PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour
Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights
Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure
What Is There To Do In Alaska In The Summer?
If you ask the locals, they will tell you that the best time to visit Alaska is in summer. Alaska has the tallest mountains in North America, streams teeming with salmon (and other fish), massive glaciers, millions of acres of boreal forest, and culture-rich cities to explore. If you want to get outside and explore all that Alaska has to offer, the best time to do it is from mid-May through September, when the state enjoys a brief interlude from frigid winters!
Why You Should Plan Your Summer Vacation In Alaska
Only in Alaska can you meet a moose, walk on a glacier, and explore the state’s vast, natural parks and preserves – sometimes all in one day! And, thanks to the Midnight Sun, summer days in Alaska often see 24 hours of daylight. That means you can pack hours more of adventure into a single day during your visit. Don’t worry – you can rest when you are back home. Still not convinced? Here are five fantastic reasons to visit Alaska in summer.
- The temperatures are comfortable – although summer temperatures vary across this vast state, most of the major tourist destinations experience highs of only 65 during the warmest months! Popular cruise routes along the Inside Passage, as well as the cities of Juneau, Anchorage, and Denali National Park generally see mild temperatures during the summer. This makes hiking, kayaking, and fishing quite comfortable for guests, but don’t forget to pack your rain gear. You never know what the weather will do!
- The days are long – as mentioned above, the Midnight Sun extends daylight hours for two months of the summer. Long days make it easy to squeeze in many activities during a summer trip. You can even find festivals that celebrate the Midnight Sun. One of the most popular ones is held in Fairbanks, where visitors can enjoy live music, a street fair, kids’ activities, and more.
- The outdoor activities can’t be beaten – with 17 national parks, more than 150 state parks, 16 national wildlife refuges, and 22 million acres of national forest, visitors won’t run out of places to explore! Tourists can enjoy hiking, camping, biking, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, glacier hiking, and more! Less active guests can still experience the backcountry via the Alaska Railroad, which features routes that travel through the state’s sprawling and undeveloped interior region.
- Wildlife is easy to spot – once spring arrives, Alaska’s grizzly bears emerge from hibernation. Throughout the summer, guests can watch them fishing for salmon along the state’s many streams. You can also spot moose and caribou in many locations during the summer months, as well as seals and sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, and beluga whales swimming along the shoreline. Even birdwatching is at its peak during the summer months, with hundreds of birds traveling from Antarctica, sub-Saharan Africa, and New Zealand to spend a short breeding season in Alaska.
- Seasonal businesses are open – during the harsh Alaskan winters, many businesses (and roads) close for the season, along with visitor centers, tour companies, hotels, some public transportation, and many tourism facilities. If you are relying on these amenities for your trip, it’s best to plan your visit during the summer season.
Where To Visit In Alaska During The Summer
Anchorage is one of the best places to visit in Alaska in the summer. This city is nestled between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. It is surprisingly urban but also offers visitors plenty of fun things to do in Anchorage, Alaska in the summer! Here is a list of fun activities in or near Anchorage to help you plan the perfect summer vacation in Alaska.
- Summer dog sledding – winter may be the peak season for dog sledding, but in summer visitors can take a ride across the top of a glacier in a dog sled! Many local mushers offer kennel tours and training rides, no matter the season, for visitors to get a taste of this uniquely Alaskan adventure.
- Kayaking, canoeing, and SUP – paddle across nearby Eklutna Lake, either by yourself or with a guided tour. You can also paddle in the protected waters near Whittier and Seward to get a close look at local wildlife from the water.
- Hiking and ice climbing – with Chugach State Park nearby, it’s easy to access local trails for hiking and other outdoor adventures. The trails range in difficulty from easy to hard, and are a perfect way to explore this park right outside of Anchorage.
- Glaciers and wildlife cruises – Anchorage is the gateway to so many cruises! Get up close to a towering glacier, see whales and other sea creatures, and explore Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords National Park, Portage Lake, and other local waterways.
- Go flightseeing – flights depart from Anchorage year-round for this popular tourist attraction. Flying over Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains, and into areas not accessible by car is one of the most remarkable ways to see Alaska!
- Stroll through a garden – Anchorage is known as the “City of Lights and Flowers.” The city plans 80,000 flowers in 260 beds each year, making it a feast for the eyes. Anchorage is also home to the Alaska Botanical Garden, where you can stroll through a 110-acre spruce and birch forest and enjoy 1,100 species of hardy perennials and 150 native plant species.
- Visit a museum – Anchorage is home to many museums and historical attractions that explore Alaska’s fascinating blend of Russian, Native, gold rush, and pioneer history. Visit the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or even the Alaska Aviation Museum to learn about the people who call Alaska home and the stories that shaped this amazing state.
There’s so much to do and see if you visit Alaska in the summer that we can’t cover it all in one blog entry. But with so many fun things to do in Anchorage, Alaska in the summer you can begin planning your vacation. Don’t forget to make your reservations now – the summer months in Alaska are the most popular time for people to visit.