Alaska has become a bucket list destination for many travelers, and the reasons why are pretty clear. The 49th state is home to awe-inspiring natural beauty, flora and fauna, the northern lights, a rich culture and history, and welcoming locals. With 39 mountain ranges, millions of lakes, and a surface area of nearly 600,000 miles, there’s much to see when you head “North to the Future,” per Alaska’s state motto.
- Welcome to the largest state in the union, larger than California, Montana, and Texas combined. Alaska’s border with Canada is over 1,500 miles long. The sheer surface area of Alaska boasts so many natural wonders, including more than 12,000 rivers. The longest river in Alaska is the Yukon, which has historically provided a reliable food and transportation source for Native Alaskans living along its coast. In addition to a large river population, Alaska has an estimated 100,000 glaciers, which is the majority of the glaciers in the country. A surprising fact is that Alaska also has the largest population of volcanoes of any state, with more than 130 volcanoes. More than 50 of these have been active since this began being tracked in the mid-1700s.
- Fairbanks is a popular destination year-round for travelers and with attractions welcoming people in every season, it’s no wonder the city earned the nickname of Alaska’s Golden Heart. In the winter months, the extra hours of darkness combined with its latitudinal location make it a prime time to travel here to search for the elusive northern lights. With tour opportunities to chase the northern lights in Fairbanks, considered to be one of the most amazing natural spectacles in the world, travelers will walk out in the snow under an unspoiled bed of stars and search for the shimmering hues of purple and green. Over the summer months, conversely, Fairbanks sees an incredible amount of sunshine. For 70 days, from May through July, the city boasts 24 hours of daylight. With a population of approximately 100,000, Fairbanks is the state’s second most heavily populated city.
- Stretched over six million acres of land (for some perspective, it’s larger than the entire state of New Jersey), Denali National Park is a must-see for travelers heading to America’s last frontier. The park is named after its namesake mountain, America’s tallest peak at 20,310 feet tall. Denali National Park has a single 92-mile road, with less than 20 miles open to private vehicles before it becomes solely bus traffic. Beyond this road is a seemingly endless solitude and uninterrupted wildlife. Like the Big Five of African safaris, Denali has its own Big Five: the awe-inspiring creatures you should search for while exploring the wilderness of the park. Denali’s Big Five? Caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, and grizzly bears.
Of course, there’s so much more to Alaska than some simple trivia. And you can’t truly appreciate it until you go. This state’s history and culture can only be experienced if you decide to dive into those postcard-perfect landscapes headfirst. Thanks to Collette, travelers will have the chance to experience Alaska how they choose, from small group journeys to a cruising option to discover this state from the water.
Please find travel specials offered by Collette below.
Alaska’s Northern Lights
Take a snowy peek into Alaska. Visit the friendly local towns of the last frontier and bond with energetic sled dogs. Experience a winter glacier cruise among drifting icebergs and playful otters. Spend one night at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, taking in unparalleled views of Denali and the Alaskan Range. Glimpse into the past at Musk Ox Farm. Search for the northern lights in Fairbanks’ star-filled sky. Step into another time at the Antique Auto Museum, where vintage cars sit between timely artifacts and fashionable designer dresses. Travel via Alaska Railroad, take in a landscape of natural beauty, and connect with a deeply rooted heritage.
Alaska Discovery Land & Cruise
Traverse the Pacific coast by land and sea aboard one of Holland America Cruise Lines’ lovely ships on a breathtaking journey that takes you from Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia. Cruise the Sternwheeler Discovery and encounter Alaska’s diverse culture and rich history. Enjoy local dishes and a lively musical performance at the Denali Dinner Theater about the first brave men to summit Denali. Ride a luxury domed railcar from Denali to Talkeetna, soak in views of the incredible landscapes from glass-ceiling railcars and open-air observation platforms as guides provide expert commentary. Travel deep into Denali National Park for the best opportunities to view the region’s wildlife. Cruise through Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage, taking in rugged natural wonders. Explore Alaska’s gorgeous capital, Juneau. Visit Ketchikan, the “Salmon Capital of the World.”
Alaska: America’s Last Frontier
Journey through America’s last great frontier to discover awe-inspiring beauty, inviting locals, and rich cultural heritage. Learn the art of gold panning from two local sisters in Fairbanks. Tour Fairbanks and see the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline up close. Meet mushers and the dogs of the Trail Breaker Kennel. Travel the scenic Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali in a domed railcar. Head into Denali National Park on a full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour. Experience small-town Alaskan life in Talkeetna. Meet new furry friends at Musk Ox Farm. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to delve into the region’s indigenous culture. Embark on a glacier cruise of Prince William Sound, narrated by an expert guide.
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