The northernmost state in the United States, Alaska may not immediately spring to mind as a vacation destination. However, this gorgeous state has plenty to offer to visitors. Here are seven reasons you should consider visiting Alaska in 2022.
1. There’s Tons Of Great Wildlife Viewing Opportunities
The state is home to a wide variety of wildlife that you may be hard-pressed to view outside of a zoo in other places. Home to polar bears, arctic foxes, and beluga whales, there are several tour groups throughout the state depending on where exactly do you plan on visiting that offer wildlife viewing trips. Alaska Wildlife Guide, located in Fairbanks, offers a day trip to the Arctic Circle. Denali National Park is also an excellent place to check out if you’re looking to spot wildlife.
2. You Can View The Northern Lights
Alaska is one of the best places in America to view the northern lights. The best time for viewing them is fall-spring, as they are harder to see during the near-constant daylight in the summer. If you’re looking for the most straightforward way to be sure you get to view the lights, consider booking a tour – some even offer additional experiences such as dog-sledding.
3. You Can Relax In Hot Springs
Alaska is home to some amazing hot springs. Some of these thermal pools are perfect for a relaxing soak, and also offer additional amenities. One of the most developed and easily accessible is Chena Hot Springs, located approximately 90 minutes from Fairbanks. In addition to relaxing soaks, Chena Hot Springs also offers lodging.
4. The Variety Of Charming Small Towns
Alaska is full of unique and charming small towns that are worth a visit! While larger cities such as Anchorage and Fairbanks are some of the most popular destinations, some of these hidden gem towns will make a great stop or destination as well. Seward, for example, is home to some gorgeous mountain scenery as well as being close to the previously mentioned Exit Glacier. Homer, meanwhile, is an incredibly remote small town with an artsy vibe, and features several galleries, shops, and a museum.
5. The State Features Breathtaking Scenery
This northern state has been dubbed “the Last Frontier” for good reason – its incredible remoteness. This remoteness also means it’s home to gorgeous and hard-to-compete-with swaths of undeveloped nature. In addition to the previously mentioned Denali National Park, some other spots perfect for taking in this scenery include Kenai Fjords National Park and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.
6. You Can See Glaciers Up Close
Alaska is home to some of the most stunning glaciers in the United States. In addition to viewing them from a distance, the state also has some unique opportunities to see them up close relatively easily. Exit Glacier, for example, is located about 15 minutes by car from Seward. From there, you’ll be able to take a 1-mile, level trail to view the Glacier.
7. You Can Enjoy The Sun…At Night
If you’re visiting in the summer, you can look forward to experiencing Alaska’s midnight sun. While many places in the North have far longer days in the summer, in Alaska, the sun doesn’t even fully set in the summer. This opens up the opportunity for some unique activities – you definitely couldn’t go for a midnight bike ride or jog in the sun in one of the more southern states. “Midnight Sun season” typically runs from late April through early August.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com