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Best Places To Travel In Alaska

Located on the northwest extremity of North America, Alaska is widely known for its expansive wilderness, rugged beauty, and charming seaside towns. It is home to some of the largest state and national parks in the country. 

The grand outdoors of Alaska draws the tourists from far and wide and let them enjoy the wilderness treasures. This western state boasts a range of adventure activities, including hiking, paddling, fishing, and whale spotting. 

Wondering about the best places to go in Alaska? Continue scrolling the page to find a quick rundown of the must-visit destinations in this US state. 

Best Places to Travel In Alaska

What is the prettiest place in Alaska?

The US state of Alaska is well-known for its stunning natural beauty and inhabited wildlife. While all cities and towns in this state offer unique visual appeal, there are certain places that visitors cannot get enough of.

Some of the prettiest places in Alaska that must add to your itinerary are mentioned below.

  • Kodiak Island
  • Denali National Park
  • Katmai National Park and Preserve
  • Matanuska Glacier
  • Wrangell St.
  • Tatshenshini-Alsek River

Tourists must add all the places mentioned above to their Alaska itinerary and discover the true beauty of this western US state. 

What is the nicest part of Alaska?

The remote paradise of Alaska is a treat for those willing to enjoy a memorable trip. It is packed with rich American culture, magnificent glaciers, breathtaking views, and abundant natural beauty. 

While the entire state has something to offer, there are some cities and town that is filled with can’t-miss attractions and stunning beauty. Some of the nicest parts in Alaska for your getaway are:

  • Sterling
  • Palmer
  • Fairbanks
  • Sitka
  • Juneau
  • Kenai
  • Ketchikan
  • Bethel

Choose the right locale and make the best out of your Alaskan trip. 

Top 9 Places To Visit in Alaska

Looking for the Best places to travel in Alaska? Here is the comprehensive guide that will walk you through the 9 best and must-visit places in Alaska that you cannot miss. Add all of them to your itinerary and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

1. Wrangell St. Elias National Park

The largest national park in the country, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park spreads across 13.2 million acres in the southcentral region of Alaska. It offers various things to do, including glacier hiking, venturing into the backcountry, flightseeing, and driving the McCarthy and Nebraska Road. 

1. Wrangell St. Elias National Park

There are plenty of places where you can stay in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, such as McCarthy Lodge & Ma Johnson’s Hotel, Ultima Thule Lodge, Currant Ridge, and many more. The park is mainly located in Fairbanks Census Area, Chugach Census Area, Copper River Census Area and Yakutat City and Borough. 

Is Wrangell St. Elias National Park worth visiting?

Yes, definitely. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is an ideal destination for wildlife lovers. Spend at least three days in this national park and take a flightseeing tour, drive McCarthy Road, go hiking, and tour the mill.  

Why is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Interesting? 

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is home to 9 out of the 16 highest peaks in the country. The St. Elias Mountains hold the world’s most extensive ice fields, the polar ice caps. This national park is also home to The Nebesna Glacier, the world’s longest interior valley glacier. 

How much does it cost to visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park?

Counted amongst the best places to travel in Alaska, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park doesn’t charge any entrance fee. Therefore, the visitor centers of this park and preserve do not sell any federal land passes. 

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2. Anchorage

Thinking about where to visit in Alaska? Anchorage might be one of the best options to add to your itinerary. It is best known for its stunning wildlife, trails, glaciers, and rich culture. 

2. Anchorage

There are a variety of things to do in Alaska, including learning about Alaska native cultures, pedaling the coastal trail, flightseeing, visiting the state’s largest museum, etc.

It is essential to know the cost of living in Anchorage Alaska, before visiting there. The best places to stay in Anchorage are The Lakefront Anchorage, Puffin Inn, Base Camp Anchorage Hostel, Ski Inn, Alex Hotel and Suites, etc. 

Anchorage is located in the South-central part of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, a peninsula formed by Turnagain Arm to the South and Knik Arm to the north. 

Is Anchorage open to tourists?

Yes, Anchorage is open to fully-vaccinated international travelers with proof of vaccination. 

What is the best time of year to visit Anchorage Alaska?

Summer is an ideal time for visiting Anchorage Alaska, owing to the pleasant climate, clear sky, and nice weather. The views are amazing, and you will find approximately 460 flower beds in bloom. 

