14 Best Places to Visit in Alaska

Discover the best places to visit in Alaska, the Last Frontier, with its soaring mountains and expansive glaciers, is a place of breathtaking beauty and unmatched adventure. Despite Alaska’s geographical isolation from the rest of the country, it is one of the most stunning and fascinating areas of the country.

It’s important to venture outside of large cities like Anchorage and take in the breathtaking natural vistas and attractions that truly distinguish Alaska. When planning your next trip, be sure to include as many of these amazing Alaskan destinations as possible. Travelers can choose from an amazing variety of destinations in Alaska.

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The Best Places to Visit in Alaska

1. Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park - Complete Guide 2024 — Handpicked Alaska

The tallest peak in North America, Denali, sits at the heart of Denali National Park and Preserve, a national park and preserve in interior Alaska. The park and its neighboring reserves span more than 6 million acres, with 2,146,580 acres declared as a wilderness area in 1980. It is one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

At lower heights, the terrain is composed of woods and deciduous taiga; at middle elevations, it transitions to tundra; at the highest points, it is composed of glaciers, rock, and snow.In the winter, the park is a popular spot for dog sledding, cross-country skiing, and snow machining.

Summertime tourists can take buses to explore the park’s extensive wilderness, as the majority of the road is exclusively accessible by bus from May 20 to mid-September. The park provides chances for wildlife photography and observation in addition to being home to a variety of wildlife.

2. Glacier Bay National Park

Covering 3.3 million acres, Glacier Bay National Park is a huge area in Southeast Alaska that features a variety of scenery, including untamed coasts, rocky mountains, dramatic glaciers, temperate rainforests, and deep, sheltered fjords. It is one of the best places to visit in Alaska and is a part of a 25 million acre World Heritage Site, one of the largest international protected areas in the world.

The park provides chances for inspiration and adventure, with activities like kayaking among the icebergs, hiking, and wildlife observation, as well as whale, seal, and puffin watching. In addition, Glacier Bay serves as a living laboratory for scientific investigations, offering perceptions into the movements of glaciers and the biological succession.

3. Anchorage

The most populous city in Alaska is Anchorage, which also acts as a gateway to some of the best places to visit in Alaska, which provide amazing outdoor experiences and pristine environment. Anchorage is a base for skiers, hikers, and wildlife enthusiasts, surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

The city offers a blend of metropolitan comforts and the untamed beauty of Alaska, with attractions including the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, Kincaid Park, and the Chugach National Forest.

Travelers can stroll or bike along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn about the state’s indigenous peoples, and take a deep dive into Alaskan history and local cultures at the Anchorage Museum. They can also potentially observe bears or moose.

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4. Juneau

Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is situated along the state’s coastline and in the Gastineau Channel. Because there are no highways connecting Juneau to the rest of North America, it is unique in that it can only be reached by boat or airplane. The peace and charm of the city are enhanced by its remoteness.

Juneau is one of the best places to visit in Alaska because of its breathtaking natural beauty. It has attractions like the Mendenhall Glacier, which is next to Glacier Bay Park and has many hiking paths. Juneau offers visitors a tranquil and calm environment in which to take in the splendor of the natural world.

The city serves as the region’s primary cruise ship port. Among the attractions are the Last Chance Mining Museum, which provides information about the region’s mining history, and the Goldbelt Tram, which transports you to breathtaking views. Here are also the wonderfully serene Shrine of St. Therese, the Alaska State Museum, and the Alaska State Capitol.

5. Katmai National Park

Over 4 million acres of paradise, close to Homer and Kodiak Island, may be found in the southern region of Alaska, where you’ll find Katmai National Park, one of the best places to visit in Alaska. It is well known for having a sizable brown bear population roughly 2,000 bears live in the park.

The centerpiece of the park is the enormous ash flow known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which was left behind by the Novarupta Volcano after its eruption in 1912.

