the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Alaska
Travel AlaskaAddress: 524 W. 4th Avenue,
Telephone: +1 907 929 2842.
Tourist information center in Anchorage: Mon-Fri 0800-1700.
Attractions in Alaska
Visit Kodiak Island (www.kodiakisland.org), home of Alaska's largest fishing fleet. View its Russian legacy at the Baranov Museum (www.baranovmuseum.org), and the island's native people at Alutiiq Museum (www.alutiiqmuseum.org). The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (www.fws.gov/refuge/kodiak) is a protected habitat for Kodiak brown bears.
Experience the most popular excursion, Columbia Glacier, a 6km- (4-mile-) wide piece of ice. This world's fastest-moving glacier can be reached via day cruises, charter boats, flight-seeing tours and the state ferry.
Denali National Park
Explore Denali National Park and Preserve (www.denali.national-park.com), famous for its panoramic views of the Alaska Range and Mount McKinley, highest mountain in North America at 6,194m (20,320ft). You can take a popular day excursion through the wilderness to see caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and moose.
Discover the native history
Delight in the wealth of local history that can be seen at the Heritage Library and Museum, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art (www.anchoragemuseum.org), the Oscar Anderson House Museum, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Head off by floatplane on a hunting or fishing expedition, and stay in a fly-in wilderness lodge.
Gold rush trail
Follow the 1890s gold rush trail from Skagway to Whitehorse (Canada) along the 177km (110 mile) Klondike Highway.
Hike in Juneau on one of the many scenic hiking trails. Just a short walk or ride from downtown, enthusiasts can be scaling mountain peaks, rock climbing, walking across glaciers, hunting, biking, fishing or kayaking. There are many opportunities to view whales, bears and eagles.
Hot springs and icy seas
Soak in Chena Hot Springs (www.chenahotsprings.com), 97km (60 miles) east of Fairbanks, and visit their year-round ice museum, or brave the icy waters in the annual June Polar Bear Swim (www.visitnomealaska.com) in Nome, on the Bering Sea.
Sign on for sled-dog racing. The official sport of Alaska is dog mushing. Visitors can take a team of spirited huskies on a sled-dog tour or watch the experts at work in one of the many annual sled-dog races. Cheer on your favorites during the annual Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race (www.yukonquest.com), held every February. Covering 1,600km (1,000 miles) between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Fairbanks during the depths of the Arctic winter, the Yukon Quest is the 'Toughest Sled Dog Race in the World'.
Watch March's world-famous Iditarod Race (www.iditarod.com), which traverses 1,851km (1,150 miles) of rugged terrain from Anchorage to Nome, on the Bering Sea. The K-300 (www.k300.org), out of Bethel in the Yukon Delta, puts up the largest purse for a mid-length 300-mile sled dog race every January.
Cruise the world-famous Inside Passage and visit cliff-hugging coastal towns, see glaciers calving, whales leaping out of icy waters, sea lions and seals basking on ice floes, and spot eagles and enjoy an amazing variety of birdlife.
Pan for gold
Try your luck panning for gold nuggets at Crow Creek Mine (www.akmining.com/mine/crow.htm), an hour's drive south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway.
See the world's largest collection of totem poles at Ketchikan, nestled between oceans and mountains. Infamous Creek Street's bars and bordellos of fishing and silver-mining days are now galleries and restaurants.
Choose from the many available outdoor pursuits (such as hiking, rafting and fishing) in Valdez, situated on the edge of the Prince William Sound.
Tour the local wildlife museums including Anchorage's Alaska Zoo (www.alaskazoo.org), the Imaginarium (www.imaginarium.org) and Potter's Marsh, where up to 130 species of waterfowl can be viewed from a boardwalk.
Wonder at the Northern Lights
See the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dancing across the cold winter night skies between December-March.