We’ve conducted an informal survey of Alaska visitors (based on our guests) to get their “best of Alaska” top-rated tours. Here’s what they had to say are their top 10 Alaska travel experiences:
#1: Go Bear Viewing
Drink in the sight of big bears catching, and dining on, salmon at Katmai National Park while you stand safely just a few feet away. Learn about the hunting, eating, mating and sleeping habits of Alaskan brown bears and the difference between a Kodiak bear and a Grizzly. A bear viewing experience just might give you permanent goosebumps!
#2: Visit Denali National Park
Be awed by the great Denali, North America’s highest peak. Tour Denali National Park by bus with stops for plenty of viewing opportunities of mountain vistas and wildlife photography. Take a flightseeing tour by helicopter or a small bush plane. Options abound including circling Denali’s peak at 20,322 feet, or landing on Ruth, Kahiltna, Pika or Eldridge Glacier which lie in the shadow of the mountain.
#3: Grab Your Camera for a Glacier and Wildlife Day Cruise
Listen to glaciers calving into the water or wave at a whale or their Alaska seacoast neighbors otters, seals, puffins and porpoises, on a wildlife sightseeing cruise. You’ll see more in 2-3 hours than you ever thought possible.
#4: Try Your Hand at Salmon Fishing (and Eating!)
Even if you don’t regularly fish, you can try your hand at some of the best salmon fishing in Alaska. Whether you crave the fight or the bite, Alaska’s King, Silver and Sockeye salmon will give you a run for your money then treat you to some delicious salmon dinners.
#5: Be Humbled by Alaska’s Northern Lights
You will never experience a light show as magical as the ever changing, creative and colorful northern lights. This display of nature’s finest is guaranteed to keep you up all night. The best time to see Alaska’s northern lights is late August until April on clear nights. Catch them if you can!
#6: Dive Into Alaska’s History and Culture
Immerse yourself in Alaska Native culture, marine life and gold rush pedigree at the many museums depicting the unique back story of Alaska history. Visit the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks, the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward or the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan.
#7: Mush On With A Team of Sled Dogs
Meet Alaska sled dogs (and their equally cool owner/trainers) for a dog sledding demonstration or grab a sled yourself and pretend you’re part of Alaska’s Iditarod race. Many of Alaska’s famous mushers open their dog kennels to visitors. Listen to their stories from the trail, meet their four-legged friends and learn how to steer and brake a sled. Summer and winter options available!
#8: Hike In Alaska’s Back Country
Whether you like a short stroll or prefer a few days of more strenuous backpacking, Alaska’s back country hiking trails make many others you have used pale in comparison. Around every corner is yet another mountain vista, a colorful patch of wildflowers or a bluish glacier. Do NOT forget to bring your camera.
#9: Discover Alaska’s Midnight Sun
Have you ever attended a baseball game which began at 10:30 PM? Well you can in Fairbanks. Or hike to the top of Flattop in Anchorage with the locals some sunny evening to catch views of Cook Inlet. You’ll be amazed how much more of Alaska you can see when the sun never sets. Just make sure to bring your sunglasses.
#10: Take A Ride on the Alaska Railroad
One of the best ways to experience the vastness of Alaska is on a scenic journey by train. Relaxing yet also exciting, a ride on the historic Alaska Railroad showcases Alaska’s mountains, diverse landscapes and waterways while allowing you to see more and travel faster through the regions. From the comfort of your seat, you will delight in this time-honored way to discover authentic Alaska at its best.