From wildlife viewing posts along the river, visitors can observe these bears. In addition to providing a range of outdoor pursuits like camping, hiking, kayaking, and cross-country skiing, the park is well-known for its active volcanoes.

6. Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is a breathtaking example of Alaska’s natural splendor. Its most well-known features include its abundance of wildlife, wild mountains, and glaciers. One of the best places to visit in Alaska is the Kenai Fjords National Park, where the glaciers and ice caps meet the coast to create unique and stunning landscapes. Visiting this park is like going back in time to the Ice Age.

Deep fjords have formed where the water valleys are formed, and the park is partially covered in ice all year round. home to a wide variety of animals, including as birds, mammals, and marine life. These bays provide the ideal habitat for a variety of aquatic creatures, and you can easily spot migrating whales and birds diving down to feed on the fish in the water.

Its blue ice and crevasses are seen up close to visitors who can access it by road. The chilly weather entices many visitors to take guided day trips to the Kenai Fjords National Area, despite the area’s limited hotel alternatives.

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7. Fairbanks

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The second-largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks is regarded as one of the best places to observe the Northern Lights. It has a plethora of upscale hotels and fine eating establishments, as well as a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences thanks to its many historical monuments and museums.

In addition, Fairbanks is home to unusual celebrations of the extended daylight hours during the summer solstice, like the Midnight Sun Festival and the Midnight Sun Baseball Game. A trip to Chena Hot Springs, one of the best places to visit in Alaska, provides the opportunity to tour an ice museum and have a soothing dip.

In addition, Fairbanks is home to unusual celebrations of the extended daylight hours during the summer solstice, like the Midnight Sun Festival and the Midnight Sun Baseball Game. A trip to Chena Hot Springs, one of the best places to visit in Alaska, provides the opportunity to tour an ice museum and have a soothing dip.

8. Ketchikan

The southernmost city in Alaska is Ketchikan, an attractive city known as one of the best places to visit in Alaska and the first port of call for many cruise ships traveling north along the coast. At the foot of Deer Mountain, Ketchikan has a range of activities. The Tongass Historical Museum, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, and the Totem Heritage Center are possible places for guests to make stops.

Merely a few distance away from the piers for cruise ships, Wander the historic Creek Street, a boardwalk that spans the water, and see the beautiful rainforest, cliff, and waterfall beauty of Misty Fiords National Monument.

Creek Street, which was once a busy red-light district, is now home to a more restrained business district but has kept much of its original appeal. Ketchikan is a hub for outdoor activities; guided day tours are available for ziplining through the forest canopy, hiking through the Tongass National Forest, and salmon fishing.

9. Homer

The Kenai Peninsula town of Homer is renowned for its beautiful beauty and artistic culture. The harbor, stores, and dining options are located on the Homer Spit, a long, thin strip of land that extends into Kachemak Bay.If you are an angler or just want to explore the natural surroundings, Homer should be on your Alaskan itinerary.

One of the best places to visit in Alaska is Homer, which is located on the Kenai Peninsula and is commonly referred to as the fishing city of Alaska. Visit Kachemak Bay State Park to see animals, including black bears, bald eagles, sea lions, humpback whales, and mountain goats. You can also drive up Skyline Drive for breathtaking views.

Take a stroll down the beach to the well-known Homer Spit while you’re in Homer.Popular halibut fishing trips guarantee a fantastic catch that’s ready for supper at the local restaurants. Explore Kachemak Bay State Park for hiking, kayaking, and animal viewing, and visit the Pratt Museum for exhibits on local history and wildlife.

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10. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

The largest national park in the US, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is among the best places in Alaska and provides an amazing opportunity to explore the wild. Three mountain ranges—the Chugach, the Wrangell, and the St. Elias—converge at a position in what is known as the Mountain Kingdom of North America.

The Root Glacier, the Kennecott Mines, and McCarthy, a former mining town, are some of the main attractions. The wide terrain of the park is home to mountains, glaciers, and a variety of species.

