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Alaska Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting

Alaska Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Visiting
Overview
Location
Alaska
Time Zone
AKST (UTC-9)/AKDT (UTC-8)
Driving Side
Right
Measurement System
Imperial
Internet TLD
.us
Travel Essentials
Currency
USD $
Electrical Standards
Type A & B, 120V, 60Hz
Emergency Numbers
911
Language Codes
EN
Mobile Country Code
1

Map

Are you looking for a unique and captivating travel experience? Alaska is the perfect place to go for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

With its majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and breathtaking wildlife, Alaska has plenty to offer. In this blog, I will provide you with an Alaska travel guide so you can make the most of your trip.

From what to pack to where to stay, I’ll share my tips on how to make the most of your time in The Last Frontier!

Best Things to Do in Alaska

1. Denali National Park

Mount Denali soaring above clouds on helicopter tour, showcasing Alaska's natural wonders.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Denali National Park is a nature enthusiast’s dream destination. Home to Mount Denali, North America’s tallest peak, the park boasts some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the world.

Visitors can indulge in a variety of activities like hiking, camping, and mountaineering. But the real draw is the diverse wildlife that calls the park home.

Moose, caribou, grizzly bears, and wolves roam the vast wilderness, making for some truly unforgettable wildlife sightings. And if you’re a photography buff, you won’t miss the chance to capture the majesty of the Alaska Range and its glittering glaciers. Denali National Park is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the best of America’s natural wonders.

See Related: Best Denali Hiking Tours | Hike Denali National Park

2. Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park Mountain Range

Kenai Fjords National Park is an incredible destination located in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. It is home to a stunning array of natural wonders, including the Harding Icefield, one of the largest icefields in the United States.

This 870-square-mile icefield is the source of many of the park’s glaciers, which flow down the mountainsides into the fjords below. From these glaciers, visitors can spot seals, sea lions, whales, and a variety of bird species.

The park also boasts dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and pristine beaches. With so much to explore, Kenai Fjords National Park is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Whether you want to hike the trails, kayak in the fjords, or take in the breathtaking scenery, a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

See Related: Best Kenai Fjords Tours Through Alaska’s Wild Wonderland

3. Cruise the Inside Passage

Cruise Ship in Glacier Bay, Alaska
pabrady63 – stock.adobe.com

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Alaska is by cruising the Inside Passage. This breathtaking waterway stretches from Puget Sound in Washington to Skagway in Alaska, passing through pristine rainforests, glaciers, and fjords. Watch for whales, seals, and other marine life during your journey.

As you pass quaint seaside villages, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Alaska’s unique culture and history. Whether you’re aboard an intimate sailing vessel or a larger cruise ship, the Inside Passage is sure to leave lasting memories.

See Related: Best River Cruises in Europe

4. Witness the Northern Lights

Northern Lights in Alaska
bear & tripod / Adobe Stock

Alaska is one of the best places in the world to see the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The best time to catch the aurora borealis is during the winter months, from late September to early April. Fairbanks and the Arctic Circle are prime viewing locations, known as top destinations worldwide to see the northern lights.

Visiting in the Summer? Take in the midnight sun with 24 hours of sunshine, and go to bed before your next big adventure.

See Related: Best Places to See the Northern Lights

5. Visit Glacier Bay National Park

Glacial Waters in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Maridav / Adobe Stock

During my unforgettable trip to Alaska, I explored the mesmerizing Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that left an indelible impression on me. As I ventured into this breathtaking park, I was greeted by the sight of massive tidewater glaciers, deep fjords, and an astounding array of wildlife.

One of the highlights of my visit was embarking on a boat tour that navigated through the pristine waters, bringing me up close and personal with the park’s stunning ice formations. As the boat glided past these ancient glaciers, I marveled at the sheer scale and beauty of the ice, which seemed to go on for miles. The sound of ice cracking and calving into the ocean was an experience I’ll never forget.

Kayaking through Glacier Bay National Park was another exhilarating adventure that allowed me to truly immerse myself in the park’s natural wonders. Paddling alongside icebergs and navigating through the serene fjords, I couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to the awe-inspiring wilderness that surrounded me.

