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Alaska

Culture & history

Our most recommended Alaska Culture & History

Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

1. Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

Depart from downtown Juneau on a bus driven by a local tour guide through a scenic route to Auke Bay, where you board a comfortable jet boat. Be led by a captain and naturalist on an unforgettable search for whales in Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal, or Saginaw Channel. Binoculars are provided so you can see the humpbacks, killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, black bears, and towering mountains better. With the growing abundance of whales in the area and their comfort with small boats, you are bound to see many. This tour includes transfers between downtown and Auke Bay and two hours on the water. Included in the price of the tour are onboard refreshments including bottled water, coffee, hot chocolate, and a small snack of locally caught Alaskan salmon spread on a fresh bagel.

Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

2. Fairbanks: Aurora Ice Museum Ticket and Guided Tour

Step into a winter wonderland, no matter the season with this guided tour of the Aurora Ice Museum. Admire stunning ice-sculptures and stay warm with the use of a cozy parka. Have the option to select a tour with or without a tasty appletini that is served in an ice glass. Meet your guide at the Chena Hot Springs and head over to the museum to begin your chilly adventure. Step into environment that is kept continually at a cool 25° Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius) by a special absorption chiller. Go over some of the iconic ice sculptures and interesting facts about the museum with your guide before having the chance to free roam and take pictures of the fantastical ice shapes that are vibrantly lit.

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

3. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks to start off this adventure. Hop in the van and listen to live commentary while driving through Juneau into the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Once at the lake you'll have a meet and greet with the second guide who helps you put on the gear. You receive a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. Along with everything needed to stay safe, including but not limited to paddling gloves, life jackets, helmets, trekking poles, and dry bags.  Your guides go over safety and paddling instructions before stepping into the canoe. This journey across the lake is a team effort, so it is not necessary to have paddling experience.  Mendenhall Lake is a glacier-fed lake that is surrounded by mountains and the famous Nugget Falls. The wind coming off the Mendenhall Glacier will officially welcome you to the Alaska wilderness.  Once the canoe is docked on the beach, there's time for a quick break before starting the hike to the glacier. During the hike, you can learn about the history of the area and listen to all the information your guides can share. Enjoy quiet moments to soak in the calmness of Alaska.  Once arriving on the rocky shore next to the glacier, follow your guides on an exploration trek around the rocky moraine to view the glacier up close.  The professional guides are in the wild every day and thrive on showing off what nature has to offer. One of the most unique aspects of the trip is that the glacial environment is in a constant state of movement and change, meaning no one tour is the same as the next. After your hike back to the canoes, be sure to soak in your last moments with the Mendenhall Glacier as the group paddles back to the shore.  Once arrived your guides will provide a hot beverage while you take off the gear. After a short drive back to the cruise ships, you will walk away with memories of Alaska that you will never forget.

From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

4. From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour

The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the planet and on this night tour, you will have the chance to see these marvels of nature for yourself. Your evening begins between 4~5pm when you will be collected from your hotel in Fairbanks and head approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the Chena Resort. Here you will first have a chance to cool off (before heating up) in the spectacular Ice Museum. This building, built entirely out of ice, boasts a full Ice Bar and chandeliers built painstakingly out of hand-crafted ice.  At 8pm, you can soak your cares away in the warm and inviting Chena Hot Springs. You'll be pleased to know that the resort makes use of the first low-temperature binary geothermal power plant built in Alaska and is working on several alternative energy projects, including production and use of hydrogen and vegetable oil for fuel. The resort is conducting collaborative experiments in greenhouse production of vegetables with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. All in all, the resort is absolutely beautiful and you can soak in its natural springs for at least two hours. By 12:00 midnight, you can begin to look out for the Northern Lights. Soon, if you are lucky, the Aurora Borealis will appear. This natural light display is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms high in the atmosphere. The result is a breathtaking display of light that can be bright enough to read a newspaper by. Around 2:00 AM, depart back to Fairbanks and arrive around 3~4am. The night will surely be one you will never forget.

Anchorage: 1-Hour Trolley Tour

5. Anchorage: 1-Hour Trolley Tour

Enjoy a fully narrated tour of historic Anchorage from the comfort of an enclosed, heated trolley with panoramic windows. Travel a 15-mile circuit through Alaska's largest city, while a lively and informative Alaskan guide shares the history of the city, their family stories, and more. Departing from the corner of 4th and F Street, the tour includes many highlights, such as the Mysterious Earthquake Park, and Westchester Lagoon, where waterfowl abound, and moose and small mammals forage. See the Alaska Railroad, and float planes departing from Lake Hood and Lake Spenard. Enjoy breathtaking views of mountain ranges, wildlife sightings, and historic neighborhoods In addition, get a coupon book serving more than 20 restaurants, gift shops, tours, and attractions in downtown Anchorage.

Anchorage: Deluxe Trolley City Tour

6. Anchorage: Deluxe Trolley City Tour

Learn about the rich history and natural beauty of Alaska's largest city and ride the trolley to 5+ stops throughout downtown Anchorage. Travel comfortably and take in some of the city's most exciting landmarks such as the Lake Hood small airplane airport. During the tour you will visit iconic locations such as Ship Creek, Earthquake Park, and Point Wornzoff. At each stop you will get the chance to hop-off for a few minutes, take pictures and ask questions to your knowledgeable, passionate, expert local guides.

