23 Things Alaska Is Known And Famous For

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Alaska is known for its stunning glaciers, abundance in wildlife and Northern lights. Its vast wilderness and pristine nature makes for unique experiences that is hard to find in other parts of the country. Whether you are looking to marvel at breathtaking landscapes or simply observe wildlife in its natural habitat, Alaska has something to offer.

What Is Alaska Known For?

Alaska is famous for its natural beauty, wildlife, and outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, and kayaking. Alaska is also known for its rich history and culture as the Last Frontier.

There are many opportunities to see wildlife in Alaska, including whales, bears, moose, and eagles.

In addition to its natural wonders, the state is home to several Native American tribes, as well as Russian and Scandinavian immigrants. This diverse population has resulted in a special culture that is evident in the food, music, and art of Alaska.

If you are planning a trip to the last frontier, here are some of the things Alaska is famous for.

Famous Food In Alaska


Grizzly bear fishing for salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular fish in Alaska, and it is also one of the state’s most important natural resources. They are a type of fish that return to their birthplace to spawn, and Alaska’s rivers and streams are home to some of the world’s largest salmon runs.

Alaska’s salmon industry is worth over $1 billion, and the state accounts for nearly half of the world’s wild salmon harvest. Salmon is so important to Alaska, and the Chinook Salmon is the official state fish.

If you are a fan of seafood, then you will definitely want to try some of Alaska’s fresh-caught salmon. Salmon is often served grilled or smoked, and it is a popular ingredient in many traditional Alaska dishes.

>Check Smoked Salmon And Reindeer Sausage Food Tour

Reindeer Sausage

Reindeer sausage is another Alaska specialty that you won’t find anywhere else. This unique sausage is made from the meat of reindeer, also known as caribou. Reindeer sausage is a popular item at many Alaskan festivals and fairs, and it is often served grilled or smoked.

For a truly unique culinary experience, give the reindeer sausage a shot. This delicious sausage is perfect for adventurous eaters who want to try something new.



Alaska is home to a number of native berries, but the blueberry is by far the most popular. Bog blueberry is the most prominent type of all the berries from Alaska.

Alaska’s blueberries are notoriously delicious, and they can be found in pies, jams, syrups, and even beer. The dried fruits and leaves are also used to create tea that are extremely fragrant. If you want to try some of Alaska’s fresh berries, then make sure to visit during the summer months.

Apart from these, there are many other delicious and famous Alaska food awaiting your discovery.

History, Culture, And Traditions

Indigenous Culture And Traditions

Alaska is well-known for the indigenous cultures that have called this state home for centuries. Alaska is home to more than 220 federally recognized tribes, as well as a number of non-federally recognized tribes. These tribes have a rich culture and tradition that is evident in their art, music, dance, and food.

Alaska Native culture is also evident in the architecture of the state. The most famous example is the sod houses, which were used by the Inupiat people of Alaska.

Despite a common misconception, native Inupiat Alaskans actually don’t live in Igloos. These temporary homes or hunting shelters built using blocks of snow are rather more common amongst Inuit communities in the Arctic regions.

Today, there are several museums and cultural centers that showcase Alaska Native culture. These places are great for learning more about the history and traditions of the tribes of Alaska.



Alaska is also famous for the Eskimos, a group of indigenous people who live in the Arctic region. The term “Eskimo” is actually a derogatory term that means “eaters of raw meat” in Algonquin. The preferred term now is “Inuit,” which means “the people.”

The Inuit people are known for their unique culture and traditions, as well as their impressive hunting skills. They live in small villages and subsist off the land. In addition to hunting, the Inuit people also fish and gather plants.

The Inuit people have a rich culture that is evident in their art, music, and dance. They are also known for their traditional clothing, which is made from animal skins and fur.

If you are interested in learning more about the Inuit people, there are a number of cultural centers and museums that offer information about their culture and history.

The Klondike Gold Rush

In 1896, prospectors discovered gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon Territory in Canada. This sparked a major gold rush, with tens of thousands of people flocking to the area in the hopes of striking it rich. Many of these people came through Alaska, as it was the easiest route to the Klondike.

The Klondike Gold Rush had a major impact on Alaska. It led to the development of towns and cities, as well as the construction of roads and other infrastructure. It also brought a significant increase in population, as people came from all over the world in search of gold.

