Are you looking for a trip of a lifetime? Someplace where you could write off everything from your bucket list? Someplace where you could be the adventurer your heart craves you to be? Some place from which you will return with a heart full of unforgettable memories and stories to be retold over and over again?
Well, we have the answer for you!
Yes, visiting the 49th state will be everything you wished for and more. It`s where your wildest dreams will come true especially if you are eager to try out new adventurous things and experiences. In Alaska, you can find everything from natural attractions, a vast selection of wildlife, once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures, and memorable cultural discoveries.
Nevertheless, of the season, you choose to come to be prepared to see some miraculous sights that will take your breath away. Scattered across more than 660 sq. Mi it is the largest country in the United States. It will most certainly wow you with its diverse topology from mountains to rainforests, from tundra to glaciers. Your senses will be ignited by the mesmerizing palette of colors seen in the untouched nature, by the sounds of the wildlife roaming free in the forests, by the magical northern lights.
When to visit?
Due to its location, the weather in Alaska is quite harsh. The temperatures in the autumn and winter season usually don`t even rise above zero degrees specifically from late October until March. This fact might prevent you from doing some of the outdoor activities. However here is a short list of some of the activities sort by their time of taking place.
- Warmest and longest days (from mid-Jun-mid Aug)
- Anchorage`s Fur Rendezvous/dogsled races and carnival (Feb-Mar)
- Prime wildlife viewing (May-Jun)
- The Aurora Borealis (Sep-Apr)
- Alaska State Fair near Anchorage (Aug-Sep)
If you know what you want to see you might find these information helpful. For example, if you are headed in Alaska to see Aurora Borealis than you should know that you should visit in June.
Plan your trip
As we already mentioned Alaska is the biggest country in the United States, therefore, you need to plan your trip meticulously. First things first you need to choose on whether you want to spend your vacation exploring only the mountains and wilderness of one area or if you want to make some additional excursions and dive deep into spectacular nature in Alaska.
However, you should know that Alaska is divided into five different regions: inside passage, southwest, southcentral, interior, and arctic. Due to their specific location each and every region is packed with unique experiences and adventures.
Things to do in Alaska
As you might have already noticed, Alaska is the land of superlatives: longest day and night, highest mountain peak, longest coastline, largest national park, and the biggest state and this list goes on and on. The 49th state will surprise you by its vast selection of things to do and see that we guarantee once you are there you will consider turning your vacation into a permanent thing. Each and every day will be filled with a new exciting experience.
It is a magical blend of adventure and wildlife with culture and history. There is literally something for every person that is about to visit Alaska.
If you are looking for an adventure than you are in the right place. Miles and miles of untouched nature will generously offer you some unforgettable experiences.
- AVT tours
Hop on to the back of a 4-wheeler, and you are good to go. Be prepared to make your own way into Alaska`s most pristine wilderness. Comfort plus freedom.
If you are looking for a more physical experience than you should consider touring small areas in Alaska with a bike. It is practical, yet you will be able to see some micro-climates, landscapes, and ecosystems.
- Dog Sledding
This is an activity that cannot be found anywhere else so you should definitely consider doing it. Exhilarating, unique, and fun it most certainly is a must-do outdoor adventure. Even better it is available all year long.
One of the most expensive experiences that should be surely avoided if you are on a budget is taking a scenic flight tour by private helicopter or a small plane. Yes, we agree that it is probably the best way to feel the magnitude of the enormous mountain ranges, lush forests, and tundras while keeping an eye out for wildlife in the wilderness.
One of the most popular outdoor activities in Alaska and for a reason is hiking. Variety of National Parks with dramatic wilderness, majestic glaciers, and countless wildlife encounters is what makes Alaska a favorite not only amongst backpackers but amongst nature “junkies” too.
- Kayaking and rafting
If you have been eagerly waiting to get up close and personal with some marine wildlife then kayaking or rafting is the right outdoor activity for you. The creeks, lakes, and rivers were made for it, and so were you!
- Sport Fishing
Alaska`s pristine waters are just the perfect way if you want to spend a day outdoors. You`d be impressed by the amount of diverse fish such as halibut, salmon, and rainbow trout.
Things to see in Alaska
Most certainly one of the most popular activities in Alaska is wildlife viewing. Thousands and thousands of acres of wilderness are just the perfect ground for diverse wildlife encounters. From whale watching to brown bears hunting salmon in the fast streams, viewing animals in their natural habitat will leave you speechless. As you discover the natural wonders of Alaska be prepared for a mind-blowing one-of-a-kind experience that will bring you closer to Mother Nature. You can choose to see:
- Alaska`s “Big Five” (is composed of five fascinating animals: grizzly bear, wolf, moose, Dall sheep, and caribou)
- Bear Viewing (intriguing, large, and dangerous animals that can be seen along Denali National Park, grizzlies that tend to eat small rodents, roots and grubs and brown bears that are well-known for their salmon fishing capabilities)
- Birding (500 different and unique bird species populate in Alaska; Visiting Pribilof Islands will give you the opportunity to observe more than 300 different migratory and indigenous birds)
- Marine Wildlife (one of the greatest things when visiting Alaska is how deeply intertwined the outdoor adventures and experiences are meaning you could be visiting a glacier but also be a witness to the incredible amount of Alaska`s marine life such as orcas, gray whales, sea whales, and seals)
- Whale Watching (now this activity is something that literally cannot be seen elsewhere. Exciting and memorable you can witness whales such as orcas, grays or beluga whales, and humpbacks)
Besides the plenty outdoor adventures and the mesmerizing wildlife discovering, Alaska is packed with natural attractions that set Alaska apart from other tourist destinations. America`s “last frontier” will allow you to choose from thrilling experiences such as:
- Alaska`s Glaciers
Massive, majestic, icy cold, millions of shades of deep blue and bright whites. A spectacular sight that has to be seen to be believed. Iconic glaciers cracks as loud as thunder and chunks crashing down will take your breath away.
- Alaska`s Midnight Sun
Sunset at 11:59 PM? Sounds weird? It surely is, but yet it is something that can be experienced when visiting Alaska. It is the place where the days are ever-lasting allowing you to do and see even more.
- Arctic Circle
Be prepared to explore the native, undeveloped, rugged yet beautiful region. You can also experience the gold-rush community and history.
- Hot Springs
Soak your bones into the magical mineral waters in Alaska`s hot springs such as Chena, Tolovana, Manley, or Circle Hot Springs.
- Northern Lights
Aurora Borealis is one of the most mesmerizing natural wonders there is. Seeing the splendid playful lights will stick with you forever.
How to visit Alaska?
If you want to visit Alaska from someplace elsewhere than the USA (citizen of United States) and experience every bit of untouched nature, diverse wildlife, and spectacular natural attractions, then you should know that there are two ways to make your dream come true.
First and foremost, the more straightforward way is to check whether your country is in the Visa Waiver Program or not. The citizens from more than 35 countries from all over the world that are in this program are allowed to travel to the USA and stay for as much as 90 days. The only thing you need to make sure is that you are eligible to travel to the United States. This can be done through the automated ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) system. The ESTA application cost only $14, and it must be paid by a credit card. If your application is rejected, New ESTA costs only $4 (reapplication). You must apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for the United States. Your esta validation date will be valid over a period of two years meaning you can have multiple trips without reapplication over and over again. If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program, then you will have to apply for a Visitor Visa (B-2) which is appropriate for taking a vacation and visiting friends or family.