Top 10 must visit places in Alaska

Top 10 Must Visit Places in Alaska

Why not travel close to home next year? From the rugged wilderness of Denali National Park, to the gold rush town of Skagway and of course Fairbanks, the gateway to the Arctic, here are our top 10 must visit places in Alaska.

1. Ketchikan

Situated at the southernmost entrance of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage, Ketchikan is highly regarded for its salmon fishing, alongside its breathtaking scenery and rich Alaskan Native culture. From nations such as the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian, take time to admire the world’s largest collection of totem poles, scattered throughout the town and at the Totem Heritage Centre.

Venture downtown and browse the historical shops, housing local painters, weavers, carvers and more. For lovers of the outdoors, fly over the Misty Fjords in a floatplane, catch a king salmon on a fishing charter or watch for whales.
Stroll through Ketchikan, Alaska

2. Juneau

Arrive at Juneau, Alaska’s state capital which is only accessible by sea or air. Surrounded by water, forest and mountain sights, Juneau is one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States and visitors are treated to a wealth of indoor and outdoor activities. One of the most popular attractions however is the Menderhall Glacier, which constantly moves and changes with the seasons.

Hike up close to the glacier along the moderately easy trail to Nugget Falls and admire the stunning waterfall. Alternatively, sample freshly caught fish, watch for bears and tour a grand capitol building. 
Bear spotting in Juneau, Alaska

3. Skagway

Be transported back in time to the gold rush era (1897 to 1898) as you disembark at Skagway, the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush. Home to restored buildings along streets lined with wooden boardwalk, Skagway is full of history and has changed very little over the last 100 years. Stroll along the boardwalk, browse the shops and step inside the infamous Red Onion Saloon, where they still keep a pistol that the American frontiersman, Wyatt Earp left behind.

Other attractions include riding the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a classic narrow gauge railway that traverses rugged mountains and passes cascading waterfalls as it connects Skagway to Whitehorse, deep in the Yukon. Alternatively try your luck at gold dredging, or board the only remaining authentic Alaskan sternwheeler for a cruise along the Chena and Tanana rivers.
Skagway White Pass, Alaska

4. Glacier Bay National Park

As part of the breathtaking Alaskan Inside Passage cruise, be mesmerized by the dramatic ice walls of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Covering an area of more than 25 million acres, this World Heritage Site has more active tidewater glaciers than any other place on earth.

Admire the sheer beauty of Glacier Bay at the front of the ship as you sail through these icy waters, dotted with stunning icebergs. Wait patiently at Margerie Glacier, one of the most popular viewing points, and listen for the thunderous roar as the ice calves and crashes into the water – a thrilling spectacle to watch.

Keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife on the shore and in the water. Watch brown bears search for food on the shoreline, sea lions resting on icebergs and puffins, terns and guillemots soaring through the sky. Other activities in Glacier Bay include kayaking, hiking, flight-seeing and whale watching.
Cruise beautiful Glacier Bay, Alaska

5. Anchorage

Whilst in Anchorage, be sure to pay a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre, home to over a thousand moose. Explore the local culture and learn about the native traditions and language at the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, whilst the Anchorage Museum, the largest museum in the state, is home to art and history galleries.

For outdoor activities, cycle the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, go flight-seeing and soar over glaciers and mountains and watch for wildlife, or try your hand at fishing at Ship Creek, home to five species of salmon.
Alaska Native Heritage Centre, Anchorage, Alaska

6. Talkeetna

This charming small Alaskan town is not to be missed during your trip to Alaska. Stroll down Main Street, lined with log cabins and clapboard storefronts. Browse through the gift shops in search of locally made treasures and pop in to Nagley’s General Store, founded in 1912.

Enjoy a guided raft excursion along the Little Susitna River, boasting some of the best views of Denali or learn about the history of Denali and the climbers who made the first ascents at the Talkeetna Historical Society Museum.
Cruise the river in Talkeetna, Alaska

7. Denali National Park

Covering six million acres of wild land, and home to North America’s tallest peak, Mt. McKinley, standing 20,308 feet tall, a visit to Denali National Park will allow you to explore Alaska’s rugged wilderness and admire its breathtaking natural beauty.

Journey to Denali between late May and early September for the warmer weather and the numerous outdoor activities including hiking, rafting, fishing and flight-seeing. Denali is also a great base to observe the wildlife where you can spot grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolves and Dall sheep as well as Arctic ground squirrels, lynx and marmots. With so much to see, it’s best to spend at least two nights here for the full Denali experience. Enjoy a stay at the McKinley Chalet Resort, an exclusive resort set in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness.
Denali National Park, Alaska

8. Fairbanks

Located in Alaska’s interior, Fairbanks is a gateway to the Arctic, and one of the best places to view the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis from August to April.

During the summer, cruise or kayak along the Chena and Tanana rivers, explore life in the Alaskan bush with an Athabascan native guide at Fort Yukon and visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to some of the most diverse and spectacular wildlife in the Arctic. Experience the thrill of flying over the Arctic Circle and even be presented with a certificate to prove it.
View the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska

9. Kenai Peninsula

Located just south of Anchorage, it’s easy to see why Kenai Peninsula is known as Alaska’s Playground. Home to some of the most accessible wilderness adventures in Alaska, Kenai Peninsula is perfect for observing wildlife in their natural habitat.

View the famed Katmai and Wolverine Creek bears as well as black and brown bears and marine wildlife. Go dogsledding, rafting and horseback riding, try your hand at fishing and admire the spectacular scenery from the air on a seaplane.
Stay at the Kenai Wilderness Lodge in Alaska

10. Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier, named after Gardiner Hubbard, the founder and president of the National Geographic Society, is the longest tidewater glacier in North America at 400 ft long, 272 ft tall and 7 miles wide. Interestingly, this glacier is actually advancing and thickening, not retreating like every other glacier on the continent.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the deep blue face of the glacier as you cruise through the icy waters, watch the ice calve and crash into Disenchantment Bay and spot seals lying on the floaties.
Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

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