A mother bear teaches her cubs to swim
unsplash-logoPhoto By Paxson Woelber

Written By Katlyn Paul

As humans we crave the chance to getaways and escape from the mundanity of everyday life. Alaska is one such destination has gained recent popularity with cruise lines and family vacations due to its vast landscape, unique activities, and family-friendly activities. The unique wildlife experiences, cozy tucked-away cabin lodges, vantage point of the northern lights, adventurous opportunities, and the plentiful summer daylight all make the list as top reasons to book Alaska as your next getaway.

1. Nature at Your Fingertips

The remarkable wildlife experiences that Alaska has to offer should not be overlooked. Places like Denali National Park and the Icy Strait Point gives travelers an up close and intimate experience with the Alaskan wildlife. Denali spans six million acres of untouched nature: mountain ranges, wild caribou and bears, fly fishing, and hiking all available to you. The Icy Strait Point, another vantage point you shouldn’t overlook, puts you up close with wildlife through whale watching, bald eagle sightings, and salmon swimming in the Spasski River. While there at the Strait, also known as the “microcosm of the entire Alaskan experience”, kick back and enjoy famous, fresh seafood.

2. The Northern Lights: A Mystical Event

Embark to Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Brooks Range to view one of the Earth’s most remarkable events: the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights. The phenomenon of charged light can only be seen from particular locations across the planet, Alaska being one of them. From late August-mid April guided tours are offered to inform you on the most opportune weather forecasts (because it’s an unpredictable event) and show you the absolute best views of this scientific beauty.

3. The Lush Landscape

While witnessing wildlife up close is an unforgettable experience, the lush landscape the wildlife lives upon is equal parts breathtaking. The range of landscapes–seaside villages to glaciers to snow capped mountaintops–make Alaska an unique gem. Alaska is home to over 100,000 glaciers dating back from the Ice Age, but these only account for 5% of Alaska’s landmass. These glaciers are in part responsible for the many mountain ranges in the state. In addition, the Kenai Peninsula is home to the vast subarctic forest offering a contrast to the icy glaciers.

4. Hiking and Adventure

Alaska’s landscape if full of hiking opportunities for both newbies and experienced hikers. Backpacker Magazine suggests, however, that if you are a first time hiker, Chugach State Park is the perfect starting point. With lowland terrain and easy overnight camping spots, hiking the skirts of the Chugach mountains will provide you with an unforgettable experience of Mother Nature. Bonus? This trail provides you with the best of both worlds: picturesque forests and snowy alpine views.

5. Plentiful Summer Sunshine

Because Alaska is so far north in the Arctic Circle the daylight is plentiful during summer months. What’s referred to as “midnight sun” places like Fairbanks have 24 hour periods of daylight at times in the summer. Even in the autumn, daylight still extends to 7pm in some locations, give tourists plenty of time for outdoor activities.

Alaska’s hidden gem tourist status is no longer a secret as more and more are deciding to take a vacation to this stunning peninsula. While planning your next getaway, consider forgoing the typical tropical vacation and instead get a once in a lifetime ecological experience by going up north to the Last Frontier.