Top 7 Best Places to Visit in Alaska

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Top 7 Best Places to Visit in Alaska
Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash. Copyright 2021.

Alaska, Land of The Midnight Sun, is one of the most magically mystic places all over the globe, especially when nature’s beauty decides to have a candid play, giving us the best places to visit in Alaska!

Alaska, also known as America’s last frontier, from glaciers to lakes, to waterways, marine wildlife, and just scenic magic, you would find it too compelling to take away this beauty from your eyes.

Being at the northwest corner of America, it has over a rough 100,000 glaciers, about 300 million lakes, and other 12,000 rivers; Alaska has many other facts to be unlocked. To all hike enthusiasts, you are going to love Alaska!

Have you wanted to see the northern lights? This is why here are some of the best places to visit in Alaska. Starting from national parks to lakes and glaciers.

Alaska is popularly recognized for the same. The North Pole and the midnight sun have the world’s elite enchantment, and it is a popular spot floating among tourists as two of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Let’s scroll and look at some of the spectacular places at America’s last frontier.

Top 7 Best Places to Visit in Alaska

  1. The Extravaganza of Alaska’s National Parks

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    Photo by Jacob Vizek on Unsplash. Copyright 2021.

The north-western state of America has eight national parks embedded in beauty and the environment’s temporary play. Below are eight of Alaska’s national parks and preserves with which you can begin your travel! So, scroll and choose your pick.

1.1. Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Superintended by south-central Alaska, Alaska’s largest national park, spread over a million acres, is one of the major tourist attractions. The Elias national park and preserve, set in southeast Alaska, is one of the best-loved Alaska destinations.

Since the Elias national park is off the beaten track, it comes along with a scenic stunner of incredible coastal mountains, awe-inspiring glaciers, and just endless enchantress. There are a bunch of things you can do at the Elias national park and preserve; the first one that most tourists find attractive is glacier hiking.

Further, there are deserted mills of copper that one can traverse through, explore campgrounds, drive through the Alaska highway within the national park, and gain an interesting chance to see the wild critters dwelling in Alaska’s largest national park and preserve.

Wrangell St Elias holds some of North America’s humongous volcanoes and glaciers. 

St. Wrangell is North America’s largest active dynamic volcano. Wrangell St Elias is known for North America’s long-drawn-out glacier, the Nabesna Glacier.

These attractions work like a magnet that pulls travelers and backpackers closer, thus turning Wrangell St Elias National Park one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

1.2. Denali National Park

North America’s highest peak finds home here in Denali National Park. Also referred to as Mount McKinley, this national park is the second biggest tourist attraction and one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Unblemished meadowlands, intriguing wild fauna, and Mount Denali peak make the Denali National Park one of America’s favorites. The Denali mountain, one of the most visitor-loved sites, is about 1000 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Situated in the bosom of the Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Preserve has its pockets filled with things you can do at the national park.

Go astray off the roads, visit the Denali visitor center for park tours, look at exhibits, displaying of wildlife photography, and a free movie about the national park. Wildlife, like grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, and mountain goats, can be found here.

You can also book an Alaska railroad escapade since this national park is spread over a million acres. Then, view the magical mountains of Alaska, and give yourself the best adventurous getaway in Denali National Park and preserve. This park sits among the best places to visit in Alaska.

1.3. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

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Photo by Michael Kirsh on Unsplash. Copyright 2022.

Located in southeast Alaska, this national park and preserve is a calling to all marine adventure enthusiasts! Why? Because the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve are thalassic.

If you’re a person attracted to water and boat tours, this park and preserve is another right place for you. Consisting of a ton of estuaries, water inlets, and retreating harbors, Glacier Bay National Park offers magical scenery too.

It is also one of the best places to see Alaskan animals like sea otters, humpback whales, sea lions, and others in their home environment.

The Glacier Bay National Park is one of the Alaska destinations that is reached only through flight or boat tours. The start of the trip is where the adventure begins making it one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Not at a far distance from Glacier Bay is the Mendenhall Glacier visitor center, where you can tour the Mendenhall glacier.

So, get your bags packed because, in Glacier Bay National Park, you will find hiking, camping, river rafting, kayaking, bird-watching, fishing, scenic drives, and a pleasant time at the coves of Glacier Bay.

The Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve are among the best places to visit in Alaska.

1.4. Kenai Fjords National Park

At the fringe of the Kenai Peninsula, picturesque scenery, intriguing wildlife, and water exploration await at the Kenai Fjords National Park. In south-central Alaska, this national park tops the third place in must-visit Alaska destinations and is included in the best places to visit in Alaska.

