Northern Lights Alaska

Top 10 Places to See in Alaska

BookOnBoard’s Guide to Alaska Visiting Places

Even though it is still a part of the USA, Alaska doesn’t feel like it. Subarctic atmospheres, tidal coastlines, active volcanoes, vast wildlands, glaciers, and more than three million lakes all conspire to make it as different as a new planet from the rest of the US. Altogether, Alaska offers tourists a lot of natural beauty and personal time. BookOnBoard is bringing you the top 10 visiting places in Alaska in this article.

What do you need to know about Alaska?

Alaska is the 49th state in the USA and the largest by sheer land volume. It is 663,286 square miles of land, lakes, rivers, volcanoes, forests, and other stuff packed in a freezer. It is a rather secluded place, with only seven hundred thousand people living in the whole state. The clock here is set to 9 hours previous GMT. Alaska is located at the far north of the North American continent. Consequently, it is disconnected from the rest of the USA by Canada in between them. 

The capital of Alaska is Juneau. The interesting thing is, the US government bought this state from the Russian Empire. Alaska has lots of fishing industries since it has a longer coastline than the rest of the USA put together. Other than fish, you can get a lot of oil and natural gas here.

Activities in Alaska

Known mostly for its diverse open terrain and geographical features, Alaska offers an abundance of nature tourism activities. As a result, wildlife watching, hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing, etc are the most sought after activities here. Other than that, in the more populated areas (mostly at Anchorage or souther), you can find fine dining and shopping opportunities, as well as natural and native history museums. At the same time, The seas offer lots of fishing and whale watching opportunities.

Top 10 Alaska Visiting Places

Most of the places to see in Alaska are natural tourist spots, with a few man-made stuff. Accordingly, Your best bets will be:

  1. Denali
  2. Glacier Bay
  3. Inside Passage
  4. Mendenhall Glacier
  5. White Pass & Yukon Railroad
  6. Lake Clerk
  7. Alyeska Resort
  8. Icy Strait
  9. Wildlife Conservation Center
  10. Anchorage Museum


The tallest peak in North America, Denali offers tons of climbing and trekking opportunities. The surrounding area is the Denali National Park & Preserve. Also, It offers mixed landscapes and lots of wildlife.

The highest mountain in America, Denali is located near Petersville. Your best bet to visit Denali would be to take one of the daily tourist trains from Anchorage. 

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay is a very special place in Alaska. It is a designated wilderness and biosphere reserve. Also, Its a UNESCO world heritage site. It is home to over a thousand glaciers, the most notable of which is the Grand Pacific Glacier

A prime spot for whale watching, you can find a lot of marine mammals here. Also, if you want to watch the Northern Lights (aurora borealis), you can scarcely find a better location. Besides that, you can go hiking or kayaking here. You can, for leisure, also hang out in Gustavus.

Inside Passage

The Inside Passage is a coastal route for ships. It weaves through the countless islands on the Pacific north-west coast of Alaska. Glaciers and fjords shape up this awesome coastline with unmatched natural beauty. It is also home to many isolated wildlife communities.

Luxury and simple boat/ship cruises are the most commonly sought after activities here. You can also take on adventure and eco-tour activities like biking, bear-viewing, birding, cultural and history tours, etc. The region is a photographers’ heaven. Also, This makes it one of the best Alaska Visiting Places.

Mendenhall Glacier

Only 12 miles south of Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is a protected area and a designated recreation zone. There are lots of package tours for this area. Some of those are, hiking and kayaking opportunities and guided tours by coach, four-wheelers, and helicopters. The most adventurous among you should consider taking the rather dangerous hiking tours on the glacier itself.

White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

This dainty narrow-gauge railroad links Skagway port to Whitehorse, Yukon. It is classified as a heritage railway. Also, It has vintage cars! You will go back in time, as you chug on up 3000 feet in 20 miles. Going through the breathtaking landscape and hugging hair-raising cliffhanger rail lines. There are several route options available. One of these routes uses an actual vintage steam locomotive.

Lake Clerk National Park & Preserve

One of the most serene places to visit in Alaska, the Lake Clerk Preserve area actually incorporates lots of lakes and streams. It is one of the best options for camping in Alaska. With its spectacular wildlands and fauna, you can also go bear watching, hiking through jungle trails, kayaking, and canoeing, fishing, biking, hunting, powerboating, birdwatching, etc. One of the nicest Alaska visiting places is the lakes and jungles here.

Alyeska Resort & Hotel Alyeska

Nestled among the beautiful Chugach mountains, the Alyeska Resort is a full-service luxury hotel, resort, and spa with exceptional dining. Few hotels around the USA offers such picture-perfect natural beauty right from your bedroom window. What’s more, it is a hub of arranging an endless variety of recreational activities. This includes glacier hiking, rafting, dog sledding, skiing, etc. One of the Alaska visiting places, this hotel also offers a tramway tour to the top of the mountain. That offers unforgettable panoramic views of the surroundings.

