Alaska, also known as “The Last Frontier,” is a land filled with breathtaking natural landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. Here are some of the must-see places in Alaska that you should add to your travel itinerary:
1. Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to Denali, the highest peak in North America, standing at an impressive 20,310 feet. This vast wilderness offers awe-inspiring views of glaciers, tundra, and abundant wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou. Explore hiking trails, go camping, or take a bus tour to fully experience the grandeur of this national park.
2. Kenai Fjords National Park
Located on the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai Fjords National Park is a mesmerizing blend of towering glaciers, rugged coastline, and marine wildlife. Take a boat tour to witness the stunning tidewater glaciers calving into the sea, spot humpback whales, sea lions, and puffins, and hike through the lush rainforest trails.
3. Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is a network of scenic coastal waterways that stretches from Puget Sound, Washington, to the Gulf of Alaska. This popular cruise route offers spectacular views of icy fjords, picturesque islands, and charming coastal towns such as Juneau and Ketchikan. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this region and keep an eye out for whales, bald eagles, and orcas.
4. Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its dramatic landscapes and massive glaciers. Witness the immense power of nature as you watch glaciers calving into the sea and listen to the thunderous roars. Explore the park by boat or kayak, and make sure to spot the diverse wildlife, including seals, otters, and a variety of bird species.
As Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage offers a perfect blend of urban amenities and outdoor adventures. Visit the Anchorage Museum to learn about the state’s history and rich indigenous culture, take a scenic flight to Mount McKinley, or go hiking and wildlife viewing in Chugach State Park. Don’t miss out on the vibrant local food scene and the opportunity to sample fresh Alaskan seafood.
6. Mendenhall Glacier
Located just outside of Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is a stunning natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed. Witness the mesmerizing blue ice and listen to the cracking sounds as the glacier slowly moves. Take a guided tour or hike to the observation points for breathtaking views of this massive glacier and its surrounding beauty.
7. Seward Highway
If you’re up for a scenic road trip, the Seward Highway is a must-see. This 127-mile highway connects Anchorage to the coastal town of Seward, offering breathtaking vistas along the way. Drive alongside snow-capped mountains, stunning glaciers, and picturesque fjords. Take your time to stop at viewpoints, picnic areas, and hiking trails to fully appreciate the natural splendor of this route.
Nestled at the base of the Alaska Range, Talkeetna is a charming small town with a vibrant arts scene and an adventurous spirit. Take a flightseeing tour to see the majestic Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Explore the quaint shops, art galleries, and local eateries. Don’t forget to try the famous Talkeetna Alaskan IPA at the local brewery!
9. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States, encompassing over 13 million acres of rugged wilderness. This vast and remote park is a paradise for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Experience glaciers, towering mountains, and stunning wilderness. Go backpacking, fishing or take a flightseeing tour to witness the untamed beauty of this Alaskan gem.
Sitka, a picturesque town on Baranof Island, is known for its rich Russian and Tlingit heritage. Immerse yourself in the town’s history by visiting the Russian Bishop’s House and the Sheldon Jackson Museum. Take a stroll along the charming streets lined with colorful houses, explore the coastal trails, and keep an eye out for bald eagles and sea otters.
Alaska is a destination like no other, offering endless opportunities for adventure, awe-inspiring natural beauty, and cultural experiences that will leave you enchanted. Make sure to include these must-see places in Alaska in your travel plans to create unforgettable memories.