Best 14 Places To Visit In Alaska - Updated 2021

best places to visit in alaska
Leonora
Leonora
Updated

Alaska is the biggest state of the United States by land area. It is located at the extreme northwest of the US. The Bering Strait separates it from Asia while it is bordered by British Columbia province of Canada to the east and the Territory of Yukon to the southeast. It is not only big in size but also in beauty. It has several cities and small towns that serve as the gateway to its vast wilderness. The capital of Alaska, Juneau, cannot be reached by a road. Instead, people going to the capital city has to ride a ferry or an aircraft to reach it. Because of its vastness and splendor, there are many places to visit in Alaska, USA, that will keep an adventurer’s heart burning.

1. Haines


Haines is a borough that is situated at the shores of the Lynn Canal in the northern part of Alaska. It has snow-capped mountains, glacier-covered and forested valleys, and streams and rivers that teem with salmon. Because the water at Haines is deep and free of ice, its port serves as an important transshipment point to the highways of Interior Alaska, Canada, and the US. For eagle enthusiasts, every fall season, thousands of bald eagles come to to the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to feed on salmons. This inspired the launching of the Bald Eagle Festival in Haines, which is an annual activity.

Haines

Address: Haines, Haines Borough, Alaska, USA

Website: Haines

2. Seward

Seward harbor
Source: Photo by Flickr user Brian used under CC BY 2.0

Seward is a city in the southern part of Alaska and is known for its deep and ice-free waters. It is the only city where you can travel by rail, by the highway, or by air to the major cities inside Alaska. Aside from being a transport hub, Seward possesses a natural beauty that has lured tourists to the area. The Kenai Forj National Park offers the best views of the ice sheet and the glacier. There are fantastic boat tours as well. Meet sea animals and birds at the Alaska Sealife Center, a rehabilitation area for sea wildlife. You can go hiking, whale watching, and witness a dog sledding race.

Seward

Address: Seward, Alaska, USA

Website: Seward

3. Skagway

Skagway Alaska

Posted by La McGranitt on Monday, 24 July 2017

Skagway is a city that is full of beauty, adventure, and history. It was the first city that was incorporated in Alaska right after the gold rush in Klondike. Today, some of the buildings during that era are still preserved. Even the streets still feature wooden boardwalks just as it did a century ago. The city has only a little more than a thousand inhabitants but every year, around a million tourists come to see this historic city with its century-old well-preserved structures. It has two museums, dining options, shops, five churches, one library, one financial institution and around 200 hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and boating.

Skagway

Address: Skagway, Alaska, USA

Website: Skagway

4. Valdez

Valdez Alaska USA

Posted by La McGranitt on Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Valdez is a small city in Alaska with a port that extends to an inlet at the Prince William Sound. Its deep water is ice-free all year round, attracting diverse wildlife. The peaks of the Chugach Mountains dominate the surrounding area. Tourists come to see and even go near a vast expanse of glacier. Choppers are used as tour buses during the summer when one can see from above plenty of fishes on the water below. The landscape and the waterscape are wonderful to behold. You can enjoy kayaking, whitewater rafting, sailing, cruising, and sea wildlife viewing. Despite having been ravaged by a very strong earthquake in 1964 and by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, this city has survived and has become one of the most beautiful spots in Alaska.

Valdez

Address: Valdez, Alaska, USA

Website: Valdez

5. Ketchikan All in One Tour (from USD 79.0)

If you want to see more of Alaska and its culture, join the Ketchikan All in One Tour. There will be a maximum of 14 people for each tour group. A vehicle will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off later. You will have a professional tour guide that will explain to you the relevance and history of the different places that you will visit. The tour starts at a salmon hatchery where you can see the salmon ladder and proceed to the Saxman Native Village where you can see a large collection of totem poles, the Rotary Beach where you can watch the whales, and the Herring Cove where you can find bears, eagles, and seals.

Ketchikan All In One

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

6. Fairbanks city highlight tours (from USD 115.0)

Be a part of this tour and explore Fairbanks, the largest city in the Alaska Interior. You will enjoy sightseeing for five hours with a knowledgeable tour guide who can answer your questions regarding the city and the places that you will visit. Your tour will start with an introduction to the history and culture of Fairbanks at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. You will proceed to the Museum of the North of the University of Alaska, which is known for its outstanding architecture. You will see the pipeline of Trans-Alaska, the largest pipeline in the world. Your tour will end with a visit to the house Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The tour fee will include a tour guide and a live commentary while in the vehicle, bottled water, and pick-up and drop off to your hotel.

Fairbanks City Highlight Tour

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

10 reviews

7. Talkeetna

Cool photo of Talkeetna from Alaska.org

Posted by Swiss Alaska Inn on Thursday, 14 July 2016

Talkeetna is a hamlet at the foot of the biggest mountain in North America, Mt. Denali. This town is known for its eccentricity. In 1997, the people elected a cat named Stubbs as the town mayor. Along with the lovely spots in Talkeetna, Stubbs was visited by tourists until its death in 1997. The town has air taxis that will give you a lift so that you can see the town from the air and fly near the Mt. Denali peak. There are also boats that will take you on a river tour. The location of the town makes it the best home base for mountain climbers that dream of conquering Mt. Denali and for tourists that want to explore and experience this part of Alaska.

Talkeetna

Address: Talkeetna, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, USA

Website: Talkeetna

8. Explore Anchorage and learn about its culture and heritage (from USD 101.0)

Learn more about the culture and heritage of Anchorage by touring the city and the Alaska Heritage Center. You will enjoy three hours of exploring the city with a professional guide that will give you interesting details about the places that you will visit. Your itinerary includes the port, the Lake Hood and Bootleggers Cove, and the Earthquake Park that marks the areas that were affected by the 1964 earthquake that changed the topography of the affected areas. You will see native arts and crafts and a replica of an Alaskan Village with traditional houses, as well as dances and games.

