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The Top 9 Tourist Attractions in Alaska (UPDATED 2024)

Alaska is a rather large state with amazing views of nature and developed wildlife. From the beautiful massive regions of the country and natural parklands to the vibrant urban centers, it offers something for everyone. Here are the top 9 must-see attractions to visit when traveling to The Last Frontier in 2024:

1. Denali National Park

Considered as the top destination in Alaska is Denali National Park. With Denali, originally Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America, this park covers more than 6 million acres. Wild species like grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep are readily viewable to those who enjoy wildlife. To see the landscape, stroll or hike; bring a bag; set up a camp; even consider bus travel to the park. The 92-mile Park Road offers places for animal observation and photography catching Denali's amazing mountains breaking through the mist.

2. Kenai Fjords National Park

Along with a high abundance of species living there, it has tidewater glaciers and coastal mountains above the population. From Seward, this is a journey across the fjords to see whales, sea lions, otters, puffins, and bears wandering along the shoreline. These noises, like thunder as the ice fractures, capture the roar of breaking ice resulting from calving tidewater glaciers. One may get a close-up view of a glacier for the most courage inside a kayak. Kenai Fjords has more than forty glaciers and breathtaking scenery that ensures amazing images.

3. Glacier Bay National Park

This is a must-do activity in Alaska as a visit here might be more fun depending on whether one uses a ship or kayaks. One may see massive glaciers, snow-covered mountains, and wild marine life like humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, seals, and seagulls while one is gliding over the GLACIER & WILDLIFE CRUISE in the seas. Search and pay close attention to the sound of big ice pieces falling on the water breaking. Glacier Bay is breathtakingly beautiful with glaciers from the Fairweather mountain, which is 60 miles long and 4,000 feet deep falling from freezing heights to the sea. See bears, moose, and mountain goats via a beach trip through the jungle and along the rocky shoreline.

4. Ketchikan

More than 250 ships per year make a stop in Ketchikan, which has the nickname of the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’. Stroll along Creek Street boasts more historic and beautifully painted architectural structures that are on pillars and stand over Ketchikan Creek. Stroll down the downtown area and its Native art and totem poles along with the vibrant nightlife. For sightseeing, go on a flight over the stunning Misty Fjords National Monument where you get to see cliffs of granite, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls, and deep fjords, try your hand at fishing for salmon and halibut. Other tourist attractions include the Saxman Native Village where guests can witness the largest collection of standing totem poles on the planet.

5. Juneau

Alaska’s isolated capital city is located at the base of Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts; it has many cruise ship stops due to the stunning views. Trip up the Mt. Roberts Tramway to the top which is 1,800 feet to take a vantage point view of downtown Juneau, Gastineau Channel, and nearby mountain ranges. Take flight-seeing and glacier-trading, prospect for gold, or visit the State of Alaska museum. This region of Wildlife is known for its presence of whales, bears, moose, and many others. For trekking lovers, try hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting, flying over the wilderness, or deep-sea fishing for salmon and halibut.

6. Fairbanks

Fairbanks known as the Golden Heart City, provides a distinct view of the central Alaskan region and it is culture and history. During the winter season, tourists go up to observe the wonderful spectacle of the aurora borealis illuminating the sky or engage in a thrilling dog mushing tour. During summer, go on a boat trip in the Chena River, panning for gold, trekking in the White Mountains, or option to visit some Alaskan native towns and the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Two of the well-known museums are the Museum of the North which focuses on history and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Get ready to wrap yourself up to enjoy the most fun activities to do in the winter such as Borealis Basecamp or the World Ice Art Championships.

7. Homer

Homer is a small town found at the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula famous for some of the best marine mammal sightings, fishing, hiking, and artwork. Stop by for a scenic boat ride to watch whales and sea otters, check out the seabird colonies, or go fishing for giant halibut and salmon. One can hike glaciers, opt for kayaking on protected coves, or take a leisurely walk along Homer Spit which hosts small shops and art galleries. Do not forget to go to the Salty Dawg Saloon which is another tourist attraction, a house, actually hanging over the water with dollars nailed to its walls. Only a short ferry ride across Kachemak Bay, let’s visit Seldovia, a remote historic fishing village that can only be accessed by boat or airplane.

8. Alaska the Wrangell St Elias National Park

Comprising over 13,000,000 acres, Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the nation and a world heritage site. The finest proximity to observe the breathtaking geological formations of the jagged peaks, big glaciers, and a range of species in the secluded areas of the park is provided by scenic flightseeing excursions. Go camping or hiking on paths; come for rafting and kayaking over many days. See the local mining legacy by stopping at McCarthy and Kennecott. Look for bears, moose, mountain goats, wolves, and Dall sheep among the other species this untamed region offers.

9. Anchorage

Lively Anchorage is among the most beautiful locations on Earth as it presents the best of both worlds: the advantages of civilization and chances for exhilarating and memorable experiences. Wander throughout the Anchorage museum to see native Alaskan original pieces of art as well as various presentations capturing Alaska's history and culture. See the downtown area and buy some locally made goods at the weekend market often run in summer. See the Chugach Mountains in the Cook Inlet by driving over the picturesque high road on Turnagain Arm. Visit authorized wildlife areas and use natural paths for a fast fix via skiing, hiking, or bike riding. Investigate the nighttime dining and drinking options for craft beer or you may see a show beneath Alaska's actual mid-summer, midnight suns.

Here are awesome Alaskan attractions with immense views of the scenery, great opportunities to watch the great wildlife, and history, and adventure at every turn. When you travel to the Great Land of Alaska in 2024, be prepared for an abundant experience through the great mountains, gigantic glaciers, wild coastal areas, and witty little towns.

FAQ

What type of experiences are on this list?

Does it focus on natural wonders (glaciers, mountains, wildlife), cultural experiences (native villages, historical sites), or outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, fishing)? This helps you decide if the list aligns with your interests.

Are these attractions spread across all of Alaska, or is there a specific region highlighted?

Knowing the geographic spread is important for planning logistics. Consider if you want a sampler from across the state or prefer to focus on a specific region.

Is this a good list for a summer or winter trip?

Alaska has distinct seasons. Some attractions, like Denali National Park, might be more accessible in summer, while winter offers activities like aurora borealis viewing or dog mushing.

How much time do I need for an Alaskan vacation?

This depends on how many places you want to visit and the pace of your trip. Seeing all 9 attractions would likely require a longer trip (2+ weeks) compared to focusing on a specific region (1 week).

What is the best way to get around Alaska?

Transportation options vary depending on location. Some areas are accessible by car or train, while others require flying or taking ferries. Consider pre-booking transportation, especially during peak season.