Imagine seeing a grizzly bear with her two cubs walking across the shoreline. The cubs may play a little hide and seek as they hide in the tall grass.
Imagine seeing a group of mountain goats standing on the cliffs that line the rocky coastline.
Think of seeing humpback whales, sea otters, puffins, and orcas. All of these and more are in Alaska.
And what better way for you to see them than visit the state?
If Alaska is part of your travel bucket list, you are not alone. It is a popular destination that you can visit all year round.
The state is popular with tourists of all ages. You can be a teenager or a senior; Alaska has something for you.
Every year, more than 1.9 visitors see the state and its many glaciers and wonders.
But while planning is daunting, we’re here to help.
There are a variety of options that you can take when exploring Alaska.
Continue reading below to find out more.
List of Contents
- 1. Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour
- 2. Glacier Day Tour
- 3. Alaska Wildlife Day Tour
- 4. Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour
- 5. Denali National Park
- 6. Anchorage Tour
- 7. University of Alaska Museum of the North
- 8. Jewels of Alaska
- 9. Inside Passage
- 10. Alaska Native Heritage Center
- 11. Wrangler-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
1. Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour
The Aurora borealis is on the bucket lists of millions of people across the globe. And seniors are no exception.
As long as you can stay up late to watch out for these amazing lights, you are in.
In Alaska, you will experience the northern lights like no other through the Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour.
The trip from Fairbanks takes you to the Chena Hot Springs Resort. It would be an exciting and relaxing trip where you get to see eye-popping sculptures. You will also get to visit the Aurora Ice Museum.
After the museum visit, you will relax in the mineral water baths that made the resort popular among tourists. And when the weather is right, a guide will take you to the best locations to experience the northern lights.
2. Glacier Day Tour
Tourists love the Glacier Wildlife Day Tour. This tour is popular among the many visitors that visit Alaska, even seniors.
If you are looking for a well-rounded tour of Anchorage, this tour is for you.
The tour includes a visit to the native wildlife sanctuary. In every location you visit, you will see panoramic views of Anchorage as you go through Seward Highway.
Portage and Matanuska are two of the most famous and massive glaciers near Anchorage.
The glacier stands about ten stories tall. It recedes about 20 feet every year. And so, if you get the chance, take advantage of seeing this glacier up close.
Look at the glacier up close. Listen to the many stories on the area’s geology, history, and wildlife as told by the Forest Service Rangers.
While doing all these, you can relax in the boat’s heated cabin equipped with large viewing windows.
Or, if the windows do not suffice, you can always head over to the topside deck for an uninterrupted view of the glacier and its surroundings.
If you get lucky, you can see a big chunk of ice break off and fall into the lake. It is an experience of a lifetime.
3. Alaska Wildlife Day Tour
Aside from the glacier day tour, the Alaska Wildlife Day Tour is another popular choice among visitors.
From Anchorage, you can travel for about an hour to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Here, you get to meet the wildlife refuge, residents. Black and brown bears, wood bison, wolves, and reindeer inhabit the center.
You will also see a moose, lynx, and much more here.
The center is 200 acres huge. It is a center founded to preserve the native wildlife of Alaska through conservation and education.
The 90-minute guided tour allows you to meet the incredible animals up close.
Some popular attractions are Hugo the Grizzly Bear, Pip and JO the orphan moose siblings, and many more.
4. Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour
The Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour is one of the most popular tours in Ketchikan.
It received massive positive reviews from tourists and visitors who have gone through the tour.
The tour allows you to board the famous fishing vessel, Aleutian Ballad. The tour gives you a taste of the exciting tour they call The Deadliest Catch Tour.
If you are a fan of Discovery Channel, you could have already seen them in the channel’s series, the Discovery Channel Deadliest Catch documentary show.
Unlike the crew, you will not go through wild, scary weather and rough seas. During the tour, the boat stays in calmer waters. These waters are also protected waters and are within the Inside Passage.
Within Ketchikan, the boat cruises through the many bays and islands.
Here, you will see the exciting scene where fishermen haul in their catch. This tour is your best bet to spot fantastic wildlife aboard the boat.
Some tourists saw eagles and whales along the way. Also, this is your best opportunity to hold a live Alaskan king crab for your photos.
You will be on board for three hours. During this time, you will also hear the many colorful tales of the core members as they dare Alaska’s dangerous and rough seas.
The Aleutian Ballad docks are also within walking distance of the cruise docks. The area is a few minutes from famous Ketchikan hotels in downtown Ketchikan.
5. Denali National Park
Denali National Park is the third largest national park in the US. It encompassed the highest mountain in North America in the northern parts of the Alaska Range.
Denali is about 20,320 feet. Explorers call it Mount McKinley.
For many years, questions about the mountain’s name had been looming. It was also a source of controversy for almost a hundred years.
However, in 2015, Denali became its official name. And yes, it is the highest peak in all of North America.
Aside from the story of how the name came to be, the park is spectacular.
The park is about six million acres in size. Also, this national park is photogenic from all angles.
Here, you will see several river valleys, tundra, glacier-draped mountains, and high alpine ranges.
The park is also about midway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. And if you are wondering how to visit, access here is easy.
