25 Finest Locations to Go to in Alaska In 2023

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Alaska, the ultimate frontier of journey journey is on the high of many bucket lists. The most important state in the US is a vacation spot that gives guests an unparalleled alternative to expertise the pure magnificence and rugged wilderness of the Arctic. Alaska is a spot that captures the creativeness and the spirit of journey. From the bustling metropolis of Anchorage to the distant wilderness of Denali Nationwide Park, there isn’t a scarcity of locations to go to in Alaska. And we’ve seen most of them.

High Locations to Go to in Alaska

Alaska’s panorama is various, starting from snow-capped mountains to glaciers, fjords, and an expanse of forests. We fell in love with Alaska the primary time we visited in 2011 and when taking my mother and father on a Holland American Cruise final summer time, we have been thrilled to have the ability to share its magnificence and introduce them.

When selecting your cruise or land tour by means of Alaska, it may be tough to resolve the place to cease or what to see, so we’re rounding up among the finest locations to go to in Alaska that we’ve been that will help you plan your journey.

1. Denali Nationwide Park and Protect

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Denali National Park preserve

There are 17 nationwide parks in Alaska, and Denali Nationwide Park and Protect is actually the preferred of all of them. It can’t be seen from a cruise and must be added as a land tour or you’ll be able to journey to it independently. This huge wilderness space is positioned in central Alaska and is house to North America’s highest peak, Denali (Mount McKinley) which stands at 6190 meters (20,310 toes),

One of many first issues guests often do at this nationwide park is to hop aboard transformed college buses to get pleasure from a guided scenic tour in quest of grizzly bears, moose, wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep.

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Denali Wildlife

We took this ATV journey which was a hoot using alongside trails. The journey contains 360° overlook views of the Alaska Vary, Otto Lake, and the Healy Valley.

Some of the well-liked actions in Denali Nationwide Park is climbing. The park has a community of climbing trails that vary from quick walks to multi-day backpacking journeys. It has 6 campgrounds which do get busy in the summertime months so it’s a good suggestion to make a reservation. Remember to test in with the Denali Customer Middle earlier than venturing out into the park.

McKinley Chalet Resort

Best Places to Visit in Alaska McKinley Chalet Resort

We stayed at McKinley Chalet Resort which was superior. Positioned lower than 2 miles from the nationwide park entrance, we felt proper in the course of the wilderness. The newly renovated suites in our wing have been stylish and fashionable with that rustic mountain lodge really feel.

Our balcony seemed over the mountains. The property is giant with totally different areas indifferent from the primary lodge. We loved a enjoyable night right here watching The Music of Denali as we our servers carried out on stage whereas feeding us recent Alaskan salmon, ribs, and mashed potatoes, household fashion.

2. Denali – Mt. McKinely

Best Places to visit in Alaska Mount McKinley Denali

If you’re fortunate whereas visiting the park, you could possibly spy the majestic mountain, Denali. It’s often overcast, however we’ve been fortunate sufficient to see it from our land tour and by a scenic flight.

A scenic flight was a completely beautiful method to expertise North America’s tallest peak. Seeing the glaciers and ice fields from above was an intimidating sight. At occasions it felt as if we may attain out and contact it. E-book this scenic flight over Denali the place you’ll fly near the summit of Denali, get pleasure from views of the Alaska Vary and witness the Tokositna and Ruth Glaciers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

Avid climbers can try to overcome Denali. However in contrast to Mount Kilimanjaro, it requires severe climbing expertise and winter tenting. If you’re new to mountaineering, it’s higher to stay to taking in scenic views.

3. Glacier Bay Nationwide Park

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay Nationwide Park is among the most original locations on this planet. It’s designated a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and rightly so with historical past packed in each single molecule of its historic glacier historical past. 

The Grand Pacific Glacier was greater than 4000 toes thick simply two centuries in the past however has shrunk considerably. At the moment the glacier has been divided into many small ones and plenty of of them are calving to this present day. Meaning at any second an enormous block of ice may fall off of them, which additionally means most of the glaciers need to be loved from a distance.

