10 bucket list adventures in Alaska

Presented by Visit Anchorage
Bartlett Glacier Juno KimBartlett Glacier Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Visit Anchorage

The Alaska Railroad travels past Bartlett Glacier. Credit: Juno Kim, Visit Anchorage

Need more inspiration for your bucket list? We’ve got you covered with this list of 10 AMAZING things to do.

Alaska has no shortage of things to do! Adventurers will discover that Anchorage is a great “anchor” point for a wide variety of amazing adventures that are sure to provide lifelong memories. 


1. See a glacier

Alaska has over 100,000 glaciers, that have shaped the landscape for thousands of years! Anchorage has over 60 glaciers within 50 miles for explorers. Take a glacier cruise for a few hours and listen to the loud rumbling as these massive landmarks continue to carve through the land.

mv Ptarmigan cruising in front of Portage Glacier. Credit: Donna Dewhurst, Visit Anchorage

2. Take a sightseeing trip
Anchorage has several incredible day-trip options for sightseeing. Take the Glacier Discovery Train to Spencer Whistle Stop for the day, take a flightseeing plane to see Alaska from the sky, or ride the Alyeska Tramway 2300 feet up a mountain. No matter which you choose, you’re guaranteed to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States!  

3. See a whale

A trip to Alaska isn’t complete without some whale-watching! Pods of beluga whales spend their summers in the waters outside Anchorage. Or, head to Seward and hop on a sightseeing cruise to see some of the biggest species of whales in the world!

Bears at the zoo. Credit: JodyO.Photos, Visit Anchorage


4.  Bear Viewing near Anchorage

Alaska is the only place in the US that has black, brown, and polar bears! Take a short flight to Katmai or Lake Clark National Parks and see these fascinating creatures as they feed near a salmon-filled steam. In October, make sure you vote in Katmai’s annual fat bear week. To see a polar bear, check out the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. 

5. View the northern lights
The northern lights are a beautiful phenomenon of auroras that dance in the night sky. They are active in Alaska between mid-August and April. Popular spots for viewing them are Eklutna Tailrace, Girdwood, and the Knik River.

The northern lights. Credit: JodyO.Photos, Visit Anchorage


6. Enjoy the Midnight Sun

Alaska is so far north that it has more summer daylight than anywhere else in the lower contiguous US! In June, the sunset happens around midnight, providing plenty of time for outdoor activities. It’s incredible how much fits in a day when the sun barely ever sets!

7. Go Dog Sledding

Dog Sledding is Alaska’s state sport, and visitors can experience dog sledding year round (though best in winter!). In summer, several mushers will camp out on top of glaciers to provide an authentic sled-dog experience.



Dog sledding Girdwood. Credit: Nicole Geils, Visit Anchorage


8. Alaska Art and Shopping

Anchorage has lots of excellent shopping options for the discerning shopper. Peruse a downtown filled with authentic art galleries, and support Alaska native art. Pick up some fresh-caught salmon for dinner, or some homemade candy for dessert! Anchorage provides tax-free shopping

Denali National Park. Credit: Ashley Heimbigner, Visit Anchorage


9. Visit National Parks
Anchorage is a dream for National Park enthusiasts! Its close proximity to Alaska’s major parks provides tons of options for adventurers. Take a sightseeing plane over the soaring peaks of Denali, take a day cruise to the Kenai Fjords, or (safely) see a bear from Katmai or Lake Clark! Make sure to stop into the visitor’s center to get a stamp for your National Park passport book. 

10. Take a road trip
Anchorage has several different options for a scenic day trip drive, allowing you to get out of the city and see some of Alaska’s beautiful scenery. Take a coastal trip down the Seward Highway, and see huge mountain peaks topped with ice. Head up to the Glen Alps for a breathtaking panorama of Anchorage and its surrounding area. Head up to Hatcher Pass for some dramatic landscapes and stop to explore some of the old remnants from the gold rush. 

There's never been a better time to cross of your bucket list adventures in Alaska! 


This content has been produced in partnership with Visit Anchorage.

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