While the park has a number of informative visitor centers and ranger stations, it’s easy to veer off course and explore glacier walking pathways or overnight camping trips. In the Wrangell St. Elias National Park, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and kayaking are among popular pastimes.

11. Sitka

Alaska’s southeast is home to the city-borough of Sitka. Situated on the west side of Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island, it is a section of the Alaska Peninsula and part of the Alexander Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

One of the best places to visit in Alaska is Sitka, which has a population of about 8,382 as of 2022 and is renowned for its beautiful scenery and rich history.It was a Russian colony from 1799 to 1867, and during that time it developed a unique cultural legacy that reflected both its Tlingit origins and its experience as a Russian outpost.

Visit the Sitka National Historical Park to see totem poles and learn about the Battle of Sitka in 1804. Sitka is well-known for its outdoor leisure options as well as its function as the region’s center for commerce and transportation.

12. Kodiak Island

One of the best places in Alaska is Kodiak Island, commonly referred to as the Emerald Isle. With an area of 3,595.09 square miles, it is a sizable island off the south coast of Alaska that ranks second in size in the US and 80th globally. The north and east of the island are mountainous and highly forested, while the south of the island is largely treeless.

The iconic Kodiak bear and a wide variety of other animals can be found in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which occupies the southwest two thirds of the island. The city of Kodiak, the largest settlement on the island, is also the primary hub for commercial travel to and from the island. Akhiok, Old Harbor, Karluk, Larsen Bay, Port Lions, and an unincorporated township close to Cape Chiniak are among the other localities.

Notable features of the island include the Pacific Spaceport Complex and the biggest Coast Guard base in the United States.Kodiak Island provides tourists with a range of outdoor pursuits, including hiking, fishing, and seeing historical sites. The island is a well-liked location for nautical adventures because of its deep, ice-free bays, which offer safe anchorages for boats.

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13. Valdez

Alaska’s charming Valdez is well-known for its beautiful surroundings and abundance of outdoor activities. With its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and coastal landscapes, it’s one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

The town provides fantastic kayaking, fishing, and hiking options and serves as a gateway to the Columbia Glacier. It is defined by the animals of the area and the cultural events held at the Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum.

Valdez has a rich history ranging from the fur trade and salmon canning to the extraction of gold and copper. The Valdez Museum also provides information on the town’s past, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the 1964 earthquake. Despite its small size, Valdez has a thriving arts culture, with several museums displaying the history of the region as well as artwork and artifacts created by Alaska Native people.

14. Seward

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One of the best places to visit in Alaska is Seward, a quaint coastal town known for being close to Kenai Fjords National Park and situated on the Kenai Peninsula. This charming city in southern Alaska is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, woods, and glaciers, providing an abundance of natural beauty.

Visit the Alaska SeaLife Centre to get a personal look at the aquatic environment. Resurrection Bay’s breathtaking coastline also offers fantastic kayaking, fishing, and hiking options.With a range of recreational opportunities, it’s a sanctuary for nature lovers. Discover over 40 glaciers, verdant forests, and a plethora of species.

Savor alpine trekking, ice climbing, kayaking, and iceberg paddle boarding. Take part in outdoor activities around lakes, mountains, and woods. Locate camping and picnic sites for a calm experience. Enjoy the exhilaration of ziplining while taking in stunning Alaskan views. It is also acknowledged that the Alutiiq, or Sugpiaq, people originated in Seward.

Every kind of tourist can find something to like in Alaska’s varied travel locations. From the glaciers of Glacier Bay to the towering peaks of Denali, from Anchorage’s rich cultural diversity to the secluded splendor of Lake Clark, every location offers a different window into the untainted beauty and vibrant life of this magnificent state.

Alaska provides everything you might want, including adventure, leisure, and cultural immersion. Explore the best places in Alaska and make priceless memories amid its magnificent scenery and rich history. So prepare to explore the Last Frontier by packing your bags.

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