Highlights for tourist attractions in Alaska include Alaska Native Heritage Center, McKinley mountain, Glacier Bay cruise, The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, as well as a visit to a gold mine in Fairbanks.
Alaska Native Heritage Center (www.alaskanative.net) in Anchorage is a museum showcasing the many indigenous cultures that are present within Alaska.
Among the displays you can find artworks, kayaks, as well as typical Alaskan “ulu” knives, plus other typical artifacts common for the region.
The building also houses a small movie theater, which offers films and gift-ware related to the museum’s theme, and you can find is a similar gift store within downtown Anchorage.
At the museum, you can experience indigenous dance shows and visit a settlement of the indigenous people with a guide, using a trail that starts behind the museum building.
McKinley mountain within the National Park of Denali (www.nps.gov/dena/) is the tallest mountain within Northern America.
The name of the attraction comes from the fact that the original inhabitants of the region, Athabascan Indians, called the mountain “Denali”.
In addition to the mountain, the area is rich with wildlife, including grizzly bears, reindeer, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, and many other species of animals.
One of the best locations to view the mountain (on a clear day) is the “Eielson Visitor Center”, and the center is a great place to get to know the region’s history, as well as make short walks to the nearby areas, using the marked trails.
Another great place to view the mountain is to go to the nearest location that you can get to the mountain with a car, Wonder Lake and the Reflection Pond, next door to the lake.
You can get to these using a shuttle bus tour, with reservations available from the Alaskan tourist centers (www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/bus-tours.htm).
As a highlight among tourist attractions in Alaska, the Glacier Bay cruisetakes place within the Glacier Bay National Park (www.nps.gov/glba), and within the route, you can witness the famous glaciers, whales, and many other types of wildlife typical to the area.
Glacier Bay’s beaches and waterways are, during the summer period, full of many species of whales, seals, sea lions, and you may even see a moose or a bear swimming “dog style” across the bay during one of the cruises.
These cruises depart during the summer from Juneau (Auke Bay), with one of the available options being “Glacier Bay Lodge and Tours” (www.visitglacierbay.com) that uses a 22-meter catamaran for the tour.
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, meanwhile, is part on Katmai National Park (www.nps.gov/katm/). The valley has born out of ash that was generated during the eruption of Novarupta volcano in 1912, the biggest volcano eruption in the world during the 20th century.
The ash filled valley has a total size of about 100 km2, and it is at its deepest 210 meters deep. Even though the ash has cooled off within the region, you can still see signs of volcanic activity in the hills nearby.
There are daily tours to the valley during the summer tourism period, and you can take one of the buses for the tour from Katmailand (www.katmailand.com) at Brooks Camp to the “Griggs Visitor Center” and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, guided by one of the park’s employees.
A walk to the edge of one of the best tourist attractions in Alaska, an ash filled valley, takes about 4.8 kilometers, with a descent of around 243 meters, so remember to reserve strength and energy for the ascent back.
Among highlights for the tourist attractions in Alaska for many is a visit to a gold mine, due to the region’s historic importance as a place for gold mining.
For example, you can take part at the historic “El Dorado Gold Mine” mine visit (www.eldoradogoldmine.com) from Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska after Anchorage.
This 2-hour tour is offered twice daily to the mine, which is located about 20 minutes drive from Fairbanks. The tour showcases the history of gold mining in Alaska, and as part of the tour, visitors can personally take part in guided gold mining.