Alaska is the largest state in the United States, and it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. The state boasts more than one million lakes, 4,000 rivers and streams, countless glaciers and ice fields as well as wildlife that can be found nowhere else on earth. If you’re traveling to Alaska this winter or summer, here are 14 places you should see while you’re there:
Pack your warmest winter clothes and head to Alaska
If you want to experience the best Alaska has to offer, plan your trip for June through August. This is when the weather is most favorable. It’s also the least expensive time to visit, but don’t worry; you’ll still be able to see some of Alaska’s most popular destinations.
The average temperature in Anchorage during this time of year ranges from a low of approximately freezing (32°F) and a high of around 75°F. If you’re planning on visiting Denali National Park or Fairbanks in winter, pack warm clothes—you can expect temperatures around 15 degrees Fahrenheit below zero!
Experience the Midnight Sun in Summer
The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs in summer when the sun remains visible above the horizon for 24 hours. It’s possible to experience this natural phenomenon from May to August.
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Alaska between May and August, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds: winter and summer!
Take a flightseeing tour from Anchorage
If you’re only in Alaska for a short time, the best way to see the state is on a flightseeing tour from Anchorage. You’ll be flying with one of many companies that offer tours from Anchorage and Fairbanks to see Denali National Park and its wildlife, glaciers, and more. You can see all this in just one day!
If you choose this option, make sure that your tour company has an excellent safety record.
See the Northern Lights in Fairbanks
The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a natural light display in the sky that is caused by the solar wind interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. The lights can be seen in Alaska from September to April and are visible at night during this period.
The best time to see the aurora borealis is from October to April when there are fewer clouds than during other months. There are two ways you can view them: 1) by taking a northern lights tour or 2) by driving yourself around Fairbanks after dark (but be careful since it’s illegal to drive off-road). Either way, it’s worth it if you want an unforgettable experience!
View glaciers and sea life on a Kenai Fjords tour from Seward
A Kenai Fjords tour is an ideal way to explore Alaska’s wildlife, glaciers, and wildlife. You’ll have the opportunity to see sea otters, whales, seals, and sea lions in their natural habitat. Your tour can be as active or relaxing as you want it to be; there are kayak options for those who want a more hands-on experience or whale-watching tours for those who prefer a leisurely day on deck with binoculars in hand. If you’re looking for something more adventurous than ice-cold drinks and waving at whales from a boat deck, consider camping under the stars in one of Kenai Fjords’ campsites or staying at one of its cabins (which range from rustic tent camping cabins to fully furnished apartments).
Go whale-watching in Homer
If you want to see whales, Homer is a great place to do it. Located on the Cook Inlet just outside of Anchorage and only a few hours away from Denali National Park, the town is surrounded by ocean and has more than 50 species of marine life that can be spotted during its annual Whale Festival in July and August (the area hosts more than 100 whales annually). The best way to get up close with these sea mammals? Take a trip out with the Alaska SeaLife Center, which offers daily whale-watching trips from May through September. You might even spot humpback whales breaching or spout sightings!
Visit Wildlife Conservation Center near Palmer
The Wildlife Conservation Center is a great place to see a variety of wildlife, including moose, bison, and bears. It’s also the only place in Alaska where you can get up close to wolves.
You can enjoy a self-guided tour or take a guided tour that includes an educational talk about the animals and their habitats. You can even have your photo taken with one of the animals!
The center also offers an opportunity for visitors to help protect wildlife by sponsoring an animal at $20 per month.
Go dog-sledding near Denali National Park
- How to get there: You can take a bus or drive yourself, but the most interesting way is to go dog-slinging.
- What you can expect: Your trip will take between four and six hours, depending on how much time you spend at each stop. Don’t be surprised if your group stops for lunch at a restaurant where the owners are wearing boots, hats, and jackets that look like they’re straight out of Alaska’s wilderness—it’s just part of the experience.
- What to wear: Wear layers that can be easily removed or added to stay warm when outside and cool once inside your vehicle again. You’ll also want snow boots that provide traction and warmth if needed (especially if you’re going off-trail). A fleece hat with flaps over your ears is good too; make sure it covers up any exposed skin so no one gets frostbite after spending hours outside!
- What do bring? Pack snacks like granola bars or trail mix for long trips (you don’t want guests getting hungry), along with water bottles filled before arriving at your destination(s) so every guest has access throughout their time away from home!
You may also want some hand sanitizer since restrooms aren’t always available during travel periods (they’re usually located inside restaurants). If possible, bring any extra clothing items along too – maybe even hiking boots if they’re comfortable enough! This would enable someone else who doesn’t have them already available at home yet.”
Go on a glacier cruise near Valdez
When you visit Alaska, you need to go on a glacier cruise. While many cruises operate in Alaska, the best ones are located near Valdez.
Valdez is a town in south-central Alaska that can be reached by ferry from Whittier or by air taxi from Anchorage or Fairbanks with Wings of Alaska Airlines. It’s approximately 1 hour flight time from Anchorage and 3 hours flight time from Fairbanks (or 5 hour drive).
Valdez is an excellent destination for anyone interested in learning about glaciers and exploring the natural beauty of Alaska’s wilderness areas. The small town itself has much to offer travelers as well; it has great food options, accommodations ranging from hostels to luxury hotels, and outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and fishing available right down at the waterfront dock area where cruise ships arrive every day with tourists ready for an adventure!
Explore Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve near Copper Center
Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in the United States. Located near Copper Center, this protected area covers 13 million acres of glacier-clad peaks and valleys.
The park’s six million acres are almost entirely covered by mountain ranges that soar over 16,000 feet above sea level. These include Mount St Elias (18,008 feet), Mount Wrangell (17,154 feet), Mount Blackburn (16,390 feet), and Mt St Paul (14,173).
Visit Sitka for a First Peoples tour and visit the best place for salmon fishing in the world!
Sitka is a great place to visit for a First Peoples tour. It’s also one of the best places in the world for salmon fishing. There are many museums and activities for visitors to enjoy.
Alaska is one of the best places in the world to experience all four seasons. You can see the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights on the same day! There are so many things to do here that it’s hard to pick just one activity. If you visit during summer or fall, be sure to go on a flightseeing tour or whale-watching excursion; if winter is more your thing, go dog-slinging or ice fishing instead!