“When I was a child and I lived in the city
I dreamed of Alaska so far away
And I dreamed I was flying over mountains and glaciers
Somehow I knew I’d live there one day.”
After coming back from Alaska last month, I have decided to pack my bags, look for a job and jump into the wilderness of Alaska permanently.
It was all so magical…
I always wanted to visit this coldest region of America, because there were so many songs and books indulging my whims.
Finally, when I gathered my courage to visit the great land, there were so many things to do in Alaska that didn’t cover my days that I planned to schedule my trip here once again.
Exotic wildlife, quaint small towns, snow-covered mountains, icy-blue glaciers—Alaska is all about these things and much more.
So, let’s find out more about the best things to do in Alaska so that you can cross some things off of your bucket list this year.
Top 10 Things To Do In Alaska
Well, we have got you covered.
We have enlisted some fun things to do in Alaska right here so that you can plan your itinerary accordingly.
1: Anchorage-Seward Railroad Trip
The first town you’ll hear about after landing in this cold region is Anchorage.
So, why not start the list with things to do in Anchorage Alaska right?
Take a train ride on the Alaska Railroad and find yourself awestruck with some amazing scenery along the 4-hour train ride from Anchorage to Seward.
You can reserve your seating, and the train will depart from Anchorage Depot at 6:45 a.m. and arrive at Seward Depot at 11:15 a.m.
As the journey initiates, you travel through the Turnagain Arm, which is a marvelous waterway on the Northern Gulf of Alaska.
The whole journey takes approx 14 hours and 30 minutes.
Along the way, you will explore Chugach mountains, rugged coastline, backcountry wilderness, glaciers, waterfalls, and river canyons.
Departure Venue: Anchorage Depot, 411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA.
Perks: Onboard narration by Alaskan tour guide, optional snack bar, and dining.
Fare: $187.28 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Anchorage
- Talkeetna & Denali Flightseeing.
- Fly-In-Bear Viewing.
- Hatcher Pass Scenic Drive.
- Fly-In Fishing.
- Rafting At Spencer Glacier.
- Turnagain Arm & Girdwood.
2: Northern Lights & Hot Springs In Fairbanks
People often end up in Fairbanks when they wonder what is there to do in Alaska.
If you’re one of those persons who have landed in this town and are looking for things to do in Fairbanks Alaska, why not witness the magical stories written by the Northern Lights?
Trust me, it’s absolutely enchanting, and it’ll double your Alaska fun in an unimaginable way.
While waiting for the Northern Lights to appear, you can relax at the Chena Hot Springs and check out the Ice Museum.
The Aurora Borealis is a must see in Alaska, and your tour guide will take you to the best places to view the lights with warm beverages in hand.
Departure Venue: Pick up from addresses within the Fairbanks or North Pole city limits.
Perks: Local guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off hot springs, Aurora Ice Museum.
Fare: $198.03 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Fairbanks
- Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.
- Running Reindeer Ranch.
- McKinley Explorer.
- University of Alaska Museum of the North.
- Chena River State Recreation Area.
- Angel Rocks Trail.
3: Kachemak Bay Wildlife Tour
This wildlife tour is one of the top things to do in Alaska, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
Homer is one of the most inviting towns in Alaska, which is worth more than 1 days of visit, but if you’re lucky enough to visit this town in summer and winter and are wondering about the things to do in Homer Alaska, Kachemak Bay is there.
It takes only 2 hours to complete the tour, so you’ll have plenty of time to fill up the rest of your day with other activities and tasty Alaskan dishes.
If you travel in a big group, you can book this tour all by yourself. But, if you’re traveling alone, you’ll have to adjust with a new group.
However, one boat won’t take more than 10 travelers at a time.
When I was looking for things to do in Alaska in July, this river tour saved me!!!
Departure Venue: 4225 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603, USA.
Perks: Private transportation, jagged coastline, intertidal creatures, sea kelp, geologic rock formations, multiple sea species.
Fare: $101.50 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Homer
- Beer Viewing.
