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The 8 Best Places to Visit in Alaska


If you’re looking for a place to get out and explore, Alaska is the perfect destination. The 49th state has a vast wilderness that can be explored by foot, boat or plane.


From hiking to glacier trekking, rafting to camping, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to choose from. There are also plenty of places to see wildlife, and if you’re lucky, you can catch sight of the Northern Lights.

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1.Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is one of the top attractions in Juneau. This is because of the thousands of tourists who visit every summer on cruise ships, airplanes, state ferries and private vehicles.

The Visitor Center is located right on the glacier’s edge and features a number of interesting exhibits that explain how this magnificent landscape has changed over time. It also offers a short trail that takes you to a lookout platform where you can get unobstructed views of the ice.

There are also several hiking trails that you can take around the Mendenhall Glacier. These include a moderately easy trail to Nugget Falls, which is an upstream waterfall that cascades into a 377 foot-tall lake.

You can also choose to go on a tour of the Mendenhall Glacier itself, where you’ll be able to walk inside other-worldly ice caves. This tour is a popular choice for cruise ship visitors and often sells out well in advance, so be sure to book it ahead of time.

2.Tracy Arm Fjord.

Tracy Arm Fjord is one of the most dramatically stunning fjords in Southeast Alaska. Famed naturalist John Muir described it as “one of the most dramatic fjords in the world.”

You’ll see waterfalls rushing down glacial-carved sheer granite cliffs, ice floes that tower up to cars, and calving glaciers that create awe-inspiring displays of ice breaking off into the water below. You’ll also spot whales and bears in the area, which is one of the best places to see wildlife in all of Alaska.

The Tracy Arm fjord is at the heart of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area. This protected area is part of the Tongass National Forest, and it showcases the spectacular scenery as two narrow arms (Tracy and Endicott) cut through the mountains.

The Tracy Arm fjord is also known for its twin glaciers, North Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers. They jut out into the sea at the end of Tracy Arm, filling Holkham Bay with ice.

3.Running Reindeer Ranch.

Running Reindeer Ranch is a unique way to experience the boreal forest in Fairbanks. Visitors can walk with a herd of reindeer on a guided tour, which includes stops to pet and photograph the animals.

This is a really special and fun experience for everyone, young and old. The owner, Jane Atkinson, is very passionate about her animals and makes sure you understand the safety concerns before you head out on the trail.

After the walk, you are invited into their home for coffee/tea/fresh cookies, which is a great time to ask questions and learn more about the ranch. Afterwards, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the woods and snowy landscape.

The tour was a great highlight of our Alaskan adventure. Seeing the herd of reindeer run around and play with one another was just beautiful. It is an up-close and personal experience that you will never forget!

4.Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a non-profit sanctuary that takes in orphaned and injured animals year-round. It also provides quality animal care, research, and education.

Set on the shores of Turnagain Arm, AWCC is surrounded by mountains and hanging glaciers. Its 200 acres are home to animals like wood bison, reindeer, moose and muskox.

Visitors are able to observe these animals in different habitat areas grouped around several road loops. They can view moose swimming, bears posing, wood bison roaming, reindeer playing, wolves interacting with a porcupine and a variety of other wildlife.

AWCC offers a unique venue for weddings and family reunions called Bison Hall. Its high vaulted ceiling features wood beams, a moose antler chandelier and large windows for natural light to flow in.

5.Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.

If you’re like me, you’ll be blown away by the world-class vintage car collection at Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. This curated museum in Fairbanks, Alaska, is worlds away from your run-of-the-mill fleet of oxidized old cars huddled in a warehouse.

There are over 95 pre-World War II automobiles here, each displaying a historical significance or technological innovation. They range from a horseless carriage to a steamer, an electric car to speedsters and cyclecars.

But this spirited assemblage of vehicles isn’t the only attraction here. The museum also showcases fabulous historic fashions and a world-class collection of vintage accessories and artifacts.

One of the most unique and engaging museums I’ve ever visited, it’s definitely a must-see while you’re in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The museum is located just 2 miles north of downtown Fairbanks on the grounds of Wedgewood Resort and is accessible by car or MACS Transit’s blue line. Expect to spend about 1.5 to 2 hours here, with guided tours available.


Denali, or Mount McKinley as it is commonly known, is a national park that covers six million acres of sub-arctic wilderness. It is home to millions of plants and animals, including Alaska’s “Big Five” — moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and bears.

Most visitors come to Denali in summer, when the snow and ice are off the roads and wildlife can be seen at close range. But it’s also possible to visit the park in winter.

Hiking and exploring Denali is one of the top things to do in this beautiful park. Try out one of the many trails throughout the park or leave the trail and venture into the wild.

If you want to see the mountain from a different perspective, try a flightseeing tour. These tours are an amazing way to view Denali, and include glacier landings and scenic flightovers.

Another great way to explore the park is on a bus tour. These narrated tours feature naturalists onboard who will narrate your trip and stop at the top sightseeing spots along the 92-mile Park Road, allowing you to observe the wildlife along the way. You can choose from half-day and full-day options depending on your budget and desired itinerary.

7.Kenai Fjords National Park

The park protects one of the world’s most awe-inspiring ecosystems, home to a 300-square-mile Harding Ice Field that caps the Kenai Mountains and sends scores of glaciers into nutrient rich Resurrection Bay. Mountain goats, moose, brown and black bears, wolverines, marmots and other mammals call this edge of the ice their home.

The fjords are also home to one of the richest marine environments on the planet. This includes humpback and orca whales, sea otters, sea lions, Dall porpoises and other marine animals.

This national park is a must-see for those visiting Alaska. It is famous for its jagged cliffs, glaciers and wildlife.

There are a variety of ways to see this fjord-filled area, including hiking, kayaking, boat cruises and flightseeing tours. Many of these activities can be done on your own, but if you want a truly immersive experience, book a tour with a guide.

There are several different day trips to Kenai Fjords from Seward. The most popular of these is the Glacier & Wildlife Cruise. This is a full day tour that takes you to see some of the alpine and tidewater glaciers, as well as the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge filled with seabird rookeries.

8.University of Alaska Museum of the North

A favorite of locals, the University of Alaska Museum of the North is home to fascinating collections of natural history and art. The facility is the largest teaching and research based natural history museum in Alaska and features 1.5 million exhibits that explore Alaska’s history, cultures, geological activity and the northern lights.

The museum is located on UAF’s campus and is about 6 miles northwest of downtown Fairbanks. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for students.


This museum is renowned for its aurora borealis research, and the exhibitions on display feature some of the best in the world. You can also learn about Alaskan art in the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery, where you’ll see contemporary pieces and ancient Native artifacts.

Another highlight of the museum is the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station, where researchers raise musk oxen, reindeer and caribou to study their adaptations to the sub-Arctic climate. Visitors can view the herds from a viewing area outside the fenced pastures or join a naturalist-led tour.

The museum also offers a number of programs and events for kids and adults. For teens, the Museum of the North hosts an Art and Science Workshop, which picks a new topic of study each year.


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