Alaska is a beautiful place in the winter, but we would be kidding ourselves if we said it could hold a candle to summer. Alaska comes alive in summer… the trees turn green, the sun warms the air, the animals come out, and the days double in length. It’s almost like the state transforms for a few short months, and if you are up here for the first time, you will want to take it all in. While there are too many things to fit them all into our brief summers, there are a few you simply must check off your first Alaskan summer list.
You may think you have been fishing, but if you haven’t been fishing in Alaska… you are missing out. You can pretty much pull fish out every body of water you can find around here; I’m talking lakes, streams, rivers, or oceans… all full of fish. My favorite though is ocean fishing. You can head out of Homer or Whitter and have a beautiful day on the water as you fish for halibut or huge yellow-eyed rockfish.
2. Mountain Hike
Alaska is a land of mountains… There is almost nowhere you can go here without being in eyesight of massive mountains. My advice to any able visitors is to hike one of them. You truly can’t appreciate the beauty and size of them from the ground, and Alaska has so many hiking trails, you are so to find one perfect for you and your abilities. You will not regret getting a bird’s eye view of this state… or getting up close and personal with Alaska’s rugged nature.
3. Whale Watch
I have been whale watching 6 times and I can tell you that it never gets old. Whales are breathtaking on the water, and Alaska is lucky enough to be home to many breeds of whales. If you get the opportunity, buy the ticket, take a lunch, and head out on the water to watch for killer whales, humpbacks, and belugas… It will not disappoint. There are some great things to do during your first Alaskan summer.
4. Summer Solstice
This is not a specific activity or adventure for visitors, it’s more of a moment to hold onto. Our summer solstice is light nothing you have ever seen. The sun literally doesn’t set in parts of this state, and even in the parts that do have a sunset, it’s more of an hour dip before it rises again. On this day, you should not only be here, but you should be awake… the entire night. Take a road trip to Fairbanks in the night, go for a midnight bike ride, backpack and stay up with a warm campfire… just celebrate the night in some way.
One of the benefits of having such cold winters is that the glaciers are preserved. Alaska has many glaciers, many of them you can and should visit if you are in the area. I recommend getting up close and personal with these ancient and magnificent structures. Either hike up to one, take a glacier cruise, or if you can swing it, take to the air. Many places here offer either helicopter or bush plan rides that not only give you stunning air views of Alaska but also land on top of a glacier for pictures and lunch!
Let us know what you think of these 5 things you should do for your first Alaskan summer in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Hi, I am Nancy Strahan. I recently graduated with my BA in English Literature and am working to gain experience in the writing/content creation business. I was born and raised in Alaska and I love it here. I am pretty much an outdoor and adrenaline junkie, so if it is crazy or in nature, I'm there. So, naturally all things camping, backpacking, and adventure related are my favorite topics to write about.