Alaska is a big, mighty and unforgiving beast. For tourists and new residents alike, the lifestyle up here can be quite the adjustment. The simplest things like taking a walk into the woods or out on the beach can actually be very dangerous, deadly mistakes if you’re not properly prepared. Then there are those things that you’d think would be common sense – like driving the speed limit, not approaching wildlife, bringing a map and using your manners. Check out the 20 worst mistakes that tourists make while visiting Alaska and be prepared to nod your head in agreement.
1. Approaching wildlife.
It's their land and we're just playing on it. So even if they take over your favorite fishing spots, your best bet is to walk away slowly and let them rule the roost.
2. Only viewing the state from a cruise ship.
You can see some beautiful sights, but the real/raw Alaska is experienced when you leave the herd and break off on your own.
3. Not getting a rental car.
With hundreds of miles of road system, you'll be missing all the good stuff if you just rely on public transportation.
4. Forgetting a map.
And when you are driving in Alaska, don't expect a great GPS signal. A road map is crucial for those no-service areas.
5. Or plenty of in-vehicle entertainment.
Same goes for the AM/FM radio. Without service, you won't have much access to summer jams. So be prepared and bring some music.
6. Spending every night in a hotel.
With the most epic camping spots in the world, you'll be selling yourself short if you spend every night in a hotel. We guarantee that!
7. Underestimating local food.
Can you say... mouth-watering Alaska king crab or scrumptious reindeer dogs? Yes, please!
8. Or locally owned businesses.
We will just go for the gold here and say that we for SURE have the best bakeries in the world. Two Sisters in Homer and the Bake Shop in Girdwood are a couple others that are wow-worthy.
9. Not making a point to see North America’s highest mountain.
Our greatest claim to fame... you better put it on your bucket list!
10. Going into the backcountry unprepared.
Gun recommended but bear spray should do the trick. If you forgot it, turn around and get it before taking one step further.
11. Forgetting to wear layers – and plenty of em’.
It might be sunny at sunrise but by noon it could be raining and by early afternoon you might see a snowflake or two. Why? Because it's Alaska and that is just how mother nature rolls up here!
12. Asking any local questions about Sarah Palin.
Were just over it. Please stop with the questions. If you must ask, seek Google for approval.
13. Soaking in the sights while driving WAY under the speed limit.
We understand... the sights are dreamy. But when you're going 30 in a 55 zone, you make us angry. Very, very angry.
14. Mistaking the mudflats for a pretty beach.
That is one very dangerous and uber-sucking mistake that you just don't want to make.
15. Disregarding the importance of staying up for the most epic light show of their life.
Oh, you're tired? That's nice. But if you miss a spectacular Northern Lights show, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. So suck it up, buttercup!
16. Not leaving the city.
They say that real Alaska begins when you leave the city. So leave the rush behind you and never look back. You will forever be changed.
17. Not staying up late enough for a sunset.
Sure the sun might not set until 1am. But, hey - it's Alaska. When in Rome...
18. Or rising early enough for a sunrise.
Oh and did we mention that you have to be up again at 4am? Worth it!
19. Being rude.
If you haven't already realized, Alaska has some of the best people on the planet. So if you come here with a face-paced agenda, we will ask you to go home (and only come back when you've had a good attitude adjustment). Please and thank you!
20. Not wearing eye-protection while fishing.
Those sharp hooks are hard to dodge when the salmon start running. So if you like both of your eyes, we recommend NEVER forgetting your shades!