While exploring the park, I encountered diverse wildlife, including humpback whales, sea lions, and bald eagles. Observing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat was a humbling and unforgettable experience.

6. Discover Alaskan Native Cultures

Exterior of Alaska Native Heritage Center
Alaska Native Heritage Center / Facebook

Travelers looking to delve into Alaska’s indigenous peoples’ unique history and culture should look no further than the numerous cultural centers and museums scattered throughout the state.

Among the top destinations for such an experience are the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage and the Sitka National Historical Park. These venues offer visitors an in-depth look at the traditions, customs, and lifestyles of the region’s diverse native communities, providing invaluable educational opportunities and insight into Alaska’s rich cultural tapestry.

See Related: How Much Does an Alaska Trip Cost? [Average Cost Per Day]

Where to stay in Alaska

Alyeska Resort in Alaska
Alyeska Resort / Booking.com

Alaska is a breathtaking and diverse destination. With its stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unique culture, it’s no wonder that Alaska is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. But with so much to see and do, deciding where to stay while visiting the state can be hard.

In this blog post, I will help you find the best places to stay in Alaska for your next vacation! From charming bed-and-breakfasts to luxurious hotels, I’ll provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

  1. The Hotel Alyeska – Girdwood
  2. Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa – Anchorage
  3. Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center – Fairbanks
  4. Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge – Talkeetna
  5. Seward Windsong Lodge – Seward
  6. Denali Backcountry Lodge – Denali National Park
  7. Juneau Hotel – Juneau
  8. The Lodge at Black Rapids – Delta Junction
  9. Sitka’s Eagle Bay Inn – Sitka
  10. Black Bear Inn – Ketchikan

How to Get Around in Alaska

Alt-Text: Scenic view of Denali Park Road winding through forests and mountains under a partly cloudy sky, highlighting the unspoiled beauty of Alaska's landscapes.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Navigating Alaska can be a unique experience due to its vast size and diverse landscapes. The primary modes of transportation are by car, train, or plane.

Rental cars are a popular choice for exploring the state, especially for those who want the freedom to set their schedule. Companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, and Hertz offer services in major cities and airports.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the Alaska Railroad offers scenic routes connecting popular destinations like Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park. Flying is also an option, with regional airlines like Alaska Airlines and Ravn Alaska providing service to remote areas.

Travel Tips for Visiting Alaska

Before embarking on your Alaskan adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the unique aspects of the destination. Here are some travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Plan for the Weather

Packing weather travel clothes in a suitcase
MargJohnsonVA / Adobe Stock

Alaska’s weather can be unpredictable, ranging from mild to extreme cold. Layered clothing is the key to staying comfortable in any climate. Invest in high-quality, waterproof outerwear and sturdy shoes for outdoor activities.

Be Aware of Wildlife

Bear in Cook Inlet, Alaska
Danita Delimont / Adobe Stock

Alaska is home to diverse wildlife, including bears, moose, and wolves. When exploring the wilderness, always maintain a safe distance from animals and follow guidelines provided by park rangers and local authorities.

Respect the Environment

Scenic fall landscape with snow-capped mountains in Denali National Park, Alaska
Uwe Bergwitz / Shutterstock

Alaska’s natural beauty is one of its greatest treasures. Help preserve it for future generations by practicing sustainable tourism. Stay on marked trails, pack out trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife habitats.

Choose the Right Time to Visit

Denali National Park mountain rage and skyline
Lukas Bischoff Photograph / Shutterstock

The best time to visit Alaska depends on your interests. Summer offers mild temperatures and long daylight hours, perfect for outdoor adventures. Winter provides opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and viewing the Northern Lights.

Prepare for Remote Travel

RV in Denali Highway
Viktor / Adobe Stock

Many of Alaska’s most stunning attractions are located in remote areas with limited access to amenities. Prepare for self-sufficiency by packing essential supplies, such as food, water, and first-aid items. Invest in a reliable communication device for emergencies.

This Alaska travel guide will prepare you for an unforgettable journey to the Last Frontier. Embrace the state’s natural wonders, rich culture, and friendly locals for a trip that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

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