With its gorgeous shoreline, massive mountains, and sparse population, Alaska really is a playground for anyone who loves the outdoors. Whether it’s fishing or hiking, photography or animal-watching that attracts you to “the last frontier,” you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for. With so much to do and see, it’s not filling your itinerary that’s difficult, but deciding what activities you’ll have to leave out. Here are the most unique best things to do in Alaska to consider for your epic Alaskan adventure. Filling your itinerary is not difficult, but deciding what activities you’ll have to leave out.
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Unique Things to Do in Alaska
Alaska, the northernmost state of the US and also the largest, is known by many as a cold place with little fun stuff to do but as you will find out by reading this post, there are tons of things to do in Alaska for adventure lovers.
Out of all of these attractions, I definitely have a few favorites that everyone should try even if they don’t have much time to spend in the area.
Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Explore The History Of This Fascinating Region
It’s easy to enjoy the activities and social aspects of Alaska, but why not take some time out to visit many museums and cultural sites on offer, and you can discover the rich cultural heritage and history of this fascinating region. The history of Russian ownership then passing to America is fascinating and outside of this, there is a strong indigenous culture as humans have inhabited the region for the last 15,000 years.
Go Charter Fishing
Alaska is famous for its fishing, and there’s no reason you can’t get yourself a piece of the action on your trip. Like almost anywhere else in the world, you can increase your odds of fishing success by hiring a charter. With decades of experience and insider knowledge, charter captains know how to get you to fish.
Halibut fishing is perhaps the most popular outing, and for a reasonable price, you can take a shot at these monster-sized flounders. For the price of the charter you’ll get a day on the water, a chance at some serious excitement, and, if you’re lucky, some delicious filets that’ll provide a hard-earned dinner you won’t ever forget. Fish never tastes as good as when you caught it yourself. Take an Alaska fishing trip!
With so much ice and snow, it’s no wonder skiing is so perfect for the area up here. There has been organized skiing in Alaska for over 80 years, and it’s becoming more popular than ever, and boasting 169km of slopes it can hardly be regarded as insignificant.
There is great infrastructure here for skiing and if you are booked into a luxury lodge in Alaska then you can even take advantage of such activities as heli-skiing where you are taken up the mountain in a helicopter to otherwise difficult-to-reach locations!
Wildlife Spotting & Watching
Alaska has some of the most impressive and diverse wildlife you will find anywhere in the world, there is such a diverse range of wildlife you are able to view in Alaska, There are Eagles, Birds, Mountain Goats, Walrus, Bears, Whales, and more! There are many excellent guided tours around, and whale watching is one of my particular favorites. So, if you enjoy wildlife watching in general or just birding, Alaska is the place for you.
Glaciers & Ice Features
Finally, being the most Northern Territory in the United States, it’s naturally a frozen wonderland and the glaciers and ice features. There are plenty of glacier tours, boat trips, and cruises, but then there are even more fascinating features such as this amazing permafrost tunnel be sure not to miss it.
Take a Fjords Tour
The coast of Alaska is unlike anywhere else on Earth, and Kenai Fjords National Park showcases the landscape in all its splendor. Taking a tour gives you an up-close look at glaciers, cliffs, and fjords, all of the typically-Alaskan dimensions. If you’re lucky, you’ll also glimpse some of the state’s most impressive marine life, from sea lions to porpoises, orcas to humpback whales. Between the gorgeous waters and the life that calls it home, the Alaskan fjords will simply demand your attention.
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Check out the Aurora Ice Museum
When people think of Alaska, they often think of the cold. This is no surprise, since, at such a northern latitude, Alaska really is a fair bit colder than the continental United States. With so much frosty weather, ice has become an ever-present part of Alaskan culture. Nowhere is this tradition more keenly felt than the Ice Museum, where the work of top ice-carvers resides in the climate-controlled facilities. For a look at gorgeous sculptures and to get a sense of Alaskan chill, take a stroll through this one-of-a-kind museum.
Visit the Kodak Laboratory Aquarium
Fishing and fjord-touring offer great opportunities to see fish and animals out in the wild, but sometimes the confines of an aquarium provide a more intimate (and guaranteed) look. The Kodiak Aquarium features a massive touch tank where children and adults alike can get up close and personal with some of the area’s most prominent species. Crabs, starfish, and shrimp are among the aquarium’s most popular denizens.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
Take a ride on board of a gorgeous train that was built back in 1900 during the gold rush. It goes from Skagway in Alaska to Whitehorse in Yukon. It only worked until 1982 but a few years later it was turned into a touristic railway. Aside from being on a historic train and going through old trails you also get to pass by waterfalls, rivers, forests, and mountains.
To say the least, the scenery is breathtaking.
Peruse the Sealaska Heritage Institute
Alaska might be famous for its natural beauty, but it also boasts a unique heritage and culture, derived from centuries of indigenous habitation and subsequent colonial projects. The Sealaska Heritage Institute showcases the brightest lights of Native art and culture, focusing on the Tlingit Tsimshian and Haida cultures. A stop at the institute is a great way to learn more about the hearts and souls of people for whom Alaska isn’t the “last frontier,” but a long-cherished home.
Visit Denali National Park
Mt. Denali is both a cultural lodestone and the highest peak in North America. While even seeing the peak requires patience and a bit of luck, it is still worth the effort. Beyond the mountain itself, the entire park warrants a visit. The visitor’s center provides information about the mountain and surrounding landscape. It also includes a gift shop and restaurant, allowing you to stock up on souvenirs and fill your stomach before embarking on your adventure into the park’s many trails.
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Flight seeing Tours
During this tour, you will be able to fly over miles and miles of natural beauties, located far away from any town or city.
Because of the lack of roads, flying is a way of life in Alaska. It is by far the best way of transportation to get to faraway places. It is so common that there are air taxis.
You will not believe the beauty of the enormous rock and snow mountains of the region. You might even go as far as to check out glaciers.
Go on an Alaskan Cruise
Now that you have seen the inland beauties on your flightseeing tour it is time to go exploring the coastal scenery. During these tours, if you look carefully you might be able to find whales, sea lions, seals, puffins, and even huge towers of ice.
During the tour, you will also pass through inlets and fjords where you can look for bears, goats, and bald eagles.
And don’t worry, when you book an Alaska cruise it isn’t as expensive as it might be in other places of the world. It is actually quite accessible.
Which one of these three adventures sounds like something you and your family would enjoy?
Alaska is Full of Adventure and yes it’s part of the United States, but it’s also unique in character! It’s a place where you can’t really describe it with reference to anywhere else you’ve been, which is what makes it a must-visit place! This guide will detail a few of the best things to do when in this beautiful part of the world, from hunting to viewing wildlife, skiing, and viewing the beautiful ice features. Now you know some of the unique things to do in Alaska, from the common to uncommon!