Alaska’s vast, dramatic landscapes and remarkable wildlife make it one of the best places in the US, if not the world, for an adventurous outdoor vacation.
With its blend of excitement, exploration, and frontier-style rugged experiences, it also makes it an exceptional choice for a family getaway. Little ones will be over the moon to get up close to bears, moose, eagles, and whales, and will be speechless with wonder at the craggy mountain peaks, wild coastline, and stunning frozen glaciers that make up the Alaskan scenery.
But with such a wealth of extraordinary things to do in Alaska, it can be hard to plan your trip – there is so much to see and experience, and in such a huge area, that fitting it all in seems like an impossible task!
The only way to make a family vacation work is to choose a few highlights and must-see attractions, and ensure that you get the most out of your trip by experiencing The Last Frontier’s greatest hits.
So if you are cruising to Alaska this summer and planning on taking the whole family, here are a few of the attractions, activities, and experiences that you must not miss!
This post is part of our series Discover the USA
Stand at the edge of Kenai Fjords National Park and you will think that you’ve been transported hundreds of thousands of years back into the past, to an ancient frozen land that time forgot, where the Ice Age still rules.
This vast wilderness is jaw-droppingly beautiful, a wide open landscape of overflowing glaciers, jagged coast, mountains that seem to stab the sky, and of course, the picturesque fjords. Kids will love exploring the icy majesty of Exit Glacier, and keeping an eye out for seals, otters, dolphins, and whales at the same time!
But if wildlife is what your kids are after, then you’ll want to make tracks to Glacier Bay. This stunning expanse of crystal-clear water is surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery in the state and is also home to some of its heaviest hitters from the animal kingdom.
Whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, and dolphins can all be seen regularly playing in the sub-zero waters, while the coastline is dotted with moose, bears, and mountain goats. Finally, if you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of a majestic bald eagle circling in the sky above. A boat tour or cruise across the bay is a special experience for nature lovers, and not to be missed.
One of the most exciting things that Alaska offers to do with kids is jump aboard a dog sled and go for a thrilling ride with huskies, and there’s no better place to do this than Temsco Dog Sled Summer Camp. Here your little ones will learn all about the skills it takes to drive a sled, meet the furry powerhouses who guide the way, and go for an exhilarating ride along the ice.
The town of Skagway offers a trip back in time, to the days of the Gold Rush. It boasts a load of buildings that have been restored to their former glory, and the chance to see what life was like for those brave adventurers on their way to Klondike.
Finally, it gives your tiny prospectors the chance to go for a ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, one of Alaska’s most scenic and iconic railroad routes!
Last but not least, head to Alaska’s hidden gems, Kodiak Island, for a chance to get up close and personal with the remarkable Kodiak bears, the second largest bears on the planet!