Discover These Top 20 Unusual Things To Do In Alaska
If you had to describe Alaska using only one word, what do you think it would be? For many, the answer may be the word vast. Alaska, otherwise known as the Last Frontier and for good reasons, is a one-of-a-kind type of state. From its culture and history to its wildlife and weather, its vast diversity of things to do and see seems quite endless.
You may have been to Alaska and are seeking some unusual things to do next time you visit or you may have never gone before and want to have a more original experience. Here is a list of the top 20 unusual things to do in Alaska from geography to culture that you may or may not have done before.
Walk Around Downtown Anchorage
When you get to Anchorage, you should plan to spend a day exploring the town. Hop around to the Anchorage Museum, take a fully-narrated Anchorage Trolley Tour, and visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center. You should be able to hit most of the sites in just one day.
Because downtown Anchorage is easily walkable, youll be able to enjoy the sites and still get a nice dinner afterward.
Bike The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Are you looking for something slightly active but with beautiful views? Bike around Tony Knowles 11-mile trail for views of different forests, lagoons, and parks. Youll even get a nice view of Denali.
You can take a 3-hour guided tour around the trail to make sure you stop at some of the best sights in the area.
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Enjoy A Whale Watching Cruise
One of the more spectacular ways to spend an afternoon is watching whales play in Juneaus surrounding waters.
Several tour companies run various types of whale watching boats from a local harbor . Every tour is almost guaranteed to find whales, seals, and porpoises. The picturesque views and the antics of Alaskan sea creatures will keep your attention glued to the windows the entire trip. Its definitely one of the most spectacular things to do in Juneau!
Kobuk Valley National Park
Established again in 1980 with a territory of 1,750,716 acres, Kobuk Valley National Park is located in the northwestern part of Alaska and approximately 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
The Great Kobuk Sand Dunes are known for being a destination to which, twice a year, more than half a million caribou migrate via the park near the Kobuk River.
The valley is home to the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Hunt River Dunes, and Little Kobuk, which are similar to little deserted islands in a green area.
Each year, travelers revisit the valley for summer activities like flightseeing, hiking, camping, boating, wildlife watching, fishing in crystal clear rivers, and much more.
As for winter, Kobuk Valley National Park offers unforgettable winter experiences like skiing and dog mushing near the Arctics. This is one of the least visited national parks in the United States.
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Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area
A great Alaskan experience is a floatplane ride. Why not take one to Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area inside Tongass National Park. About 30 minutes by plane, this is truly a rugged and natural environment. There arent facilities and there is no cell phone service, which heightens the adventure of observing these wonderful animals. Be prepared to get a bit dirty on the island known as Kootznoowoo to the Tlingit people. Home to over 1,500 bears , youll love every minute of this outdoor adventure.
Rub Your Nose In The Tundra
The magic and mystery of Alaska can be in the detailsand when you take a deep whiff of the tundra, youll find it raw, but fragrant. You can explore the tundra on a hike, by getting off bus in Denali, or just pulling off the highway. Once youre there, grab a tiny flower between your fingers, and imagine this fragile being surviving for seven months, under feet of snow and in the darkness of a subzero winter. Youll feel the resilience of life and the miracle of creationso go ahead, get up close.
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Feel Alaskas Vastness By Driving One Of Its Highways
If you ever climb an Alaskan mountain, drive a rural highway or hike in a wide-open valley, you get what we call the Alaska Factorthat feeling that Alaska seems to go on forever. After all, even if you covered a million acres a day, it would still take more than a year to see all of Alaska. Youll know the Alaska Factor when you drive a highway for hours, then look at a map and see how little ground youve actually covered. Or, when you walk on the tundra towards Denali for hours and the scenery doesnt change. Youll see that the Alaska Factor is not just a feelingits pretty real
Wander Around Trooper Scott Johnson Memorial Park
Today at 11:00 am, the North Police Department held their dedication ceremony for the Trooper Gabe Rich and Trooper…
This beautiful memorial park has been dedicated by the Noth Pole and pays tribute to Borough residents who sacrificed their lives while discharging their official responsibilities and serve their municipality, state or country. The park was dedicated in the year 2014. You may come here and pay your tribute to these brave hearts while visiting the city of North Pole. The park has benches and a walkway and is dotted with stone walls lit with LED onto which all Borough residentsâ names will be engraved.