To explore the entirety of the Kenai Fjord National Park, you will need the least two days. If you are a drive-lover, the exit glacier is the only accessible drive-through because the rest of the Kenai Fjords national park is traversed through boat tours.

There are several marine wildlife that will attract you like seals, sea lions, and whales.

Apart from this, for backpackers, majestic beauty awaits. Alaska destinations always have countless beautiful landscapes, just like the Kenai peninsula.

The Kenai Fjords National Park takes about 600, 000 acres and is said to be a backpacker’s love-biased sight for cruises.

1.5. Katmai National Park and Preserve

Katmai National Park and Preserve
Photo by Pradeep Nayak on Unsplash. Copyright 2021.

Sheltering on the southern peninsula of Alaska, Katmai National Park and Preserve is home to creeks, forestry, rivers, wildlife like brown bears and mountain goats, and broad plateaus.

Katmai National Park is famous for its refuge of wild brown bears, untouched water coves, volcanoes, and hard-wearing coastlines. Fallen over a million acres, this park has plenty of explorations to offer which is why it is one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

The ideal months to visit this park are between June and September. The park’s nerve center is based in King Salmon. Katmai National Park is also close to Kodiak Island. Not far from Kodiak Island is the Kodiak national wildlife refuge. One similar attraction between Kodiak Island and Katmai National Park is the “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.”

A few attractions at Katmai National Park are Brooks river, Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, and Savonoski Loop, a river in Alaska. Not too far from the Brooks river is the Brooks camp. At the Brooks camp, brown bears are seen flagrantly.

1.6. Kachemak Bay State Park

Refuging on Kachemak bay, you will find the Kachemak Bay, State Park. Here, starting from glaciers to scenic jungles, along with unexplored forests, this park has

  • hiking trails,
  • lakes,
  • mountains,
  • boating and
  • kayaking out there for you to get the adventurous decamp.

Grewingk glacier, China Poot Lake, Humpy creek, all rustic enthusiasts will have to put Kachemak Bay State Park on their adventure list because it is one of the best places to visit in Alaska for hikers. Wildlife like black bears, brown bears, and humpback whales can be found here.

1.7. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

In southwest Alaska, the land of artistic landscapes is what Lake Clark National Park is deemed to be. A plethora of activities like

  • hiking,
  • bear watching,
  • camping,
  • picnics,
  • kayaking,
  • boating, and
  • Rafting, all this is possible in Lake Clark National Park, which is also a reason why it is considered one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

It is next to impossible to drive in the park, which is why helpers there help you get to the destination through a spice of adventure traversing from nature.

With the help of these guides, you can explore the entire wilderness. Popular for its volcanic steam, bears, rugged paths, majestic mountains, and twinkling aquamarine river bodies, the local culture of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is quite fully dependent on the waterbodies.

1.8. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

The ultimate destination of Alaskan national parks is the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Covering over 26,000 miles, this park offers a wallflower system of an impeccable environment. May it be the piercing light of the day or the bestowed darkness of the night, at the Arctic National Park, you will be able to experience its beauty to the whole as it belongs to the best places to visit in Alaska.

Being in the region of the Arctic Circle, the temperatures here could easily drop low. Wildlife like polar bears, sea lions, wolves, etc., can be found.

  • Bird-watching
  • Fishing,
  • Hiking trails,
  • Camping,
  • Climbing mountains are some of the main attractions here at the Gates of Arctic National Park and Preserve.
  1. Tongass National Forest and Ketchikan

America’s largest national forest is spread over 16 million acres; the Tongass National Forest is a temperate rainforest situated in south-eastern Alaska.

It is said to be one of the best places to visit in Alaska because it is perfused with some of America’s most majestic sights ever seen. From stupendous landscapes to magnificent greenery. Especially the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre is a top attraction of Tongass National Forest.

At the Tongass National Forest, black bears, brown bears, bald eagles, sea lions, and humpback whales are seen often. It is the only temperate rainforest in Alaska.

One minute from the Tongass National Forest is Ketchikan. It is a small town on the southeastern coast of Alaska on the bottom of Deer Mountain. Another recognition, “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan has its own attractions.

Downtown Ketchikan is a national historic district. It is listed in the national register for historic places. Starting from its Totem state historical park. Following is the Totem Heritage Centre. 

