With COVID-19 still hitting us all hard, I know I am not the only one itching to get out again soon. Unfortunately that may not be open and safe until next summer, but why not start planning/saving ideas now?
Summer is arguably the best time to visit one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful state in the US. The summer months bring over 19 hours of daylight to Anchorage. Head up to Fairbanks and that stretches to 22 hours. Temperatures in the daytime tend to hover between 60 and 80 degrees, with evening temperatures dipping into the 40s and 50s. Perfect so you don't sweat in your sleep.
Here are some of my personal favorite activities to do in Alaska, during their beautiful summers:
Photo: K2 Aviation/Fred Hirschmann Photography
1. Take a flightseeing tour over an Alaska mountain range. (https://www.flyk2.com/).
Head up to Talkeetna to fly with one of our favorites, K2 Aviation. Flying over a sea of mountains, glaciers, and crevasses is an other-worldy, once in a lifetime experience. As you sit in the warmth and comfort of an airplane or even a helicopter, you'll see jagged peaks and glacial formations that have never felt the touch of a human.
If you you want to try another area other than Denali/Talkeetna, head to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park for another great tour or the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains.
Photo: National Park Service
2. Feel the vastness of Alaska by driving one of its beautiful highways
Even if you covered a million acres a day, it would still take more than a year to see all of Alaska. Fun fact: Alaska is almost one third the size of the lower 48! You'll know this when you drive a highway for hours, then look at a map to see how little ground you've actually covered.
3. Take a whale watching tour. (https://alaskashoreexcursions.com/blog/whale-watching-tours).
It may not be rare to spot whales during their annual journeys to Alaska, but it's especially amazing to see them breaching, throwing their tons of mass into the air. Somehow they make it seem so graceful, effortless, and magical--all at the same time.
Whale watching in general here is fun, accessible, and most of all--exciting! Whether you want to go whale watching for orcas, humpbacks, grays, or belugas, most Alaska whale watching tours are just an easy day cruise away. You can enjoy marine wildlife with whale watching from Seward.
Orcas live in waters surrounding coastal Alaska including Seward, and Whittier's Prince William Sound as well as Alaska's inside passage.
One of the most wonderful things about visiting Alaska (especially in the summer) is that you get SO much more than you bargained for! You could be on a glacier cruise for example, but later also realize you were really on a wildlife cruise due to the incredible amount of alaska marine life which passed by while you were on the way to that glacier. Maybe even see some bears or eagles on the coastline. From rolling orcas to breaching gray whales, from lolling sea lions to harbor seals and sea otters, Alaska's marine life will delight just about anybody. Be sure to bring a camera with you to take back memories of a lifetime and to share with friends and family!
Photo: Reel Salty Charters
4. Try your hand at catching some world famous Alaskan salmon/halibut/fish. (https://www.alaskafishon.com/ + https://www.reelsaltycharters.com/).
Peak salmon runs are aMay to September, with five major species spread across the season. King Salmon fishing egins in May, and you can continue fishing for Silver (Coho) Salmon all the way through November. If you're looking for some fun away from the crowds, you can find some very enjoyable fishing for some of Alaska's other species. Interior lakes and streams are bountiful with Arctic Grayling, the sailfish of the north. Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout are in Southcentral lakes and streams, with trophy size fish spread from the Kenai to Susitna River tributaries. Additional species such as Pike, Arctic Char, and more can be found in numerous locations along the Alaska road system.
If you're looking for some deep sea fishing, Alaska offers world class halibut and lingcod fishing, with many opportunities for shark and rockfish as well. No matter what type of angler you are, there is a place and species for you in this amazing state!