One of the largest states in the United States, Alaska offers a wide range of attractions that suit the needs of all types of travelers. So be assured that there are plenty of best places to visit in Alaska whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or going it solo. Vast in size and moderately populated, Alaska offers some of the best outdoor adventure spots in the world. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, camping, rappelling, hiking, and whatnot here! However, there are also museums, parks, shopping areas and other such spots for the not-so-adventurous travelers. Glance at our list of the best places to visit in Alaska below and decide which place you’d like to begin with.
While this city isn’t the capital, it definitely is the largest city in Alaska. Almost half the population of Alaska resides in and around Anchorage. It’s that popular. Topping our list of the best places to visit in Alaska, Anchorage offers a wide range of attractions and is one of the best family vacation spots in the US. To begin with, you can explore the Anchorage Museum of History and Art or the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Bird-watching at Potter’s Marsh is an amazing option. Also, avid trekkers will love exploring the popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
2. Glacier Bay National Park
If you love glaciers, wildlife, and outdoors in general, then this place is tailor-made for you. Offering some of the very best of Alaska, it’s home to some of the most scenic attractions in the world. You can enjoy visiting the famed John Hopkins Glacier, go kayaking on guided tours, and hike among the Bartlett Cove trails. Motorboats aren’t allowed in Muir Inlet. However, this photogenic place is definitely worth your time as it’s one of the best scenic places to visit in Alaska. Visit the park even if on last minute flights.
Some of the best things about Alaska can be found right here in Juneau, its stunning and powerful capital. It’s a major port for remarkable cruise ships that pass through the area. One of the best places to visit in Alaska, Juneau is home to scores of attractions such as the Shrine of Saint Therese, Alaska State Museum, and Mount Roberts Tramway. If you’re looking for restaurants and shopping options, then visit Front Street. Alcohol aficionados will be glad to know that Juneau is also home to a vast number of breweries.
4. Denali National Park
This is not just one of the best places to visit in Alaska but is also among the must-visit ones in the US. Home to the magnificent Mount McKinley peak, the park falls under the protected wilderness region where a myriad variety of flora and fauna flourish. An all-out outdoor vacation spot, hiking, camping, and rafting are popular at the park. Wildlife enthusiasts can go on guided tours to spot moose, wolves, bears and a lot more. If you’re unsure about safety, then there are bus tours available as well.
Situated on the scenic Kenai Peninsula, it’s popularly known as the fishing capital of the state. Not just among the best places to visit, but Homer is also among the best places to stay in Alaska owing to its proximity to other attractions. You can head to any of the famous national parks in Alaska from Homer. While in Homer, the attractions you can enjoy include Homer Spit, Kachemak Bay State Park, Skyline Drive, and halibut-fishing trips. It’s one of the best Alaska places to book business class flights to.
The state’s southernmost city, Ketchikan is among the most picturesque places to visit in the US. Situated at the foot of the incredibly scenic Deer Mountain, you can expect to enjoy views of breathtaking landscapes in Ketchikan. Popular attractions to explore include the Totem Heritage Center, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, and the Tongass Historical Museum. The Tongass National Forest is among the best places to visit in Alaska where you can enjoy zip lining through a canopy of trees.
7. Mendenhall Glacier
A short drive away from spectacular Juneau, the enormous Mendenhall Glacier is among the best places to visit in Alaska. The massive glacier separates into its own lake and offers different ways to explore it. You can either hitch a shuttle ride and get a closer look at it or take a helicopter ride to appreciate its sheer size and beauty from above. Incredibly fit travelers up for a challenge can hike up its West Glacier Trail. Although quite a challenging trek, you can enjoy scenic views and countless photo ops here.
Best Time to Visit Alaska
Winter in Alaska may prove to be a bit too harsh for tourists who aren’t used to extreme temperatures. The best weather in Alaska is found from May to September. So you can’t go wrong visiting anytime between these months. The days are warm and long during this time allowing you to explore the best places to visit in Alaska in peace. Peak tourist season is generally from mid-June to mid-August. So you may want to avoid booking cheap flights for a trip during this time if you wish to visit when it’s less crowded.