Visiting Alaska in 2019

Your Adventure Awaits

Alaska is a spectacle unto itself. With 665,384 square miles of natural landscape to explore, this state is the largest in the U.S. and represents one of the grandest ecological hotspots in North America. 2019 should be your year to make your way up and into the Alaskan wilderness, either by cruise ship or via a visit to one of the state’s bustling cities. Not only are there numerous natural elements waiting to be enjoyed, but you’ll find that in stepping into Alaska, you’re stepping into a quality of life you may not have previously known.

Take a Technological Break

Are you looking to lessen your screen time this year? That’s understandable. Too much time spent looking at a computer or phone screen has proven to put your physical and mental health at risk. A trip to Alaska is one way to forgo hours spent in front of a screen. Not only are you presented with marvelous views most hours of the day, but Alaska isn’t the easiest place to catch a cellphone signal. While cities like Anchorage or Juneau will, of course, have WiFi and cell towers that you can connect to, the many national parks will force you to rely on paper maps or the intuition of a guide. This is hardly a bad thing, so long as you’re well prepared. Be careful with what you pack, then, and see if you can’t take the technological break you need in Alaska this year.

Taste Incredible Booze

Your trip to Alaska doesn’t have to rely on technology to keep you entertained. It might surprise you to learn that Alaska has a thriving and delicious boozing culture. All around the state, there are craft distilleries that open themselves up to gin and vodka tastings. Alaska produces a higher quality of these alcohols as well as rye whiskey, taking advantage of the produce that grows in its colder environment to brew alcohol that is strong and smooth. The Anchorage Distillery, in particular, is known to spice up its booze. If you’re in the area and looking for a good time, head on over. You’ll find that the house vodka is infused with hot chili peppers, locally-grown berries and fruits, and other ingredients that can be found around the area.

Celebrate a Wealth of Biodiversity

You can’t discuss reasons to visit Alaska, though, without touching on the state’s wealth of biodiversity. Let’s look first to the land. Alaska is a veritable catalog of different ecosystems. You’ll find chilled tundras, vast lakes and rivers ripe for fishing, and coastal rainforests that would envy those in the southern hemisphere. Alaska is perhaps most famously home to nearly 100,000 glaciers. These icy giants serve as the primary attractions for cruising tourists and hikers alike. You don’t have to rent a boat in order to see these beauties up close, though. Byron Glacier, for example, is easy to access via Alaska’s roadways, meaning that you can approach it with no trouble at all.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Alaska’s wildlife has a diversity that is stunning to behold. You’ll of course be able to see some of the state’s staples – reindeer, salmon, and kodiak bears. You’ll also, though, see some creatures that might surprise you. The plethora of goats and sheep in the state would make you think you’re visiting the American Midwest, while the rarer polar bears will remind you that you’re far from home. Once you’re out on the water, you open yourself up to numerous wildlife sightings, which could expose you to orca, sperm whales, and leatherback turtles.

In this way, a visit to Alaska is like stepping into another world. There is more wildlife in the state’s blossoming ecosystems than is imaginable. If you want your expectations about Alaska’s natural environment blown out of the water, then, you’ll need to go and see it for yourself.

By Land or By Sea

Alaska also proves to be an especially accessible state to visit, making itself available to tourists who come by land or by sea. While cruises can sometimes develop the reputation of being just for older folks, Alaskan cruises offer people of every age the opportunity not only to visit some of the state’s biggest cities but to see the aforementioned wealth of wildlife up close. Alaska tours are spectacular for ensuring that visitors hit all of the state’s specific and notable landmarks, including the majority of the state’s best known natural parks and less accessible glaciers. The addition of meals on board means that you’ll be exposed to some of Alaska’s most impressive food – though you can still hop off the boat when it docks in order to get some of that good ole Alaskan booze.

Chase the Midnight Sun

However, one of the greatest features of this grand state can’t be found on land or on the water. Instead, to find this stellar Alaskan staple, you’re going to have to look to the stars. Alaska, given its physical location on the planet, has skies that are darker than anywhere else in the United States. The sun also sets significantly earlier in Alaska than it does in any other state. However, these darker skies mean that you have a better chance of spotting the aurora borealis. The northern lights are gorgeous, astronomical displays that paint the late night sky with a rainbow of colors. These lights are the result of interactions between our sun’s sunspots and the electromagnetic field around the Earth. They’re also a perfect accent in the Alaskan night sky and one of many reasons that tourists come to the state from all around the world.

With all of that in mind, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t visit Alaska in 2019. There’s something in the state for everyone. Unique booze and the northern lights promise to keep your nights interesting, and the state’s breadth of wildlife will ensure that your days are full of adventure. Pack your bags, then, and prepare to hit the road. Alaska is out there waiting for you.

Author:Katlyn Eriksen

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