Trooper Scott Johnson Memorial Park
Address: 2874-2878 Doughchee Ave, North Pole, AK 99705, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours
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Enjoy A Relaxed Picnic At Terry Miller Park
Come on out to the Terry Miller memorial park in North Pole and help restore and replace equipment! Thanks to the North…
Terry Miller Park is located on North Poleâs Santa Claus Lane and it has a picnic area, a huge gazebo, and kidsâ playground among others. You will also find many picnic tables as well as barbecue grills, which can be accessed on a first-come basis. The fence around the park makes the play area a safe one for your little ones. During summers, the park also offers toilet facilities. You may also see the Alaska Railroad while you are here. Terry Miller Park is a perfect place to enjoy a cozy picnic with your loved ones.
Terry Miller Park
Flightsee Over An Alaska Mountain Range
Flying over a sea of mountains, glaciers, and crevasses is an other-worldly experience. As you sit in the warmth and comfort of a plane or helicopter, youll see peaks and glacial formations that have never felt the press of a human foot. And while plenty of people assume that you have to tour Mt. McKinley to get the full effect, dont let that limit you: almost any flightseeing trip will do.
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Alaska Top 20 Attractions
Do you have a trip to Alaska on your bucket list of destinations to visit yet? If not, we guarantee that youll soon want to add it to the top of the list. Visiting Alaska will be one of the most memorable trips youve ever taken.
There are many things to do in Alaska that allow you to experience the picturesque natural landscape, learn about the native heritage of Alaskan tribes, and have incredible outdoor adventures. Alaska is a place that you dont want to miss.
Whether youre taking a cruise or flying to your destination, there are tons of fun vacation spots in Alaska. Youll find amazing tourist attractions across the entire state.
It can be a challenge to see everything at once due to its size. Before you visit, be sure to plan out the top things you want to see during your trip. Lets take a look at the best Alaska attractions to add to your itinerary.
Hatcher Pass Scenic Drive
Hiking, history, berry picking
A summer day in Hatcher Pass mixes spectacular scenery, history, and easy to moderate hiking. An 80-minute drive northeast of Anchorage brings you past farms of the Mat-Su Valley and the picturesque Little Su River to a scenic pass high in the mountains where you can tour the remains of the 1940s-era Independence Mine and hike through tundra to a crystal clear alpine lake. The views as you drive up to 3,800 feet are worth the trip even if you are not a hiker. Hatcher Pass is also quite a draw in winter for mountain skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.
This is a great trip for those on a budget, since your only expense is a $5 parking fee. And its perfect for families, since trails and tundra hiking are accessible and fun for the kids. Hatcher Pass remains snowy for much of the year, so you have a good chance of hiking to snow even in the height of summer. Exploring trails offers a different experience at each elevation: spongy tundra and alpine lakes further up, spans of colorful wildflowers and waterfalls at subalpine elevations, and lush foliage along a glacial valley at the base of the mountain. Be sure to bring water, a lunch, and warm layers to be prepared for cooler weather. In addition to perfect views, you may also spot paragliders, who regularly launch from the mountain slopes on clear days. For wildlife, youll see birds, and possibly ground squirrels, marmots and beavers.
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If you do not believe in the existence of Santa Claus, a visit to this tiny city is in order. North Pole, Alaska, ensures that the spirit of Christmas is intact throughout the year. The community is only a short drive from Fairbanks and is known for its vacation trimmings and decorations all through the year even in the scorching heat of July. Visitors will love driving down streets such as Santa Claus Lane, Mistletoe Lane, and Kris Kringle Drive. Alternatively, they can opt to stay at Santaland RV Park. The town becomes vibrant in December and hosts an annual event called North Pole Christmas In Ice Contest. The event draws innumerable ice sculptors from all over the world. Crowds participate with great enthusiasm in the Winter Festival, which is known for its fireworks and several other activities. The town has also created a niche for itself for its interesting dining scene. To plan your vacation better, check out these top things to do in North Pole, Alaska.
