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.
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.
Services Camp Denali and other lodges.
Fishing trips to Alaska, the Amazon, Argentina, and beyond, with stays in comfortable jungle lodges, cabin barges, and tented camps. T+L Trip pick Bolivian Adventure. The company’s first venture in Bolivia goes to the remote Caño Negro River, home to the exotic peacock bass.
Guides who moonlight as serious athletes—including Olympic gold medalist skier Tommy Moe—serve up untracked powder and all-but-undiscovered surf breaks. T+L Trip pick South American Ski Adventure.
Flies to Redoubt Bay Lodge and other camps.
Bring your bike helmet and your bear pepper spray! According to the Alaska Fish and Game department, a “few dozen” brown bears roam the area around Rover’s Run, a popular mountain-biking trail in the outskirts of Anchorage.