After all these years, Alaska still has a challenging time getting past some of the stereotypes and preconceived notions that many “outsiders” have. You see, the last frontier isn’t just this cold place that is dark all the time where people live in igloos. It is actually a huge outdoor wonderland filled with endless sunshine that lasts for nearly half of the year.
There are so many incredible things that you can do in Alaska from water sports, glacier hiking, dipping in hot springs, meeting the local four-legged athletes and island hopping to remote pieces of paradise. Intrigued? You better check out these 16 amazing things that you probably didn’t realize you can do in Alaska (and get ready to fill up all of your weekends for the rest of the year).
1. Land on a glacier and spend the day hiking around the crevasses.
We always reccomend doing this with reputable guides because there is a lot of danger involved. But MAN is it a completely life-changing experience.
2. Watch whales breach via Jet Ski in Prince William Sound.
Glacier Jetski Adventures in Whittier is one of the coolest trips in all of Alaska. Feed your need for speed and enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in the last frontier.
3. See the largest mountain in North America, from hundreds of miles away.
From downtown Anchorage to the tiny town of Talkeetna, Denali never lets us forget that she is #1 in all of the great land.
4. Stay in a remote cabin (in the peak SUMMER months) for only $40 bucks.
$40 bucks to stay anywhere in Alaska is crazy sauce. But... it's true! Sure you might not have running water or any fancy creature comforts but, HELLO... you're in Alaska! Just enjoy your outdoor playground and relax in paradise!
5. Go island hopping.
This isn't just a popular activity in tropical climates. Island hopping in the last frontier is EPIC. With 2,670 named islands, you'll have your fair share to choose from.
6. Go stand up paddleboarding around huge glaciers.
Liquid Adventures in Seward on The Kenai, Alaska's Playground offers epic SUP tours around huge glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park.
7. Get a VIP meeting with the town mayor (no reservations required).
Because we could not be more obsessed with the quirky offerings that the groovy town of Talkeetna has to offer, meeting the uber-adorable Mayor Stubbs is deserving of being on this list.
8. Check out an amazing underwater world while snorkeling.
Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska offers some excellent snorkeling opportunities.
9. Throw on a parka and visit a hotel, museum and bar completely made of ice.
Chena Hot Springs Resort outside of Fairbanks is like something from a dream. If you do one thing this year, you must visit this enchanting place!
10. Drive through a breathtaking grand canyon.
Make the trek to Keystone Canyon on the way to Valdez with the gorgeous Lowe River flowing right alongside you.
11. Soak in a variety of different hot springs.
We can think of over 10 different hot springs that are accessible in Alaska. Life is short, soak it up!
12. Surf some of the best waves in the world.
Head to Yakutat or down to Homer and surf it up in Kachemack Bay. Best of all? You won't get the crazy crowds like you do in tropical destinations.
13. Visit the actual ‘Into the Wild’ bus.
No this wasn't just a Jon Krakauer prop, it's a real place and a phenomenal story. Head down the Stampede Trail and visit the bus where Christopher McCandless spent his last days. Remember... happiness is only real when shared.
14. Spot the “big five” animals all in one place.
Grizzly bears, moose, wolf, caribou and dall sheep. Only in Denali National Park can you spot all of these incredibly surreal creatures in a 24 hour period. EPIC!
15. Take a long walk on the beach, even in the heart of the city.
Sure Anchorage might be Alaska's largest and most populated city, but that doesn't mean that you can't still fulfill your inner beach-bum desires. Head down to Kincaid Beach after work and catch a breathtaking sunset overlooking the mountains.
16. Let the local star athletes (and their babies) smother you with kisses.
Having fun doesn’t always have to come with a price tag attached. Need more ideas for how you can soak up life in the last frontier? Check out these
20 awesome FREE things that you can do in Alaska without even having to open your wallet!