Photo Credit: Kerry Howard

Alaska Points of Interest

It can feel a little overwhelming: There are too many beautiful viewpoints in Alaska to count, let alone find on your own. The good news? Breathtaking vistas are easy to find, if you just know where to pull over. Stop at these amazing vistas, take in the scenery—and be ready to snap some pictures.

Made in Alaska Products

Alas­ka Wild Berry Prod­ucts has two con­ve­nient loca­tions. One, inside the 5th Avenue Mall in the heart of down­town Anchor­age. The oth­er is just a brief 10-minute dri­ve from down­town. The shop itself fea­tures great Alaskan gifts like Alaskan jel­ly, salmon, meats, and chocolate. 

Eski­mos invent­ed this ancient curved blade which rocks back and forth, fil­let­ing salmon and trout. Old-fash­ioned ones were made of slate or bone, but today’s are stain­less steel with hard­wood handles.

Long­time Alaskans Doug and Heather Robuck make mod­ern gold prospect­ing easy: Their col­lec­tions of hand­made gold-in-quartz jew­el­ry — a rare com­bi­na­tion — are craft­ed into rings, neck­laces, and bracelets. Also, check out their exten­sive col­lec­tion of nat­ur­al, unal­tered gold nuggets.

This gift store sits 1,800 feet above Juneau, at the top of the Gold­belt Mount Roberts Tramway. So while you peruse one of the city’s best selec­tions of Alas­ka Native art­work, you can also take in some amaz­ing views. It’s why this is the place to shop at the top.”

One of the most orig­i­nal gifts you can find in Alas­ka is a piece of cloth­ing made from the under­coat of the musk ox, called Qivuit.” What’s so spe­cial about this fab­ric? It’s fin­er than cash­mere, eight times warmer than wool (and not scratchy like wool), and extreme­ly light. Pick up some items made from this rare, lus­trous fiber when you’re down­town at the co-op; you’ll have a rare trea­sure that can be found nowhere else in the world.

This down­town shop does­n’t just offer ready-made gifts and sou­venirs — though it does have plen­ty of those, includ­ing jew­el­ry, medal­lions and watch­es embla­zoned with Alaskan images such as bears, wolves and even Idi­tar­od cham­pi­ons. One of the most pop­u­lar items here are gold-nugget neck­laces, ren­dered from piece of gold brought in by mod­ern-day prospec­tors. The store’s oth­er claim to fame is being the start­ing point for the Idi­tar­od and Fur…  ...more

Dis­cov­er some­thing tru­ly unique to bring home at this one-of-a-kind gallery that car­ries only work by Alaskan artists. Shop for high-qual­i­ty glass, met­al, and wood art; jew­el­ry; mit­tens; hand­bags; scarves; hand­made soap; jour­nals and note­books; pho­tog­ra­phy; water­col­or prints; cards; stick­ers and more. 

This Anchor­age insti­tu­tion has a great slo­gan: If you don’t know furs, know your fur­ri­er.” The furs them­selves come from Alas­ka and oth­er parts of the world — such as Scan­di­navia and Rus­sia — and come from mink, beaver, lynx, and fox, to name a few. Go upstairs to see how they make every­thing from coats to slip­pers, most­ly by hand. 

Sam­ple deli­cious syrup and sweets made from birch trees — like maple but not maple ‑at Kahilt­na Birch­works in Tal­keet­na — the world’s largest pro­duc­er of birch syrup. Stop in or shop online to expe­ri­ence this unique, local spin on a tempt­ing treat. Locat­ed at mile 1.1 of the Tal­keet­na Spur Rd, just off the Parks Highway

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Natural Features

Denal­i’s glac­i­ers are high in the moun­tains of The Alas­ka Range. Here are the most impres­sive, and the flight tours to see them!

Vol­ca­noes not only shaped the face of Alas­ka but also make for spec­tac­u­lar sights. Here are the top vol­ca­noes to look for and pho­to­graph dur­ing your Alas­ka vacation.

Here are the most notable white mas­sifs that beg to be pho­tographed and con­tem­plat­ed. They might loom on the hori­zon up to a hun­dred miles (or more) away from where you first see them. They can be climbed, to be sure, but those who put boots on their slopes must have exper­tise or expert guid­ing (or both.) Most reg­u­lar vis­i­tors admire them from afar, or approach dur­ing flight­see­ing trips.

How and where to find Alaska’s glac­i­ers — some of the state’s most beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al attractions

The most spec­tac­u­lar and acces­si­ble water­falls around Alas­ka you can see from the road, from a hike, or from a day cruise.

It’s easy to view or explore glac­i­ers on the penin­su­la — known for its rugged ter­rain, coastal fiords and deep win­ter snows. Use our guide to plan your jour­ney or day trip to see Kenai’s active ice.

