Holidays in Alaska

Our ultimate guide to Alaska

Big, wild, and beautiful. The 49th state of Alaska is a world of breathtaking beauty. Far from barefoot chic, this is boot-up and clip-on territory of snowy summits and icy titans. Alaska, however, is the experienced traveller’s ultimate conundrum – how will you possibly make the most of everything this place has to offer? Fear not; we’ve travelled high and low throughout Alaska to ensure you’ve got the local lowdown and know-how to tick all the boxes on your wish list. Don’t sit back and relax – get ready to pack your bags.

Scroll on to discover America’s Last Frontier.

Alaska holidays

The seasons of Alaska

Northern lights in Alaska

When is the best time to go to Alaska?

Our USA Travel Experts love Alaska in the summer, anytime between May and September when the weather is warmer and days are longer. It’s during these summer months that wildlife is most active – with king salmon fishing beginning in May – and colourful flora laces walking paths. However, you can still find glacier snowfields to hike atop. We also love planning winter trips to Alaska in March to see the ever-enchanting northern lights – best viewed from the privacy of Sheldon Chalet, some 6,000 feet high.

“My favourite month to visit Alaska would have to be late August. It’s the perfect time to see bears just before they head into hibernation in Katmai National Park, and the weather is warm – by Alaskan standards of course.”

Alaska Travel Expert, Rob

Where should I go in Alaska?

No matter where you go in Alaska, you can guarantee it’ll be jaw-droppingly scenic. These are just a few of our all-time favourite National Parks.

Denali National Park

Home to six million acres of untamed wilderness, Denali is a vast wilderness of alpine tundra, boreal forests, and glaciers – not to mention North America’s highest peak, Mount McKinley. We’ll take you on glacier treks, bear and moose spotting excursions, and sledding adventures. And as part of our Take me on a Story adventure to Alaska, your family will embark on a custom-designed survival course with specialists learning to climb, rappelling into glaciers, and spelunk through caves.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Sitting just below the port city of Seward in Southern Alaska, is Kenai Fjords National Park. And here, there’s enough scene-stealing scenery to fuel your daydreams for a lifetime – 587,000 acres to be precise. We’ll lead you on a private boat trip through the waters, passing the mighty glaciers of Northwestern Fjord, waterfalls in Cataract Cove, and the bird nesting sites of Resurrection Bay. We’ll tick off a list of marine life too, from humpback whales and sea lions to mountain goats and black bears.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Welcome to the largest National Park in the United States, with over 13 million acres to explore. To put it in perspective, it’s six times larger than Yellowstone National Park. In Wrangell-St. Elias you’ll explore abandoned gold mines, fish for king salmon, trek through Boreal rainforests, and camp out in the wilderness. Give us the nod, and we’ll also arrange a private cheese and wine tasting on the Icefield for you and your loved one.

Alaska helicopte

Take to the skies with a private helicopter experience

Lay anchor in Anchorage

Anchorage is the political and economic heart of Alaska, and the USA’s northernmost city. A mere 30 minute drive from the Alaskan wilderness but with all the comforts of a modern city, Anchorage hosts some of the most diverse and unique attractions you’ll come across.

Perhaps best-loved by locals is the Fur Rendezvous festival in February; known as ‘The Rondy’, it’s a 77-year tradition which began as a three-day sports tournament in 1935. It ends with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the longest sled dog race in the world at a casual 1100 miles. This annual festival is a testament to this wintery city’s active lifestyle and the options for involvement are endless and exhilarating; take on last year’s winners at the costumed Frostbite footrace; peruse the life-size sculptures of the International Ice Carving Competition; or take part in Yukigassen, which can only be described as fiercely competitive snow dodgeball. Yep, seriously. Dates for 2022: February 25th – March 6th.

Anchorage’s eclectic culture and bountiful offerings extend beyond the city; just a short drive from the centre and you’ll find yourself, once again, spoilt for choice. Looming before you, in bold and breathtaking isolation are the Chugach Mountains (the nation’s third-largest National Park) The Kenai, Talkeetnas, Tordrillos, and the Aleutians, where the adrenaline junkie inside you will weep with joy at the pulse-raising activities available. Hiking, climbing, snowboarding, skiing, telemark skiing… the list is exhaustive.

Bear watching in Alaska

A mother bear and her cubs in Lake Clark National Park. Photo by Huang, who recently travelled to Alaska with us

Wildlife in Alaska

Alaska is home to a breadth of wildlife, from moose, bears, and wolves to otters, beavers, and whales. And our Alaska Travel Experts have spent the last 16 years pinning down the best wildlife experiences to show our travellers.

Bear watching

From your base in Anchorage, you’ll board a private plane for a scenic flight across Cook Inlet and into Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, passing the Chigmit Mountains en route. Your pilot will land on the beach in Chinitna Bay, where you’ll be escorted by Jackson, a naturalist guide, as you travel by 4×4 and foot to where the bears are most active. Now it’s time to sit and watch the bears and their cubs, as they dig for clams and frolic on the beach. It’s a truly magical experience.

