Things to do in Alaska in the summer

Alaska is a place of extreme natural beauty, and in the summer months, the wilderness comes to life with many activities for visitors to enjoy. From hiking to kayaking, wildlife viewing to fishing, Alaska offers something for everyone. This article will explore some of the best things to do in Alaska in the summer.

1. Explore Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Alaska. The park is home to the highest mountain peak in North America, Denali, and offers visitors an incredible opportunity to experience the pristine wilderness of Alaska.

Things to do in Alaska in the summer

Some top things in Denali include hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and scenic driving along the park’s winding roads. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the park, which offers the chance to see some of the park’s hidden gems and learn about the local flora and fauna.

2. Go Whale Watching

One of the highlights of any visit to Alaska is seeing whales in their natural habitat. The summer months are an excellent time to go whale watching, as the waters around Alaska teem with marine life during this time of year.

Some of the most common whale species that can be seen include humpback whales, orcas, and gray whales. In addition, visitors can take a guided whale-watching tour, which provides an up-close and personal look at these majestic creatures.

Alaska Whale Watching
Alaska Whale Watching” by jkc916 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

3. Kayak or Canoe in Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park is one of Alaska’s most stunning natural wonders. The park is home to a vast network of glaciers, fjords, and rivers, which makes it the perfect destination for kayaking or canoeing.

Visitors can rent kayaks or canoes and explore the park’s waterways, which offer a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also spot various wildlife, including sea otters, harbor seals, and humpback whales.

4. Fish for Salmon

Fishing is a popular pastime in Alaska, and the summer months offer some of the best opportunities for catching salmon. Some top salmon fishing destinations include the Kenai River, the Russian River, and the Kasilof River.

Visitors can hire a guide to take them to the best fishing spots and even try their hand at fly fishing for a truly authentic Alaskan experience.

5. Take a Helicopter Tour

Visitors can take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s stunning wilderness. These tours offer a unique landscape perspective, including glaciers, mountains, and wildlife from above. Some of Alaska’s top helicopter tour destinations include Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway.

6. Visit a Glacier

Alaska is home to some of the most spectacular glaciers in the world, and visiting a glacier is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the state in the summer. Some of the most popular glaciers are Mendenhall Glacier, Exit Glacier, and Matanuska Glacier.

Visitors can take a guided tour to get up close and personal with these natural wonders and even go hiking on the glacier.

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7. Attend a Local Festival

Throughout the summer, Alaska plays host to various festivals and events. There is always something to see and do, from the Sitka Seafood Festival to the Midnight Sun Festival in Fairbanks. These festivals offer a unique opportunity to experience the local culture and cuisine and to connect with Alaskans from all over the state.

8. Visit the Kenai Fjords National Park

The Kenai Fjords National Park is a stunning destination on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska. The park is home to various wildlife, including sea otters, lions, puffins, and whales.

Visitors can take a boat tour of the park, which provides a unique perspective on the surrounding glaciers, fjords, and mountains. Hiking and camping opportunities are also available for those who want to spend more time in the park.

9. Explore the Chugach Mountains

The Chugach Mountains are a popular destination for hiking and outdoor recreation in Alaska. The range is home to several well-known peaks, including Mount Alyeska and Mount Marcus Baker, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Visitors can take guided hikes or go on their own to explore the trails and enjoy the scenery.

10. Experience Native Alaskan Culture

Alaska is home to several indigenous cultures, including the Inupiat, Yup’ik, and Aleut. Visitors can experience Native Alaskan culture by visiting museums and cultural centers, attending traditional dance performances, and participating in cultural activities like basket weaving and beadwork.

11. Take a Road Trip on the Alaska Highway

The Alaska Highway is a famous road that stretches from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska. The highway is a popular destination for road trips, offering stunning views of the surrounding wilderness and small towns. Visitors can stop at scenic viewpoints, visit local attractions, and camp to make the most of their road trip.


Alaska is an incredible destination for summer travel, offering a range of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. From exploring national parks and glaciers to fishing for salmon and experiencing local culture, there is something for everyone in this stunning state.

So whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a chance to connect with nature, Alaska is the perfect place to visit in the summer.

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