Weâ€™re about to kick off the high season for travel to Alaska: Summer is a popular time for vacationers looking for mild temps, plenty of wildlife, and no shortage of outdoor activities to keep all ages entertained. But this year thereâ€™s even more to look forward to. As 2019 marks the 60th year since Alaska became a state, the destination is upping the ante on adventure offerings for travelers.
Sarah Leonard, president and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association, told us she’s especially thrilled about the stateâ€™s new offerings in its anniversary year. â€śSo many of the visitor experiences are about being immersed in nature and our way of life,â€ť she says. â€śThereâ€™s outdoor adventures like hiking, whale watching, kayaking, bear viewing, and glacier trekking. And our National Parks system has made several updates, like a new bear watching platform in Katmai National Park and Preserve.â€ť
All the major airlines fly in and out of Anchorage (United Airlines launches a daily nonstop service from Newark in June and budget airline Allegiant Air debuts a new route from Bellingham, Washington, on May 22; meanwhile, stalwart Alaska Airlines showcased the first of its modernized fleet earlier this year, with upgrades and amenities designed to increase comfort for passengers). Itâ€™s also worth noting that the Alaska Railroad meanders across more than 500 miles of the most picturesque parts of the state. With the incredible accessâ€”and awesomely scenic ridesâ€”that helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, cruise ships, and seaplanes grant, getting around Alaska has never been easier. Here are eight of our favorite adventures to consider adding to your list this year.