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Glacier Bay

The park is made up of greater than 3 million acres and may solely be reached by ship or float airplane. Alaska’s inside passage in Glacier Bay takes you from forest to ice and is breathtaking to expertise as you float the fjord. Whenever you’re within the inside passage it’s nearly as if nothing else exists.

Throughout our Holland America Cruise, we circled the bay having fun with panoramic views of the glaciers from the entrance deck. By having a balcony suite, we then retired to our room to benefit from the views with a glass of champagne as we relaxed in privateness taking on this marvel of the world.

4. Ketchikan

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Ketchikan

One among our favourite locations to go to in Alaska is Ketchikan. The Salmon Capital of the world and Alaska’s first metropolis, this can be a city the place most cruises cease both first or final. Positioned on the Inside Passage in southern Alaska, this frontier city was as soon as a thriving settlement for the gold rush and as you stroll alongside the boardwalks of historic Creek Road, you’ll be able to see historic buildings from the purple gentle district courting again to the 1800s.

Ketchikan can be probably the greatest locations to see whales in Alaska and there are many boat excursions that can take you onto the water. We took a zodiac tour in Ketchikan the place we explored the coast, spied bald eagles and whales from our self-drive boats.

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Bear Watching Neets Bay

Ketchikan additionally has the world’s largest assortment of standing Native American totem poles. Be certain that to look as much as see all of them. If you wish to delve into Indigenous tradition, go to the Totem Heritage Middle and study concerning the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Peoples.

You can too see extra Totem poles on the Saxam Village in Ketchikan and we noticed Totem Bight State Historic Park on one other cruise in Alaska. Positioned simply exterior of Ketchikan, it’s listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

5. Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary

best places to visit in alaska ketchikan home to the largest collection of totem poles

Ketchikan can be house to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. It covers 40 acres of protected land and is house to a various vary of wildlife, together with black bears, bald eagles, Sitka black-tailed deer, and salmon.

We took a float airplane out to Neets Bay to look at bears feast on spawning salmon as they fattened up for winter hibernation. This was probably the greatest experiences we’ve ever had. Be certain that to e book it early as these excursions replenish rapidly. If you wish to see brown bears feeding on salmon as a substitute, the place to try this is at Katmai Nationwide Park and Protect.

6. Misty Fjords Nationwide Monument

places in alaska misty fjords national monument

One of many star sights is Misty Fjords Nationwide Monument which is positioned simply 22 miles east of Ketchikan. It’s made up of sheer rock partitions that attain 3000 toes straight out of the ocean. Take a scenic flight right here the place you’ll witness steep sea cliffs, steep fjords, and rainforests.

The place to Keep in Ketchikan

If you’re staying in Ketchikan, take a look at the Inn at Creek Road – These restored historic buildings provide distinctive lodging within the coronary heart of downtown. Most rooms have kitchenettes and fridges. Particulars right here.

The Touchdown – The Touchdown Lodge is positioned in downtown Ketchikan. It has The Touchdown Restaurant & Jeremiah’s Pub on website.

7. Juneau – Mendenhall Glacier

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Juneau Mendenhall Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier

Many cruise ships additionally begin and end their journeys in Juneau, Alaska. I do know we’ve got! Named after Joe Juneau, a French-Canadian miner, and prospector Juneau is among the extra occurring cities in Alaska. One among its foremost vacationer sights is the large Mendenhall Glacier positioned on the Juneau Ice subject.

Juneau is a spot in Alaska that requires no less than a few days to discover. The city itself has a enjoyable old-west vibe full with saloons, boardwalks, and loads of sights. It’s additionally one of many premier locations on this planet to identify bald eagles with them being so plentiful there’s a seashore really referred to as Bald Eagle Seashore. Learn extra about all of the 28 Wonderful Issues to do in Juneau, Alaska

The place to Keep in Juneau

4 Factors by Sheraton – Positioned on the waterfront we discovered this to be a really handy resort. It was inside strolling distance to downtown plus it has quick access to the Seadrome Marina.

Ramada Inn by Wyndham – One other nice location in Juneau just a bit farther away from the historic downtown than the Sheraton. However nonetheless inside strolling distance and we beloved their restaurant and bar.

