Top 15 Things To Do In Bethel, Alaska

things to do in bethel alaska
Richard Dean
Richard Dean 
| 4 min read

There’s no underestimating Bethel, though it is a small town, it is the biggest community in western Alaska and Kuskokwim River. This community seems to know each other as the population is just small. Expect the locals to be hospitable and warm. This town has a lot of exciting activities to offer. The K-300 Sled Dog Race will excite you and your canine. For those who love feathers and two-legged animals, birding adventure in Alaska is a dream come true. Of course, the Yup'ik culture is interesting, as well as their arts and way of life - check them out at Yupiit Piciryarait Museum. If you really want to know the people, you must first explore their food - Tundra Restaurant serves a sumptuous meal for everyone. Finally, no Alaska adventure is complete without camping, canoeing, and kayaking. Dying to go now? Read more and discover the 15 best things to do in Bethel, Alaska!

1. Soak up the local culture at Cama-i Dance Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This is an annual three-day festival where you get to see and enjoy lots of dancing and singing. You can watch art and craft demonstrations as well as interact with members of different ethnic groups from across Alaska and the world. The event is a riot of colors and makes for a photographer’s delight. Dancing often extends to the middle of the night and the entire event makes for memorable moments to be cherished for a lifetime.

Cama-i Dance Festival

Address: Bethel, Alaska

Website: Cama-i Dance Festival

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2. Discover the natural beauty of Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user U.S. Fish and Wil... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Set off at your own pace to discover the natural beauty of Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. It is the second-largest national wildlife refuge in the country that extends to the Bering Sea. Two majestic rivers flow across the refuge, making it a magnet for varied species of water birds. This sprawling refuge is also home to many wildlife species including polar bears, wolves, and caribou. The water bodies here are home to beluga and minke whales, porpoises, and walruses. The refuge is open all year round, but some areas may be restricted seasonally or require permits.

Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 807 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway; PO Box 346, Bethel, AK

Website: Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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3. Have fun fishing in the Kisaralik River

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This tributary of the Kuskokwim River flows through the western parts of Alaska. From Kisaralik Lake, it passes through beautiful valleys and the foothills of the Kilbuck Mountains. The waters of the river are well-stocked with chinook salmon, chum salmon, char, rainbows, and graylings. There are quite a few local adventure tour companies that organize fishing expeditions based on your requirements. The river is usually accessed by floatplane from Bethel and boat charters are usually included.

Kisaralik River

Website: Kisaralik River

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4. Take a floatplane ride for a glacier viewing experience

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Glacier viewing is a must when you are in Alaska. There are plenty of tour companies that can take you to impressive viewpoints. You could take a floatplane ride for a flightseeing experience over the pristine glaciers. A leisurely boat cruise is yet another way of getting up and close with the Alaskan glaciers. The Revelation Glacier is the closest to Bethel and is the main glacier of the Revelation Mountain Range.

Glacier Viewing

Address: Bethel, Alaska

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5. Enjoy kayaking with Kuskokwim Backwater Approach

Posted by Kuskokwim Backwater Approach on Saturday, 15 June 2019

Level up your Alaska escapade with kayaking at Kuskokwim Backwater Approach. It is a canoe and kayak rental which is situated in Bethel. In here, you will be given the chance to explore the beauty of Kuskokwim River Delta, from wildlife viewing to bird watching and even fishing. They boast high-quality sporting canoes and kayaks, which makes your adventure safer and more enjoyable.

Kuskokwim Backwater Approach

Address: 540 7th Ave Bethel, Alaska

Website: Kuskokwim Backwater Approach

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 75 USD onwards

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6. Check out the interesting exhibits at Yupiit Piciryarait Museum

Posted by Yupiit Piciryarait Museum on Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Get to know more about Alaska by visiting Yupiit Piciryarait Museum. The aim of this wonderful museum is to preserve Yup'ik culture, from arts to language and history, by sharing the important knowledge to its younger generation. With over 5,000 objects, the whole museum is priceless. In here, you will learn a lot for free!

Yupiit Piciryarait Museum

Address: 420 Chief Eddie Hoffman Way Bethel, Alaska

Website: Yupiit Piciryarait Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

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7. Plan a camping night with Float Alaska

Campfire, scary stories, picture taking, sleeping under the stars - everything about camping is exciting. Luckily, Float Alaska guarantees a night of camping to remember. It’s in the business of renting high-quality DIY (do-it-yourself) rafting and camping equipment, which are excellent for your Alaska adventure.

Float Alaska

Address: 198 H-Marker Rd Bethel, Alaska

Website: Float Alaska

Price: 10 USD onwards

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8. Enjoy fresh air at Pinky's Park

Donlin Gold hosted it's 2nd annual "Throwing Party" at the Pinky's Park fair grounds. Young and old enjoyed catching useful items.

Posted by Donlin Gold LLC on Tuesday, 9 July 2013

If you just want a relaxed day, Pinky’s Park is the place to be. Nothing much fancy about this place. You can just sit and enjoy watching the children play or breathe fresh air. If you don’t have a car, boat, or snowmobile to explore the beauty of Bethel, then this park is a nice place for biking. You can also tag along with your canine to run and play.

