There’s more to Alaska than just beautiful scenery. Keep reading for vacation in Alaska: 7 Amazing reasons to visit Alaska.
When you’re looking for ideal vacation spots, you may be looking at historic cities or resorts first. But if you look further north on the map, there’s an entire state that has more to offer than you can imagine, waiting for you to explore it.
Alaska might conjure up visions of mountains and scenery. And while that’s going to be one of the reasons on this list about why you should vacation in Alaska, it’s definitely not the only reason. From daylight that doesn’t seem to end during summer (it’s warmer than you think) to even enjoying some fine food and shopping, the northernmost U.S. state has plenty to impress.
Here are 7 reasons to book a vacation to Alaska…
Alaska is literally home to the tallest mountain in North America, known as Denali (which was once known as Mt. McKinley.)
We’re not suggesting you try climbing it (its summit is more than 20,000 feet above sea level) unless you’re a seasoned climber and know what you’re doing. But it’s definitely a sight to behold and makes for some amazing photographs to show when you return.
Denali is not the only mountain to admire in Alaska. The state actually has 14 distinct mountain ranges (including the Alaska Range with Denali), each with its own beauty and charm at different times of the year.
If roaming free is your idea of a good vacation, then Alaska is the right place to be. It has hundreds of hiking trails that take you through all kinds of terrain, which means you can choose one based on your ability and fitness level.
Most of the state of Alaska is wilderness, but you can get to some of it by car. From there, it’s up to you where you wander. Just make sure you have a good map so you don’t get lost, as Alaska is actually more than twice the size of Texas.
It helps to have a home base when you’re planning on doing a lot of exploration or just want to relax. Many cozy cabins like Sasha’s Place are ideal for both.
In many places around the world, the sun sets at a “normal” time – namely, in the evening. But Alaska is a bit different in this regard during the summer months. The longest day in the state is in June (during the summer solstice), which gets almost 14 more hours of sunlight than in December.
What that means is it can literally stay lit outside for 24-hours. In Fairbanks, that number is 22-hours, and the bars are open longer hours there.
Alaska is one of the U.S. states that does not impose a statewide sales tax. However, local governments can bring in a sales tax if they choose. Some of the major cities in Alaska have zero sales tax, while also having some of the most variety of shops to explore.
So whether you’re shopping for deals on electronic gadgets or looking for some indigenous art to add to your collection, Alaska might be one of the most ideal places in North America to unload that spending money burning a hole in your pocket.
There is an excise tax in some areas including Anchorage on motor fuel.
If catching fish is your thing, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities in Alaska. There are a wide a variety of fishing charters in the state, and there are fishing lodges if you plan to make it a major part of your vacation.
The state offers bountiful opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. There are more than 600 varieties of fish to find at the end of your line including delicious salmon and arctic char, whether you’re casting from the side of the road or partnering with a charter service.
However, before you try your luck in one of the many lakes, streams, or ocean spots, be sure you have followed the rules and have the required permits. You can also find all of the gear you could possibly want (possibly at tax-free prices.)
If you’ve ever wanted to see a mighty glacier up close, now’s your chance. Alaska is home to more than 100,000 of the icy beasts.
One of the best places to observe icebergs in the state in Glacier Bay National Park, which contains more than 1,000 of these icebergs and encompasses more than 3 million acres to explore. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you can watch sections of icebergs break free and crash into the water below.
There are also some areas in Alaska that even allow you to actually walk on the glaciers for an up-close and personal experience.
If seeing nature is your thing, then it’s hard to beat Alaska. From Kodiak Brown Bears to bald eagles, you’ll be able to observe and photograph these majestic beasts from (hopefully) a safe distance.
If you don’t want to risk running into a large bear while out searching for wildlife photos, then there are other options. For example, you can visit the Alaska Zoo.
Alaska is also one of the best places in the world for whale watching, particularly in Juneau. There are many species that migrate off the coast, including the largest of them all – blue whales. May to early September tends to be the best time of year to see one of these amazing creatures, as they prefer the slightly warmer waters.
Guided whale watching tours are also available.
While it may not come to mind right away for some tourists, Alaska has a lot to offer and might have you booking again soon after your arrival. From amazing scenery and wildlife to tax-free shopping, it’s easy to see the appeal of a vacation in Alaska.
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