Theater and opera
Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage
This arts center in Anchorage was opened in 1989 and is home to 3 theaters and attracts up to 200,000 visitors annually. The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and the Anchorage Opera also play here. The theaters in the center are:
- Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall
The Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall has 2,000 seats and performs operas, chamber music and Broadway performances.
- Discovery Theater
In addition to musical events, films are also shown in this 700-seat theater.
- Sydney Laurence Theater
The Sydney Laurence Theater has 340 seats and offers theater and film performances to visitors.
Museums worth seeing
Fairbanks Museum of the North
The Fairbanks Museum of the North is located on the University of Alaska campus. The museum was founded in 1917 with the mandate to preserve and examine Alaska’s cultural and natural heritage. For a long time, the museum was housed in the University’s Signer’s Hall, but due to the ever increasing number of exhibits, the museum moved and has been housed in a new building since 2005. The museum’s exhibits range from historical film documents to archaeological exhibits to animal exhibits.
|opening hours||September 15 to May 14: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; September 14 to May 15: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.|
|Contact||907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 474 75 05 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 474 54 69
Email: [email protected] Web: www.uaf.edu/museum/
Museums and exhibitions
Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage
The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is a 1999 opened museum dedicated to the culture and history of Alaska’s indigenous people. It is also a meeting place and a cultural center for the native people of Alaska. The lively tours through the museum are particularly interesting and gripping. There is also a theater, reconstructed cities and art studios in the museum.
|opening hours||May 9 to mid-September: Daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.|
|Contact||8800 Heritage Center Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 330 80 00 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 330 80 30
Email: [email protected]
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage
The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage has set itself the task of telling and preserving the history of flight in Alaska and, above all, the myth of the pilots who looked after and care for the wilderness. To achieve this, the museum shows the museum shows several historical aircraft and their history. The museum also has two cinemas and a flight simulator that brings visitors closer to the challenge of flying.
- Countryaah: Lists all towns and cities of Alaska in alphabetical order. Also includes top 10 cities by population in Alaska.
|opening hours||May 15 to September 15: Daily: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; September 16 to May 14: Wednesday to Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.|
|Contact||4721 Aircraft Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99502
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 248 53 25 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 248 63 91
Email: [email protected]
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, formerly Anchorage Museum of History and Art, in Anchorage was opened in 1968 and today has 16,000 m² of exhibition space, making it the largest museum in Alaska. The museum shows up to 20 changing exhibitions annually in the fields of art, history and science. The museum’s collection includes 25,000 exhibits and 500,000 historical photographs.
|opening hours||May to September: Daily: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; October to April: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Sunday: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.|
|Contact||625 C Street
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Tel: 001 – (0) Fax: 001 – (0)
Email: [email protected]
Alaska State Museum in Juneau
The Alaska State Museum in Juneau dates back to 1900. Initially, the museum was used to collect objects from the area, but later also became a research facility. Nowadays the museum shows exhibits from Alaska’s Russian past as well as from America. Together with the museum’s art collection, the museum comprises around 6,700 exhibits.
|opening hours||May to September: Daily: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; October to April: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.|
|Contact||395 Whittier Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801-1718
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 465 29 01 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 465 29 76
The Last Chance Mining Museum and Historic Park in Juneau
On the Gold Creek where the first Gold Juneau was discovered, there is now the museum, which brings the history of mining in the region and the gold rush back to life. The museum shows exhibits from old mines, of which the giant air compressor from 1912 is certainly the most impressive piece.
|Contact||1001 Basin Road
Juneau, Alaska 99801
El Dorado Gold Mine in Fox
The El Dorado Gold Mine was founded in 1900 to extract gold and had several owners through the middle of the 20th century. With the acquisition of the mine by Andrew Wescott, the transformation to a tourist information mine began. Nowadays there are several guided tours of the mine and train journeys on the site every day. Visitors can also try their hand at extracting gold using a ladle.
|opening hours||May to September: Daily: 9:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.|
Fox, Alaska 99712
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 479 66 73 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 479 46 13
Email: [email protected]
Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan
The Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan is famous for its totem poles. The museum was founded in 1976 and since then has shown totem poles from the 19th century as well as traditional art by the local peoples Tsimshian, Tlingit and Haida. The totem poles come from abandoned Indian settlements near Ketchikan.
|opening hours||May to September: Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.;
October to April: Monday to Friday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
|Contact||601 Deermount Street
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
Religious affiliation, churches
Religions in Alaska
Amazingly, only about 34% of the population of Alaska officially belong to a church. These are rounded up or down:
Orthodox Christians: 7.5%
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 4.6%
Pentecostal Church: 2%
St. Nikolas Church in Juneau
This Russian Orthodox church, built in 1894, is the oldest church in Alaska used for religious services. With its onion domes, it still gives an impression of Alaska’s Russian history. However, it was not built by the Russians, but by the local Tlingit people.
