If you are tired of traveling to the same old destinations for your annual vacation, try something new by visiting the largest state in the Union: Alaska. With more than half a million square miles, 39 mountain ranges, and 3,000 rivers, this northern region has much to offer that is new and intriguing to those who are unfamiliar with the area. Ice fields cover about five percent of the state’s surface area. Furthermore, nature lovers will enjoy the forests, lakes, glaciers, and surrounding seas and islands that beckon visitors from all over the globe.
Water lovers may be interested in booking an Alaskan cruise. A weeklong cruise between Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage, Alaska, is one of the more popular tourist lines, but there are other routes to take as well, including those that follow the seacoast. Visit Kodiak Island, home to numerous species of exotic wildlife including the famed Kodiak bears. Seals, walruses, and many types of birds and other creatures can be viewed in their natural habitats at various intervals along the way. Or you can visit well-known museums and preserves for a closer look at the original inhabitants of this vast land, which is the meaning of “Alaska,” an Aleut word possibly coined from Russian origins.
You may want to visit Juneau, the state capital, or Anchorage, a larger city with a population of about 250,000. The truly adventurous of heart may try to venture as far north as Barrow, which is just 1,300 miles from the North Pole. Keep in mind that the northern and western regions of the state are not highly populated, and highways have not been constructed for these areas. With the help of a tourist guide or national park ranger, you can see the unbroken wilderness that remains untamed by human hands. Hike the park trails, set foot on a glacier with the help of a helicopter, and enjoy break-taking views of the tall mountain peaks-17 of the 20 highest in the United States, including Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet in Denali National Park and Preserve.
But don’t limit your site-seeing excursions to the unsettled land areas. Kayak or canoe one of the many exciting rivers. Sample a cornucopia of cuisines in the larger municipalities. Take a biking tour of fishing towns or resort areas. Shop the many fine shops and boutiques that can be found predominantly in the southeast part of the state. Whatever your recreational tastes-dining, rest, exercise, sports, history, or wildlife-Alaska has it all. You can fish, take a train ride, enjoy a scenic flight, or do just about anything you please when you come to the Far North for the ultimate breakaway vacation with family or alone. Check with your travel agent about the best time to plan your trip, and get ready to have the time of your life!