ll be a part of us! If you will have any recommendations for different must-do Alaska experiences, you’ll want to tell us within the feedback. In the meantime, completely happy travels!

This submit might comprise affiliate hyperlinks. If you make a purchase order via my hyperlinks, I earn a fee that helps to maintain this weblog working—at no additional price to you. You can learn my full disclosure right here.

You Might Also Like

What to Expect on a Holland America Alaskan Cruise


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here