Guest post by Lexy Barnes

Whenever people imagine going on vacations or traveling, they typically choose tropical locations or exotic destinations overseas. 

What if I told you that an exotic and memorable vacation lies within the United States besides Hawaii, New York, or California?

Alaska may not be a continuous part of the United States, but it definitely has a beautiful landscape and endless adventures for the average traveler.

When you visit Alaska, here are the things that you NEED to do. 

5 Can’t Miss Things to Do in Alaska

Shopping

All tourist centric areas have endless amounts of shops. Alaska is no different. 

They have your typical memorabilia like mugs, T-shirts, hats, keychains, and more. In addition to the typical shops, they have a bunch of jewelry shops.

Fun Fact: Some jewelry shops will hand out complementary charm bracelets to tourists, and then you can collect free charms from each island. I’m not big on jewelry, but I definitely got a complimentary bracelet.

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Out of all of the shopping I did, my favorite purchases from Alaska were my two cute little bookmarks because I really like buying things that are applicable to my life. I’m a huge reader in my everyday life, so it felt perfect.

Eating Alaskan Cuisine

I love trying new food whenever I visit new places. I draw the line with raw fish though.

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of seafood, Alaska has some of the best stuff to offer. You should try anything with crab in Alaska. It will cost a pretty penny, but it will be so worth it. Along with crab, the clam chowder was so good. I’m not 100% sure where clam chowder falls on the food pyramid, but I’d definitely eat it again.

If seafood is just not your thing, but you still want to eat meat, reindeer is the next thing you should try.

Fun Fact: You can try reindeer meat as reindeer dogs or reindeer sticks. Both options are very affordable.

If you are a vegetarian, you can try the homemade jams on bread or crackers. It’s definitely not like the store-bought berry jams. It’s a little more pricey than the other food options, but it’ll bring something different to your taste buds.

Hiking

As a full disclaimer, I am not an outdoors person at all. Whenever I go on vacations though, I get into this weird hiking/exploring mood. Alaska is the perfect place for just that.

When I visited Alaska, it was during the summer, so I got away with a light jacket. Glaciers are still visible, but it’s not freezing cold. It felt like fall in June.

Because it felt like fall but was still the summer, the forest looked so pretty. The colors were so vibrant, and the wildlife was growing undisturbed. The forests were the epitome of natural beauty.

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Fun Fact: Alaska is home to the second largest temperate rain forest in the world, and the largest rainforest in the United States.

The only thing I would worry about while hiking in Alaska is the possibility of seeing a black bear. It didn’t happen to me, but the black bear population is very large in Alaska.

Canoeing

Once again, I am not an outdoors person at all. Traveling just makes me super adventurous. 

I try to do new things as much as possible in my everyday life. Traveling just gives me opportunities to do just that. 

I am a Cancer, so I love anything that has to do with water. I can’t swim for shit, but that hasn’t stopped me from jet skiing or rafting. Canoeing was just the next thing to do on my list.

Now I went canoeing with my brother and a bunch of strangers in Alaska, but the trip was very serene. I saw some more of the beautiful rainforest. 

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This is also where I got to try the fabulous clam chowder and homemade jams for FREE. The food might have been the reason why I enjoyed this excursion so much, but a good trip always includes good food and experience. 

Canoeing also gave me a chance to disconnect from the digital world and to get more in tune with the physical world. 

Whale Watching

I’m not the biggest fans of animals, but I did occasionally watch specials on Animal Planet.

Before this trip, the only time I had seen a wild animal was in a zoo. I don’t really care for zoos (And I really don’t care for them now after watching Tiger King). I just thought that watching whales in their natural habitat would be a nice change of pace for me.

I spent more than 2 hours on a boat with complete strangers looking out at the beautiful killer whales jumping through the water. Like the canoe experience, I felt super connected to nature. 

Fun Fact: During the whale watching, we were also able to see other wildlife like sea lions and eagles.

For my nature lovers and my non-nature lovers, Alaska is the perfect trip to plan next. A variety of experiences await you on this collection of islands. 

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About the Author

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Lexy Barnes is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee but recently relocated to Detroit, Michigan for more opportunities. She graduated from East Tennessee State University in 2019, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in the near future. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, learning about anything, watching Netflix or Hulu, and spending time with friends or family. Her life quote that she tries to live by is that “Great things never come from the comfort zone.” 

She is available on the following platforms:


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