Popular Things to Do in Alaska & Where
ALASKA – so much to see and yet so little time to do everything (especially if you travel by cruise ship). That is why making the most of every port stop you make is important. Otherwise you may get the bad case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Common Alaska itineraries include stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. North/Southbound itineraries may take you to Seward or Whittier, while other unique itineraries might include a stop in Sitka. (For more information on different Alaska itineraries, check out this article.)
While there are many things to do during your Alaska vacation, here are some of the most popular things to do and see:
Juneau: This is the BEST place to take a whale watching tour!
Whale watching in Juneau cannot even be compared to what you see at SeaWorld. There is something unforgettable about seeing humpbacks and other animals in their natural habitat. And don’t get us started about the bubble net feeding! Although never guaranteed, Juneau’s calm waters and beautiful scenery make it an ideal place to see whales in person.
Mendenhall Glacier: Can’t get enough of glaciers? Take a 30-45-minute ride from Juneau to Mendenhall Glacier. You can get a good viewing point from the visitor center or hike along one of the nearby trails to Nugget Falls for a closer view.
Ketchikan: This is the BEST place to see bears!
Ketchikan is home to the Anan Wildlife Observatory where both Brown and Black bears. Other bear sighting areas include the Traitors Cove/Margaret Creek, Neets Cove, and Herring Cove. If you can, take a floatplane or boat tour to access other bear viewing areas. To increase your chances of seeing bears in their natural habitat, cruise to Ketchikan between mid-June and early September. If bears aren’t your thing, no big deal! Instead, go fishing or visit the shops in town.
Skagway: This is the BEST place to have unique experiences.
Step back in time as you hop onboard a train and breath in views along the White Pass & Yukon route. While there are round trip train options, you can make this experience even more unique by taking a bus or riding a bike back down the Klondike Highway. Let’s just say Alaska looks good from every angle. To keep the nostalgia up, stop by the Red Onion Saloon before you head back to the cruise ship. It’s full of fun, food, and history. This might just be your favorite Alaska pitstop yet!
Victoria, BC: This is the BEST place (and only place) to see Butchart Gardens!
Ok, this is not in Alaska, but it needed to be mentioned! Butchart Gardens is a garden paradise. With 55 intricate and beautifully designed acres, there aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to give it justice. Victoria is also a great place to grab some fish and chips, poutine or Nanaimo bars.
Alaska is breathtaking and provides wildlife diversity unlike any other U.S. state. What would you recommend doing in Alaska?
Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.