An Alaska summer bucket list does not blend in with the crowd, no – not at all. Drive through the longest tunnel in the United States or fly around the highest peak in all of North America, ride the world’s longest zipline, go into a cave made out of ice or rock, paddle through icy fjords or get away from the crowds and enjoy the secluded backcountry. Your possibilities to enjoy fun and excitement are quite literally limitless in Alaska. Here are 26 things to do in Alaska in the summer that you’ll want to add to your bucket list!
1. Drive The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier
This is the longest highway tunnel in North America at 2.5 miles, and the first designed for -40 Fahrenheit temperatures and 150 mph winds. Pretty phenomenal if you ask us! You can find their summer and winter
tunnel schedules on the DOT website here
Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, Anchorage, AK, USA
2. Watch The Mt. Marathon Race In Seward On The Forth Of July
Mt. Marathon holds a foot race every 4th of July in the beautiful town of Seward. Over 800 people participate in this three-mile, round-trip foot race that takes them up the mountain over 3022 feet. The ascent is covered in less than a mile. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world visit the town to participate enjoy the festivities and cheer on the athletes. It's one of the best Alaska summer activities to participate in. Check out all the details of this
exhilarating race on their website
3. Go Ziplining At Icy Strait Point In Hoonah
Icy Strait Point, 108 Cannery Rd, Hoonah, AK 99829, USA
4. Go On A Guided Glacier Hiking Excursion
Throughout the last frontier, you have a lot of options to choose from. Depending on the region you are in, find a reputable guide and get up close and personal with these beautiful land masses. This is a wonderful outdoor adventure in Alaska.
5. Fly Over The Highest Mountain In North America
Oh the glory! Get high in the sky with a reputable flight-seeing company that offers excursions taking you around the highest mountain peak in North America, Denali.
is a great company that offers sightseeing tours of Denali.
6. Experience Music And Amazing Food At Halibut Cove Live
Floating amphitheater, live music from blues to bluegrass, delicious food, plenty of wine and warm Alaskan hospitality. It really doesn't get much better. Oh wait - all of the profits from this event go to support The Homer Foundation. All the feels! A perfect summer in Alaska experience.
7. View Glaciers And Wildlife On A Kenai Fjords Tour
Many visitors to Alaska mark their Kenai Fjords Tour as the top experience in all of Alaska. From wildlife to glaciers and an incredibly knowledgeable guide, it's easy to see why this tour is ranked on the top of so many lists. And if you're looking for what to do in Alaska in summer, it's a wonderful Kenai Fjords is a wonderful place to explore. Read more about their
list of departures and tours on their website here
Kenai Fjords Loop, Anchorage, AK 99502, USA
8. Explore El Capitan Cave On Prince Of Wales Island
Located in the Tongass National Forest, El Capitan Cave is the longest mapped cave in Alaska. Those that choose to explore this in depth can cover over two miles. The only way to see this magnificent cave is during the summer months. The Forest Service offers guided excusions at no cost. It's one of the best Alaska things to do in summer.
Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, USA
9. Visit The Salty Dawg In Homer
Dollar bills left by guests cover the walls and ceiling of this historic watering hole in Homer. Enjoy a cold brew and local company in this cozy 1897 cabin. Learn about their history and get some merchandise on
Salty Dawg Saloon’s webpage
Salty Dawg Saloon, 4380 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603, USA
... And While You're At It, Check Out The Whole Homer Spit
If you've made it to the Salty Dawg, you might as well just spend the night and check out all the cool art, shops, eateries and tourism vendors on the Homer Spit.
Homer Spit, Homer, AK 99603, USA
10. Visit Sitka For The Alaska Day Festival
Alaska Day Festival annually commemorates the Purchase Transfer of the Russian claim of Alaska to the United States of America in Sitka on October 18, 1867. This festival also celebrates the diversity of cultures and historical perspectives of the Alaskan people. Stay up to date on the newest happenings concerning the festival on their
11. Visit The Fortress Of The Bear
While you're in Sitka, you might as well take a journey down the road and visit this spectacular place. The Fortress of the Bear provides protection and care to rescued animals in an enriching, educational environment. Their mission is to rescue cubs, bring them back to health, and provide a long life full of enrichment.
about this wonderful organization!
Fortress of the Bear, 4639 Sawmill Creek Rd, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
12. Soak In Natural Hot Springs At Chena Resort
Hot springs in the summer? Sure why not! It's Alaska, and we do things a little differently up here. Amenities include the on-site hot springs, a heated indoor pool and hot tubs, an ice museum, and a massage center. It's one of the most spectacular places to go if you're searching for what to do in Alaska in summer. Hours and ticket prices can be
found on their website
Chena Hot Springs Resort, 17600 Chena Hot Springs Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712, USA
13. Camp In The Backcountry
Anywhere within the 663,300 miles that make up Alaska will do. Just get out, cleanse your soul, and free yourself from the noise of civilization.
