Top Tourist Attractions in Alaska

Alaska is one of the most scenic and fascinating parts of the country. The vast, uninhabited wilderness of The Last Frontier adds to the beauty and mystery of the state making it an appealing getaway spot for intrepid travelers and nature lovers.

Alaska Alaska

Mountains, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls. Sounds like your dream destination, right? Located in the Western United States, physically separate from the rest of the United States, Alaska is one of the most scenic and fascinating parts of the country. 

This sparsely populated U.S. State attracts tourists from far and wide with its awe-inspiring scenic beauty, enormous ice-age glaciers, and abundant wildlife. Apart from the capital city of Juneau, other major cities like Anchorage, it is important to experience the natural landmarks and attractions that make Alaska so beloved.  The vast, uninhabited wilderness of The Last Frontier adds to the beauty and mystery of the state making it an appealing getaway spot for intrepid travelers and nature lovers. 

Visitors can explore rustic lodges, magnificent peaks, and seaside escapes. The diverse terrain of open spaces, mountains, glaciers bigger than many US states, forests can be enjoyed while hiking, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, paddling, and fishing in the great outdoors, especially since Alaska is home to some of the largest national parks in the United States.

Alaska is open for travel year-around, however, the majority of the people travel to Alaska during the summer, June to August, as the days are long and the temperatures are warm.  Winter is also a fascinating time in Alaska even though travel options are limited as the landscapes are blanketed in bright white snow. Even though there are several museums and other tourist attractions in the major centers, towns are mostly used for exploring the Alaskan wilds, such as Denali National Park, Tracy Arm Fjords. Whether you travel for witnessing the glorious mountains, rivers and glaciers or to experience the wonder of the northern lights, the natural beauty of the place is sure to impress you. Since the sheer number of locations and activities in Alaska can be overwhelming, you can discover some of the best places to visit in this ruggedly beautiful state, including national parks, cities, and much more, with the help of our list of the top attractions in Alaska. Get ready, a visual treat awaits you!

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Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve is the third largest National Park in the United States in the northern part of the Alaska Range which encompasses North America’s highest mountain, the iconic and towering peak of Denali. Located midway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, this six million acres of wide river valleys, tundra, high alpine ranges, verdant spruce forests and glacier-draped mountains with unique flora and fauna creates a purely spectacular experience for the visitors. It is a protected wilderness area and home to grizzly bears, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, reindeer, elk, and other animals along with more than 160 species of birds. Nature enthusiasts can walk along the Savage River; admire the stillness of Wonder Lake or hike through Polychrome Pass. A favorite among the park’s many things to do is the Sled Dog Kennels, which offer demonstrations and are home to dozens of energetic huskies.

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Denali National Park and Preserve Denali National Park and Preserve

During summers, the adventure lovers can indulge in hiking, biking, whitewater rafting and back-country camping, boating in order to explore the national park, however, there are also bus tours that offer a climate-controlled and safe way for enjoying the beauty of the park . The colder months bring the snow required for skiing, snowshoeing etc. Short, ranger-led trail walks are available from the Denali Visitor Center, where you will be able to find informative and educational exhibits and rangers will show you how they live in the park and only park-approved buses are permitted to travel beyond Savage River. There is no place more rugged, wild and breathtakingly beautiful than Denali National park and visiting the place should definitely be on your Alaska bucket list!

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Anchorage

Anchorage, the largest city in the state of Alaska located near the Kenai, Talkeetna, and Chugach Mountains, is the gateway to Alaska adventure. Anchorage serves as the cultural center of Alaska’s native heritage and an economic heart of Alaska, hence, almost half the state’s residents live in or around the city. It offers the comforts of a large US city while being only about a 30-minute drive away from the Alaskan wilderness. It manages to mingle hiking trails and traffic jams, small art galleries and fine restaurants like no other city. The period between May and September is considered to be the best time to visit Anchorage.