Pinky's Park

Address: 347 Akiachak Ave #301, Bethel, AK 99559, USA

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9. Indulge in a sumptuous meal at Tundra Restaurant

There are some great restaurants in Bethel. It's -18 now and suppose to get cold tomorrow and through the weekend

Posted by Gordon Rose on Thursday, 10 January 2019

Tundra Restaurant is a combination of cozy atmosphere, impeccable service, and friendly staff. Sure, there are tons of exhausting arrays in Bethel, but few restaurants. Luckily, Tundra Restaurant serves one of the best Mongolian beef in town. If you want more, sweet and sour shrimp must also be on your list. If you are a fan of spicy food, then, Kung pow chicken is perfect for you. Of course, American classics are also available like the all-time-favorite burger and fries.

Tundra Restaurant

Address: 473 Ridgecrest Dr, Bethel, AK 99559, USA

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 11pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 10 USD

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10. Pay your respects at Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church

With Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church you got yourself a second home. The moment you step onto the church, you will be greeted by friendly people who will make you feel welcome. The service consists of worship, prayer, Bible reading, and testimony. This community of faith believes in “love of God and loving others”. It always feels good to be surrounded by good people. Visit Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church and experience peace and love.

Bethel Covenant Church

Address: 165 Chief Eddie Hoffman Hwy, Bethel, AK 99559, United States

Website: Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church

Opening hours: Mon: 4:30pm - 6:30pm; Tue: 6:30pm - 8pm, Wed: 7pm - 8:30pm; Thu: 8pm - 9pm; Sun: 9:30am - 12:30pm (closed on Fri & Sat)

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11. Pick locally produced goods at Saturday Market

Posted by KeeWood Art Collective on Saturday, 20 April 2019

If you fancy a little shopping, then you should head to Saturday Market. This small shopping area features trendy, unique, and artistic things that will remind you of Alaska. Cute kinds of stuff are available for kiddos, while creative and handmade craft gifts are best for girlfriends. It’s now time to bring out your cash and check out amazing shops at Saturday Market.

Saturday Market

Address: Bethel, Alaska 99559

Website: Saturday Market

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12. Watch a hit blockbuster movie at Suurvik Cinema at Kipusvik

Operated by Bethel Native Corporation, Suurvik Cinema is a nice and small two-screen theater with a total of 163 comfortable seats. If you happen to be at Kipusvik, this is the only cinema that you can find. It features the latest movies, beverages, popcorn, and candy - all you have to do is - sit, relax, and enjoy the show.

Suurvik Cinema

Address: 903 Chief Eddie Hoffman Hwy, Bethel, AK 99559, USA

Website: Suurvik Cinema

Opening hours: Mon, Fri & Sun: 5:30pm - 11pm; Sat: 12pm - 11pm (closed from Tue - Thu)

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Nearby things to do

13. Explore Wood-Tikchik State Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Wood-Tikchik State Park on Thursday, June 18, 2020

This park has the distinction of being the largest and most remote of all in the whole of the United States. Preserved with the goal of conserving local wildlife and marine species, this state park offers ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Camping, kayaking, fishing, boating, and wildlife spotting are just some of the activities to pick from. There is no direct road access to this state park and floatplanes are the most common means of transport available. Some areas require permits, though most are freely accessible.

Wood-Tikchik State Park

Address:P.O. Box 1822, Dillingham, Alaska 99576

Website: Wood-Tikchik State Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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14. Experience birding adventures at St. Paul Island

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there are 500 bird species inhabitants or go through the country. The migratory birds seek to rest, to breed, or just enjoy the climate of Alaska. St. Paul Island on Pribilof Islands is home to plenty of indigenous and migratory birds (around 300 different bird species). With that being said, there’s no better place on earth to enjoy birding adventures than Alaska. There are plenty of bird species that can only be seen in this country - don’t miss it for the world.

St. Paul Island

Address: Located in the Bering Sea between the United States and Russia

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15. Take your dogs out for the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race

Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race is a fun racing event for dogs and fur parents. This is the coolest activity with your dog and perhaps, an interesting sport. It is a 482 km (300 mi) race. The event’s purpose is to re-gain historic trails in the area of Lower Kuskokwim. The race starts from Bethel on Friday evening passing through Aniak and then going back to Bethel.

Kuskokwin 300 Sled Dog Race

Address: Kuskokwin, Alaska

Website: Kuskokwin 300 Sled Dog Race

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The best of Bethel

Bethel Alaska 432
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user marco antonio torres used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The biggest community in western Alaska has so much to offer, from bird adventure to sled dog racing, from quirky arts to extreme excursions - to name a few. If you hear “snow”, Bethel in Alaska will surely ring a bell. With that being said, this gorgeous place is perfect for snow excursions like snowmobiling and skiing. Bethel offers the best snow arrays and attractions you could ever find - now you know why it is one of the coolest towns in Alaska.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Richard, a writer and traveler, is also passionate about biking. When not immersed in bike parts or computers, he can be found at the market, hunting for ingredients to fuel his love for...Read more

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