- Halibut Cove.
- Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery.
- Pratt Museum.
- Bishop’s Beach Park.
4: Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise
Okay, Google ‘What are the best things to do in Seward Alaska?’
The Kenai Fjords National Park is bound to top the list.
As you step on this 95-meter-long cruise, you’ll explore some of the best jagged icy cliffs along the fjords, calving glaciers, and Kenai Peninsula.
A seasoned captain will tell you all about the wildlife you’re likely to explore in this 6 hour journey.
If you’re looking for some cool things to do in Alaska, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most popular Alaska attractions.
Departure Venue: Kenai Fjords Tours, 1304 4th Ave, Seward, AK 99664, USA.
Perks: Onboard guide, lunch, native flora, and fauna, bird species rookeries.
Fare: $197.93 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Seward
- Seward Boat Harbour.
- Holgate Glacier.
- Alaska SeaLife Center.
- Resurrection Bay.
- Wilderness Dog Sled Ride.
- Mt. Marathon.
5: Denali National Park
Denali National Park is one of the best Alaska tourist attractions.
If you’re looking for things to do in Alaska, a walking tour of Denali National Park will be worth your time.
As you hike along the jungle, you’ll come across bears, dall sheep, moose, and wolf tracks!!!
It will take a long 3 hours to complete seeing the national park. The NPS rangers will also be able to guide you if you lose track midway in the forest, which means you can complete the tour even without a guide.
It is one of the cheapest things to do in Alaska, which can give you a subtle South America vibe all of a sudden.
Departure Venue: Coordinated pick up from addresses alongside Denali Princess Wilderness lodge.
Perks: Expert guide, hotel pickup and drop-off, outdoor gear such as trekking equipment, overboots, rain gear, etc.
Fare: $126.85 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Denali
- Husky Homestead.
- Eielson Visitor Center.
- Denali Visitor Center.
- Park Road.
- Nenana River Whitewater Rafting.
- Tundra Wilderness.
6: Grizzly Falls Ziplining Expedition
Enough of scenic drives, nature exploration, and wildlife visits….
What are some fun things to do in Alaska, you may ask?
The ziplining expedition in Skagway town is a must-do in Alaska for adventure lovers. You have walked through the dangerous trails of Denali forest and have come face to face with the moose and bears, but now you want some adrenaline rush.
In this ziplining expedition, you’ll zoom through the glacial waterfalls at the Tongass National Rainforest.
It is the longest zip-lining experience that takes 4 hours, and you can even have fun in this experience with your children who are aged above 6.
Departure Venue: Alaska Excursions, 2 Mile Klondike Highway, Skagway, AK 99840.
Perks: Round-trip transportation, traveling in customized Unimog, scheduling the experience anytime you want.
Fare: $186.87 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Skagway
- Ocean Raft.
- White Pass Summit.
- Skagway Shore Excursion.
- Chilkoot Horseback Adventure.
- Yukon Dog Sledding.
- Jewel Gardens.
7: Juneau Whale Beach
If you are looking for some unique things to do in Alaska, this unforgettable half-day tour should be on your itinerary.
It will only take 4 hours and 30 minutes to relish this experience.
You better carry your camera along with you because there’ll be some cool snaps awaiting you.
You’ll journey in a well-heated boat with large windows and will stop at Marine Park, Alaska Tales, and Downtown Juneau.
All your money will be worth it when you’ll hear the shriek of a humpback whale. As soon as you look in the direction, you’ll see a creature looking like a tall, pointed mountain.
You’ll know that’s what you’ve been living for.
Departure Venue: Main cruise ship terminal in downtown Juneau.
Perks: 100% guarantee to see whales, roundtrip transportation, snacks, live commentary, expert guide.
Fare: $158.72 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Juneau
- Whale Watching.
- Alaska State Museum.
- Garden Tours.
- Bear Viewing.
- Dogsled on a Glacier.
- Mt. Roberts. Tramway.