|Contact||26 5th Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 586 10 23
Email: [email protected]
St. Michael Cathedral in Sitka
The cathedral was built in 1884, making it the first Orthodox church on the American continent and is located in the former capital of Russian Alaska, Sitka. This Russian Orthodox church fell victim to a fire in 1966. However, it was gradually rebuilt through donations from many Orthodox Christians in the United States. The precious artifacts inside the church were saved from the fire and can be seen today.
|Contact||240 Lincoln Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835-7542
Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Kenai
The Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Kenai is one of the most beautiful Russian churches in Alaska. It was built from 1895 to 1896. After a severe earthquake in 1964, the church was rebuilt and is now one of the examples of Alaska’s Russian history.
|Contact||1106 Mission Ave
Kenai, Alaska 99611
Zoos, parks and botanical gardens
Alaska Zoo in Anchorage
The Alaska Zoo was founded in 1968. Its beginnings go back to 1966 when Jack Synder had to choose between the two main prizes, $ 3,000 or a baby elephant, and chose the elephant.
Due to its popularity, the Alaska Zoo gradually developed. Today the zoo covers an area of approximately 10 hectares on which around 100 different animals live.
It is commendable that the zoo today specializes primarily in research, species protection and the release of animals.
|opening hours||September: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; November: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; December to March: 10am – 4pm; April to August: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.|
|Entrance fees||Adults $ 12; Children (3-17) $ 6|
|Contact||4731 O’Malley Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 346 21 33
Sitka National Historical Park
The Sitka National Historical Park is a park known for the totem poles it contains.
The park was founded in 1910 as the Sitka National Monument, making it the oldest park in Alaska. Today it covers an area of approximately 450,000 m².
The colorful totem poles and information boards are said to commemorate the Tlingit Indians and their village destroyed by the Russians in 1804 after the Battle of Sitka.
But the trail in the park that winds past a total of 15 totem poles through a temperate rainforest is also worth a visit. In the Visitor Center, exhibits of Indian and Russian art can still be admired.
It is also possible to watch traditional “carvings” on the totem poles.
|Opening times visitor center||May to September: Daily: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; October to April: Monday to Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.|
|Entrance fees||Adults $ 4; Children under the age of 16 have free admission. Entry is free for everyone in the winter months.|
Sitka, Alaska 99835
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 747 01 10
Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 747 59 38
Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward
The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is the only public aquarium. The aquarium was opened in 1998 and today accommodates numerous residents of the maritime ecosystem in Alaska on an area of approximately 10,500 m². In addition to guided tours for tourists, the aquarium conducts research and also maintains a “recreation center” for injured aquatic life.
|opening hours||May to September: Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. – 6.30 p.m., Friday to Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
October to April: Daily: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
|Entrance fees||Adults $ 20; Children (4-11 years) $ 10|
|Contact||301 Railway Avenue
Seward, Alaska 99664
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 224 63 00 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 224 63 20
Email: [email protected]
Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks
The Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks is the northernmost botanical garden in North America. Due to the permafrost soil, the selection of plants in the garden is of course limited and visitors can find plants from the region as well as from China, Russia and Iceland. The garden belonging to the University of Alaska is also on their campus. In addition to the pure presentation of the plants, research is also carried out in this botanical garden.
|opening hours||May to September: Daily: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.|
|Entrance fees||Adults $ 3; Children under 6 years have free entry|
|Contact||117 West Tanana Drive
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 474 19 44
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near Anchorage
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near Anchorage is a conservation area for injured animals with an area of approx. 69 hectares. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center was founded in 1993 and has since then set itself the task of reintroducing animals such as elk, bison, bear, eagle, coyote and fox. In addition to simply visiting the animals, visitors can also find out about the living conditions of the animals and learn a lot about the local fauna.
|opening hours||Daily: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|Entrance fees||Adults $ 10; Children (4-12) $ 7.50|
Girdwood, Alaska 99587
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 783 20 25 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 783 23 70
Alaska Botanical Garden in Anchorage
The Botanical Garden in Anchorage covers an area of approx. 445,100 m² and is home to approx. 1,100 plant species, of which approx. 150 species originate from Alaska. Mainly there are spruces on the huge area and the forest-like structure of the garden ensures that visitors can occasionally encounter wild animals such as bears or moose.