Icy Strait

Dividing the Alaskan mainland and Chichagof island, it is a 64 km long water passage offering spectacular marine wildlife viewing opportunities. If you take the 2.5-hour cruise through the Icy Straight, you are bound to see orcas, sea otters, seals, porpoises, and at least one majestic humpback whale. Plenty of bears, deer, bald eagles and more are found in the coastal forests as well. The Hoonah city offers cultural and brewery tours as well.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Dedicated to conservation, research, education, animal care, and preserving Alaska’s wildlife. The AWCC is about 700 acres wide and offers sanctuary and comfy homes to hurt, captive-born, or exiled animals. There are many guided tours and rides through the area, on trains, coaches, safari vehicles and aircraft. You choose from any of the excursions tailor-made for each seasonal activities. 

Anchorage Museum

Drink your fill of Alaskan art, history, ethnography, ecology, and science in the very heart of the most populated city in Alaska, Anchorage. Exciting exhibits adorn wall to wall in this respected building, attracting visitors throughout the year. This is one of your best options. If you want to study in-depth the land and the people of this strange and beautiful country. It is a very interesting vacation place to see in Alaska.

Alaska Visiting Places – Tours in Alaska

Tourism being one of the biggest industries in the land, Alaska has a plethora of guided tours to choose from. The most popular of them are train rides, boat cruises, and bus tours.

Alaska Tour by Train

There are many train tours in Alaska, rolling along the beautiful coasts, chugging up to dangerous glaciers. They through spectacular wilderness and offering amazing views all over. Read on for the few best options to travel to Alaska by train.

Skagway White Pass Railroad Summit Excursion

This is a shore excursion day trip, passing by White Pass Summit, Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, Dead Horse Gulch, Klondike Trail, etc. It climbs nearly 3000 feet and offers you great views of mountains, gorges, glaciers, and waterfalls.

Anchorage Seward Coastal Classic

Passing via Girdwood, Seward, Turnagain Arm, Chugach Range, this is a one-way transfer route for 4.25 hours. Snatching a ranking from National Geographic, this train ride in Alaska is considered to be the most scenic railroad route.

Taste of Alaska

This 5-day trip is a vacation package from Denali Star and Coastal Classic. It covers Alaska Range, Talkeetna, Devil’s Gorge, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Exit Glacier. The package offers all the best of what Alaska has to offer. Its from national parks and scenic views to jet boating and dog sledding.

9-night Glaciers, Rails & Trails

Jointly run by Denali Star, Coastal Classic and Glacier Discovery, this large vacation package offers train ride. Through Spencer Glacier, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, Resurrection Bay, Denali Backcountry Lodge, Hotel Alyeska. This package has everything: backcountry stays, wildlife cruise, glacier hike, river float, and of course – trains.

Skagway White Pass Train and Bicycle Tour

It’s a 4.5-hour long train and bicycling package tour covering White Pass Summit, Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, Dead Horse Gulch, Klondike Trail. This day tour is perfect for those who want to combine train rides with adventure routes.

Bus and Boat Tours

There are multiple bus and cruise ship rides and tour packages throughout Alaska in every region. One of the most popular is the Alaska Northern Lights Tours. This offers you increased chances to see the spectacular aurora borealis. In the Fairbanks area, you have the best 360-degree panoramic view of the horizon. That’s why guided train or bus tours to here would be best if you want to watch the northern lights in Alaska. Along the coastline, there are many coaches and luxury ship cruises available to watch marine wildlife and the beautiful coastline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alaska

Is it always cold in Alaska?

From November to March, it remains around -30 to -40 degrees in Alaska. In the summer, it can reach the 90’s. 

What is the best time to visit Alaska?

Alaska is a very cold place. Unless you are super into ice and snow and freezing winds, target the summer season only. Of course, that means overcrowding as well.

How long does it stay dark in Alaska?

There are places in Alaska that can stay nights for up to 67 days. However, most of the state follows a normal day cycle.

How much does it cost to visit Alaska?

For a standard 7-day, Alaska vacation may cost around $3000 for one person. 

Do I need a Passport to visit Alaska?

If you are a US citizen, no, you do not need your passport to fly to Alaska. It is just the same as crossing interstate borders. However, since some tours in Alaska require your passport, it’s best to carry it with you.

What clothing should I take on a trip to Alaska?

Pack comfortable, warm clothes that can be worn in layers. Most package tours take you through areas with varying climates and temperatures. So you would be glad to have clothing that you can peel off and on or wear in pieces.

Which Alaska Cruise should I choose?

There are a lot of boat and ship cruises in Alaska, ranging from large ships to small boats. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The large ships are very comfortable and have many amenities. While the small boats can sidle right up to the glaciers and snuggle into fjords.

Where can I stay in Alaska?

As hosting a large tourism industry, there are lots of hotels, lodges, and resorts in Alaska. They range from cabins and homestays to luxury resorts and city apartments. You must plan your stay around the trips you would be going on in Alaska.

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