... Or On A Beach
The Alaskan coastline extends for 6,640 miles... we're confident that you can find a good camping spot (or two).
14. Explore An Ice Cave
From Juneau to the MatSu Valley and even on the Kenai Peninsula - there are a handful of these hidden treasures in Alaska for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. Albeit intriguing, remember to always use caution as these areas can become very dangerous.
15. Kayak Someplace Magical
Paddle, relax, breath it all in. Alaska has more than 40% of the entire nation's surface water resources. We'd say that your options are unlimited!
16. Go On A Fly-In Fishing Trip Somewhere Away From The Crowds
Like, how about Lake Clark National Park and Preserve? Why not! On the flight in you can enjoy watching coastal brown bears fish for salmon or dig for clams along the shores. Utterly remarkable! It's one of the most Alaska things to do in summer. Read more about the stunning
Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
17. Ride The Alaska Railroad
From Seward to Whittier and all the way up north through Denali National Park and onto Fairbanks - the historic Alaska Railroad is an excellent way to enjoy Alaska with zero distractions other than wildlife viewing and beaming mountains. Discover their different tours, schedules, and rates on the
Alaska Railroad website
18. Take A Hike Underneath The Midnight Sun
Because nothing says "I'm in Alaska" like hiking in the middle of the night without a star in the sky. Hiking in Alaska is one of the best ways to explore this state.
19. Cruise Through The Inside Passage
A million-ish people visit Alaska each year via cruise ship. We'd say that they are on to something... Cruising is one of the most popular Alaska summer activities for tourists.
20. Go Whitewater Rafting Down Sixmile Creek
Start your journey in the quaint town of Hope located on the Kenai Peninsula. Sixmile Creek is a short, approximately 10-mile waterway with some of the most exciting whitewater rafting in Alaska. Class IV and Class V rapids with drops of over 50 feet per mile. This trip is for those that enjoy a thrilling adrenaline rush!
offers great packages for those looking to experience this adventure.
Sixmile Creek, Alaska 99605, USA
21. Go Bear Viewing in Katmai National Park
Katmai is notable for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and for its Alaskan brown bears. You will never want to visit a zoo again after seeing such amazing wildlife in their natural habitat.
Katmai National Park and Preserve, King Salmon, AK 99613, USA
22. Get To Know The Local Athletes
The official state sport of Alaska is dog mushing. It is a rich and integral part of the Alaskan culture. And the doggies? Well, they're pretty darn cute too.
23. Go Glamping On A Remote Island
Orca Island Cabins located on Humpy Cove in Resurrection Bay is a mix between utter paradise and heaven on earth. Relax in a yurt, go kayaking and paddleboarding, watch orcas jump, and enjoy an epic remote setting. For more info and to book your stay at Orca Island Cabins, check out
Orca Island Cabins, Humpy Cove & Resurrection Bay, Seward, AK 99664, USA
24. Wet A Line Any Chance You Get
It's Alaska, need we say more? It's just what we do. Salmon, halibut, rockfish, trout, grayling, arctic char... the list goes on and on. This is one of the most popular things to do in Alaska in the summer!
25. Drive The Denali Highway
This largely graveled road offers views of remote wilderness. The 135-mile road was completed in 1957 and was designed to give access to Denali National Park. It later became largely redundant in 1971 when a newer (and paved) road was put in, known as the George Parks Highway. The highway leads from Paxson Junction to Cantwell Junction.
Denali Highway, Denali Hwy, Cantwell, AK, USA
26. Catch As Many Sunsets As Possible
That is, until summer solstice hits and the midnight sun keeps you awake all day and all night. This is at the top of our things to do in Alaska in the summer, because we love counting those extra minutes each day!
Oh, Alaska… you make this list so easy for us to write! We decided to cut it off at 26 but we know there are a ton of other amazing things to do in Alaska during the summer months. What are some of your top recommendations for things to do in Alaska in the summer?
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The OIYS Visitor Center
Things To Do In Alaska In The Summer
July 31, 2020
Why is summer the best time to visit Alaska?
The best thing about a summer in Alaska is the amount of opportunity it offers everyone. There are the widest array of things to see and experience in the summer time, and so many people are enchanted by the 24 hours of daylight. Winter can be a little harsh, and those not accustomed to extreme cold may not enjoy an Alaskan winter. But the animals are out and playing in the summer, the lakes are not frozen, and there are tons of things to see and do!