Anchorage City Tour with Alaska Native Heritage Center

Duration: 3 hours

10 reviews

9. Girdwood

Alaska. Girdwood. Alyeska ski resort and winter cabins. Chugach mountains by www.alaska-in-pictures.com

Posted by Alaska - Land of the Last Frontier on Saturday, 13 February 2016

Girdwood is a lovely town resort on the southern part of the municipality of Anchorage in Alaska. During the gold rush, miners used to buy supplies in this town. Because of the great snowfall during winter, a ski resort was established. The 1964 earthquake reshaped the town and it was relocated close to the foot of Mt. Alyeska, offering more natural beauty spots to explore. Today, the Alyeska Ski resort draws skiing enthusiasts from across the world, all year round. Aside from skiing, you can enjoy snowmobiling, biking, hiking, rafting, glacier jet-skiing, dog sledding, and fishing. You can take flights to enjoy the aerial view of the town.

Girdwood

Address: Girdwood, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Website: [Girdwood]https://girdwood.com)

10. Tracy Arm Fjord


Tracy Arm Fjord is an inlet that runs 27 miles (43.5 kilometers) alongside the wilderness of Tongass National Forest, the biggest forest in the United States. This narrow passage is flanked by high and sharp cliffs on both sides, with almost 20 percent of it covered in ice. A cruise on this fjord offers a chance to see the grandeur of Alaska. One can see mountains reaching to the sky, icebergs floating around, and waterfalls flowing from the cliffs above down to the green sea. If the vessel’s engine is turned off, one can hear the cracking of the glacier as it calves and the thunderous roar as huge chunks of ice break. Sightings of wildlife such as mountain goats, bears, whales, harbor seals with their pups, and different kinds of birds are a bonus.

Tracy Arm Fjord

Address: Tracy Arm, Alaska, USA

11. Sitka (from USD 80.0)

Sitka is known for being the place where the signing of the purchase of Alaska took place. This city used to be the capital of Alaska. It lies at the center of the Tongass National Forest and nestled at the foot of glacial mountains that face the Pacific Ocean. With the green forest and white glacial mountains as the backdrop, Sitka has been known for its great splendor. Only accessible by air or by sea, the landscape will take your breath away. Visit the Sitka Park Totem Park and see the different totem poles that showcase the intricate artwork. Watch bears play at the Bears Fortress. There are museums, cathedrals, a science center, and many historic spots in the area. There are hiking trails where you will have a chance to see bears and other wildlife. Canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing will let you see more of the hidden beauty of Sitka.

Sitka Tour: Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bears, Totems

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

8 reviews

12. Homer


Homer is a small city at the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska and is known as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the world as well as the Eco and Adventure tourism of Alaska. Fishing boats leave and arrive with fresh catch at its harbor. The Homer Split, a strip of land, teems with shops, seafood restaurants, art galleries, and lovely beaches. Visit the Pratt Museum where local artifacts and art, including a pioneer cabin, are on display. The wildlife exhibit See wildlife exhibits at the Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center a must to see. For the adventurous, there are hiking trails that lead to several lovely places. Its water is ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

Homer

Address: Homer, Alaska, USA

Website: Homer

13. Juneau

Juneau, Alaska at night by Pat Costello

Posted by Alaska - Land of the Last Frontier on Friday, 24 November 2017

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and is famous for having one of the biggest gold mines in Alaska. Situated at the foot of Mt. Roberts and Mt. Juneau, this city can only be reached by sea or by air. This place is famous for the Mendenhall Glacier, a river of ice that is 13.6 miles (21.89 kilometers) long extending from the Juneau Icefield to the Lake of Mendenhall. Feast your ice on the ethereal beauty of the glacier and of the icebergs floating on the lake. Watch the water cascade from a falls in the mountain and get a chance to see wild animals such as bears, beavers, mountain goats, as well as schools of salmon spawning in the lake. There are always exciting things to do in Juneau. You can go glacier viewing, whale watching, hiking, fishing, and sailing. There are shops, restaurants, bars, and coffee houses that offer the best food and beverages in Alaska.

Juneau

Address: Gastineau Channel, Alaska

Website: Juneau

14. Gustavus

Posted by Glacier Bay's Bear Track Inn on Sunday, 25 June 2017

Gustavus is a small community in the southeast part of Alaska. The population balloons every summer months as thousands of tourists stop by on their way to see the Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve, which is second to Denali when it comes to the number of visits per year. Gustave is considered as the gateway to the Glacier Bay National Park as it has the only road that can be used to reach the airfield that connects to the headquarters of the park. Surrounded by tall mountains, Gustavus has a lot of natural beauty to offer. It will be an excellent home base if you are planning to see the vast expanse of Glacier Bay. There are restaurants, lovely inns, and hotels where you can stay in great comfort.

Gustavus

Address: Gustavus, Alaska, USA

Website: Gustavus

Explore Alaska's extreme and unsoiled beauty

Alaska is a land of extreme and unspoiled beauty with its glaciers, fjords, high peaks, rivers and seas teeming with salmon and halibut, forests, and wild animals that cannot be found anywhere else. It boasts of the tallest mountain in the United States and a capital city that can only be accessed by water or by air making cruises highly popular for those that want to see the grandeur of Alaska. With the list as your guide, discover the best places to visit in Alaska, USA.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Leonora Puno loves to see places where nature abounds. She has traveled to several parts of the Philippines that glorify the beauty of nature. She loves reading about the beautiful places in other...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Anchorage
Good things are meant to be shared!