Places to See in Alaska
Alaska is nicknamed “The Last Frontier” for a reason. Packed with diverse wildlife, sprawling mountain ranges and glaciers, and even a few cities, Alaska is a great vacation destination for families craving adventure. Although most trips start in Anchorage—the largest city in the state—exploring the wilderness is also a major attraction in Alaska. When planning your trip, it can be tough to sift through the abundance of outdoor activities. To help narrow down your itinerary, take a look at these top places to see in Alaska that are sure to quench your thirst for adventure. Wildlife Tours Bear Viewing Tour Alaska is home to diverse wildlife. Aside from mountain goats, bison, moose, and birds, the state also contains 98% of the U.S. brown bear population. Known as a majestic symbol of Alaska’s wildlife, brown bears (as well as black bears and polar bears) can be seen up close on bear viewing tours. Katmai National Park is one of the world’s top areas to see brown bears. Here, you can watch the animals eat berries, fish, and even interact with each other. Whale Watching Tour Alaska’s nutrient-rich waters are an ideal environment for whales to thrive. During the late spring and summer months, take a small cruise to view several whale species, including gray whales, orcas, humpback whales, and beluga whales. Most tours leave from Alaska’s scenic coastal areas, such as Seward, Whittier, and Homer. National Parks Wrangell-St. Elias National Park With more than 13 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias is America’s largest national park. The vast, undeveloped land is a perfect place to experience pure Alaskan wilderness. Soar across the mountains and glaciers in a small plane, take a scenic drive, or tour the historic mining town of Kennecott. With so many activities available, be sure to plan ahead to fit it all in. Denali National Park Home to Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain peak in North America, Denali National Park is a great addition to summer trips. Most visitors experience the park via Denali Park Road, a mostly unpaved, 92-mile-long road. Weather can be unpredictable and snow is often possible (even during the summer), so make sure you’re prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Outdoor Adventures See the Northern Lights Alaska’s brisk winter air and its northern latitude make it a perfect place for viewing the northern lights. If you’re visiting from September through mid-April, witness the dramatic and natural color show under the Alaskan sky. Well worth the loss of sleep, the best time to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis is during the deep hours of the night. Go Whitewater Rafting For a heart-pumping adventure in the warmer months, hop on an Alaska rafting tour down a glacial river, such as Mendenhall Lake (home to Mendenhall Glacier). Choose between a wilder ride or a scenic float trip through the vast wilderness of Alaska past dense forests and 7,000-foot-tall mountains. Continue your glacier adventure with an ice climbing excursion in the winter months. With all of the sights and attractions in Alaska, it’s hard to go wrong when planning your trip itinerary. What are you most interested in seeing on your vacation in Alaska?