Way up North - Places to Explore in Alaska | The Viking Abroad
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Way up North – Places to Explore in Alaska

20 Dec Way up North – Places to Explore in Alaska

Winter is finally here, and there is no better place to plan your well-deserved winter escapade than the great north. Mind you, Alaska is magnificent just about any time of the year, with plenty of adventure and exploration opportunities for tourists and travellers alike.

However, winter brings with it a certain charm that permeates the air, the surrounding woods, and the breathtaking scenery that seems to unravel before you anywhere you look. Visiting Alaska truly is like stepping into a fairytale you never want to leave behind. Here are the top five places you need to explore in Alaska this winter.

Fishing and exploring at Homer

Safely situated on the bank of the Kenai Peninsula, the city of Homer is a gem among natural treasures of Alaska. The town is known as the fishing capital of Alaska, and if you are prone to spending your days angling in the morning and exploring the surrounding countryside during the day, then Homer should be your first stop.

Nothing short of pure serenity and bliss, the town will inspire you to relax and unwind, take leisurely strolls, grab a boat to Augustine Island, and of course, visit the numerous surrounding national parks, of which Kachemak Bay State Park is the nearest.

Mendenhall Glacier escapade

Sitting at the base of Mount Roberts, the city of Juneau is a remote Alaskan capital located in the country’s panhandle. Your next destination should be Juneau, not so much because of the city itself, but because you’ll need a base from which you can launch your explorations into the wilderness.

The first destination that is bound to steal your heart is the Mendenhall Glacier, located just a 30-minute drive away from the north of the state’s capital. There are a number of exciting ways you can experience the glacier, with kayaking, shuttle, and even helicopter rides for some panoramic views being your best options.

Alaska Glacier Bay and Island Adventure

Your next adventure, the one that will take you through Alaska’s most prized natural and urban treasures, is the Alaska Glacier Bay and Island Adventure, taking you from the Sitka to Juneau and the expansive archipelago of the Alaskan Panhandle.

It’s possible to plan this particular cruise alone. However, if you want to enjoy your view with a professional guide who will tell you all about the history of these urban and natural treasures, you should definitely board an Alaska small ship cruise that will take you from point A to B and everywhere in between in style and comfort.

Mount McKinley at Denali National Park

Spanning over six million acres and the home to Alaska’s highest peak, the Denali National Park and Preserve is one of the most popular travel destinations in the north. While there, you are bound to encounter rich and diverse wildlife, from moose to wolves and spot bears roaming around Wonder Lake and the Savage River.

There are plenty of activities you can take up as well, from kayaking to trekking, from mountain climbing to back-country camping and whitewater rafting. This destination is suitable for families as well as adrenaline junkies.

 

Kenai Fjords National Park

Finally, Kenai Fjords National Park resides in the Kenai Peninsula, not a four-hour drive from Homer. This gem of Mother Nature is teeming with marine life, and you are bound to spot migrating whales carelessly playing around and greeting the human visitors.

You will also have the chance to witness unforgettable sceneries, as the national park boasts glaciers and ice caps touching the edge of the ocean underneath. You want to visit the national park on a guided tour as well in order to experience the best views possible.

Alaska truly is a magical wonderland permeated by rich and diverse wildlife, breathtaking natural sceneries, and towns imbued with timeless charm. Be sure to use this winter season to plan your adventure of a lifetime in the land way up north.

5 Comments
  • Nina
    Posted at 13:17h, 20 December Reply

    Brrr, I’m cold looking at this these pics. haha. Denali has been a dream of mine! It looks soooo gorgeous. I’d love to go hiking and rafting there! The glacier tour in the boat looks cool tho but holy moly, that boat looks tiny compared to the icebergs!

  • Paige W
    Posted at 07:44h, 21 December Reply

    I took a road trip to Alaska with my dad, all the way from Missouri and it was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken. We went to all of these except Glacier Bay (since it’s so far away from the rest of them). When we were in Kenai Fjords, we stayed at this amazing Inn in Seward and took a beautiful nature/glacier-viewing day cruise from there. It was pure magic.

  • Ambuj Saxena
    Posted at 08:03h, 21 December Reply

    Isn’t this the ideal place for a stress free getaway. It’s tough to get closer to nature than this, isn’t it? MENDENHALL GLACIER looks awesome. I would love to visit it someday, coincidentally it’ll be the day when i beat the cold too! I particularly loved reading the post and loved the 1st pic the most! It’s interesting how you have placed the text so strategically!

  • Megan Indoe
    Posted at 10:35h, 21 December Reply

    I can’t believe I have made it this far in life and haven’t made it to Alaska yet. Kenai Fjords National Park looks out of this world. I can’t believe you can regularly see whales here too. You’ve made me want to make visiting Alaska a priority for 2018!

  • Chantell Collins
    Posted at 21:05h, 21 December Reply

    Alaska!!!! Yes – I visited here a few years ago and went to Denali National Park but there was so much snow! I tried snowshoeing but I am hopeless at it. I would love to go back and see all of these places – including Denali in the Summer. I have heard great thing about Homer too!

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