Top 10 Things To Do In Alaska

The northern most state of the US is also the most majestic – Alaska.  Alaska is 665,384 square miles with approximately 44,000 miles of coast – (for perspective, that is more than the east and west coastlines of the entire United States). Because Alaska is so big, it supports multiple and diverse habitats including Wetlands, Forests (including rainforests!!), Coastal and Tundra. Alaska also has many lakes, rivers, waterfalls and glaciers.  Each habitat carries its own type of animal so when and where you visit in Alaska will be different depending on when and where you go.  The winters here can be frigid in the north and moderate in the south with everything in between while the summers give us 24 hours of daylight and warmth but can bring forest fires.  This state is so vast you can do almost ANYTHING!

Not sure where to start?  That’s okay! has tons of information about what to do and where to go to plan your trip.  However, for those just starting to figure out what’s good in Alaska, we have come up with the top 10 things to do in Alaska.

10.  Hiking & Camping in Alaska

Camping and Hiking in Alaska

I did not know that in other states you could only camp in a designated campground including fees and reservations.  In Alaska, I grew up looking for a place off the side of the road that we could camp from.  It doesn’t matter what area of Alaska you go to, if you are going to hike or camp, you have much, much more freedom than where you’re coming from, I promise.

When you come, you can find a mountain and climb it, find a place and set up tent.  It can be as busy as you want (we do have campsites that you have to pay for) or as people free as you like.

9.The Arctic Circle

How often can you visit a place and stop by the Arctic Circle?  Not anywhere in the US, that’s for sure.  There is a road that goes all the way up to the Arctic Circle.  It gets a little shabby the farther you go but it works.  There is a camp site you can stay at while you are there (it’s a 4 hour drive from Fairbanks, Alaska) and it feels like you are on top of the world when you go.

8. The Midnight Sun

Mifdnight Sun

Technically, the sun only shines 24 hours a day at the top of Alaska but anywhere you go in the summer will provide you with ample daylight that tapers off into the early morning hours, only to be brightened up again shortly after. Some people find it difficult to sleep with it so bright but I personally find more energy to do more things with so much light!  However, it is a fun experience to be able to play all day long so this makes the list of the top 10 things to do in Alaska.

7. Dog Sledding Rides

Dog Sled Rides

Not only does Alaska participate in the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod (international sled dog races) but it is a culture of ours to have dog sled teams.  Not only do the dogs love the run, but we love to run them!  A dog sled can carry a person and you can go on an adventure with a team of 6-10 dogs over the snow and into a lot of places you wouldn’t be able to go on foot.  There are many places in Alaska that offer a trip but if you know someone (who might know someone) you could get a tour of someone’s backyard sled team and maybe get in a free ride or help them train.

6. The Seward Highway / Girdwood / Beluga Point

If you are planning to visit the southern half of the state, I highly recommend taking the Seward highway towards Girdwood.  There isn’t some secret thing down this highway but you will be breathless at the beauty you encounter.  This road closely follows the coast so depending on when the tide is out or in you may see any variety of animals.  Most specifically is a stopping area called Beluga Point where you can actually pull off and watch for whales depending on the tide.

5. Kayak on the Ocean

The ocean will be the place to see the most exotic of animals including puffins, whales, seals and sealions!  They play with a reckless abandon that allows you to see them when you get out there.  Kayaking affords you the ability to see these animals more up close but you will ALSO get to see glaciers if you visit the right spot! Valdez, Seward, Homer and Anchorage are some of the places you can get a kayak tour to a glacier.

4. Whale Watching

Whale Watching

This goes close with number 5.  You won’t be able to see any whale in northern Alaska unless you go all the way to the tip.  While there is a road that will (Maybe) get you there, I would recommend checking out a whale boat tour in the southern half of Alaska. I wouldn’t go out on a kayak specially to see whales because they are big and a kayak is small.  Plus you will get a better view from a boat –and its safer!

3. Denali National Park

We have a lot of national parks that are just so lovely however, the biggest and most accessible from all areas would be Denali National Park.  It sits right in the middle of the parks highway (which is the highway that runs from Anchorage to Fairbanks – the lower part of Alaska to the Northern part)  There are tons of hiking trails, mountains, animals and captivating beauty to be seen at Denali.  The national park is actually a town and in the summer months offers a lot of fun activities like water rafting, zip lining, helicopter rides into the mountains, camping and much more.

2. Visit the North Pole

Santa Claus, Reindeer, candy stripped street lights?  Yes, this town actually exists and at one point, Santa Claus was the Mayor. The city is small but does host the Santa Claus House where you can go and see the REAL Santa, eat some of his fudge and maybe check out some toys.  Plus, its really fun to tell people you went to North Pole, Alaska.

1. The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

Lastly, the Northern Lights. The magical, dancing, bright lights that fill up the sky and light up the snow. Alaskans still get excited when they come out and people travel from all over the world to see them.  In Fairbanks, Alaska you can see them really well because the city sits north (close to that Arctic Circle).  There are many tours and places that offer tourists to get the best shot at seeing them, however if you are lucky and know the right spots, you can see them without having to pay a lot of money.  They are beautiful and amazing and remind me why I love living in this great state.

So there they are – the top 10 things to do in Alaska.  However, If you want an exhaustive list of what to do/where to go/things to see and what to eat in each city,
has places for most cities in Alaska to help with your planning needs!  Honestly, just come.  It’s a whole other world up here.

3 Replies to “Top 10 Things To Do In Alaska”

  1. hi there! Such an amazing article,thanks for taking time to share this beautiful piece, it was a pleasure going through this! I penned something’s down on ten things to do in Alaska. Going through this wasn’t a waste of time. I will definitely keep an eye out for more informative articles like this. Kind regards

  2. I have never been to Alaska but I know that it is a top top destination for anyone that really loved to travel which is the reason why I have always had it on top of my list whenever I think of travelling. I guess it is all because of the pandemic that’s why I have restricted myself from travelling all this while. I should certainly get going to this places soon.

    1. I hope you are able to come visit soon! Let me know when you come and I can throw some ideas your way!! 

      good luck in your travels!

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