Even today, you can still see evidence of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska. There are several gold mining operations in the state, as well as some museums and historical sites that tell the story of this important event in Alaska’s history.

Whale Watching


Alaska’s pristine waters is home to some of the most majestic whales in the world. If you love nature and want to see some of the most magnificent creatures on the planet, this is the adventure for you.

Alaska is a hotspot for sighting a variety of whale species, including humpback, orca, gray, and fin whales. You will get opportunities to observe these incredible marine life in their natural habitat. And the best part? These massive creatures love to put on a show! You might see them breaching (jumping out of the water)which is truly a sight to behold.

With over 20,000 whales passing through each year, sightings and close encounters are more common on whale watching tours. There’s nothing quite like seeing these majestic creatures breaching alongside ships and awe-inspiring glaciers, making Alaska one of the best places in the world for this activity.

There are plenty of options for whale watching tours, so you can find one that fits your budget and schedule. Some tours even offer small group or private excursions, which means you’ll have a more personalized and intimate experience.

The best time for this activity in Alaska is between May to September, but whales can be spotted in the region as early as April even. Also chances are you might even see other Alaskan wildlife on the ride

>Check Whale Watching Tour In Alaska

The Alaska Purchase

Alaska’s history as a part of the United States began in 1867 when it was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, a transaction known as the Alaska Purchase.

At the time, Alaska was considered by many to be a frozen and barren wilderness with little economic value. However, Secretary of State William Seward saw potential in the territory’s vast natural resources, including furs, fish, and minerals, and believed that its acquisition would expand the country’s economic and strategic interests.

The purchase marked the beginning of Alaska’s transformation into an American territory that would eventually become the 49th state to join the Union.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline


In order to transport the oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the ice-free port of Valdez, an 800-mile long pipeline was constructed. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is one of the most impressive engineering feats in history, and it is something that Alaska is very proud of.

The construction of the pipeline began in 1974 and was completed in 1977. It cost $8 billion to build and employed over 70,000 workers throughout the whole project.

Today, the pipeline is still in operation, and at its peak, it transported over 2 million barrels of oil per day. It is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure in Alaska, and it is something that visitors can see when they travel to the state.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Photo credit: jason.troutnut.com/Depositphotos.com

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the most iconic events in Alaska. It is a 1,000-mile-long race that takes place every year, and it is considered to be one of the most challenging sled dog races in the world.

The race starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome, and it takes place over the course of 10-20 days. The route follows the historic Iditarod Trail, which was used to transport supplies during the gold rush.

Today, the Iditarod is a major tourist attraction, and it is something that people come from all over the world to see. It is an impressive feat of endurance, and it is a great way to experience the Alaskan wilderness.

>Take Part in Dog Sledding Experience In North Pole

Travel Insurance

The Largest State

Apart from being the northernmost state in the country, Alaska is known for being the largest state and one of the most sparsely populated.

The state’s total area spans more than a staggering 663,000 square miles. This means it over twice the size of the second-largest state, Texas.

The vast size is one reason why Alaska is home to a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems, from icy tundras to towering mountains to dense forests.

Another incredibly unique thing about Alaska’s size is the possibility to experience activities that seem to span multiple seasons in a single day. For example, it’s not uncommon for visitors to hike in the sunshine in the morning, go whale watching in the afternoon, and then see the Northern Lights in the evening.

This is also because Alaska’s latitude means that it experiences extended daylight hours in the summer and darkness for much of the winter. The sheer size and diversity of the state make it a place of endless exploration and discovery.

Wildlife And Nature

Alaska is famous for its wildlife. The state is home to a variety of animals, including bears, moose, eagles, and caribou. Visitors to Alaska can see these animals in their natural habitat by taking a wildlife tour or going on a safari.

Alaska is also home to several national parks, which are great for hiking, camping, and admiring beautiful landscapes.

Northern Lights


One of the most popular things to see in Alaska is the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are a natural light display that occurs in the night sky. The lights are caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with the Earth’s atmosphere.

The best time to see the Northern Lights is during the winter months when the nights are longer. The best place to see them is in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is located under the Auroral Oval. This is a zone where there is a high concentration of aurora activity.