|opening hours||Daily: sunrise to sunset|
|Entrance fees||$ 5|
|Contact||4601 Campbell Airstrip Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 770 36 92 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 770 05 55
Sled dog races
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The Iditarod dog sled race is considered the hardest and longest dog sled race in the world. The route takes about 1,868 km from Anchorage to Nome through the untouched nature of Alaska. The race takes place annually in March and lasts for several days. The current record is 8 days, 22 hours and 46 minutes. The dog sled race developed from the memory of the historic Iditarod Trail, which was used to supply gold miners in the north during the gold rush. Up to 50 drivers, the so-called mushers, take part in the race with their 16 dogs every year. The history of serum transport from 1925 stands out as a kind of legend around the race. At that time a diphtheria epidemic broke out in the area around Nome and a race for the transport of medicine from Anchorage to Nome broke out. In fact, at that time numerous mushers managed to bring the medicine from Nenana to Nome in about 5 days. This is all the more remarkable considering the normal transport time of around 3 weeks at that time.
The dog sled race Kuskokwim 300 is a medium distance race that starts and ends in the city of Bethel. The race has been held annually in January since 1980 and attracts numerous mushers due to the $ 100,000 prize pool. The route runs along the Kuskokwim River for about 480 km.
The Yukon Quest is an annual dog sled race in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territory. The route of the race runs along the historical Klondike route and has a length of approx. 1,600 km. Depending on the weather, the race lasts between 10 and 14 days, with the mushers having to transport all their equipment on their sledges and are not allowed to accept any help. An exception is the city of Dawson, where the mushers have to take a break. The race has been running since 1984 and runs from Fairbanks to Whitehorse in even-numbered years and from Whitehorse to Fairbanks in odd-numbered years. The record time of the race is 9 days and 26 minutes.
Major festivals and events in Alaska
Alaska State Fair
This folk festival, held annually by the state of Alaska, has been held in the city of Palmer since 1936. The Alaska State Fair attracts up to 300,000 visitors annually and offers attractions such as the exhibition of giant vegetables, the exhibition of all handicraft products from Alaska, rodeos and numerous concerts.
|Contact||Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 745 48 27 Fax: 001 – (0) 907 – 746 26 99
Email: [email protected] www.alaskastatefair.org
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
This annual arts festival in the city of Fairbanks, which takes place in the last two weeks of July, has existed since 1980 and developed from an initial jazz festival. Nowadays, the festival caters to all musical tastes and also covers topics such as dance, opera, musical theater and visual arts. Another special feature are the many “workshops” offered, which give the visitor the opportunity to become active in the respective art field.
|Contact||Tel: 001 – (0) 907 – 474 88 69
Email: [email protected]
The Nalukataq Festival is a tradition of the Inupiaq in northern Alaska which takes place in June due to a successful whaling season. The festivities take place at different times in different locations and correspond to the local tradition which is comparable to the “Thanksgiving” festival.
World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks
This ice sculpture competition is the largest of its kind in the world. Since 1989 over 100 sculptures by artists from over 30 countries can be admired every year. The range of sculptures ranges from relatively small sculptures to huge sculptures weighing over 20 tons.
Denali National Park and Preserve Denali National Park
is one of the most famous national parks in Alaska. The park is located in central Alaska and is named after the Indian name Denali (the high) for the highest mountain in America, the former Mount McKinley.
The mountain with a height of 6,194 m was given its old name Denali back in 2015.
The park covers an area of 24,585 km², making it one of the largest international biosphere reserves. Up to 400,000 visitors visit the park every year.
The park offers almost endless attractions from the beautiful nature.
At the moment around 18% of the park is still covered by glaciers, with climate change leading to a noticeable decline.
Visitors can observe animals such as bears, moose, caribou, wolves, beavers – including the “Big Dive” of the park: bears, moose, wolves, caribou and Dall sheep, which mostly live in higher altitudes.
But hiking is also extremely attractive in the different regions consisting of mixed forest, tundra vegetation, glaciers and rocks. However, it is important to ensure that the equipment is safe.
There are around 750 different plant species, 40 animal species and 160 bird species.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
The Gates of the Arctic National Park is approximately 40,000 km²large untouched wilderness area in the Brooks Range of Alaska north of the Arctic Circle. The area has been a national park since 1980 and includes several valleys with glaciers, rugged mountains, forests and arctic tundra vegetation. Numerous rivers run through the area and thus ensure extensive fauna. Only 1,500 people live in the park, which has no official campsites or the like.
Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park in southwest Alaska is famous for its “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes”, which was created in 1912 when the Novarupta volcano erupted. There are at least 14 active volcanoes in the area. The area has been a national park since 1980 and hunting is only permitted in a small northern part of the park. The national park covers an area of approximately 19,100 km² and attracts over 20,000 visitors a year. Who visit the park because of the very beautiful landscape as well as the well-known large brown bear population and the many salmon.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park in the south of the state of Alaska covers a total area of approximately 2,800 km², making it the smallest national park in Alaska. The park is home to the Harding Icefield, the largest ice field in the United States. The national park is located on the coast and has almost 1,000 km of coastline that results from the numerous fjords that give the park its name. The populations of sea lions and orca whales living in the park are particularly interesting.
