Alaska

Things to do in Alaska

Plenty of people visit Alaska by way of a cruise, which can give you a nice overview of the port towns, as well as good views of glaciers and coastal wildlife. But take time, if you can, to explore inland Alaska. Here are a few highlights of things to do in Alaska away from the cruise ports:
Denali National Park: One of the top things to do in Alaska is to seek out "The Great One," Mt. McKinley. Plenty of people take the bus tours along the Park Road (you can't take your own car very far past the entrance). If you want to go hiking, take the Park Service's hop-on, hop-off bus, which gives you the most freedom to explore. And if you really want to see the mountain - which often hides behind clouds - plan a trip to the town of Talkeetna, which tends to have the clearest views.
Chena Hot Springs: Gold miners originally discovered this Fairbanks spot in 1905, and these natural hot springs continue to be the go-to destination for locals looking for a natural way to recharge.
The backcountry community of Gustavus: This off-the-beaten-path town near Glacier Bay National Park, in the southeastern part of the state, includes a population of doctors, lawyers and former government workers who left the bustle of civilization so that they could live in the middle of the woods.
Drive the Dalton Highway: Beginning just north of Fairbanks and plunging northward through the isolation of the Arctic, this road enables you to enjoy the solitary yet scenic splendor of the Brooks Range along the way. Just be prepared for less-than-smooth roads.
Kid-friendly dogsledding: Don't miss the chance to take a dogsledding tour, like Seavey's Ididaride near Seward, to get up close to the champion dogs and their pups, and experience the thrill of riding on a dogsled.

The tour operator creates tailor-made itineraries for the region, with more than 100 land and cruise options, including heli-hiking outings in Denali National Park.

American Safari Cruise guests always a chance snap pics of grizzlies foraging on the beach in Juneau, Alaska or humpbacks breaching the water in Mexico's Sea of Cortès.

Disney is the best cruise line for families. What may surprise you is that the 1,760-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder are gorgeous ships, even without Disney touches like character appearances and first-run movies.

At 13.2 million acres of Alaskan wilderness, this, the largest U.S. park, is six times the size of Yellowstone and larger than nine U.S. states—yet it has only two roads, together barely totaling 105 miles.

Fly over Mount McKinley, travel on Alaska Railroad’s GoldStar service, and meet a champion dogsledding team.

Oceania’s three identical midsize ships—the 684-passenger Insignia, Nautica, and Regatta—are geared toward a crowd that wants to explore interesting ports and enjoy a taste of finery— including gourmet cuisine (menus are overseen by Jacques Pepin), personalized service, resort-l

White-water rafting, Denali National Park, and cruising through the Kenai Fjords make up the itinerary on Tauck’s Grand Alaska vacation.

Silversea’s fancy, pampering experience is delivered on six sleek, 132- to 540-passenger ships, done up in contemporary décor, with gourmet cuisine, spacious ocean-view suites, free booze, and top-notch service—the solicitous crew even shines your shoes and brings room service, course by course.

For trips along the coast.

Lindblad is a top adventure company, with an impressive affiliation with the National Geographic Society. Research scientists come on board, and passengers can observe NG field sites and equipment, including undersea cameras and hydrophones and video-microscopes.