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Top Attractions in Alaska

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The Last Frontier is full of people who came for a visit and never left—a phenomenon that’s hard to grasp until you see its blue-edged glaciers and epic mountains. With its reindeer ranches, glacier walks, and flightseeing tours, Alaska is waiting.
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Kenai River, Kenai, AK, USA
One of Alaska’s quintessential experiences is fishing for salmon. Whether you’re a first-timer or an expert angler, casting a line into the Kenai River will induce plenty of delight. And, fingers crossed, plenty of salmon, too. Fishing...
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212 Wedgewood Dr, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
The Fountainhead, one of the premier antique auto museums in America, is an unexpected Alaskan delight – there’s not a glacier or bear in sight! The collection includes autos that advance the story of technology and the automation of our...
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Talkeetna, AK 99676, USA
There are several small towns around Alaska that make visitors of years past smile. Talkeetna sits pretty high atop that list. A good stopping point between Anchorage and Denali National Park, the town is at once a history stop, arty...
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9800 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99515, USA
Forget spending time packing and repacking your stuff while on a grand tour of Alaska. Instead, shove your bags inside an RV and hit the road. Though vast tracts of Alaska aren’t on the road system, you can still hit more than enough good...
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3820 University Ave S, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA
Get way off the usual tour route most visitors take when wandering Alaska by road. The Northern Alaska Tour Company, located in the already rather north city of Fairbanks, gives visitors the chance to hit the road all the way beyond the Arctic...
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23264 Gold Cord Rd, Palmer, AK 99645, USA
While Independence Mine State Historical Park is officially open only during the summer months, Alaskans know that the best time to check out the former mine buildings is after there’s plenty of snow on the ground. It’s a golden (pun...
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There’s a strong desire to go quiet at Sitka National Historical Park, the site of an 1804 battle between the Kiks.ádi Tlingit people, who had been there for centuries, and Russian traders who wanted to control the area. A great...
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Though the Anchorage Museum has a hyperlocal focus on Alaska, the curators understand that, thanks to climate change and the Arctic (not to mention reality TV), the rest of the world is also very focused on the state. A recent expansion and...
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Catching a glimpse of a bear can be thrilling. Watching a whole bunch of bears fishing, fighting, and, um, frolicking? Even better. That’s reason enough (though there are loads more) to head to Wrangell, a town that’s not on most...
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Valdez, AK, USA
If you kayak or heli-ski or fish or just love little towns surrounded by mountains, head to Valdez. Unless you’re truly strapped for time, drive (and if you are strapped for time, maybe save Valdez for your next trip). The Richardson...
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Hyder, AK, USA
You could fly to the town of Hyder (population 87), but you’d miss a huge piece of the reason to visit. The trip to Hyder is, to put it simply, a trip. If it weren’t for the Canadian customs you have to cross when heading back out...
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Glenn Hwy, Sutton, AK 99674, USA
The Matanuska Glacier is one of the easiest to reach from Anchorage, and the largest one in the state accessible by car. The 229-acre recreation site is best for learning all about the science of glaciers. (You can also just go to a pullout on the...
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4970 Campbell Airstrip Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA
Alaskans don’t let freezing (and way below freezing) temps keep them away from having outdoor fun. They just slip on the proper gear and head out. That’s one of the reasons fat-tire biking has become wildly popular in the state. Rent...
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Seward Hwy, Alaska, USA
Few highways have as many moods as the Seward Highway. The 127-mile road, which runs from Anchorage down to Seward, can be all cheery sunshine one day—with views of snowcapped mountains, beluga whales, and surfers riding the tidal bore—and cranky...
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Running Reindeer Ranch started, as many animal-related hobbies do, with one cute creature: just a single reindeer that owner Jane Atkinson’s daughter wanted. Then the daughter went off to college, and Jane? Now she owns seven reindeer....
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09 Chilkat Ave, Haines, AK 99827, USA
In recent years, in search of a way to revitalize their dying village, the Chilkat people of Klukwan (near Haines) built the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center. The center brought jobs back to Klukwan, providing good reason for people who had moved to...
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Homer, AK, USA
How does some bear viewing sound? What about a trip out to a glacier? Or a volcano? Sounds good, right? Now, what if that viewing included some time in a helicopter? If your “sounds good” turned to a “hell, yeah,” head to...
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Spencer Glacier, Alaska 99664, USA
If you prefer your adventures to be a mix of stunning natural sights and the easy-and-gentle side of the spectrum, hop the Alaska Railroad to Spencer Glacier. The train trip south provides plenty of “oohing” and...
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Blackstone Bay, Alaska, USA
Gather up a bunch of people. Get in a car (with camping equipment, food, Frisbees, firewood, bug repellent, whatever else). Head to the town of Whittier. Rent kayaks from a local company. Get a water taxi to drop you, your friends, the gear, the...
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4031 S Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA
Upend your idea of what you thought you would do on a trip to Alaska. It’s not just bears and whales, you know. There’s plenty of sea life if you gaze down into the water. Sign on with Snorkel Alaska for an outing at Mountain Point,...
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Kodiak, AK, USA
Kodiak may be known for its oversize bear residents, but the furry beasts are not the only creatures worth watching out for here. The island is quite the spot for birders, whether arriving by foot or boat (preferably a kayak). More...
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Hope, AK 99605, USA
A favorite summer hangout for residents of south-central Alaska—especially those from Anchorage, the region’s big city—Hope has a massive personality for such a tiny town. Turn onto Hope Highway from the Seward Highway, drive 16...
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Petersburg, AK 99833, USA
There’s a huge number of humpback whales who really know how to live: They winter near Hawaii and summer in the waters off of Petersburg, a small Alaskan town that leans decidedly Norwegian. Though the whales might not care about the...
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Kenai Peninsula Borough, Homer, AK 99603, USA
When Kirsten and Carl Dixon, owners of Within the Wild adventure lodges, bought Tutka Bay Lodge, they were surprised to find that it came complete with an old boat. A very old boat. The Widgeon II carried troops during World War II. Now? The boat...
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There are no guarantees the northern lights will start dancing on the night you look skyward, but it's so worth taking the chance. One of the great rewards for hanging out in Alaska once the dark and cold settle over the state, the northern...
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108 Main St, Haines, AK 99827, USA
It’s nearly impossible to miss the Hammer Museum in Haines: It’s the building next to the giant hammer. The museum got its start when founder Dave Pahl brought home one too many hammers and his wife suggested that a new plan for his...
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One of America’s least-visited national parks, Wrangell–St. Elias deserves a lot more attention. Alas, the park is hard to get to (requiring a slow drive down a super-bumpy road or a flight in), and though there are several guide...
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The first night camping at Brooks Camp comes with a free dose of buzzing energy. After all, the only thing keeping the bears that hang around the area from wandering through the campground—and up to your tent—is a round of electric...
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Mendenhall Lake, Juneau, AK 99801, USA
Both beginner and experienced kayakers will have fun on this leisurely (and super-easy) paddle across Mendenhall Lake. (Both guided and unguided options are available.) The paddling is, really, just 10 percent of the fun—maybe 25 percent. As...