Northern Lights & Chena Hot Springs Tour

7. Northern Lights & Chena Hot Springs Tour

Located 60 scenic miles from downtown Fairbanks, experience the Aurora Ice Museum and the Chena Hot Springs Resort on a guided tour. Get the chance to spot the famed northern lights. Start your trip with a guided tour through the Aurora Ice Museum, displaying magnificent ice sculptures that will leave you amazed. Enjoy a cocktail in a glass made of ice (optional and not included in price). Then, head over to the resort. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant that offers locally cultivated vegetables and Alaska caught wild salmon (not included in price and dining is optional). Afterward, soak in the Chena Hot Springs' legendary healing mineral waters. Take a short stroll up to the Aurorium to watch the beautiful and breathtaking Aurora Borealis dance overhead in the dark nights (visibility of northern lights not guaranteed). The activity center is a great location to warm up while waiting for the northern lights. There will be plenty of time for photography to ensure you will not forget this experience.

Ketchikan: Potlatch Park, City and Wildlife Private Van Tour

8. Ketchikan: Potlatch Park, City and Wildlife Private Van Tour

You will meet your private guide at the cruise ship dock to begin your private excursion. From here you can sit back and relax in a new 15-passenger Ford Transit van, complete with captain chairs. You can enjoy the beautiful 10-mile coastal drive north to Potlatch Park. Once there you will discover a wonderful collection of historical exhibits and totem poles, which showcase the work of the native tribes. Your guide will narrate the stories and legends of the totems, and you'll get to experience what an 1800's native fishing village would have been like. Next, check out the carving shed, where master carvers created new poles, antique rifles, and vintage cars, at the nearby museums. On the way back towards town you will observe canneries, ruminants of a floating logging camp, and boat harbors. Once at Herring Cove, your guide will lead you to wildlife viewing areas, where black bears, bald eagles, herons and salmon are often spotted. As you head back to Ketchikan, keep an eye out for whales, seals and eagles. Your guide will point out Creek Street's "Red Light District", explaining the history of bootlegging and the story of "Dolly's House". At the end of your tour, you may choose to end at Creek Street to do some shopping (where transportation to your next destination will be on your own), or your driver/guide will take you directly back to the cruise dock from where you started. 

Willow: Summer Dog Sledding Ride in Alaska

9. Willow: Summer Dog Sledding Ride in Alaska

Take a summertime sled ride near Willow in a 2-seater cart specially designed for dog mushing. Be greeted by a guide and a yard full of excited dogs. Get away from noisy motors and traffic on a secluded trail. Later, take a nature walk and see a demonstration of winter sledding gear. Just an hour drive north of Anchorage, and only 45 minutes north of Palmer, come meet the dogs and watch their energy levels skyrocket as your guide gets the team ready to go. Then, hit private trails for a 1-2 mile run, depending on weather conditions, and be fully immersed in the wild. The carts are 100% dog-powered so you can take in the natural sounds around you. Keep your eyes peeled as you may catch a glimpse of a moose, fox, lynx, black bear, or bald eagle. Make several stops along the way to give the dogs a chance to cool down and take photos with them. Once back in the kennel, watch the dogs energetically dive into kiddie pools and zip around. They'll usually make their way over to you for a cuddle or two before taking off again. Treat yourself to some cookies and water to rehydrate. Next, head out on a nature walk to a wooden pavilion with views of Denali for a hands-on presentation of the training gear used in wintertime. Check out Iditarod race sleds and try stepping onto the runners. Slip on this year's Iditarod race bib and get into the shoes of an Alaskan musher. Hear personal tales of the race tracks from your guide. Conclude the tour in an indoor gift shop where you can see more racing memorabilia and check out race team swag.

Anchorage Food Tour: Featuring Sourdough Dan & tastes of AK!

10. Anchorage Food Tour: Featuring Sourdough Dan & tastes of AK!

Take a guided downtown Anchorage walking food tour through the heart of the city. By visiting locally owned and operated small businesses and being guided by a real local, you'll get a taste of the foods that influenced Alaska throughout its history and a real feel for the city. The tour starts at the downtown Anchorage Visitor Center. Meet up with your born and raised Alaskan guide who will regale you with information about the businesses you visit, share untold Alaskan history, and tell stories about unique Alaskan characters you won't get on other tours. Walk a bit between the stops and get a feel for the city. Rest assured knowing they'll be plenty of chances to sit and relax as well. Visits to the restaurants and shops will last about 15 to 20 minutes each. Sample a wide range of food and drinks significant to Anchorage's past and present, from fish to ice cream to dumplings to beer. Relax, soak up the atmosphere, and pick up local insights from your guide. The tour ends a few blocks away from the meeting point at a local eatery.

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What people are saying about Alaska

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 21 reviews

We had a great time on this excursion. The Captain made sure to do his best to find whales for us. We found a couple but they weren’t very active and he could have easily just sat there waiting for them to surface more but he moved areas until we found a lot more whales who were much more active. The Naturalist on board did a great job answering any questions we had and giving us some general info about the whales we saw

Before the tour, the team was great about communicating pickup coordination and knowing what to expect. Great guides who gave great info about the lights and knew where to go for optimal chance of viewing. Helped the participants learn to take photos of the night sky using their iPhones or androids. Gave plenty of time at the various stops for viewing the sky.

Amazing tour! We saw a total of 13 whales(don’t expect to see that many every day, they said that was more then normal), few handfuls of sea lions and a bald eagle. The staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. The boat only held about 30 people. We had plenty of space to get up and watch from every angle, inside and out.

Donna is the BEST narrator/storyteller we have experienced on “trolley” rides! She shared both historical & personal information. The entire bus gave her a round of applause at the completion of the tour. She even gave us several suggestions for lunch—-The F Street bar/grill.

We saw lots of humpback wales. The skipper and naturalist on board were wonderful. The bus driver out to the harbor was a character. I believe we picked up COVID somewhere on this day though. That made for a lot of unpleasant times after.