There is only a single road that leads into the park. There are also park-approved buses that travel from Anchorage to the national park via the Alaska Railroad.
The park-approved buses travel beyond Savage River.
During your transit, you will see scenic views of Denali from the park road.
There are a few short-signed trails that measure less than two miles. These trails are near the park entrance.
However, if you are more experienced in hiking, you can venture out into the trail-less parts of the park.
Denali is where you can find elks, reindeer, wolves, and grizzly bears. Aside from these animals, there is more wildlife here than you can imagine.
The national park is also home to about 167 species of birds.
Remember to see the Sled Dog Kennels when you are here. They are an absolute favorite among visitors and show demonstrations to tourists.
6. Anchorage Tour
The biggest city in Alaska is Anchorage. It comes with a population of anywhere around 300,000 residents.
Because of its size and accessibility, it is often the starting point for tourists who fly to Alaska.
Anchorage has a wide array of hotels that can cater to tourists and visitors. It also has tourism-related visitor resources. Finally, it is home to Alaska’s largest airport, the Anchorage International Airport.
As mentioned earlier, Anchorage is a good starting point for those who want to travel to Alaska.
The beautiful Chugach State Park is a park worthy of your time. It encompasses nearly half a million acres. It is also accessible from the city center.
If you want to explore further, there is a popular way to go from Anchorage into the wild landscapes. The Alaska Railroad is a 470-mile road leading to Alaska’s other destinations. The railroad is also full of beautiful landscapes along the way.
If you are only staying within the city, you will still have several things to entertain you.
Popular city attractions include the Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
You can also visit the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail if you want the outdoors. It is an 11-mile bike ride just a few minutes outside Anchorage.
You can rent bicycles while in the city.
7. University of Alaska Museum of the North
Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
The museum brings with it more than one million artifacts that are historical and natural.
The permanent collection within the museum includes several ethnological items. The indigenous groups of the past commonly used these items.
The items also include a collection of fine arts that focus mainly on the artistic side of Alaska.
Aside from arts and other displays, the museum also features archaeological finds that traverse through prehistoric cultures. There is a collection of exhibits related to an assemblage of birds.
Finally, a collection of several paleontology specimens is also available within the museum.
The building where you can find the museum is also exceptional. Designed by Joan Soranno, the structure is full of interesting lines and curves. The lines and curves have all the intention of resembling the Alaskan landscape.
When entering the museum, there is no entrance fee for university students and faculty members. The public is always welcome to enter, but with paid admission.
When visiting, you can explore the museum at your own pace.
You can call ahead for your bookings if you are within a larger group.
8. Jewels of Alaska
The Jewels of Alaska is a tour that starts and ends in Anchorage.
The tour features a cultural trip for seven days. The package also takes you through Anchorage and five other destinations.
The tour includes hotel accommodations, a guide, meals, transportation, and everything else.
On this tour, you will see Anchorage’s highlights, like the City of Lights and Flowers. You will also go sightseeing in the Matanuska Valley and another location called Talkeetna.
The tour continues with a drive through the Alaskan Railroad, a visit to Denali Park, and the Girdwood and Mount Alyeska.
While on this tour, you can enjoy a private presentation in the Alaska Native Center. You can also interact with a bush pilot and listen to his wild tales.
During the tour, you can also check out some information and learn about the Alaskan Huskies. Plus, you will be learning about the daily lives of the Arctic sleigh racers.
9. Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is an area in Alaska that houses sheltered channels and straits.
Its location is in the Southeastern parts of Alaska.
The most famous way to visit the area is via a cruise through the fjords on huge ships and charter boats. There are also private yachts that traverse through the Passage.
Along the way, you get to pass through the Tongass National Forest. The forest covers about 17 million acres and includes mountains, glaciers, and islands.
The whole area also covers ice fields, waterfalls, and fjords.
While in the area, you will pass by the Prince of Wales Island, the largest in the country.
There are several towns along the way. Some of these towns include Skagway and Ketchikan.
Skagway is famous for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. It also used to be the town of Russian American Sitka.
On the other hand, Ketchikan houses the stoic totems at the Totem Bight State Historic Park. The Totem Heritage Center is also in this town.
10. Alaska Native Heritage Center
With a comprehensive look at the state’s 11 major cultural groups, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a tour you should never miss.
Here, you will have a hands-on interaction with music, arts, and the people of these major groups.
There is also several other information about these cultural groups that you could learn while in the center.
A center is a place that you should visit to connect with the major cultural groups. This location also allows you to communicate with the community and be part of their programs and events.
The heritage center is a few minutes outside Anchorage. There are storytelling, dancing, and exhibits to visit.
11. Wrangler-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
The largest and most beautiful national park in Alaska is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.
The mountain region has 16 of the highest peaks in the country. The park also borders Canada and contains glaciers, wildlife, streams, and many more.
This natural park is for you if you are into climbing, trekking, hiking, and water sports. There are also abandoned mines and many such offerings that can entertain its visitors, young or old.
Alaska is a haven of attractions. It is a destination where nature is at its finest.
I hope that by reading the article, you not only learned but enjoyed it as well.
What do you think of the attractions? Would you want another attraction included on the list?
Let me know in the comments.