8. Mendenhall Ice Caves

Best Places to visit in Alaska Mendenhall Ice Caves

The Mendenhall ice caves are one of many coolest issues to see in Juneau. This pure attraction will make you’re feeling as if you will have been transported to a planet of ice and glass. The Mendenhall ice caves are often accessible between July and September.

You may take a tour to see the Mendenhall Glacier and benefit from the climbing trails across the lake to see its totally different viewpoint.

  • E-book this highly-rated Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves Tour. For the journey of a lifetime, paddle the Mendenhall Lake to the Glacier the place you’ll get to discover the glacier up shut and private.
  • Or you’ll be able to be part of a canoe journey to the glacier the place you’ll seek for wildlife, paddle round ice flows and at last step foot on the glacier.

9. Tongass Nationwide Forest

best places to visit in alaska tongass national forest

It’s onerous to imagine that Alaska has a rainforest however Tongass Nationwide Forest is the biggest functioning temperate rainforest on Earth. The dimensions of Tongass is mind-blowing at greater than 16 million acres of land. From each Ketchikan and Juneau, you’ll be able to go to Tongass Nationwide Forest.

Within the forest, you’ll be able to get pleasure from its climbing trails and should you’re in Juneau, you’ll be able to take a mere 15-minute drive to the Mendenhall Glacier Customer Middle which is positioned inside the forest. We took a lovely guided hike to the glacier the place we watched salmon spawn and realized about its natural world. Moreover Mendenhall, there are quite a few different glaciers and climbing trails unfold throughout the park. 

Best Places to visit in Alaska Tongass National Forest Flora Alaska

The park is house to all kinds of wildlife like wolves, black bears, and deer. You may even spot humpback whales and sea lions within the close by waters. Tongass Nationwide Park has the comforts of town inside it in addition to the comforts of the wild all through.  

10. Fairbanks

Best Places to visit in Alaska Fairbanks

The very first place we ever visited in Alaska was Fairbanks, Alaska and this city is superior. When visiting Alaska in the summertime it’s really the land of the Midnight Solar. There are such a lot of issues to do in Fairbanks from studying about Native American Tradition and exploring the Chena River to stress-free within the Chena Sizzling Springs.

best places to visit in Alaska Yukon Quest Headquarters Fairbanks

One of many extra fascinating locations to go to is the Yukon Quest Alaska Headquarters. That is the beginning of the Yukon Quest canine sled race the place you’ll be able to study concerning the well-known canine mushers and groups who’ve taken half through the years. Together with our pal Hank McCready who ran the prettiest group in Alaska. One other cease is the fountainhead vintage auto museum the place classic vehicles are on show. It’s constantly ranked as probably the greatest auto museums on this planet.

The place to Keep in Fairbanks

For Aurora viewing take a look at Aurora Villa. This contemporary retreat is a boutique resort providing views of the northern lights nestled within the mountains above Fairbanks.

11. Anchorage

best places to visit in alaska anchorage largest city

A go to to Alaska wouldn’t be full with out seeing Anchorage. It’s the largest metropolis in Alaska and a global hub with entry to Alaska’s inside and coast. It’s right here which you can hop on the Alaska Railroad to discover the good frontier.

Anchorage was the beginning of our cruise. After disembarking from the railway, we loved two nights in downtown Anchorage. With cafés and eating places, it has all of the facilities of an enormous metropolis. A spotlight to go to is the ultra-modern Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Middle and The Alaska Native Heritage Middle exploring the life and tradition of Alaska’s indigenous individuals.

12. Skagway

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Skagway

Skagway is a bustling city the place almost each ship stops. It may be overwhelming spending only a day in Skagway. This outdated wild west city is full of vitality. On the town, you’ll be able to go to the Klondike Customer’s Middle to study all concerning the Gold Rush that attracted individuals to this a part of the world.

