Glaciers, mountains, rugged coastlines – Alaska, the largest state in America, has it all. Whether it’s a whale watching cruise through the fjords, catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights, hiking through the Alaskan backcountry (keeping one eye out for bears!) or scaling to the top of Denali, the highest mountain in North America, your days are sure to be brimming with excitement.
But while Alaska is undoubtedly a playground for nature lovers, it is also home to an important and interesting culture that has been well-preserved for future generations to appreciate. Visitors can explore the state’s Native history through many avenues, including traditional music and crafts, historical museums and Native performances. Totem Heritage Centre, in Ketchikan, houses a fascinating collection of original 19th Century totems, while the Inupiat Heritage Museum, in Barrow (the most northerly point on the continent) is dedicated to the Native tradition of whaling. Every June the town hosts the popular whaling festival, but that’s not the only event in the calendar worth checking out. Famed festivals include the Sitka Summer Music Festival, also held in June, Salmonfest, which takes place every August, and the Fur Rendezvous, which is held in February.
And therein lies the appeal of Alaska; although the summer months, with long days and warmer weather, remain a popular time for a trip, you’ll find that no matter when you visit you’ll always find enchanting vistas and opportunities to make memories that will last a lifetime.