3. Ketchikan

Ketchikan is one of the best cities to visit in Alaska. This Alaskan city is known for its many Native American totem poles, rich wildlife, snowcapped mountains, and spawning streams. 

Ketchikan

The best things to enjoy in Ketchikan are Totem Heritage Center, Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness, Tongass National Forest, Potlatch Totem Park, and more. 

There are plenty of hotels and accommodations in Ketchikan, including Waterfall Resort, Inn at Creek Street, Gilmore Hotel Trademark Collection by Wyndham, The Landing Hotel, etc. 

Ketchikan is located along Alaska’s southeastern coast, facing the Inside Passage, a famous cruise route. 

How much does it cost to live in Ketchikan Alaska? 

According to Bestplaces, the cost of living index in Ketchikan Alaska is 107.5, way lesser than the state’s average. However, the housing cost of this Alaskan city is more expensive than the US average. 

Can you walk around Ketchikan Alaska?

Yes, Ketchikan is one of the best places in Alaska to navigate without a car. Also, the city has an amazing bus system to facilitate the tourists. 

4. Glacier Bay National Park

The best reason to move to Alaska is the Glacier Bay National Park. This beautiful destination covers 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, wild coastlines, dynamic glaciers, and temperate rainforests. 

Glacier Bay National Park

Visitors can enjoy various outdoor adventures in the Glacier Bay National Park, including camping, hiking, kayaking, rafting, backpacking, and mountaineering. 

The best places to stay in Glacier Bay National Park are Glacier Bay Lodge & Tours, Glacier Bay Country Inn, Glacier Bay’s Bear Track Inn, Gustavus Inn at Glacier Bay, etc. 

What is so special about Glacier Bay National Park?

This natural wonder is known to collect several glaciers flowing from the surrounding mountains with heavy snowfalls. It also hosts expansive marine and terrestrial life. 

Is Glacier Bay National Park worth it?

Yes, absolutely. Glacier Bay is a marine park where great adventures await tourists. It offers stunning views of mountains and emerald-green forests. 

5. Homer

Counted amongst the best places to travel in Alaska, Homer is a southern Alaskan city. It is widely known amongst tourists for offering incredible views, delicious food, and a friendly locale. 

Homer - Best Places to Travel in Alaska

The best things to enjoy in Homer, Alaska, are bear viewing, hiking, fishing, exploring Halibut Cove, visiting Kachemak Bay, spending leisure time at the beach, etc. 

Get your bookings done in the best hotels and accommodations in Homer in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle. A few of them are Land’ End Resort, Homer Cottonwood Cabins, Driftwood Inn, Alaskan Suites, etc. 

Homer is a small city that lies on Kachemak Bay, Kenai Peninsula. It is at the end of the Sterling Highway, which is 200 miles south of Anchorage. 

What is Homer Alaska Known For?

Homer is widely known its world-class fishing. It is also nicknamed as Halibut Fishing Capital of the world and The End of the Road. 

Is Homer Alaska a good place to live?

Yes, sure. The cost of living in Homer, Alaska, is way lower than the state’s average. Moreover, the city boasts year-round outdoor activities, like hunting, fishing, birding, kite-surfing, etc. 

6. Juneau

The capital city of Alaska, Juneau is one of the must-visit attractions of the state. It is known for its coastal community, scenic views, rich history, mountains, and Native Heritage. 

Juneau

Some of the best things to do in Juneau are visiting Mendenhall Glacier, enjoying a ride to Tracy Arm Fjord, walking on the Juneau Ice Field, learning more about the history and culture of the city, etc. 

A few of the places where you can stay while visiting Juneau are The Alaskan Hotel & Bar, Best Western Grandma’s Feather Bed, Baranof Downtown BW Signature Collection, and more.

Juneau is located in the Alaska Panhandle and Gastineau Channel. This southeastern Alaska city lies at the heart of the Inside Passage. 

Is Juneau Alaska a good place to live?

Yes, absolutely. Juneau is the second-largest city in the US by area and is a vibrant place to live in. The cost of living in this city is slightly lower than the state’s average. It is an ideal destination for active people who love getting involved in hockey, swimming, hiking, snow skiing, etc. 