Take a step again in time and go to the Skagway Nationwide Historic District. It’s positioned within the city of Skagway and the Klondike Gold Rush Nationwide Historic Park has managed to make sure that historic buildings from the Gold Rush days are nonetheless intact. Simply strolling by means of Skagway downtown will make you’re feeling such as you your self have traveled again in time to when trying to find gold and grabbing a pint after was all in a day’s work.   

13. White Move Railway and Yukon Route Railroad

places to visit in alaska white pass railroad
Trip by means of the Klondike Gold Rush Nationwide Historic Park

The classic locomotive takes you alongside the Chilcoot Path the place prospectors risked their lives in quest of gold. If you’re strolling round city, make your method to Pullen Creek Stream Stroll to see the salmon run.

We took the most effective of all of Skagway by taking a helicopter flight over the glaciers out to the nationwide forest in quest of wildlife earlier than hopping on the historic White Move and Yukon Railroad. We’ve achieved the railroad tour by itself, however extremely suggest the flight, hike, and railway tour as a substitute. You solely have to experience the railway a method and this gave us the most effective of all worlds.

14. Dalton Freeway

best places to visit in alaska dalton highwa

If you wish to go much more distant, proceed on from Fairbanks to Deadhorse alongside the Dalton Freeway close to the Prudhoe Bay Oil fields and the Arctic Ocean. We haven’t achieved this drive, however we’ve got been as much as the Arctic Ocean within the neighboring Northwest Territories in Canada and the surroundings right here is actually magnificent.

The Dalton Freeway is taken into account some of the remoted roads in the US. It crossed the Arctic Circle and we did this on the same Dempster Freeway. it’s the coolest factor to drive proper throughout the Arctic Circle. It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. Take pleasure in studying our 15 Nice Highway Journeys in America

15. Seward

Seward is a small city positioned on the Kenai Peninsula and presents many actions for out of doors fans. There are many issues you are able to do in Seward together with boat excursions to Kenai Fjords Nationwide Park, or the Alaska SeaLife Middle which is a superb place to study marine life in Alaska and see sea lions, puffins, and different animals up shut.

The encircling mountains have loads of climbing trails together with the Harding Icefield Path and the Exit Glacier Path.

16. Alaska Freeway

best places to visit in alaska, The Alaska Highway Road Trip

If you wish to attempt a really genuine expertise, make sure that to drive the Alaska Freeway from Dawson’s Creek in British Columbia. This epic highway journey crosses by means of southeast Alaska letting you see a unique facet of the sate. We made the same journey alongside the Dempster Freeway within the Yukon and let me inform you, there’s nothing prefer it on Earth.

The Alaska Freeway is a 1400-mile journey that ends in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alongside the drive, you’ll encounter glaciers and mountains and grizzly bears, and extra and it’ll positively be a visit you received’t overlook. After all, you don’t need to take the freeway, you’ll be able to merely take a airplane and land your self in considered one of Alaska’s large cities.

17. Kenai Fjords Nationwide Park

best places to visit in alaska Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska
Stunning Kenai fjords nationwide park

The Kenai Fjords Nationwide Park within the Kenai Peninsula is among the finest locations to go to in Alaska with glaciers, an icefield, and bears and seals lolling about. One of the best ways to see this distant vacation spot is to get out on a cruise the place you may get out on kayaks to discover the fjords.

Be certain that to go to the Kenai Fjords Nationwide Park Customer Centre in Seward earlier than you head out to study path circumstances and the Kenai Peninsula earlier than you head into the park. And don’t miss seeing Exit Glacier positioned simply 10 minutes from Seward, it’s considered one of Alaska’s most accessible roadside glaciers.

Kenai Fjords Nationwide Park was a nationwide monument after which turned a Nationwide park designed to guard the misty fjords, rainforest, and wildlife that make up the realm. At the moment, the Kenai Peninsula is a beloved a part of the native Anchorage group because it’s only a two-hour drive exterior of town. 

18. Wrangell Elias Nationwide Park

Cool Places to Visit in Alaska Wrangell Elias National Park

It’s bigger than Yellowstone Nationwide Park, the truth is, it’s bigger than all North American nationwide parks, Wrangell St. Elias Nationwide Park is America’s largest nationwide park at a whopping 13.2 million acres. It’s a nationwide treasure that few individuals get to see. Take a look at America’s first nationwide park: Finest issues to do in Yellowstone NP.

