Alaska is one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of the United States. It is physically different from the rest of the country. The 49th state is beautiful and mysterious, and the fact that it is hard to get to only adds to its allure as a place to get away from it all.
Along with big towns like Anchorage, it’s important to get out and see the natural landmarks and attractions that make Alaska so popular. Make sure to include as many of the following great places to visit in Alaska as you can on your next trip.
The Best Places in Alaska to Visit
No matter where you go to see Alaska, its size will blow you away. Our list of the top Alaska sites will help you find the best places to visit in this wild and beautiful state.
1. National Park Denali
Denali is the third biggest National Park in the United States. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Range and includes North America’s highest mountain. The mountain’s native name is Denali, but modern explorers called it Mount McKinley. For more than 100 years, people disagreed about what to call the mountain. In 2015, “Denali” was chosen as the official name for North America’s highest peak.
Even without the names, the six million acres of the national park are amazing. Wide river valleys, tundra, high alpine ranges, and mountains covered in glaciers are all photogenic scenery. About halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, the park is easy to get to on the Alaska Railroad.
2. Tracey Arm Fjord
Tracy Arm is a fjord south of Juneau that is surrounded by glaciers. Waterfalls rush down the sharp rock walls, and glaciers break off, making small icebergs. A lot of cruise ships and boat tours stop there.
The fjord is in Tongass National Forest’s Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness. The two Sawyer Glaciers are at the head of the bay. Wildlife views are common on tours, whether it’s a brown bear or moose on land or whales and seals in the water.
3. National Park of Kenai Fjords
This national park protects a lot of the fjord-filled shoreline of the Kenai Peninsula, which is south of Anchorage. It has some of the best places to see in Alaska. In the park, panoramic views include the many glaciers of the 700-square-mile Harding Icefield and a shoreline with no people living there. And the national park is home to huge brown bears that eat fish because it is high in fat.
Homer, which is where Highway 1 ends, is close to a lot of tourist attractions. The Alaska Railroad and the Seward Highway, which both end in Seward, near the park’s northern line, are popular ways to get into the park. Exit Glacier is the only place in the park where you can drive, and there are several trails that lead to the end of the ice field to get a better look.
4. Anchorage International Airport
Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska, with just under 300,000 people living there. Because the city is big and easy to get to, it’s often the first stop for people going to Alaska. Anchorage International Airport is there, along with a lot of hotel rooms and other services for tourists.
Anchorage is also a great place to start because there are adventures everywhere. This place is close to the beautiful Chugach State Park, which covers almost 500,000 acres. The 470-mile Alaska Railroad, which is based in Anchorage, is a popular way to get from Anchorage to the wild landscapes for more activities.
5. Route to Alaska
The Alaska Highway is also called the Alaska-Canada Highway or the Alcan Highway. It goes from Dawson Creek in British Columbia, Canada, through the Yukon Territory to Delta Junction, near Fairbanks. It was built for the troops in 1942, during World War II, in a record-setting eight months.
Since the war ended, this path has been the most important way to get to the Yukon Territory and southern Alaska by land. It’s also popular with people who move in RVs. The highway goes through Whitehorse, Canada, before crossing the international border into Alaska and finishing in Delta Junction.
6. University of Alaska’s Museum of the North
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is in Fairbanks. It has more than a million pieces of history and natural history. The fixed collection has things that native people made and used, as well as a collection of fine art that focuses mostly on Alaskan art.
There are also artifacts from prehistoric tribes, a group of birds, and some fossils in the collection. The museum’s building is also worth mentioning. It was made by Joan Soranno, and its interesting curves and lines are meant to look like the Alaskan scenery.
7. Passage inside
The Inside Passage is a group of protected straits and waterways in Southeast Alaska. Large ships, hire boats, and private yachts are the most common ways to cruise through the fjords. You could also pull off the road at Haines, Skagway, or Hyder.
The Tongass National Forest is 17 million acres and is located along the coastal route. It has islands, mountains, glaciers, ice fields, fjords, and waterfalls. Prince of Wales Island, one of the biggest islands in the US, is part of the forest. The Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples also live in the area.
8. Railway to Alaska
The Alaska Railroad, also known as the “Backbone of the Last Frontier,” is a big part of Alaska’s past and is still an important way to get around. This railroad went from Seward to Fairbanks. It helped Anchorage grow from a tent town to what it is today, and it was an important part of World War II shipping.
The state now owns the Alaska Railroad, which moves more than 500,000 people each year. The Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, and Denali National Park & Preserve are all popular places to visit along the way. The Alaska Railroad has many lines, services, and special event rides, such as ski packages and a Halloween Train for kids.
9. Route Dalton
The Dalton Highway goes more than 400 miles into Alaska’s Far North. It ends at Prudhoe Bay, which is a settlement. It can be reached from both Fairbanks and Anchorage. It was built next to and at the same time as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The road is very far away, rough, and not often used by anyone except oil field workers.
The Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which are both near the highway, give tourists who are well-prepared a reason to drive along the lonely road.
10. Alaskan Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center gives visitors more than just a look at the lives and values of Alaska’s 11 major cultural groups; they can also connect with music, people, and art. In addition to providing educational information, the Heritage Center is a place where people can meet each other and join in programs and events.
Just outside of Anchorage is the Heritage Center. It has The Gathering Place, where Alaska Natives dance and tell stories, and the Hall of Cultures, which is full of displays and local vendors selling handmade crafts and works of art.
No matter how you like to travel, this list has an Alaskan spot for you. On your Alaskan trip, you will see mountains, glaciers, wildlife, and more. Alaska’s cities and towns also have a lot of great things to see and do. Alaska is full of interesting museums, hip bars and cafes, and friendly people.