Relax in some of Alaska’s hot springs, nat­u­ral­ly heat­ed by the earth below

Step inside Alaska’s longest cave and learn about the geo­log­ic forces that cre­at­ed it and the archae­o­log­i­cal trea­sures that have been dis­cov­ered there. Three free, dai­ly tours pro­vid­ed by the U.S. For­est Ser­vice takes vis­i­tors 500 feet into this two-mile-long cave.

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Walks and Hikes

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 11 miles

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of four green­belt trails locat­ed in Anchor­age. Even though the trail spans 11.0 miles each way (from Kin­caid Park to just north of where 2nd Avenue ends in the Cook Inlet), it is eas­i­ly picked up from sev­er­al points in the city, so you can enjoy any seg­ment and hike as lit­tle or much of the trail as you desire. In the win­ter, the trail is groomed for cross coun­try skiing.

Built on the old fish­ing grounds of Tlin­git Natives, the park hosts some of the finest native art in the world!

Here you’ll find one of the most acces­si­ble wildlife view­ing areas in Alas­ka. The marsh is a rest area for migra­to­ry birds includ­ing trum­peter swans, red­necked grebes, gold­en eyes, and pin­tails. Also watch for beavers, moose and bald eagles. You may even spot salmon spawn­ing in the deep­er water.

Difficulty: Easy

The Chena River­walk makes for a relax­ing self-paced stroll along the Chena Riv­er and through the most scenic parks and plazas of his­toric down­town. It’s best when flow­ers are in full bloom (July-August). The path stretch­es approx­i­mate­ly 3.5 miles between Pio­neer Park and Air­port Way, with longer options avail­able. Or — park at Immac­u­late Con­cep­tion Church or in the Down­town Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter for a short­er jaunt.

The Homer Spit is a long, nar­row fin­ger of land jut­ting 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay. Dot­ted with busi­ness­es, the area caters to vis­i­tors and pro­vides numer­ous recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties, from fish­ing and beach­comb­ing to shop­ping and boating.

Here is our list of Alas­ka moun­tains that are both spec­tac­u­lar to view while also offer­ing rea­son­ably fit peo­ple a route to the sum­mit. These include moun­tains that can be explored dur­ing a day trip with­out pro­fes­sion­al guides or spe­cial­ized moun­taineer­ing equipment.

Near­ly a cen­tu­ry ago in 1903, this was the small min­ing and fish­ing town’s red-light dis­trict but today the board­walk street, propped up over Ketchikan Creek on wood­en pil­ings, teems with gift shops, muse­ums and well-pre­served homes.

Seward Water­front Park extends from the small boat har­bor to the SeaL­ife Cen­ter and con­tains paid tent and RV camp­ing, play­grounds, a skate park, pic­nic­ing areas, beach access, and a trail lined with his­tor­i­cal landmarks.

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Wildlife Viewing Spot

You can’t see them under­wa­ter, but sea lions are excit­ing to see when they’re on land. Here’s where to find Alaska’s steller sea lion haulouts.

The only place in North Amer­i­ca where you can see a Pacif­ic Wal­rus in the wild.

See moun­tain goats and sheep amble over the rocky steps of the Alaskan wilderness.

Salmon are one of the most impor­tant crea­tures in Alas­ka. Here’s are our picks on where to see them spawn.

Alas­ka boasts some of the world’s most unique birds. Here are the state’s best spots to go birding.

Huge moose make for spec­tac­u­lar sight­ings in the Alaskan wilder­ness. Here’s where to go see them

The proud eagle makes for one of Alaska’s most dis­tinc­tive and thrilling sight­ings. Here’s where to find their nests.

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Drives

In the Tal­keet­na Moun­tains between the towns of Wil­low and Palmer, Hatch­er Pass is a local favorite for recre­ation or a scenic dri­ve. Hike in alpine tun­dra dot­ted with wild­flow­ers and ptarmi­gan, ski fresh, deep pow­der, or vis­it Inde­pen­dence Mine His­tor­i­cal State Park.

The Seward High­way hugs the dra­mat­ic shore­lines of Tur­na­gain Arm. One of the most beau­ti­ful stretch­es of high­way in America

It’s 92 miles and about 5 hours from the park entrance to Kan­tish­na, the end of the Park Road. Pri­vate vehi­cles aren’t per­mit­ted after Mile 15, so you’ll need to take either the hop-on, hop-off park shut­tle bus or one of the tour bus­es. This road is only open in the sum­mer months between May and ear­ly Sep­tem­ber. Dates vary depend­ing on annu­al snowfall.

The Denali High­way, stretch­ing 135 miles from Pax­son to Cantwell, is cer­tain­ly one of the most spec­tac­u­lar dri­ves in the world. Much of the route lies above tim­ber­line, so the vis­tas go on for­ev­er. The moun­tains and glac­i­ers of the Alas­ka Range form a majes­tic back­drop, with miles of rolling tun­dra punc­tu­at­ed by shal­low lakes in between. There are three lodges along the way, and you can camp any­where along the highway.

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