Ask any local and they’ll tell you that Alaska offers a travel experience unlike any other. As the largest state in the US and one of the least populated, it boasts miles of the most pristine wilderness in the Northern Hemisphere.
It’s a good destination for tourists seeking something more than the average cookie-cutter travel experience of museums and rows of stores that you’re likely to see back home.
When you visit Alaska, make sure to strap on your hiking boots and prepare for an outdoor adventure where you’ll have a first-hand experience of nature. The best part is that you can visit anytime in the year for an amazing journey and smiling locals who are more than happy to show you the reasons why calling themselves an Alaskan makes them extremely proud.
You Can Get Up Close with Nature
The state of Alaska is known for its abundant wildlife. Visitors have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of animal species at parks and sanctuaries that offer up-close experiences that you won’t find at your traditional zoo. Visitors also come for many of the Alaska hunting seasons.
The National Park Service ensures that the landscape is well maintained for numerous Alaska animals who call the state home. There are also several parks to choose from depending on your preferred wildlife experience. At the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve travelers have recorded their experience of several encounters with whales while on cruise ships.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous to travel to the North of Alaska to Denali National Park and Preserve, you’ll see Alaskan wildlife such as Dall’s Sheep, which have thick off-white fur and large horns that help them thrive in the State’s mountainous regions, or possibly the Alaska state animal – the moose. Birdwatchers will also love visiting the State for their 450 different species of birds that can be sighted in the sky both day and night.
You’ll Photograph Breathtakingly Beautiful Landscapes
Most of Alaska’s landscape is untamed. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise for traveling along some of the most untouched mountains, bays, plains, and islands in the world. Denali National Park and Reserve is famous for containing America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley and countless hiking trails, and rare Alaskan wildlife.
Other mountains along the Kenai Peninsula offer tourists ice landscapes and mountains covered in 400 inches of annual snowfall. Those craving rare bird sightings or who want to see one of the 57 volcanoes should visit the Aleutians, an area of 70 islands.
At Glacier Bay, visitors will enjoy the temperate climate that boosts rainforest and lush vegetation. Of course, wherever you go in Alaska, you’ll want to make sure that you look up at the night sky. From nearly any location you’ll be able to see the Aurora Borealis, vibrant waves of color across the sky caused by the sun’s solar flares.
It’s Easy to Travel Around the Largest US State
Alaska is massive, boosting 663,300 square miles. It’s twice the size of Texas, but it’s still easy to get around as long as you prepare beforehand. There are four main regions- South-central and Interior, the Inside Passage, Far North/ Artic, and Southwest Alaska. Each has a distinct character and a famous town to its name.
You’ll most likely fly into Anchorage, which is in the South-central and Interior Region. Rent a car to ride around the vibrant city for a few days and to explore the wilderness along the city’s edge.
The Inside Passage is where you’ll take a cruise to view rainforests, glaciers, and waterways that are home to whales, seals, and sea lions. To get to the Far North you’ll have to fly from Anchorage to view the Artic Circle and locals who still practice ancient customs.
If bear sightings and active volcanoes are what you’re after then fly to the Southwest, which is home to the Aleutian Islands.
Have A Conversation with the Friendliest Americans
Having a good travel experience is also dependent on the people that you meet along your trip. Alaskans are known for their smiles and being courteous to tourists. Author John McPhee describes Alaskans as, ‘the friendliest, most trusting people in America. When you spend time with people who grew up in Alaska… you’ll have a renewed appreciation for a lifestyle that has fast disappeared in the Lower 48.” \
The fresh air and gorgeous outdoor scenery could have something to do with the friendly demeanour. Those who live there tend to be very passionate about how great their State is.
Alaskan Wildlife in Conclusion: It’s Almost Too Good for Just One Trip
With its spectacular scenery, rare wildlife, ease of transportation, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder that 1.5 million people visit Alaska each year. In fact, many of those first-time visitors turn into second-time visitors wanting to explore more of the state.
After all, it’s massive with miles of unspoiled nature to take in. You’ll need more than just a few days to fully explore the Alaskan wildlife, outdoor sports, and spectacular scenery. Even if you plan a trip for up to 8 weeks, you still wouldn’t be able to hit every town and to do every activity. Yet, if you’re a person who enjoys traveling, having a beautiful place to visit isn’t such a bad thing.