There are tours and excursions that offer visitors the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. However, you can also see them from your own backyard if you are lucky.

>Check Northern Lights And Hot Springs Tour


The famous Kodiak bear

One of the fun facts about Alaska is that the state is well-known for its bears. There are at least two species of bears that call Alaska home – the brown bear and the black bear. These massive animals can weigh over 1,000 pounds and even stand up to 10 feet tall.

Bears are a major draw for tourists, as they are truly a sight to behold. If you want to see these massive animals, there are several tour operators that offer bear viewing tours.

Alaska is also home to the world’s largest concentration of brown bears. Popular bear viewing places include Admiralty island in the Alexander Archipelago, and Katmai National Park and Preserve on the Alaska Peninsula.



Alaska is home to some of the most impressive glaciers in the world. These massive rivers of ice are a sight to behold, and they are one of the main reasons why Alaska is such a popular tourist destination.

There are over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, covering over 5% of the state. The largest glacier in Alaska is the Bering Glacier, which is over 100 miles long.

Alaska’s glaciers are a major draw for tourists, as they are truly a sight to behold. If you want to see these massive rivers of ice, there are tour operators that offer ice field and glacier tours.

Midnight Sun

Another natural phenomenon that Alaska is famous for is the Midnight Sun. The Midnight Sun is a period of time when the sun remains visible at night. This phenomenon occurs north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the Midnight Sun lasts for more than two months, from May to July. During this time, the sun is visible 24 hours a day.

The Midnight Sun is a popular time for outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. It’s also a great time to see the Northern Lights.

Impressive Mountains

Alaska is a mountain-lover’s dream! With its jagged peaks, deep valleys and abundant glaciers, the majestic landscape of Alaska provides some of the most memorable views in the United States.

It should come as no surprise then that Alaska is home to 17 of the 20 highest peaks in North America. The most famous of which is Denali with its peak at 20,310 feet.

That said, others are not to be overlooked. Mount St. Elias, which stands at 18,008 feet above sea level is the second-highest mountain in Canada and the U.S. All these summits and trails that Alaska is known for offer breathtaking views.

From unspoiled wilderness areas perfect for outdoor exploration to picturesque alpine villages rich with local culture, a trip to Alaska will put you in touch with nature like never before.

Cities And Travel Destinations


Juneau is the capital city of Alaska. It is one of the largest cities in the United States by area and a spectacular destination for travelers due to its breathtaking nature.

Located on the Gastineau Channel with mountaintop vistas and sparkling waterways, Juneau provides a unique variety of attractions and features unlike any other in America.

Juneau is also home to several impressive glaciers, including the famous Mendenhall Glacier which you can visit. There are also opportunities for whale watching here.

But there’s more to Juneau than just its great outdoors and natural wonders – it’s boasts unique cultural attractions with roots in the native tribes such as the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people.



Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska by population, and the cultural and economic center of the state. The city is located in south-central Alaska, on the Cook Inlet.

Anchorage has several key attractions right within the city, including the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Zoo, and the Imaginarium Science Discovery Center. That said, some would argue the main highlights are actually outside the city, in the pristine nature.

Anchorage is a popular starting point for outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. From the Chugach State Park to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, there is no shortage of opportunities to get in touch with mother nature here.

Anchorage is a great place to visit any time of year. However, the summer months are the best time to take advantage of all the city has to offer. Many famous landmarks in Alaska are in and around the area.


Fairbanks, Alaska is an iconic city located in the heart of the state. This special place has a distinct culture and character that sets it apart from other cities in the state.

Fairbanks offers a unique blend of urban and rural life, with modern amenities and plenty of outdoor activities. Here you’ll find a vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as opportunities for fishing, hiking and camping.

Fairbanks is perhaps most famous as one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. With its clear nights, the area offers ideal conditions for viewing this spectacular natural phenomenon.

The Fairbanks region also experience the Midnight Sun phenomenon. This is when the sun barely sets for a short period each day, which means you get plenty of time explore the beauty of Alaska’s natural landscape.

Denali National Park


Denali National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Alaska. A primary reason is because the park encloses Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America.

Denali National Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, and moose. That said, the park is a popular destination for hikers and campers to immerse in the expansive nature of Alaska.