Along with the misty fjords national monument to whale-watching, Ketchikan is filled with excitement and some of the best places to visit in Alaska. The misty fjords national monument is about 4 minutes from Ketchikan and about 18 minutes far is the Totem state historical park.

Another spot of Ketchikan is the historic creek street, where you can take a stroll downtown as it has restaurants, artsy shops, and gift shops.

There are a bunch of fun things you can do at Tongass National Forest that include

  • bear-watching,
  • camping,
  • hiking, and
  • kayaking.
  1. Seward

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    Photo by Josh McCausland on Unsplash. Copyright 2021.

Greetings to the gorgeous port city of Alaska! Seward has some of the best places to visit in Alaska, beginning with its breathtaking panorama. With majestic mountains, glaciers, and classic picturesque landscapes, this small town has tons of attractions.

The first one is Seward’s waterfront park; it is a camping ground in itself where travelers camp alongside Resurrection Bay. Then, one can experience the goodness of scenic drives through the Seward highway.

Other Seward attractions include the Alaska native heritage center. The Seward highway will also go through the Potter’s Marsh, where bird-watchers come about, then, further along, comes the Tony Knowles coastal trail where good hiking is possible.

The Alaska Sealife Center is also housed in Seward, from where most travelers prefer to begin their journey. You can spend your day in Seward, Alaska, by

  • Kayaking at Resurrection Bay
  • At Alaska Sea life center
  • Hiking
  • Camping, etc.
  1. Anchorage

America’s largest city dwells in Alaska, called Anchorage. With about 40% of the state population, Anchorage has a brilliant, vibrant culture and some of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Anchorage is famous for its cultural places, one of the popular ones being the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where crafts displaying tradition, live dance performances, and other replicas are kept on display.
This town is also known for its perfect getaway from everyday life. Mountains like the Chugach Mountains, glaciers, the best greenery, cross-country skiing, a relaxed drive on the Dalton highway, and much more.

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Photo by Zetong Li on Unsplash. Copyright 2019.

In downtown Anchorage, a tradition that continues every year is celebrated called the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You can also head to the Anchorage Museum, or if you are a driving enthusiast, a great picture-worthy drive to Trans Alaska Pipeline is a good option too.

From Anchorage, one can see the breathtaking mountains, Chugach mountains. The sights of these mountains are majestic. It is the most climbed mountain with spectacular glaciers.

A distance of three minutes from Anchorage is the Alaska state museum; tourists consider stopping by here too for artifacts on Alaska’s culture, people, and history.

5. Fairbanks

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Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash. Copyright 2019.

The second largest city of Alaska, Fairbanks, is also the coldest in the interior of Alaska.

Have the northern lights ever made you wonder about them? One of the best places to visit in Alaska lies within the boundaries of Fairbanks. Aurora borealis, one of the world’s enchanting phenomena, happens here in Fairbanks town of Alaska.

Along with this, happenings like the midnight sun and the perpetual sunsets and sunrises are popular; Fairbanks is truly a gem. Another name coined for this Alaskan state is the Golden Heart of Alaska since here are some of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Other attractions include the fountainhead antique auto museum, University of Alaska Museum, etc. Tourists here are attracted to activities like

  • cross-country skiing,
  • watching the northern lights,
  • exploring cultures,
  • going to concerts and museums,

And many since the days here are implausibly long.

6. Skagway

Skagway is home to the “Scenic Railway of the World,” the Yukon Route Railroad, and the White Pass Railroad being two of the best places to visit in Alaska.

The Yukon Route Railroad is not just a train route but an entire encyclopedia that runs through history. The main tourist attraction beside Yukon Railroad and the White Pass is the dog sledding tour! This town in southeastern Alaska has a superfluity of beautiful scenery.

Besides that, tourists engage in interesting activities like

  • exploring glaciers.
  • Going on hikes.
  • Visit gardens like Jewel Garden,
  • engage in ziplining,
  • visit Skagway Museum, etc.

7. Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound is an inlet in the Gulf of Alaska, east of the Kenai Peninsula. This place has the densest glaciers and an abundance of wildlife.

Prince William Sound can be best viewed by a cruise. Through cruising, you can get a closer look into it. Other activities here are

  • kayaking
  • salmon fishing
  • boating
  • cruising, etc.

Alaska, Land of the Midnight Sun, is truly a gem. Here are some of the best places to visit in Alaska. Among all these spectacular places to visit in Alaska, which one fascinated you the most?

Suggested Read:

Northern Lights Alaska: Top 7 Amazing Places


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