10 Incredible Reasons to Visit Alaska

It’s cold, it’s so far, it’s unknown. It seems that there are more reasons to not visit Alaska. However, once you give this state a chance, you can stop talking about all the incredible reasons to visit Alaska.

10 Incredible Reasons to Visit Alaska

On Monday after our trip to Alaska, I was back at my desk when one of our customers asked me about my weekend. “We went to Alaska.” I could see amusement, doubts, and a whole lot of questions registered on his face as soon as I said it. It took a few seconds before he verbalized his emotions and questions, “Alaska? Isn’t it cold? Why did you decide to visit Alaska?”

I had more than enough reasons to visit Alaska. Growing up in Eastern Europe, I had nurtured my love for Alaska through books, TV shows, and geography classes. By the time I moved to the US, I had had more reasons to visit Alaska than not to do it. However, I couldn’t even imagine that my fascination with the Last Frontier would eventually grow into a real love. You can call it love from the first sight. Those who visited Alaska will understand me. For those who still debate if they need to travel to the 49th state of the US, here’re 10 incredible reasons to visit Alaska.


1. The Northern Lights

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Photo by Paxson Woelber

Nature is one of the top reasons that inspire people to visit Alaska. And what can be more incredible that the aurora borealis or commonly known the northern lights? From mid-August through mid-April, the sky over Alaska turn into colorful displays. Subtle green and red columns dance above your head constantly changing their shapes and shades. This natural phenomenon, though, can barely be seen in summer.

2. Glaciers

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With 100,000 glaciers, Alaska is home to the most glaciers in the US. Moreover, the state boasts a good number of roadside glaciers that you can easily access on your own. And this alone is one of the greatest reasons to visit Alaska at least once.

3. Wildlife

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Apart from the natural phenomena and snow-capped mountains, the Last Frontier is famous for its abundant wildlife. From bears to moose, eagles, bisons, caribou, and many more, Alaska provides home to many members of the animal kingdom. Some of them can be found only in this part of the world. 

4. Native Culture and History

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Jack London and his novels centering around gold miners were my first introduction to rich culture and history of Alaska. Later I learned about the Native Indians and Russian fur traders in Alaska. Add to it dog sledding, Alaskan art and craft, totem poles, and you risk of running out of room in your notebook listing all the reasons why you should visit Alaska.

5. Longer Summer Days

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While the winter months attract with the northern lights and winter outdoor activities, summer offers its own reasons to travel to Alaska. Due to the northern latitudes, the state enjoys almost endless daylight in the summer months. And thus, you have almost 24 hours a day to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Alaska.

6. Epic Road Trips

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If you are looking for big cities overloaded with luxurious hotels and super fancy restaurants, Alaska might be not the right place for you. One of the main reasons why people choose Alaska for their next vacations is a chance to connect to nature. Road trips, in my opinion, are absolutely essential when you want to see real Alaska. In fact, you don’t even need to pick your final destination. Just jump in your car and let Alaska unveil all its natural beauty for you. If you prefer to be more organized with your travel plans and have that point B, allow yourself enough time to reach it. With such amazing scenery around you, I guarantee, you’ll make more intermediate stops than you ever expected.

7. Alaska National Parks

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Alaska is a proud owner of eight national parks, closely following California with its nine national parks. And that means plenty of hiking, kayaking, climbing, and wildlife watching. Do you need any other reasons to visit Alaska?

8. Alaska Railroad

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For those who like road trips, but dislike driving, the Alaska Railroad is the best way to experience the wild beauty of the state. The railroad extends from Seward and Whittier in the south of Alaska to Fairbanks, passing through Anchorage and Denali National Park. It spans over 470 miles and offers a few incredible routes. Coastal Classic Train, running from Anchorage to Seward, is considered the most scenic route in the state.

9. Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

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At this point it’s clear that the natural beauty is one of the incredible reasons to visit Alaska. However, let’s not forget about man-made structures that deserve equal attention. One of such things is Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. The passage is 2.5 miles long and is known as the longest highway tunnel in North America. Moreover, it’s the first tunnel designed for -40°F. You can find the famous passage on the way from Anchorage to Whittier.

10. No People

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One of the most alluring reasons to visit Alaska is lack of crowds. Alaska is one of the least populated places on earth. The entire population of Alaska is just above 700,000. On top of that, majority of the locals cluster in a few places, leaving the rest of the state uninhabited. Even summer, one of the popular seasons for visitors, allows for plenty of spaces to be alone. However, be prepared for unexpected changes in weather, freely roaming wild animals, and no phone signals before going on a solo adventure in Alaska.

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