Alaska is the largest state in the US. It is divided into 13 regions and has three time zones. It is located in northwestern North America and borders the Canadian Yukon and British Columbia territories. Despite its large size, it has just over 700,000 inhabitants, ranked 47th within the states of the Union. The cities of Alaska, even the most populated, are pretty small and are framed in the beautiful natural landscapes of this corner of the world.
Its mountainous and rugged terrain and its harsh climate are the leading causes of its low population density, making it a favorite tourist destination among those seeking tranquility, peace, and always having wild and unspoiled natural spaces at hand.
In this post, we will show you the essential cities of Alaska, full of points of interest and that can serve as a base camp for you to delve into the beautiful Alaskan nature.
Alaska Travel Tips – Top 5 Cities
The most populous among the major cities in Alaska. With a population of around 300,000, which represents about 40% of the population of the North American state, it is located on a peninsula in the south-central area of Alaska.
Anchorage has numerous cultural centers, among which the Alaska Native Heritage Center stands out, with exhibits of traditional crafts, replicas of the dwellings of indigenous tribes in the region, and dance.
The city is also an essential gateway to nearby natural areas such as Talkeetna, Kenai, and Chugarch.
Second among Alaska cities by population, with about 100,000 residents. Fairbanks is well known for being one of the best places globally to see the Northern Lights and its dogsled races.
Fairbanks is a vibrant city where you can perform a large number of activities, from shopping in its many craft stalls, where you can buy jewelry, crafts, textiles, paintings, or ceramics made by native Alaskans, to sports such as rafting, kayaking, fishing, golf, snowmobiling, and skiing.
Fairbanks is also an excellent place to have some good hot springs and to spot wildlife.
The capital of Alaska has around 32,000 inhabitants, although its population is highly fluctuating because it is an essential receiving center for cruise ships. Its location is very particular, so embedded in nature that it does not have access by road, only possible to go to Juneau by seaplane or boat.
One of the most popular places in Juneau is Mount Roberts, 550 meters high and accessible by cable car. There it is possible to admire the flora of the region through its excellent network of trails. There are also some spectacular panoramic views of the Gastineau Canal.
Bird watchers can’t miss the Juneau Raptor Center, which is dedicated to native birds.
Located in the Sitka Strait and surrounded by numerous wooded islands, this small city of just over 8,000 inhabitants is marked by its Russian heritage, among which the Orthodox Saint Michael Cathedral stands out.
You can take many excursions, such as Castle Hill, the tomb of Princess Maksutov, the house of the Russian bishop, and the Russian Fort.
In the center of the town, there are various souvenir shops and art galleries. In summer there is an important music festival.
Other interesting places in Sitka are the Centennial Hall, the National Historical Park, the Sheldon Jackson Museum, and the Tongass National Forest.
The fifth most populous city in Alaska is the oldest in the state, founded in 1900.
Located in front of the Interior Passage, it stands out for many Amerindian totems that are exhibited throughout the city.
Very close to the city is Misty Fiords, a rugged glacial landscape with waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and rivers full of salmon. The area’s fauna is composed, among other species, of American eagles, white-headed eagles, wolves, and black bears.