If you have your sights set on visiting Alaska, you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, with more than 2 million annual visitors to the Last Frontier, the 49th state is becoming an increasingly popular destination. And because the sheer size of Alaska — it’s double the size of Texas — can be overwhelming, it’s a good idea to map out some must-see things as you plan your grand Alaskan adventure.
Take a look at some of the spots we think best showcase the uniqueness of this massive state — and which will lead you to experiences you’ll never forget.
Some may view the state’s largest city as just an arrival or departure point, but Anchorage has a lot more to offer.
Some of the city’s can’t-miss attractions include taking a stroll through Kincaid Park, where moose are known to wander as freely as people in the nearly 1,500 acres of forested land. The park also boasts a motocross track and serves as an access point for enthusiastic hikers aiming to conquer the 11-mile scenic coastal trail around the city.
Additionally, the Anchorage Museum is another landmark stop. Recently renovated, the largest museum in Alaska takes visitors on a tour of the storied past of the Last Frontier state and invites them to learn about Alaska’s native culture, with panel discussions, creative dance and hands-on art workshops.
Alaska’s portion of this coastal route extends nearly 500 miles long and offers those moving through it some of the best wildlife sightseeing. Whether you’re hoping to see an Alaskan grizzly bear foraging in the grassy lands or a massive whale breach the sea’s surface, it can all happen in a moment’s time while traveling along the Inside Passage.
Of course, the only true way to access this glacier-shaped, wildlife-filled, culturally-rich waterway is by booking a cruise to Alaska. So, when you’re contemplating and planning your next vacation, make sure to check out any number of Alaskan cruise prices to determine if visiting Alaska is in the cards for you. Just make sure to note the cruise line’s route to ensure you get a chance to experience the magic that is the Inside Passage.
A once notorious red-light district, Creek Street is now a bustling boardwalk set in the town of Ketchikan. Creek Street is home to local shops, offering everything from Alaska native art and totem carvings to locally-canned smoked salmon.
Creek Street is a great way to learn more about Alaska’s first city and the state’s gold rush history. Try your hand at sport fishing or wrestling with the king salmon, silver salmon and halibut that make their way from the open ocean to this city’s protected waters.
Finally, make your trip complete with a visit to one or both of Alaska’s prized national parks. Glacier Bay National Park, located on Alaska’s southeast coast, is home to giant snow-covered glaciers and is best viewed by air or aboard watercraft, such as cruise liners or private ships. Meantime, picturesque Denali National Park sits more inland and within viewing distance of North America’s tallest mountain, Mount McKinley.
Make the Most of Your Alaskan Adventure
To make the most out of your Alaskan adventure, your best bet is to choose stops that have a mix of offerings — cultural, scenic and even a bit wild. A trip to Alaska is considered by many to be one of a lifetime, so now is the time to start planning your must-see Alaska adventure list.