The park is stuffed with volcanoes and glaciers and the distinctive panorama attracts all kinds of wildlife like mountain goats and brown bears (similar as grizzly bears) Wrangell St Elias Nationwide Park is an element tundra and temperate rainforest. It’s also house to moose, Dall sheep, bison, goats, and caribou.

Top Places to Visit in Alaska Wrangell Elias Volcanic Field

Some of the fascinating belongings you may see is ice worms. From the title, you’d assume they need to be see-through or white, however ice worms are literally black and you may see them by means of frozen surfaces. When you’re a fowl watcher, you’ll love the Copper River Basin Space which is a part of the migratory route of quite a few fowl species. Moreover, you’ll possible see bald eagles, swans, ravens, and owls too. 

19. Northern Lights

Best Things to see in Alaska Northern Lights

Whereas summertime in Alaska offers guests the prospect to expertise the midnight solar with almost 24 hours of daylight, when the cooler temperatures arrive you can also make a visit to Alaska to see the Northern Lights.

The very best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is in winter or late autumn and early spring. Mild air pollution will likely be your enemy so if you wish to get the true Aurora expertise, the most effective locations to go to will likely be exterior of Alaska’s large cities. You may ask the resort that you simply’re staying at to wake you when the lights are out as fairly a lot of inns in Alaska provide this service.

To view the Aurora Borealis keep on the Northern Sky Lodge in Fairbanks. The lodge is nestled amongst 21 acres, solely half-hour from Fairbanks Worldwide Airport and 90 minutes from Denali Nationwide Park. It makes for an excellent base to discover the inside of Alaska.

20. Alaska Native Heritage Middle

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Native Heritage Center

To really admire the Alaskan local weather and way of life it’s positively a good suggestion to study concerning the indigenous historical past of the state. Your go to to the Alaska Native Heritage Middle provides you with a glimpse into the lives of 11 Alaska cultures together with the Haida and Tsimshian First Nations whose territory goes proper into Canada and down into British Columbia.

You’ll get to look at conventional dancing, meet Indigenous artists, and even go to dwellings that offer you an opportunity to expertise how the Indigenous individuals lived within the winter in Alaska earlier than there was electrical energy.

21. Iditarod Nationwide Historic Path

Top places to visit in Alaska Iditarod National Historic Trail

The historic Iditarod Path is finest recognized lately for the Iditarod Canine Sledding Race however previous to the race, it was a route utilized by Native Individuals previous to the introduction of different autos.

This path took of us 50 miles north of Seward all the best way to Nome. They weren’t simply going for a leisurely mush nevertheless, these of us carried heavy provides to distant communities. Canine sleds performed an necessary half in Native transportation and Europeans that got here after additionally adopted this environment friendly transportation methodology within the harsh northern local weather.

Lately you can also make your personal recollections on the path by strolling it or utilizing a tour operator that can take you on a standard canine sled on the path. The Iditarod Canine Sledd Race takes place in March and attracts a whole lot of consideration. When you occur to be there throughout that point it’s positively one thing you shouldn’t miss.

22. Alaska Railroad

Cool Places in Alaska  Railroad Train

When you’re a little bit of a romantic then the concept of taking a railroad throughout the wilderness will get you excited. The Alaska Railroad was established in 1903 and nonetheless runs as we speak. It traverses nearly 500 miles from Seward as much as Fairbanks with stops alongside the best way.

If you need a cushty go to whereas testing the Alaskan wilderness, you must e book a seat on the Alaska Railroad. The ticket value will fluctuate primarily based on how far you journey and which cabin you resolve to e book. Moreover, you’ll be able to get pleasure from breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees in your journey whereas having fun with the great thing about the Pacific Ocean, Alaska glaciers, rivers and mountains.

23. Prince William Sound

Best Places to Visit in Alaska Prince William sound

It’s really a surprising sight to see so many salmon multi functional place. When you’re searching for a enjoyable day journey then look no additional than Prince William Sound.

