When I ask people what destinations they have in their bucket list one of the top places I hear is Alaska. So, what makes Alaska so appealing to visit?

Known as the last frontier, Alaska is truly a nature lovers paradise. 663,300 square miles make up the United States' largest state. Over 100,000 glaciers can be found along the coast line and on land, and it is one of the best places to see the aurora borealis lighting up the night sky.

Nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails, fishing, hunting, white water rafting, camping, and more. If you're into mountain climbing, skiing, or snowboarding you should know that 17 of the top 20 tallest peaks in the United States are found in Alaska!


The towns and cities of Alaska each offer a different flavor. Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau are the three largest cities in Alaska, and are great starting points for anyone looking to visit. Each offers modern accommodations and amenities.

  • Anchorage is the largest with a population just under 300,000 and is the best place to stay/visit if you're looking for more of a city-like escape. Downtown is the best place to stay for easy access to eateries, shops, activities, and the train station. Stay in the Spenard neighborhood for more budget friendly accommodations and close proximity to the largest floatplane base in the world! Bootleggers Cove accommodations include vacation homes and guest houses with access to stunning views, and the most popular outdoor activities and trails.
  • Juneau is the capital of Alaska and has around 32,000 residents. It is not accessible by car so be prepared to fly or take a boat to this beautiful seaside town. If you're visiting Alaska on a cruise Juneau will most likely be one of your ports! Downtown Juneau is a place where everything is close enough to walk to, even the cruise port is within walking distance. Just a short drive outside of Juneau you'll find the Mendenhall Glacier located in the Tongass National Forest which happens to be the largest National Forest in the United States. If you're looking for whales you've come to the right place as Juneau is a stop for about 60 Humpback Whales. Whale sightings are so common, in fact, that most whale watching tour companies guarantee sightings or give you your money back!
  • Looking to catch the northern lights? Fairbanks is where you'll want to be. It's the 2nd largest city with about 100,000 residents. It offers all the amenities you would expect in a larger city: a downtown area with shops and eateries, a large arts community, and an international airport. From August to April you can witness the best northern lights shows. History lovers can visit Alaska's only historical theme park: Pioneer Park. Outdoor lovers will find plenty of trails, skiing, dog sledding, and other outdoor activities to keep them busy!

Alaska is known for some interesting festivals. Here are a few to look for if you're planning a visit:

  • World Ice Art Championships: From February to March ice sculptors from around the world descend on Fairbanks, AK to take part in the largest ice sculpting competition in the world! This event is about a month long and draws approximately 45,000 visitors to Fairbanks.
  • Iditarod Sled Dog Race: If you grew up hearing the heroic story of sled dogs Balto and Togo then you most likely know about The Iditarod! Taking place in early March The Iditarod starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome and is run on some of the same trails used in Balto and Togo's 1925 life saving run.
  • Kodiak Crab Festival: kick off the summer season by indulging in lots of delicious seafood! This festival takes place in Kodiak, AK is 5 days long and ends on Memorial day.
  • Sitka Salmon Derby: starting around Memorial Day and lasting 5 days is the Sitka Salmon Derby. The event draws fishing enthusiasts to Sitka compete in catching the prize fish.
  • Alaska State Fair: taking place in Palmer, AK from late August to early September is Alaska's biggest event of the year. Here you'll find rides and activities you expect to see at any fair, but you'll also find activities and events you can only get in Alaska. This state fair holds world records for some of the largest produce, such as the 2,147 pound pumpkin!
  • Sitka WhaleFest: taking place in early November in Sitka, this event aims to raise awareness and educate attendees on the marine environment. This event is a great opportunity to go on a whale watching cruise with experts on board to provide insight on what you witness during your cruise.

Foodies if you're wondering what you must try when visiting Alaska here are a few dishes that might peak your interest: Reindeer Sausage, all things Salmon, King Crab, Alaskan Birch Syrup, Berry Cobbler, sample local wines and breweries, Fry Bread, Alaskan Coffee, and Eskimo Ice Cream (Akutaq). If you're traveling to Alaska and leave without trying the seafood you are missing out!

Want to visit Alaska? Cruises to Alaska are one of the most popular ways to visit, with many itineraries passing through Glacier Bay. If you want to spend more time on land you can fly into a number of airports and get started on your land adventure.

Ready to plan your visit to Alaska? Reach out to me to get started: Contact Me