Best Things to Do in Utqiagvik

1. Dip Your Toes in the Arctic Ocean

Be brave! Take advantage of this bucket list-worthy chance not only to see the Arctic Ocean but say that you’ve felt its chilly waters as well. From downtown, it’s an easy stroll to the water’s edge; walk along the beach and definitely grab this chance to dip a toe in!

2. Point Barrow

Here’s another unique opportunity: To see the very northernmost point in the U.S. You can take a full-day tour to experience this rugged outpost. You’ll also get to see the site of the old village of Nuvuk, which was occupied 1,000 years before the arrival of the first Europeans and is now an important archaeological site.

3. Experience Alaska Native Culture

The Inupiat people occupy an important place in Alaska’s history, and the Inupiat Heritage Center is your chance to learn more about their fascinating culture. Explore artifacts and exhibits, along with a library and gift shop. Check to see if there are any lectures or demonstrations scheduled.

4. Whale Bone Arch

Grab a photo at this iconic spot, comprised of two standing jawbones of a Bowhead whale—a symbol of the close connection the Inupiat people had with whaling and the sea. Backdropped by the Arctic Ocean, it makes for a great photo, especially at sunset (though if you’re here in summer, the sun doesn’t set!).

5. Will Rogers & Wiley Post Monument

Back in 1935, aviator Wiley Post and pop culture icon Will Rogers perished in a plane crash near Utqiagvik. Today, you can find a memorial to them in downtown Utqiagvik, just across from the airport. There’s also a monument outside of town, overlooking the lagoon where the plane crashed.

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Things to do in Utqiagvik (Barrow)

Utqiagvik Day Tours & Attractions View All

Get a real taste of native Alas­ka. This fes­ti­val — called Nalukataq — is a tra­di­tion of the Inu­pi­aq Eski­mos of north­ern Alas­ka, held after the spring whale-hunt­ing sea­son to give the locals a chance to say thanks for a suc­cess­ful hunt­ing sea­son. There are tra­di­tion­al songs and dances, includ­ing a blan­ket toss, where a dancer is tossed high in the air from a blan­ket made of seal skins. You’ll find the most events in Bar­row, though oth­er towns in the  ...more

Hous­es exhibits, arti­fact col­lec­tions, library, gift shop, and a tra­di­tion­al room where peo­ple can demon­strate and teach tra­di­tion­al crafts in Elders-in-Res­i­dence and Artists-in-Res­i­dence pro­grams. As an affli­at­ed Nation­al Park, the North Slope Bor­ough owns and man­ages the Inu­pi­at Her­itage Center.

In a town with lim­it­ed din­ing options, this is your only place for Japan­ese food. Luck­i­ly, they do it well — with good ingre­di­ents (not nec­es­sar­i­ly fresh this far north) and a good com­bi­na­tion of fla­vors. They also have very good sushi, even by Anchor­age stan­dards. The place can get filled up quick­ly, so call ahead. They do take-out and even deliver.

It’s hard to top — lit­er­al­ly — a Top of the World Tour. A day or overnight trip to Bar­row offers you the chance to go above the Arc­tic Cir­cle and see Native life up close. If you come in sum­mer, you’ll also get the ulti­mate Mid­night Sun expe­ri­ence — the sun does­n’t set from May 10 until August 2.