Whale watching

The subarctic waters of the Turnagain Arm, near Anchorage, are one of the world’s best places to spot these Arctic inhabitants as they make their annual migration to the secluded coves to breed. We’ll hook you up with a local guide and arrange a private ocean adventure, where we’ll take you to the heart of the action on a private boat, watching humpbacks glide and pods of orcas bob in and out of the water.


Inspired by Jack London’s adventure novel ‘The Call of the Wild’, our Take me on a Story experience to Alaska will see you and your family perfect your survival skills in this epic, uncharted wilderness. Learn to forage in the forest, prospect for gold in historic mines, and dog mush around ancient glaciers.


Fresh fish and plenty of choice

Time to stock up on your yearly dose of Omega 3. There’s no better place to start than Alaska. You might expect to get used to the bountiful seafood on option here but its freshness and unmatched flavour will be a revelation every time, and is a source of local pride. As the state’s largest private-sector employer the seafood industry is paramount, and it’s also the only state with sustainable fishing as a constitutional mandate. With shellfish we’ve never heard of and more salmon species than you can shake a fishing rod at, we’d recommend you season your freshly caught bounty like a local with chilli and lemon, and a side of spicy ratatouille. Bon Appétit.

No trip to Anchorage would be complete without visiting our favourite local restaurant Moose’s Tooth Pub, with homemade brew on tap and a homely atmosphere. Always busy, be prepared to wait, but also to leave with a full belly and a growler under your arm (that’s half a gallon of home brew, not the local wildlife, in case you were wondering). Panoramic views overlooking Mount Susitna and the Alaska Range are typical of Anchorage restaurants, and you’ll need to have a healthy appetite and your wits about you as you decide between plump, cold-water Kachemak Bay oysters, Alaska king crab, fresh-caught halibut, or wild Alaska salmon.

Fish in Alaska

Dine out on locally caught seafood and fresh fish at our favourite restaurants in Anchorage

Best places to stay in Alaska

When it comes to lodges and resorts in Alaska, they have two things in common: they’re luxurious and they’re remote. From Alyeska Resort in a valley of the Chugach Mountains to Tutka Bay Lodge on the head of a rugged seven-mile fjord, we’ve scouted out the best of the best just for you.

Sheldon Chalet

Sheldon Chalet is one of our all-time favourite properties in the world, let alone Alaska. Perched on an isolated nunatak overlooking Denali National Park, Sheldon Chalet sits a huge 6,000 feet above sea level and only accessible via helicopter. Making it every escapist’s dream.

A hexagonal feat of engineering genius, the chalet has five rooms each with a magnificent panoramic view at the foot of your bed. But a stay at Sheldon isn’t just about watching the world go by. We want you to get out there and explore it. You’ll join expert guides for hiking, sledding, and rappelling – in a corner of Denali that few have seen.

Ultima Thule

Whilst few travellers making it past Denali National Park and the Kenai Fjords, we love to bring people to Wrangell-St Elias National Park. 100 miles from any road, it’s truly off the grid. And at Ultima Thule Lodge, just five timber-built cabins line the hillside. Here, you’ll wake up to panoramic views of snow-covered peaks and the glistening Chitina River, before boarding a private bush plane for a day of adventure. Soar above mountains, picnic on sandbars, and hike across glaciers. You’re in safe hands.

Sheldon Chalet, Alaska

Arrive via helicopter to Sheldon Chalet, perched on an isolated nunatak in Denali National Park

What kind of traveller should go to Alaska?

Simply put, there’s no right answer. Whether you’re a family of five, a newly-wed couple looking for an adventurous honeymoon, or an intrepid solo traveller searching for a thrill; Alaska has something for everyone.

For the solo traveller:

One of the greatest joys of travelling alone is ticking off an experience-filled bucket list. And in Alaska you’re spoilt for choice, all the while being accompanied by expert local guides. From fishing for salmon and exploring abandoned gold mines to learning the art of dog sledding with former Iditarod champion, Dallas Seavey.

For couples:

Kickstart married life with a real adventure. The Northern Lights, Winterlake Lodge, private husky sledding, and intimate surrounds… who said adventures can’t be romantic? We’ll arrange for our top guides to take you dog-sledding and whale watching, before cosying up at the Happy River Cabin at Winterlake Lodge.

For families:

Alaska is the ultimate adventure playground, with opportunities like dog sledding, sailing between towering icebergs, and sharing stories around a roaring wilderness fire. And our Take me on a Story immersive family experience through Alaska will see you learn all about the survival skills needed in America’s Last Frontier.

Rappelling in Alaska

Rappell down glaciers

Orca in Alaska

Watch for orcas swimming in the water ahead

And the rest…

Far from being an arctic wilderness, the rest of the state boasts awe-inspiring national parks, serene coastal towns, and pristine mountain lodges. Feel the spirit of adventure as you chopper out to untouched ice plains, bask under the magnetic prowess of the northern lights, canoe up the chilly meanders of the Yukon to an Inuit settlement, or scale alpine tundra on your way to the top of North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley.

Feeling adventurous?

So are we. From spotting porpoises in the icy water and wolverines on the shoreline of Kenai Fjords National Park, to going rappelling and hiking through Denali National Park, Alaska is the definition of adventure. Come with us and start exploring.