The Sound is positioned on the south finish of Alaska with unimaginable surroundings and is among the prettiest locations you’ll go to. You may take a ship tour out to go to the sound and in addition get pleasure from a scrumptious meal on the water. The Sound is surrounded by glaciers and the most important tidewater glacier is the Columbia Glacier.

You’ll really feel what a goldfish seems like as the environment appear larger than life. There’s additionally a whole lot of wildlife within the space so hold your digital camera useful for epic pics you’ll be able to take a look at time and again. This won’t be some of the well-known Alaska locations, however you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring scene should you resolve to be one of many few that go to.

24. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Middle

Alaska Conservation Center

If you wish to assure to view Alaska’s wildlife then you must take a look at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Middle. The middle goals to guard and protect the wildlife of Alaska by means of training and analysis.

The middle is positioned off the Seward Freeway close to the Portage Valley Glacier on Turnagain Arm. It’s 200 acres of pure marvel as you get an opportunity to see bison, coyotes, bears, and different wildlife up shut. The conservation middle is sectioned off into areas for various wildlife. You may drive by means of, park your automobile after which take a walkthrough.

25. Kodiak Nationwide Wildlife Refuge

brown bear in Alaska kodiak island

First established to guard the good brown bears that dwell on Kodiak Island, as we speak the Kodiak Nationwide Wildlife Refuge protects a complete lot extra. Sitting near 2,000,000 acres the refuge encompasses Ben Island and elements of Kodiak Island, Uganik Island, the Pink Peaks, and Afognak Island. 

It is stuffed with rivers and streams and is a nesting floor for a number of hundred species of birds together with the Bald Eagle. At the moment the mission of the refuge shouldn’t be solely simply defend the brown bears, but in addition to preserve all wildlife, sea lions, and fish populations within the space.

It’s a large breeding floor for 5 species of salmon that additionally feed the lots of of birds that dwell on the island. That is palms down probably the greatest locations to go to in Alaska. The realm is barely accessible by floatplane or boat so if you wish to go to, you positively ought to plan forward. 

Bonus Alaska Journey

Alaska Adventure

If you’re seeking to go off the crushed path, you might wish to e book a visit to the Gates of the Arctic Nationwide Park and Protect. It’s positioned in northern Alaska, excessive above the Arctic Circle. It is among the most distant and least visited nationwide parks in the US.

The park covers 8.4 million acres and contains each the Brooks Vary mountains and the Arctic tundra. There are not any roads or trails within the park, and guests should be self-sufficient and ready for the difficult circumstances of the Arctic wilderness.

Entry to the park is restricted to small planes and helicopters, and guests should acquire permits earlier than getting into the park. Regardless of its remoteness, Gates of the Arctic Nationwide Park and Protect is a well-liked vacation spot for backpackers, hikers, and out of doors fans who’re drawn to the pristine wilderness and beautiful landscapes of the Arctic.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Top Places to Visit in Alaska FAQ

What are the prettiest locations in Alaska?

When you go to any of the nationwide parks in Alaska, you can be assured of discovering a reasonably place. Nothing actually beats Glacier Bay Nationwide Park however Katmai Nationwide Park is among the prettiest locations round. Katmai Nationwide Park and Protect can be probably the greatest locations to see brown bears within the wild. Many individuals e book this tour at Brooks Camp.

What do you have to keep away from in Alaska?

If you’re not a seasoned hiker or climber, it’s finest to avoid the glaciers and simply view them from afar or rent a information or tour to see them with an expert. Moreover, it’s best to remain off unmarked trails until you’re very skilled, and don’t enterprise to the backcountry until you will have expertise.

What’s one of the best ways to see Alaska in 10 days?

One of the best ways to see Alaska in 10 days is to take a cruise ship down or head to the capital metropolis of Juneau and make your manner up from there.

And these are the most effective locations to go to in Alaska. Have you ever been to Alaska? Alaska is considered one of our favorite journey locations on Earth and we sit up for going again quickly. What did we miss and the place ought to we go subsequent?

Plan Your Alaska Trip With These Assets

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