Kobuk Valley National Park
The Kobuk Valley National Park is located in northwest Alaska on the Arctic Circle and is therefore one of the most remote national parks in the United States. The approximately 6,750 km² national park was founded in 1980. The park is not accessible by roads and therefore the easiest way to get from Kotzebue or Nome by plane. The park can also be reached by boat and in winter with snowmobiles. Despite its northern location, there are unexpectedly large sand dunes in the national park, which were caused by the abrasive effects of the glaciers. Large herds of caribou can be seen in the park, as the park is on their hiking route.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Lake Clark National Park in southern Alaska was founded in 1980 and covers an area of approximately 16,300 km². The park is extremely varied because it contains mountains, volcanoes, coastal sections and dense forests. In the park there is also the eponymous Lake Clark, which is an important spawning area for salmon. The park can only be reached by plane or ship as there is no road connection. This could be one of the reasons why the park is visited by few people.
Other natural beauties
Portage Glacier near Anchorage
The Portage Glacier near Anchorage is located in the Chugach National Forest and is almost 10 km long. The Portage Glacier is well worth a visit because of its very wide break-off edge and a trip on the lake in front of the glacier is highly recommended.
Admiralty Island National Monument
The Admiralty Island National Monument is an approximately 3,900 km² wilderness area on the island of Admiralty Island, which is located approximately 25 km southeast of Juneau. The area is particularly interesting because of its flora and fauna. The densest brown bear population in North America is located here. Grizzly bears, salmon, whales, sea lions, eagles and other large wild animals can also be found here. The landscape here is rainforest, tundra and coastal areas. The only place on the island, Angoon, offers accommodations.
Kachemak Bay State Park
The Kachemak Bay State Park is a 1,600 km² nature reserve in southern Alaska. The park cannot be reached by road, but only by plane or boat. The city of Homer is a good starting point. The park does not offer many tourist accommodation options, but there is an outstanding fauna, consisting of whales, sea lions, otters, bears, moose and many other animal species.
Misty Fiords National Monument
The Misty Fiords National Monument is the largest national monument in Southeast Alaska and even the entire United States with approximately 9,200 km². This nature reserve is characterized by high coastal mountains and the resulting many fjords. In the fjords there is a temperate rain forest with a high density of spruce and fir. The park’s fauna includes bears, moose, deer, whales and many more. The best way to reach the park is by boat or seaplane.
LeConte glacier near Petersburg
The LeConte Glacier is the southernmost glacier in Alaska and impresses with its size and the shooting icebergs. The glacier is about 35 km long and about 1.5 km wide. Large pieces of ice break off in the water of LeConte Bay and fall into the water, creating a spectacle. However, some pieces of ice break off under the water surface and shoot out of the water due to their density. These spectacles as well as the whales encountered here make up the tourist attraction of the glacier area. The best way to reach the glacier is from Wrangell or Petersburg. From Petersburg you can also go kayaking on the glacier.
Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau
The Mendenhall Glacier is not far from the capital Juneau and can be seen as one of Juneau’s landmarks. The glacier extends bluish-white up to its original area, the Juneau Icefield. The Mendenhall Glacier is certainly the easiest to reach glacier in Alaska. A wheelchair accessible path leads almost to the ice edge and from the visitor center there are wonderful views over the lake and glacier. But hikers will also get their money’s worth, since numerous hiking routes of different intensities lead around the glacier.
Pacific, Bering Strait and Arctic Ocean
Alaska borders the Bering Sea in the south – a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean into which the Yukon flows – in the west on the Bering Strait and in the north on the Arctic Ocean.
In the east Alska borders on the territory “Yukon” which belongs to Canada.
Oil in Alaska
The oil boom – the black gold – in Alaska began when oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska in 1968. In order to be able to transport the necessary material here, the 416 miles = 670 km long Dalton Highway was built between 1974 and 9177. In 1980, the initially private highway was also released for public transport.
On November 16, 1973, President Richard Nixon made it possible to build a pipeline by signing the “Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act” to transport the oil extracted here to the ice-free port of Valdez on Prince William Sound in southern Alaska.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was then built between 1975 and 1977 – and on June 20, 1977, crude oil flowed through the 1,287 km long pipeline, which has an inner diameter of 1.22 m. The largest amount transported per day in 1988 was around 2.1 million barrels (= 330,000 m³) of crude oil.
The first tanker loaded with oil from the pipeline was the ARCO Juneau, which set sail from the terminal in Valdez on August 1, 1977.