8: Ketchikan RainForest Ecotour
The Ketchikan RainForest is one of the best things to see in Alaska, and if you’re looking for things to do in Alaska in summer, why not tour this forest on an electric bike?
Sounds amazing, right?
In fact, I did it myself the last time I was in Alaska.
There’s a paved bike path in the Tongass National Forest, and you can complete the tour of the lush forest of Southeast Alaska in 4 hours.
If you’re lucky, you may encounter some seals, porpoises, sea lions, and humpback whales on your way back to the hotel.
Departure Venue: 420 Water Street, which is 2-5 minutes of walk from Cruise Birth 3.
Perks: Local guides, professional educators, smoked salmon, vegan snacks, roundtrip at Ward Cove, small grouped tours.
Fare: $151.16 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Ketchikan
- Totem Heritage Center.
- Totem Bight State Park.
- Potlatch Park.
- ATV Tour.
9: Matanuska Glacier
Alaska vacation ideas will remain incomplete if you don’t explore the Arctic beauty at Matanuska Glacier.
It’s a 1 hour 30 minutes drive from your Palmer residence.
It will take 8-9 hours to complete this tour once you completely immerse yourself in this frozen landscape. From icy caves to icy wildlife—this glacier walk helps you feel the poetry of Earth even in the coldest of things!
You travel approx 250 miles on this hike, so it’s better to leave early in the morning.
Alaska oozes out a vibe of coldness, and while looking for some Alaska things to do, this glacier walk will surely captivate your mind.
Departure Venue: Any location of your choice within the City Bowl (10-mile radius).
Perks: Lunch, bottled water, crampons, helmet, glacier access fee of $12500 per person.
Fare: $354.49 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Palmer
- Independence Mine State Historical Park.
- Bodenburg Butte.
- Musk Ox Farm.
- Reindeer Farm.
- Knik Arm Tour.
- Pioneer Falls.
10: Hubbard Glacier
How can you go all the way to Alaska and miss out on the incredible experience of cruising through Hubbard Glacier in Wrangell?
Coming from the subtropical climate, I didn’t know much about dealing with the cold here, but since it’s the largest tidewater glacier in North America, it regularly sloughs off icebergs as tall as 10-story buildings.
So, you can guess the cold here, right?
The choppy water may prevent your boat from navigating the glacier from closer proximity, but the picturesque beauty of white snow and turquoise ice looks beautiful even from a vast distance.
Departure Venue: Princess Cruises – Port – Hubbard Glacier.
Perks: Lunch, dinner, professional tour guide.
Fare: $950.00 per adult.
Other Things To Do In Wrangell
- Wrangell Museum.
- Anan Creek Bear Observatory.
- Petroglyph Beach.
- Mt. Dewey Trail.
- Stikine River.
- Shakes Island.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Ans: A scenic drive through the Alaska highway, Denali National Park, the Alaska Railroad, and the Kenai Fjords National Park are some of the best things to do in Alaska. Even if you plan the trip for a short time, you shouldn’t miss out on these things.
Ans: You can head for some dog sledding experience at the North Pole and pump your adrenaline with the zip lining experience at the Grizzly Falls. The mystical beauty in Hubbard and Matanuska Glacier will be enough to feed your wanderlust spirit.
Ans: Buying farmed seafood or fish in general, should be avoided in Alaska. You shouldn’t drink wine that isn’t from Alaska or shouldn’t eat hotdogs because they may not be safe for your health, and you don’t want to fall sick on your trip.
The Last Frontier!
This state is located at a vast distance from the other lower states of the U.S. and its rugged climate and landscape have made living hard for its inhabitants.
Still, people haven’t stopped coming to this state, and tourists can’t get enough of these things to do in Alaska because of its diverse offerings.
If you plan a trip to this state, make sure you prepare the itinerary carefully.
I believe in YOLO, and that’s why I want you to travel to all the best places in this state that can help Alaska carve a place in your memory for as long as you live.
So, PLAN YOUR TRIP NOW!!!