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Top 15 Things To Do In Alaska

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Alaska

Alaska is the largest U.S. state in terms of area.
Alaska | Photo Credit – NatalieMaynor

Alaska is the largest U.S. state in terms of area and has a lot to offer to its tourists. The place is famous for its breathtaking sights as here you can see it all from glaciers to wild animals. If you are a nature lover, you must plan a visit to Alaska.

Apart from the natural sites, Alaska also has a number of museums that will help you come closer to understanding its history. If you are planning a visit to Alaska then this article is tailor-made for you as it will help you discover the 15 best things to do in Alaska. From National parks to museums, we have made sure that you do not miss out on anything. Read on to know more:

1. Learn lessons of history at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

The downtown Skagway Historical District is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park.
Skagway, Alaska – Historic Downtown | Photo Credit – Larry Syverson

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park serves as a site to commemorate the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1980s. If you are interested in history, you will surely have a fun time exploring this place. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park provides a unique blend of combining lessons of history with the beauty of nature.

A visit to this place will help you develop a better understanding of history and will also move you to appreciate the beauty of nature. If you are wondering how to best spend your time at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Here you will find a list of activities that you can participate in, depending on the amount of time you have on you.

2. Catch the sublime sites at Tracy Arm Fjord

Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska | Photo Credit – Hilmil1

How often in life does one get the chance to take in the beauty of a fjord? Here, in Alaska, you have the chance to lose yourself in the beauty of nature with a visit to Tracy Arm Fjord. Characterized by its inlets and cliffs, this place is any nature lover’s paradise. Plan a trip to Tracy Arm Fjord if you want to sightsee icebergs and waterfalls.

Here you can avail the facility of a cruise ship, where you can enjoy a mesmerizing ride with fellow tourists and experience Tracy Arm Fjord at its finest. The place is also home to a wide range of wildlife, so make sure that you carry your binoculars so that you do not miss out.

We suggest you keep an eye out for whales, seals, bears, wolves, bears, and eagles. Visiting the Tracy Arm Fjord will bring tranquility to your soul and will surely be one of the best places that you will visit in Alaska. 

3. Eat to your fill at Crow’s Nest

View from Crow’s Nest Restaurant | Photo Credit – John Harwood

While Alaska is known for its beauty of nature, we believe that it can only be best appreciated on a filled stomach. So make sure that when in Alaska, you treat yourself to some of the finest food that the state has to offer. One of the best places to enjoy a sumptuous meal is the famous Crow’s Nest.

The restaurant is located on top of Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage, and is known not just for its outstanding service but also for its breathtaking views. Here you will have the chance to enjoy your meal while taking in the sights of downtown Anchorage.

4. Make the most of your time with a visit to the University of Alaska Museum of the North

best museums that you must visit on your trip to Alaska
University of Alaska Museum of the North | Photo Credit – sf-dvs

Located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, this is one of the best museums that you must visit on your trip to Alaska. If you are into history and would like to learn about the rich history of Alaska, then you are bound to enjoy visiting this museum.

The museum has a range of collections, so you will find yourself entertained throughout the course of your visit. If you are looking for places to visit with your family then a visit to this museum is one of our top recommendations.

While at the museum, make sure that you check out their Entomology and Fine Arts Collection. Once you are done visiting the museum, you should also check out other scenic sites that the city of Fairbanks has to offer to its tourists.

5. Enjoy the sight of the Aurora Borealis

This phenomenon can be experienced in the state of Alaska.
Aurora Borealis | Photo Credit – The Aurora Hunter

Aurora Borealis, also known as northern lights, is a phenomenon of colorful lights that light up the night sky. This phenomenon can be experienced in the state of Alaska. Watching the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we urge you to plan your trip to Alaska in such a way that you do not miss out on them.

The best time of the year to witness the Aurora Borealis is from August to April. The best area in Alaska to experience Aurora Borealis is Fairbanks. You can book yourself a watching tour in Fairbanks to make sure that you do not miss out on them. Watching the Aurora Borealis can be a perfect date idea with your significant other and we highly recommend it to you.

6. Indulge in outdoor activities at Kodiak Island

the best places to visit in Alaska
Kodiak Island | Photo Credit – naql

Kodiak Island is known for its brown bears and extensive crab fishing, which is why we recommend you to check it out on your trip to Alaska. This place makes for a perfect place to visit with your squad because you can indulge in a number of outdoor activities.

One of the most famous activities here is sea fishing and we suggest you try your hand at it. If you are interested in history, you should also check out the museums in Kodiak Island and learn about the culture of this beautiful place.

If you have more time on your hand, you could take a hike through the island or go on a long drive along with your loved ones. Kodiak island is one of the best places to visit in Alaska as it comes with the promise of keeping you entertained throughout your visit. 

7. Have a surreal experience at Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier | Photo Credit – born1945

Known as Sitaantaagu, the Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most beautiful sites in the state of Alaska. Stretching over 13.6 miles, this glacier is located in Mendenhall Valley, which is at a distance of 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Alaska is known for its scenic natural sites and Mendenhall Glacier stands testimony to this claim.

Visit this glacier, if you want to indulge in some outdoor activities with your squad. From rafting to kayaking, there are a lot of thrilling options available here. If you like to hike, this is a perfect place because of its well-charted routes that are further complemented by its surreal sights.

