The northern state of Alaska is a beautiful vacation destination for those looking to escape their routine life. While this state has been part of the American union since 1959, many people have never seen the pristine landscapes and natural beauty of the area. If you plan an Alaskan vacation, here are five things to try while you’re up north!
Head For the Coast
The first thing you should do if you’re visiting Alaska is head for the coast. The Alaskan coast is one of the most stunning natural wonders in the country. Between mountains, glaciers, and rivers, there is plenty to see when you get close to the ocean. In coastal towns, you can expect to find delicious local cuisine, boat tours, and unique museums. Cities like Ketchikan and Sitka are popular stops on Alaska cruise lines, making them popular with tourists. Whether you like to shop or tour local culture, heading for the coast is an excellent first step.
Get Adventurous In National Parks
The second thing to do when visiting Alaska is to get adventurous in some of the many national parks in the state. Alaska is home to over half of the country’s national parks, with eight established parks and 16 national wildlife refuges. Some of the most popular sites are Denali National Park and Kobuk Valley National Park, each bringing in thousands of tourists annually. In these parks, you can hike on glaciers, watch wildlife migration, and paddle down serene rivers. If you want an idea of how Alaska looked thousands of years ago, visit one of the national parks.
Do Some Shopping Inland
If you’re less of a hiking person, there is plenty of shopping inland. Cities like Anchorage, Juneau, and Nome are popular with tourists due to their proximity to the coast or one of Alaska’s many national parks. Thanks to their popularity, you can find many stores run by locals. When you shop there, you’re supporting small businesses and local shop owners. Additionally, many of these stores are owned by Indigenous sellers from one of the multiple Alaskan tribes. If you want to get some fun souvenirs from your trip while supporting local businesses, visit one of the many shopping centers in Alaska.
Meet The Native Wildlife
The fourth thing you can do on a visit to Alaska is meet the native wildlife. One of the unique beauties of this wild landscape is its environment. While there are cities and settlements in the vast state, most of the land is in the same condition as it was hundreds of years ago. Animals still migrate across the valleys, birds of prey can be seen in the sky daily, and large herbivores like moose are a staple sight in meadows and fields. As previously mentioned, Alaska is home to 16 registered nature preserves. When you visit one of these parks, you can expect to see many animals in their natural habitat, virtually untouched by humanity. If you want to experience some of Alaska’s wild beauty, head outside to a nature park.
Enjoy a Vibrant Nightlife
Finally, if you want to unwind after a long day, Alaska has plenty of entertainment and nightlife to be found. Larger cities like Anchorage or Fairbanks not only have plenty of shops for you to enjoy, but there’s a wide range of restaurants and bars to choose from. If you’re a gourmand on vacation, feel free to enjoy some local cuisine in the heart of Alaska. For those who don’t care as much for food, this northern state has a “hopping” beer scene. Whether you enjoy IPAs or heavier stouts, the myriad of local breweries in the area will ensure your tastes are accommodated. No matter what you do for entertainment, this beautiful state is sure to have something you’ll enjoy.
Overall, although Alaska was the 49th state to enter the union, it’s easily one of the top ten in terms of natural beauty. If you’re headed up north for vacation, try these five ideas to make your trip memorable.