PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
What Is There To Do In Alaska In The Summer?
When you think about Alaska, do you picture snowy mountains and the Northern Lights? If so, you are not alone! But if you are planning a trip to Alaska during the warmer months, you’ll be happy to know that there are many fun things to do in Alaska in the summer! Keep reading to learn more.
Spending The Summer In Alaska
The best time to plan a trip to Alaska in summer is between May 10 and September 15. Alaska is beautiful during those few months, with temperatures in the low 60s to 70s, long days (thanks to the Midnight Sun), a landscape that is in full bloom, and some of the best wildlife viewing you can find anywhere in America!
Still, many people wonder what there is to do in Alaska in the summer. It’s hard to get past the idea of Alaska as a permanently frozen tundra, with dog sledding and ice fishing as the norm. But would it surprise you to know that Alaska is so much more? Every summer, the state comes alive with farmers’ markets, festivals, and a frenzy of tourism. In a state that sees months of darkness and cold, summer is a time to celebrate and enjoy life. Alaskans love to share this joy with visitors, too!
For a list of five fun things to do in Alaska in the summer, keep reading!
- Visit Juneau and the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area – Alaska’s capital, Juneau, sits at the edge of one of the largest wilderness areas in the United States – the Tongass National Forest. Here, you can view wildlife, charter a fishing boat, explore glaciers, or simply stay in town to explore the city shops, restaurants, and museums! Once you’ve had your fill of the city sights, you can visit the Mendenhall Glacier. This glacier sits within Tongass National Forest, and stretches 12 miles from the Juneau Icefield to Mendenhall Lake. At its widest point, the glacier is half a mile wide, with ice that reaches 1,800 feet deep. This popular attraction draws visitors during the summer months, who like to watch icebergs break off the frozen glacier into the lake or hike in the forest. Bear viewing is also a popular activity at Steep Creek in the Tongass National Forest between June and October.
- Explore Denali National Park and Talkeetna – no trip to Alaska in summer is complete without a visit to Denali National Park. During the summer months, the park’s wildlife viewing is at its peak. Visitors can see moose, bears, wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep. A variety of birds, including arctic terns, golden eagles, and ravens fill the sky above vast mountain ranges all summer long. Of course, Mount Denali, or the “High One” is the star attraction of any visit. Standing below it is breathtaking! Once you’ve had your fill of wilderness, a Trip to the small town of Talkeetna is a great option! This charming town sits near the confluence of the Susitna, Chulitna, and Talkeetna Rivers. While there is plenty to explore in town, the river is a huge attraction for adventurers in search of kayaking, rafting, or a relaxing day of floating lazily along the banks to see the sights!
- Take a trip to Sitka and The Fortress of the Bears – Sitka is the only community along the Inside Passage that fronts the Pacific Ocean. Located on the Sitka Sound, the city has 8,500 residents and is known for its native Tlingit culture and Russian heritage. Sitka is not on Alaska’s road system and is only accessible by air or water. Visitors arrive by plane from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Ketchikan, or on cruise ships that wind their way along the Inside Passage. Sitka is also a year-round port of call for the state ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System. One of the city’s main attractions is the Fortress of the Bear. This local refuge provides protection and care to rescued animals in an enriching and educational environment. The rescue center opened in 2007 and now houses 8 bears. More than 89,000 visitors come to see the bears each year, proving that it is one of the most fun things to do in Alaska in summer! You can also see humpback whales, sea otters, and puffins in the waters around Sitka. Wildlife viewing cruises from the city are a great way to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat!
- Take part in Salmonfest Alaska at Ninilchik – this small community, located on the Kenai Peninsula, is home to one of the biggest state-wide festivals each August. If you want to know what there is to do in Alaska in summer, Salmonfest may just be the answer you are looking for. Ninilchik was founded in the early 1800s, and the historic village features a group of historic log cabins and beached fishing boats for visitors to explore. The new part of the city is much more modern, drawing visitors to its beaches and bluffs on Cook Inlet. But without a doubt, Salmonfest is the one event that put this sleepy fishing town on the map! The three-day music festival was created to protect Bristol Bay and donate money to salmon-related initiatives. The festival includes bands, food vendors, and groups that distribute educational information on environmental issues in Alaska. Tickets sell out fast, so if you want to experience this festival, make sure to buy yours early!
- Experience authentic Alaskan culture – if you want to experience traditional Alaskan culture, you can visit the Metlakatia Indian Community. Located on the Annette Islands just 20 miles from Ketchikan, this is the only Indian Reserve in the State of Alaska. The village is accessible by seaplane, boat, or ferry. Visitors can tour a longhouse, watch a performance, and participate in song and dance with the residents. The community supports itself through traditional fishing methods, as well as tourism.
Is Summer The Best Time To Visit Alaska?
Summer in Alaska is beautiful, with mild temperatures and pleasant weather. But that also means more tourists and crowded accommodations. If you want to enjoy your trip to Alaska in the summer, consider holding off until August. While June might be the most popular month to visit, traveling in August means fewer crowds and your pick of lodging and restaurants. The weather during August is still very summer-like and pleasant, but you won’t have to fight the crowds to get to your destination. Better yet, all the fun things to do in Alaska in the summer are still available to you in August! Book now for a summer adventure of a lifetime – adventure is calling.