Anchorage Anchorage

Visitors can explore the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Mount Alyeska Resort, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the popular Portage Glacier and the Kenai Peninsula. A drive along the Seward Highway can take you to Potter Marsh for an incredible wildlife viewing and bird watching or you can also set off on a hike along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or the Kincaid Park. Anchorage offers endless opportunities for other outdoor recreations which includes road biking, mountain biking, water sports, among others. Anchorage is one of the prime bases from which to witness the Northern lights as the shimmering aurora are seen swirling in Anchorage‘s skies from the middle of August through April. The blend of cultural heritage, art spots, wild Alaska beauty, cozy urban life, and outstanding natural scenery makes it an ideal place to enjoy your vacation.

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Tracy Arm Fjord

Tracy Arm Fjord, located around 45 miles south of downtown Juneau, is a popular destination for cruise ships and boat tours. ‘fjord’ is a Nordic term that means a long, narrow waterway usually formed by glaciers, surrounded by towering cliffs and Tracy Arm Fjord is no different as it is edged with elevated glaciers, waterfalls tumble down the sharp rock walls and the glaciers calve creating small icebergs.  Surrounded by emerald water, this scenic setting extends over 30 miles alongside the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness of the Tongass National Park. The area is best explored by small boat cruises as sailing through the deep and narrow passage provides a closer look at the 1,000 foot waterfalls, forested canyons, and stunning 7,000 foot high snow capped mountain peaks.

Tracy Arm Fjord Tracy Arm Fjord

Tracy Arm Fjord is home to the Sawyer Glaciers which create a breathtaking visual owing to the sapphire blue of the tidewater.   From brown bear, elk, wolves and moose on land to whales and seals that inhabit these waters, along with a variety of birds like eagles, pigeon guillemots, wildlife sightings are quite common during a tour around this beauty. The dolphins by the fjord are used to people and often swim up to the ships to meet the travelers. It is time to live your Alaskan dreams on a cruise exploring the turquoise tidewater and the spectacular Tracy Arm Wilderness Area.

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Mendenhall Glacier 

Mendenhall Glacier, a natural wonder found in the Mendenhall Valley, approximately at a distance of 12 miles from downtown Juneau in southeast Alaska is an enormous glacier that is calving, or separating, into its own adjacent lake. It is protected as part of Mendenhall Glacier Recreational Area within the Tongass National Forest and is accessible by highway all year round. There are different ways to experience this 13-mile long sheet of ice, from a simple shuttle ride to see it up close to a helicopter ride to truly appreciate the sheer size and grandeur of the glacier. Inside the glacier lies the stunning blue Ice Caves where the visitors can witness magic as the water runs over rocks and under frozen bright-blue ceilings inside a partially hollow glacier. Accessible by road, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center includes exhibits about the glacier as well as several viewing platforms, while the trails venture along the shore to roaring Nugget Falls, as well as the impressive ice masses. Adventure enthusiasts can try out the Mendenhall Glacier West Glacier Trail which is extremely challenging but provides incredible opportunities for photography.

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Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier

Wildlife including black bears, porcupines, beavers, etc. are commonly spotted while exploring this gleaming blue landscape. Whether you choose to hike around the river of ice that flows out of the mountains, stand in the gaping mouth of an ice cave or witness the parade of icebergs that the glacier discharges into the Mendenhall River, the vibrant shades of blues throughout the ice from aqua to sapphire to cobalt would captivate your soul. So, when are you booking tickets to Alaska to witness this visual treat?

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Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island, part of the wider Kodiak Archipelago, is the largest island off the southern coast of Alaska and the second-largest island in the United States. Also referred to as the ‘Emerald Isle’ due to the lush vegetation that carpets the terrain, the verdant landscape and abundant outdoor opportunities makes it an ideal place for the nature enthusiasts. The varying landscapes is a remarkable feature of the island as it is fairly treeless in the south however, the northern and eastern side are mountainous and heavily forested. Visitors can delve into Kodiak’s rich history at the Kodiak History Museum located within the 200 year old National Historic Landmark building known as the Russian-American Magazin. A vast area of the island is also part of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge which includes a diverse habitat that ranges from rugged mountains and alpine meadows to wetlands, spruce forest, and grassland. Kodiak is the land of humongous brown bears and king crab and you will also find plenty of trails and fishing opportunities on the island owing to the easy access to the ocean. Several state parks are scattered throughout the island that provide opportunities for backcountry camping, hiking, etc. If you are looking for the perfect escape from city life, your search ends here.

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