Adventure awaits in the rugged state of Alaska, the “Great Land,” which consists of five separate regions: the South Central region, Interior region, Far North region, Southwest region, and the Inside Passage. The landscape here has an incredible number of communities from quiet small towns to bustling big cities, offering unique cultures and exciting activities and attractions. Outside the metropolitan areas, adventure seekers find innumerable parks and public lands offering fantastic landscapes and an outstanding range of outdoor pursuits. All gathered here to make your travel to Alaska an exciting one.
Most Alaska residents are concentrated in the South Central region of the state. This region is also known as the Railbelt region due to the well-managed road and rail system in place here, which makes this the easiest area to explore on your own. Plan to visit several different towns, as each one retains its own unique character, history and charming residents.
The city of Anchorage is a perfect starting point for any Alaskan adventure. Anchorage blends modern convenience with a starkly rugged natural environment. The city is a study in contrasts, an urban oasis surrounded by vast uninhabited wilderness, and offers something for every personality. Here you can watch moose from your balcony or take an exciting helicopter trip to take in incredible, remote mountain scenery; and have plenty of time left for an evening ballet performance and a gourmet seafood dinner. The city itself is home to more wild scenery than most national parks… watch roaming packs of wolves near brisk mountain streams in the vast city park. Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest mountain, beckons from a distance. Take a day cruise out to sea to experience whale migrations and calving glaciers. For a nice break from all the outdoor action, spend a day shopping and gallery-hopping, and check out the beautiful creations of Alaska's top artists and native artisans. Alaska travel adventures are endless.
The seaside village of Seward, one of Alaska's most historical and scenic communities, is another great destination option, a gorgeous drive about 2 ½ hours south of Anchorage. The town is nestled between the Kenai mountains on one side and Kenai Fjords National Park on the other. Kenai Fjords National park provides one of Alaska's best displays of wildlife as well as breathtaking glaciers and fjords. The waters here are crowded with harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, sea otters, and humpback and killer whales. The most popular way to see the sights here is with one of the many boat tours available. These include everything from very structured boat tours into and around the park, to one-way water-taxi excursions to secluded coves around the bay leaving time for beachcombing or kayaking to sea lion hideouts and tidal caves.
Another interesting choice for real adventure is the city of Juneau, a city so remote it can only be reached by airplane or boat – not one road links the city with the outside world. This fact doesn't stop the hundreds of thousands of travelers that visit here every summer, because the city is the lovely centerpiece for popular Inside Passage cruise tours and makes a great starting point for traveling within Southeast Alaska. Look just above the souvenir shops to experience Juneau's major appeal, Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts. Hike six miles up Mount Roberts or cheat and utilize the Mount Roberts Tramway to save time and still experience the majestic view from the top. The Juneau Icefield is also home to one of the country's most accessible glaciers, the Mendenhall glacier, which spans an area larger than Rhode Island. Forest service guides offer escorted hikes onto the glacier to experience the birds, squirrels, beavers, porcupines and black bears that inhabit the area, or brave travellers may wish to explore the landscape independently. Travel Alaska for its wide range of tourist attractions.