Whale watching in Alaska
Alaska is the ultimate destination for families who enjoy adventure, wildlife and the great outdoors. Its natural beauty is second to none. June, July and August are the most popular travel months, with many families flying into Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau to begin their trek around the state. While you can’t see everything Alaska has to offer in one visit, you can hit a few of the most popular attractions. Here are five of our favorite things to see or do in Alaska.
Mendenhall Glacier: It’s estimated that there are 100,000 glaciers in the state of Alaska. The most accessible is Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, which can easily be reached by car. Once at the glacier site, families can rent a kayak to get a closer look at the blue ice. The Tongass National Forest surrounds the area with six different hiking trails, allowing for even more breathtaking views of the glacier.
Denali National Park: True nature lovers will not want to miss the majestic Denali National Park, home to a massive array of wildlife, and to North America’s highest mountain—Mt. McKinley. For the best chance of seeing moose, caribou, Dallsheep, wolves and grizzly bears, take one of the park’s courtesy shuttles or bus tours. For the truly adventurous, camp overnight at one of Denali’s seven campgrounds.
Whale Watching: Whether seeing a Humpback, Orca or Beluga, setting eyes on one of these giant creatures is a must for many families visiting Alaska. While whales can sometimes be seen from the shore, your best bet is to take a whalewatching cruise from one of the ports.
Totem Bight: For a dose of Alaska’s Native culture, make your way toKetchikan—home to the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles.Totem Bight State Park displays 14 standing totems in a natural setting. Each is hand-carved to represent a story or event in the lives of Alaska’s indigenous Indian tribes. The park also features a replica of a Tlingit clan house.
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad: For miles and miles of scenic views, take the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad from Skagway and follow the trail of the Klondike Gold Rush. This narrow gauge railroad is an engineering marvel; its steam train climbs a steep 3000 feet in 20 miles while passing through rugged terrain and tunnels.