Alaska did not become a State until 1959. There are still a lot of untamed wilderness areas for you to explore, as well as many other areas worthy of Exploration. Here is my choice for the top 10 things to see and do in Alaska. This is by no means an all inclusive list, because Alaska is so huge; however these are all places and activites that definitely deserve to be added to your "To Do" list when you are planning a trip to Alaska.
10. AnchorageCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/3135751669/in/photostream/
More than 40% of the entire population of Alaska resides in Anchorage. The average wintertime daytime temperature ranges from 5-30 degrees. Although many people consider this extremely cold, In Alaska this is pretty warm winter weather compared too many other parts of the State. In Barrow, Alaska the average HIGH temperature in the Middle of the summer is 47 degrees!
Anchorage is not the best place if you want to watch wildlife; however bears and moose are commonly seen in the town. The largest airport in Alaska is located in Anchorage. If you visit Alaska the odds are very good that you will get a chance to see this great Alaskan Urban style of living community.
9. Northern LightsCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/5399450126/
Aurora borealis is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena’s in the World. Northern Lights appear regularly in the State of Alaska; however they are rarely seen from the lower 48 States.
8. IditarodCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/4412532688/in/photostream/
The Iditarod is an annual Sled Dog race where the participants race from Anchorage to Nome. This is a very extremely sport and not anything we regular people could get involved with without a lot of training and proactive practice. The dogs love racing the Iditarod. Although we may not ever participate in the Iditarod, we can view the sport as a spectator. The annual Iditarod race in Alaska is a great opportunity to whip out your camera and get some really amazing pictures that you would not be able to take anywhere else.
7. Denali National Park and PreserveCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/2947990469/
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to Mount McKinley. Mount McKinley is the third largest Mountain Peak in the World. The abundance of Wildlife that can be seen in Denali National Park is truly amazing and seemingly unlimited. Denali puts Yellowstone to shame.
6. KetchikanCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/65172294@N00/2552334052/
If you have ever been on an Alaskan cruise then there is a good chance that you have visited Ketchikan. Ketchikan is nicknamed the Salmon Capital of the World.
5. Hubbard GlacierCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/madebymark/875375299/
Many Alaskan visitors who are not very adventurous still get to see the beautiful Hubbard Glacier if they visit Alaska on an Inside Passage cruise. Unlike many glaciers that are rapidly melting because of Global Warming, the Hubbard Glacier is actually growing larger and so far is largely un-affected by global warming.
4. Glenallen, AlaskaCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/6349083669/in/photostream/
Glenallen, Alaska and the surrounding region is truly spectacular. Glenallen sits alongside the Glenn Highway and the local economy is heavily supported by tourism. If you are traveling by RV in Alaska then spend a night or two at the RV Park in Glenallen and explore the local area.
3. Bear WatchingCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/5124076774/
There are numerous places where you may be able to spot wild bears, including even Downtown Anchorage on occasions! There are numerous companies that also take you on some extreme bear watching adventures. You can fly into an area with the bear watching company and they will take you to bear watching spots that are rarely seen by tourists. Male bears can weigh up to 1,500 Pounds.
2. Kodiak AlaskaCredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alaskahokie/192215365/
The fishing industry, especially canneries and processors, and the Coast Guard both have high levels of dominance on this Alaskan Island. Kodiak, Alaska is popular with fishing tourists who are looking for some of the best fishing opportunities in the world. Kodiak is also very popular with hunters. Kodiak, Alaska is loaded with numerous wildlife viewing opportunities.
Bring your camera if you visit Kodiak so that you can take pictures of all the wildlife and fishing vessels that can be seen in the area. In order to get to Kodiak you will have to either fly in or take A Ferry. Kodiak use to be the Capital City for Alaska when Russia owned the land of what we now call the State of Alaska.
1. Barrow Alaska
Barrow, Alaska is the most Northern City in the United States. You may be familiar with Barrow, Alaska from the recent movie “Big Miracle” which was based on a true story. Although the actual movie was filmed in Anchorage, the set was made to replicate Barrow.
Barrow is located 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Barrow is truly a very remote village, yet many people have fell in love with this area over the years. Many other people such as teachers are often hired to work in Barrow, and within a few months they despise the cold, dark, and remote village.
Living in Barrow, Alaska is not for everyone, however if you get the chance to visit this area it will be well worth your time if you are an adventurous person. In order to get to Barrow you will have to fly in. None of the roads in Barrow are paved because the cold weather and tundra would cause the pavement to crack and shatter. Upkeep of paved roads is impossible in this remote cold region of Alaska.
If you want to try living in Barrow, Alaska then you could get a job as a teacher or a Mental Health Home Coordinator. Living in Barrow, Alaska is unlike living in any other community in the World, yet you may be the type of person that falls in love with this barren land and never want to leave.
Barrow has a newspaper that covers the region and is called the Arctic Sounder. You can also stay up-to-date with the local sports teams. Yes, the high school in Barrow does have a basketball team and they have to fly to other schools when they play their away games. High school sports in Alaska force many teams from remote villages to spend a lot of time in the air flying in dangerous conditions. Alaska is truly home to some of the most rugged individuals in the World.