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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Alaska

Things to see and do in Alaska

Tourist offices

Travel Alaska

Address: 524 W. 4th Avenue, Anchorage, 99501
Telephone: +1 907 929 2842.
Website: http://www.travelalaska.com
Opening times:

Tourist information center in Anchorage: Mon-Fri 0800-1700.

Attractions in Alaska

Bear spotting

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.

Columbia Glacier

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.

Fishing

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.

Hiking

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.

Husky sledging

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'.

Iditarod Race

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.

Inside Passage

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.

Totem poles

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.

Valdez

Choose from the many available outdoor pursuits (such as hiking, rafting and fishing) in Valdez, situated on the edge of the Prince William Sound.

Wildlife

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.

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