Why is Juneau not accessible?

Juneau is the most distinct capital city of Alaska, owing to its relative remoteness. Therefore, visitors cannot drive to Juneau; they must take either plane or ferry to reach there. 

7. Kenai Fjords National Park

Still, searching for the best places to travel in Alaska? Plan your trip to Kenai Fjords National Park and discover its stunning scenery, incredible wildlife, and aquatic adventures.

Kenai Fjords National Park

There are a variety of things to enjoy in this national park, including driving the exit glacier road, hiking, ice climbing, or enjoying water sports. 

The places where you can stay around Kenai Fjords National Park are Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, etc. 

Kenai Fjords National Park lies on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, west of the town of Seward. 

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What is so special about Kenai Fjords National Park?

This national park preserves the rainforest ecosystems, abundant wildlife, Harding Icefield, and archeological remains. 

Is Kenai Fjords National Park free?

Yes. No entrance and camping fee is charged at Kenai Fjords National Park. 

What is the best way to see Kenai Fjords National Park?

There is a myriad of ways to explore Kenai Fjords National Park, such as taking the ranger-led boat ride, visiting Fox Island, witnessing the beauty of the park from above, taking a kayaking tour, and hiking the Harding Ice Field Trails. 

8. Denali National Park

One of the best places to go in Alaska, Denali National Park spreads over six million acres of Alaska’s interior wilderness. It is home to Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak. 

Denali National Park

The best things to enjoy in Denali National Park are hiking, camping, biking, mountaineering, backpacking, and sightseeing. 

While visiting this stunning park, you can book your stay at several hotels, including Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Denali Wild Stay, Denali Cabins, Denali Backcountry Lodge, etc. 

Denali National Park is located in the centra region of the Alaska Range. The closest city to the park entrance is Fairbanks, Alaska, situated 125 miles northeast of the Denali National Park. 

What is so special about Denali National Park?

This park is home to vast wilderness and untouched beauty. Denali National Park is widely known for amazing adventures, including backcountry camping and mountaineering. 

What is the best time of year to visit Denali National Park?

The best time to explore the stunning beauty of Denali National Park is from May to Mid-September. 

9. Katmai National Park

This park is known for brown bears and its landscapes span forests, lakes, tundra, and mountains. It spreads over four million acres of land and is home to remote wilderness and a rugged coastline. 

Katmai National Park

Some of the best things you can enjoy in Katmai National Park are Bear Watching, Walking the Brooks Falls Trail, Fishing, etc. 

Katmai Trophy Lodge and Katmai Wilderness Lodge are the best places to stay in Katmai National Park. 

It is located on a peninsula in Southern Alaska. The park’s headquarters is in King Salmon, 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. 

How much does it cost to visit Katmai?

A trip to Katmai National park costs around $950 USD. 

Why is Katmai famous for?

This destination is famous for its stunning landscape, rich history, northern wildlife, and plenty of outdoor activities. 

Places to Travel in Alaska FAQs

What should you avoid in Alaska?

While Alaska is a beautiful place to visit, there are certain things that you should avoid here at all costs. These are Eating Hot Dogs, Shopping at Big Corporate Box Stores, Drinking Wine that isn’t from Alaska, Camping without a view, buying a fish in general, and snacking on chips from the lower 48. 

Which is better Anchorage or Fairbanks?

Anchorage is undoubtedly the best choice over Fairbanks for many reasons. First, Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska in terms of population. Secondly, it offers ample job opportunities to skillful people. Third, it has a myriad of tourist attractions to explore. 

Conclusion

So, that concludes the list of the best places to travel in Alaska. We hope this comprehensive guide will help you make the appropriate Alaska itinerary. 

This US state boasts jaw-dropping natural and unspoiled beauty, majestic mountains, clear lakes, gushing waterfalls, glaciers, and abundant wildlife. Moreover, Alaska is home to plenty of national parks and preserves that offer a variety of outdoor activities. 

Alaska is also counted amongst the safest places in the US to explore. It has incredible charming towns and dramatic nature. You can also witness the northern lights from any corner of the state. 

So, what keeps you waiting? Check Alaska’s cost of living, pack your bags, and enjoy a memorable trip to The Last Frontier.  

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