Not just this, it also promises the sight of some extraordinary animals like black ears and porcupines. Visiting Mendenhall Glacier is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we highly recommend it to you. Additionally, if after visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, you have some spare time, we would also suggest you check out other sites that Juneau has to offer.

8. Take a ride on the Denali Star Train

Denali Star Train | Photo Credit – Dan

Denali Train is a semi-luxury train that runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks. A ride on this train will not only help you to travel between the two cities but will also give you the opportunity to watch some of the most serene sights that Alaska has to offer to its visitors.

This train only runs in May and September so make sure that you plan your journey to Alaska accordingly. So if you like to travel and would want to mingle with the localities of Alaska, you must try out the Denali Star Train. 

9. Explore the Inside Passage

If you like the idea of a cruise ship then Inside Passage is just the place that you need to visit. Apart from the cruise, the highlight of the place is its towns which offer a number of breathtaking sights and activities for tourists.

If you are looking for a short getaway along with your loved ones then you must plan a trip to the Island Passage. Check out Island Passage for some ideas of places that you can visit in Island Passage, according to the time that you have on your hands.

10. Experience nature at its best with a visit to Denali National Park and Preserve

Rams on a ridge in Denali National Park | Photo Credit – National Park Service, Ala

Formerly famous at Mount McKinley National Park, this park is the third-largest national park in the U.S. State and a must-visit in Alaska. The park is home to Denali, the highest mountain in the United States of America. With a height of 20,320 feet, it makes for a breathtaking view.

The place encompasses about six million acres of wildland through which runs a 92-mile long road. Denali National Park and Preserve is a perfect place for visitors who desire to experience nature in its unadulterated form. With a visit to this park, you shall be able to experience a number of natural sites like wildlife, age-old trees, and even glaciers! In Denali, you can engage in a number of outdoor activities.

For instance, if you enjoy hiking, this is just the right place for you. To know more about suggested hiking routes, check out their official website. Besides hiking, there are more ways to enjoy the beauty of Denali National Park and Preserve.

You can enroll yourself for a tour of the park and enjoy the beauty of Denali through the park bus. If you like rafting, you can also engage in rafting at the Nenana River. Denali National Park and Preserve come with endless opportunities for exploration and we are sure you will have a wonderful time. 

11. Expand your knowledge of Alaska with a visit to Alaska Native Heritage Center

you are interested in history and culture make sure to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Alaska Native Heritage Center | Photo Credit – Sandy Brown Jensen

Even though Alaska is best known for its natural sites, it should not keep you from checking out its other cultural locations. If you are interested in history and culture, make sure that you take out some time to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Located in the city of Anchorage, this institution is home to the heritage of eleven cultural groups of Alaska. The place is spread across 26 acres and is home to a number of interesting buildings like- the Hall of Culture, The Gathering Place, The Theatre, and Village Sites.

A visit to this place will equip you with a better understanding of the various indigenous communities of Alaska. The place holds a number of events from time to time, so be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. You can plan your visit in advance and formulate an itinerary by checking out the details of the place here.

12. Embark on an adventurous road trip on the Alaska Highway

When in Alaska, make sure that you embark on a road trip on the Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway | Photo Credit – Mike’s Alaska Travels

One of the best things to do on a vacation is to take a road trip with your loved ones. When in Alaska, make sure that you embark on a road trip on the Alaska Highway. Also known as Alaska-Canada Highway, this route dates back to World War II.

The route is characterized by views of serene mountains and forest cover. There are a number of stops on the route which will make your journey worthwhile and will keep you hankering for more adventures. A road trip on the Alaska Highway is a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones and we highly recommend it to you.

While on the road trip, make sure that you frequently take stops to explore not just the shops along the route but also to take a moment to appreciate the natural landscape of the place. To know more about some of the stops that you should take when on the Alaska Highway.

13. Check out Iditarod National Historic Trail

Iditarod National Historic Trail, Alaska | Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Managem

The Iditarod National Historic Trail is a must-visit place for visitors who desire to experience the sublime beauty of Alaska at its best. In total, it is 2300 miles and has a number of trails. The trail is also famous for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Visit this place with your loved ones to experience a combination of glaciers and mountains. The sights that you will witness at Iditarod National Historic Trail will give you sweet memories for a lifetime and we highly recommend it to you.

14. Visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

St. Elias National Park and Preserve | Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Managem

Alaska is known for its national parks and one of the parks that you must not miss out on is the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. The park is famous for being the largest national park in all of the United States of America. Apart from the breathtaking views that the park offers, there are a number of recreational activities that you can indulge in at the park.

We would recommend you to check out their Visitors Center, which will acquaint you with the park and help you settle on a desirable way to navigate the park. You could also check out the backcountry cabins at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

15. Treat yourself to breathtaking sights at Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park | Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Management Oregon and WashingtonF

Kenai Fjords National Park is home to the brown bears of Alaska and is a must-visit for tourists who love wildlife. The Kenai Fjords National Park is about two and a half drive from the south of Anchorage, which makes it a perfect place to visit on a road trip with your family.

Here, apart from the wildlife, you will also have the chance to experience breathtaking glaciers and mountains. When at Kenai Fjords National Park, make sure that you check out the Harding Icefield that will leave you speechless. A visit to this park will enable you to spend some time in the lap of nature.

This place will be one of the best national parks not just in Alaska but also in the United States of America and we highly recommend you to include it in your travel itinerary. 

Also, read about Unique things to do in downtown Seattle.


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