If you want to explore Mount McKinley, the best time to visit Denali National Park is during the summer months when the weather is best for outdoor activities. However, the park is open year-round and there are many activities to enjoy in the winter months as well.

Kodiak Island

Landscape of Kodiak Island in Alaska

Kodiak Island is a large island in south-central Alaska. The island is home to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the largest national wildlife refuges in the United States.

In addition, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in North America and also located in Alaska’s northeast region.

Being one of Alaska’s largest fishing ports, Kodiak Island is also a popular destination for hunting and sport fishing. The area offers great spots for catching fishes like salmon, halibut, rockfish, and rainbow trout amongst others.

You can access Kodiak Island by ferry or plane via Anchorage. The best time to visit the island is during the summer months. However, the island is a popular destination year-round. Some popular festivals there are the Kodiak Crab Festival and Whale Fest Kodiak.

Activities In Alaska

Alaskan Cruises

With all the impressive nature and abundant wildlife, one of best way to experience all of it is by taking a cruise!

The views from the ship can be absolutely breathtaking – you’ll see towering glaciers, stunning fjords, and rugged coastlines that will leave you in awe. And if you are lucky, you might just get to see some wildlife busking under the sun.

Perhaps the most special thing about an Alaskan cruise is the feeling of awe and wonder that you’ll experience. There’s something about being surrounded by the pristine beauty of Alaska that makes you feel small and insignificant in the best possible way. It’s a humbling and fun experience.

There are many types of cruises available, from your big cruise lines that comes with onboard entertainment, to smaller boats that have the ability to navigate into deeper, tighter areas of the wilderness. So hunt around and see what best suits your itinerary and preferences.

Dog Sledding

Alaska is not all about its surrounding waters, you will find one of the most unique and exciting adventures on land. Dog lovers rejoice!

Dog sledding is an Alaskan tradition that dates back thousands of years. It’s a way of life for many in certain regions, and it’s not hard to see why. These amazing dogs are bred for the cold and love to run, making them the perfect companions for traversing the snowy Alaskan landscape.

And you can be a part of the action too! Ride on a sled while a team of powerful and enthusiastic dogs pulls you through the snow-covered wilderness that Alaska is known for.

It’s a rush like no other with the wind in your face, the sound of the sled gliding over the snow, and the pure adrenaline of being pulled by a pack of incredibly adorable dogs.

But dog sledding isn’t just about the ride, it’s also a chance to learn about the culture of Alaska. Your guide will likely be a seasoned musher (the term for a dog sled driver) who can give you insights about the traditions and techniques of dog sledding, as well as the history of the Iditarod Trail.

Many More Things Alaska Is Known And Famous For

Alaska is a state that is rich in history and culture. These are just some of the things that Alaska is known for. From the indigenous peoples to the Eskimos, there is much to learn about the people who have called this state home for centuries.

There are also many natural wonders to see, such as the Northern Lights, wildlife, and impressive glaciers. Alaska is a truly unique and beautiful state that has a lot to offer tourists. Be sure to spend some time here and you will uncover more things that Alaska is known and famous for.

FAQ About Alaska

What is the most famous thing in Alaska?

Alaska has a unique frontier spirit that is rooted in its history of gold mining and exploration. The state’s rugged terrain and harsh climate have created a culture of self-sufficiency and resilience, with many residents living off the land and practicing subsistence living.

What are 5 facts about Alaska?

These are some quick statistics, and you can read more about fun facts about Alaska here.

  • Capital: Juneau
  • Population: 731,011 (48th Populous State in the U.S)
  • Land Area: 663,268 sq mi / 1,717,856 km² (Largest in U.S)
  • Nickname: The Last Frontier
  • Abbreviation: AK

What is unique about Alaska?

Alaska features some of the most impressive mountain peaks in North America. From the soaring peaks of Denali, Mount Foraker and Mount Hunter to the rugged spires of Pinnacle Peak and Mount Shishaldin, the beautiful landscape is full of towering giants. These majestic mountains attract hikers from far and wide, offering breathtaking views from their summits.

Why is Alaska popular for tourists?

Alaska is a popular travel destination because of its stunning natural beauty, native american history and incredible wildlife. From breathtaking mountain vistas and glaciers to picturesque forests and rivers, Alaska offers some of the most incredible scenery in the world.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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