10 Reasons to Visit Alaska

Updated November 2023, 10 Reasons To Visit Alaska was originally written in July 2017

Often when people announce they’re going to Alaska the first question they’re met with is: Why? Alaska doesn’t fit the bill for what most people picture on vacation, but that is part of the allure.

The 49th state has rightly earned its nickname as the Last Frontier, packed with staggering mountains amidst glaciers clung to their sides, big game wildlife, towering icebergs, lively cities, a unique culture, historic mining communities, and a thousand things in between. Do you need any more reasons to visit Alaska?

Now is a better time than ever to visit Alaska. And yes: the snow does melt in the summer.

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1. The Northern Lights

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Kick back and watch mother nature at work. Watch ribbons of color burst from the sky and dance all around. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll even hear the crackling of the late-night atmospheric phenomenon. 

Note that due to the endless sun in the summertime the Northern Lights are not visible in June and July, and are rare to witness in early August and late May.

Wanna see the aurora yourself? Read: 5 Tips For Viewing The Aurora

2. Glaciers

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With an estimated 100,000 glaciers within the state prepare to be wowed by ice. Alaska has a number of roadside glaciers that can be easily accessed by visitors. These include Byron Glacier, Matanuska Glacier, Mendenhall Glacier, Exit Glacier and many, many more!

Wanna Visit A Glacier By Train? Read: The Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop Train

3. Wildlife

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No, I’m not talking about Alaska’s nightlife.

I’m talking about all the critters running about the majestic lands. From bears to moose, caribou, eagles, and more. Alaska has no shortage of wildlife.

One of the best places to see Alaskan wildlife? Denali National Park.

Wanna self drive through Alaska’s most famous park? Read this post here to apply for your Denali Road Lottery Permit.

Want to explore Alaska’s coastal wildlife areas? I recommend booking a trip with Major Marine Tours to explore Kenai Fjords National Park and keep your eyes peeled for orca, sea birds, otters, sea lions, eagles, and more!

Everything you need to know to apply for your Denali Road Lottery Permit

4. The Midnight Sun

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Being in the far reaches of the northern latitudes Alaska sees nearly endless daylight in the summer months.

Wanna travel Alaska on the cheap? Check out Travel Alaska on a Budget

5. All Those Roads to Nowhere

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There’s no shortage of road trip opportunities in the United State’s largest state. And it is true if you sliced Alaska in half Texas would become the third-largest state. It’s that big. Although the road network in Alaska only covers a tiny fraction of the land, there are countless nooks to explore from the roadways.

Plan your road trip: Hit the Highlights from Anchorage to Fairbanks

6. Towering Mountains

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Alaska is home to North America’s tallest mountain: Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley).

Hardcore mountaineering, not your thing? There are plenty of mountains to explore all over the state for every hiking/physical level. From the looming Alaska Range housing Alaska’s biggest mountains to the far north Brooks Range, Chugach State Park, and all the ones in between.

Love to hike? Read: The Mint-Bomber Traverse in Hatcher Pass

7. The Endless Adventure

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Alaskans are always up to something adventurous and seemingly crazy. Hiking, surfing, sea kayaking among icebergs, cruising along faces of glaciers, and more! If you’re an adventure seeker, Alaska is definitely the place for you.

There’s something for everyone! Read: How to get to the Mendenhall Ice Caves

8. Remote Wilderness

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Wanting to get away from it all? That’s an easy prospect in a land as wild as Alaska. Escape the crowds and check out Alaska’s lesser-known attractions.

Want to really get away from it all? Plan a hike into ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

9. World-Class Fishing

Alaska is home to world-class fishing and is dotted with exclusive and remote fishing lodges. Of course, there are countless charter companies to take you out fishing for our tasty salmon, halibut, and more!

10. The Skiing & Snowboarding

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With long winters and regions that get dumped on, the backcountry opportunities are endless. For those not as wild at heart we do have a few ski resorts as well.

Looking for some backcountry suggestions? Check out my post on Free places to ski and snowboard near Anchorage.

Will An Alaska Visit Be Your Next Adventure?

Check out all my Alaska posts to help you start planning your adventure to Alaska!

Have Any Questions About Visiting Alaska?

Ask in the comments section below.

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