Find the best flight to Alaska
Flights from Seattle to Alaska
Places to explore in Alaska
Set amid the coastal Chugach Mountains, Anchorage defies popular visions of polar ice caps and frozen tundra. It’s also warmer than you think (averaging 65 degrees in summer), making conditions ideal for sight-seeing or taking on uniquely Alaskan opportunities like arctic biking or touring the fjords of Prince William Sound. In the winter, you can ski, dogsled or do both simultaneously by "skijoring," which is cross-country skiing while being towed by a dog. Hey, it's no crazier a winter sport than the biathlon.
Don't be fooled by the initial appearance of this sprawling city with the typical fast-food places, malls and hotels; this region in the heart of Alaska's interior has a lot to offer. If you're lucky enough to be here between late September and early April, you can view the spectacular Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. At the old Gold Dredge No. 8, you can pan for gold, just as people did in the Gold Rush. The town's gold-mining heritage is also reflected at the University of Alaska Museum and Alaskaland Pioneer Park, a Wild West-style theme park that recreates early Fairbanks and includes a replica of a Native American village. Fairbanks is a starting point for some great adventures, such as the scenic 160-mile Steese Highway Drive or the McKinley Explorer train that runs to Denali National Park and Anchorage. Energetic outdoor types can hike, mountain bike, canoe, cross-country ski or take a slow river-float trip; others can relax on a river cruise aboard an authentic sternwheeler riverboat.
Eaglecrest Ski Area is the Alaskan Panhandle’s only resort, located on Douglas Island just about 10 miles from downtown. Eaglecrest features 31 Alpine runs and three Nordic trail loops set on 640 groomed acres. For the adventurous, thousands more acres of un-groomed area lie on either side of the resort.
The city of Sitka, located on Baranof Island along the Alaska Panhandle, was once the capital of Russian America. Nearby Sitka National Historical Park was established to commemorate the Battle of Sitka in 1804, the last major conflict between Europeans and the native Alaskans. The park now helps preserve the culture of the Tlingit people, as well as the Russian and American settlers, with collections of rare artifacts, the preserved remains of the Tlingit fort and a Russian Bishop's House.