Fairbanks Snowmobile Adventure from North Pole
Duration: 1 hour
Fairbanks City Highlight Tour
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
North Pole Speedway
Zip Zaps Laser Tag
Opening hours: Fri: 5pm – 10pm Sat: 12pm – 10pm Sun: 2pm – 7pm
Alaska Attractions: Totem Bight State Historical Park
Totem Bight State Historical Park hosts 15 totem poles and a model indigenous village. Totem poles tell visual stories through symbolic characters carved into the pole, and the totems on display in the park speak of the rich natural resources in Alaska. The villages clan house is typical of those built in the early 1800s, sized for 30 to 50 dwellers with a central fireplace in the one large room.
The houses carved posts recount stories, while the front of the house displays a painting which is historically uncommon and signifies abundance. The park teaches young artists totem pole carving and also repairs or creates copies of totem poles left by indigenous people when they moved to find work in the early 20th century.
550 W. 7th Ave, Suite 1260, Anchorage, AK 99501-3557, Phone: 907-269-8400
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Alaska Heritage Resources Survey
The Alaska Heritage Resources Survey is a restricted inventory of all reported historic and prehistoric sites within the U.S. state of Alaska it is maintained by the Office of History and Archaeology. The survey’s inventory of cultural resources includes objects, structures, buildings, sites, districts, and travel ways, with a general provision that they are more than fifty years old. As of 31 January 2012, more than 35,000 sites have been reported.
Bear Viewing Near Anchorage
Alaska is the only place in the U.S. with black, brown and polar bears. Anchorage bear viewing often involves a short flight to a salmon-filled stream in Katmai or Lake Clark national parks or nearby Chinitna Bay. Here visitors can view the bruins, big coastal browns, without disturbing the bears. Find bears closer to the city at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and keep an eye out while hiking or biking local trails throughout Anchorage black bears can occasionally be spotted meandering through underbrush in parks and greenbelts around town.
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Lake Clark National Park And Preserve
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve showcases the diverse landscapes of Alaska rolled into one spectacular park. Located 100-miles south of Anchorage, Lake Clark has alpine tundras, glacier lakes, flowing rivers, and even two volcanoes within its boundaries. The 10,000-foot Mount Redoubt is still active its last eruption was just in 1989. Mount Iliamna is just as tall as Redoubt, although the icy glaciers have significantly impacted the volcanos activity.
Like other remote areas of Alaska, Lake Clark is only accessible by air or water. From May to September, you can take a bear scenic flight to see native brown bears fishing for salmon in the lakes. Although visiting the park can be difficult, visitors who make the journey will be treated to an untouched slice of the beauty that Alaska is famous for.
Eagle River Nature Center
907Shots / Shutterstock
Many vacation spots in Alaska are dedicated to the outdoors, but the Eagle River Nature Center adds education to its entertainment by also serving as a portal for things like environmental awareness and wildlife conservation.
Visitors to the center can learn all about plants, animals and assorted nature topics.
There are kid-friendly exhibits as well as more advanced and specialized ones for adults.
While the little ones are enjoying story time, you can listen to a lecture or take a workshop from a naturalist.
When youre done with all of the centers indoor activities, lace up your hiking boots and hit the nature trails.
Some are easy walks around flower-filled prairies while others are more strenuous treks to hidden cliffs and waterfalls.
All things considered, the Eagle River Nature Center is a fun way to spend an afternoon in Alaska, and its educational to boot.
Kids and adults can both learn a thing or two.
If youre looking for tourist attractions with substance, this is the place to go!
Address: 32750 Eagle River Rd, Eagle River, AK 99577, United States
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Ride To The Top Of A Mountain At Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure takes you on a cart ride up a mountain on a dirt road. The road winds through the rainforest while your driver points out the local flora and explains how the landscape changes due to the climate. At the top of your ride youll get out at an overlook for a view of Juneau down below.
The large greenhouse/convention space/gift shop at the parking lot should not be overlooked on your list of things to do in Juneau, Alaska.
The Totem Heritage Centre
Back in the 1930s, the US Forest Service recognized a need to protect and reconstruct existing totem poles in the Alaskan area. That aim quickly expanded to teaching the art of totem pole making because the art form was quickly dying. Traditional carvers from the older generation were commissioned to take abandoned totem poles and restore or recreate them and teach the younger generation in the process. There are now 14 poles in Ketchikans Totem Bight State Historic Park. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, there are more totem poles at the connected heritage centre as well as a traditional clan house. The beautiful artistry and craftsmanship of this art form must be seen to be fully appreciated.
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