Alaska is one of the most beautiful states. Grizzly Man, Into the Wild, The Proposal, The Grey, Mystery Alaska, and Insomnia are just some of the movies that were shot in the Last Frontier. However, no number of films can do justice to the state. It is home to beautiful wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and clean air. With millions of acres of unspoiled nature, it has various national parks that allow you to escape from the mundane. If you are planning a visit to Alaska and want to add activities to your travel itinerary, you have come to the right place. Read our post for the ultimate trip.
1. Ride the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
One of the best things to do when you visit Alaska is to ride the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. This American and Canadian narrow route links Whitehorse in Yukon and Skagway in Alaska. Built back in 1900, it was operational until 1982 and allowed miners to easily reach the goldfields. As it is a heritage railway, it was restored in 1988. This means that you can go on a ride to transport back in time. When you ride the train, you will get to watch dense forests, steep gorges, glacial rivers, and waterfalls pass by. Hence, you have to ride the train as it climbs 3,000 feet and takes you to the Yukon River.
2. Take the Talkeetna Air Taxi
Another great thing to do in Alaska is to take the Talkeetna Air Taxi. Get a glimpse of the 8 million acres of the Denali National Park. Watch the sky-high peaks, stunning gorges, and ancient glaciers from the air. There is nothing quite like it. Ride one of the safest planes to experience everything from above. The tour is customized based on visibility and weather conditions. The plane will land on a glacier so that you can take it all in.
3. Visit Kodiak Laboratory Aquarium
The Kodiak Laboratory Aquarium is located at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. This 3,500-gallon aquarium houses a variety of marine species including starfish, snails, shrimps, and crabs. A tour operator will provide you with all the information you need to know about the local sea life. Marvel at the aquarium and learn more about the area during your visit.
4. Head to the University of Alaska Museum of the North
The next thing that you should do is head to the University of Alaska Museum of the North to learn everything about the state such as its people, the art, the culture, the history, the plants, and the wildlife. There are also exhibits that you can view to get a sense of the Alaskan way of life and take a look at old Eskimo carvings. In addition to this, you will also get to check out native artifacts and a steppe bison mummy that has been fully restored and dates back to the Ice Age. You can relax in the common room, play puzzles, read, and take in the gorgeous views at the museum.
5. Explore the Aurora Ice Museum
Located in Fairbanks is the Aurora Ice Museum. It is made up of snow and ice and has a gallery that displays sculptures made by Heather and Steve Brice who are world champion ice carvers. There is also an ice outhouse and Northern Lights room where you can relax. The chandeliers at the museum change colors to depict the aurora borealis.
6. Spend Time at the Running Reindeer Ranch
Running Reindeer Ranch is a short drive from downtown Fairbanks. It is the perfect place to learn more about the animals of the Great North. The ranch owner will take you through the dense birch forest and allow you to try out reindeer games. If you want to know about life in the Arctic and the reindeer that occupy it, this ranch is just the place that you need to check out. Watch the reindeers run wild and express themselves in a safe space. You will find it to be an adventure. Besides, you will also get to enjoy a hot drink and some cookies over a warm fire.
7. Check out the Husky Homestead
Huskies are beautiful creatures that you should meet at the Husky Homestead. Rather than riding a dog sled across the Alaskan tundra, you can spend time in this welcoming space. Jeff King, the legendary Iditarod race winner has opened up his home to people who want to gain an insight into the Alaskan lifestyle and the huskies. You will also get a chance to play with the puppies.
8. Take a Kenai Fjords Tour
The Kenai Fjords National Park is located south of Seward, a small town just 125 miles from the capital. If you want to get close to sea lions, ancient glaciers, arctic birds, and seals, you need to take a Kenai Fjords tour. The magnificent alpine glaciers are simply phenomenal. As you travel deep into the national park, you will get to see the untouched beauty. You can either go on a Fox Island Tour, the National Park Tour, or the Resurrection Bay Tour. Ride a 95-foot vessel to explore the state in comfort. It provides enclosed cabins that are fully heated.
9. See Totem Bight State Historical Park
For an authentic Alaskan experience, you need to visit Totem Bight State Historical Park. It has 15 totem poles that share visual stories and an indigenous village. The clan house was built in the 19th century and has a central fireplace where you can get cozy. It features a variety of paintings that highlight the history of the region.
10. Go Whale-Watching in Juneau
When you visit Alaska, you should also go whale-watching in Juneau. It is located on the coast and is surrounded by ancient glaciers and lush rainforests. It has many trails. However, the best thing about Juneau is that it allows you to see your very first humpback whale in action. Watch how the whales emerge from the depths of the sea for a breather. It is a good idea to go on a whale watch adventure tour as it would take you through Downtown Juneau. As you cruise along the bay, you will also encounter bald eagles and black bears.