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.
Things to do in Utqiagvik (Barrow)
Utqiagvik Day Tours & Attractions View All
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.
**Pepe’s burned down September 1, 2013 and is not currently open, you can read the article here** The place gets by mostly on novelty – “Mexican in the Arctic” — and the popularity of Fran Tate. She wrote “Tacos on the Tundra” about her entrepreneurial life up in the far north. It’s sub-par Mexican food (hot sauce passes for salsa), but it’s still hopping and the interior is overflowing with photos and decorations. The view is great, and you… ...more
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
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 the better pizza place in town, served fresh and hot. The calzones are huge, the view is good (sit on the second floor if you can) and they make everything when ordered. They also have Mexican and some Italian and seafood on the menu. But stick to the pizza and calzones. The service can be slow, but mainly because they’re cooking your food fresh. Lunch specials are good deals for the money.
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.