As Alaska is big, so is its beauty. A massive, uninhabited wilderness engulfs the comparatively small cities in the state, for example commercial-minded Anchorage, with its many things to do as well as tucked-away Juneau (a curious state capital that has no road access).
This natural beauty may be enjoyed while hiking, paddling as well as fishing in the great outdoors, particularly as the state and national parks here are some of the biggest in the United States. These wild areas of The Last Frontier are what draws in nature lovers and tourists from across the world.
Though there are several museums and some other tourist attractions in the major centres, towns are perhaps more accurately utilised as jumping-off points for exploring the Alaskan wilds. Examples are Denali and Kenai Fjords national parks.
However wherever your sightseeing might take you, the scale of Alaska is sure to impress. Discover the best places to visit in this ruggedly beautiful state with our list of the top attractions in Alaska.
Watch A Tidewater Glacier Come Crashing Into The Ocean
If you ever have to be reminded about the sheer power of Mother Nature, watch a five-story face of ice shear off a glacier and then explode into the ocean below. Think about this: A baseball-sized piece of glacial ice weighs around half a pound, so you will be able to imagine the weight and impact of an entire wall of ice breaking free.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
The White Pass & Yukon Route is an American and Canadian narrow gauge railroad which links Skagway in Alaska and Whitehorse in Yukon. It was constructed in 1900 during the Klondike Gold Rush – the quickest way miners could reach the goldfields. The railway operated until 1982 and was revived in 1988 as a heritage railway.
It gives passengers the opportunity to travel back into history, riding the rails on a real gold rush train, going past waterfalls, glacial rivers, steep gorges as well as dense forests which have hardly altered since the time of the gold miners.
The train climbs up 3 000 feet and have passengers aboard parlour cars, which are both vintage and replicas. These cars have huge windows and observation decks along the 10-foot-wide train track that is sculpted into the mountain.
The scenery is spectacular, and the places the train passes by, for example Dead Horse Gulch or Inspiration Point, fire up the imagination and take you all the way up to the headwaters of the legendary Yukon River.
Visit The Arctic Circle
A small percentage of those who go to Alaska make it past the Arctic Circle. Doing so garners some serious bragging rights just like when you win big with real money pokies (and, if you’re on a tour, often a certificate). Northern Alaska Tour Company offers a number of different single- and multi-day trips year-round, though it’s recommended that the Arctic Circle Fly/Drive Adventure. Here guests are flown up to Coldfoot, an encampment in the Brooks Mountain Range, and then driven back to Fairbanks through mountain passes and over tundra.