Although the rugged and formidable terrain of Alaska may intimidate some travelers, brave visitors will be rewarded with endless vistas, stunning mountain peaks and ethereal glaciers. The state's natural beauty is the foundation for many of Alaska's greatest attractions, from the famous Denali to the pristine coastline. Although Alaska's population is sparse, visitors can also find plenty do in the state's larger cities. In these cities, residents and tourists alike can attend frequent festivals, visit art museums and find other entertainment.
Against a backdrop of ocean and mountain range, the Juneau Jazz Festival celebrates other kinds of music as well, including both classical and blues. For 10 days, attendees revel in concerts, workshops, music cruises, and all kinds of family friendly entertainment.
May 6-21 2016
Where: in Juneau
Grab a monstrous turkey leg and sit back to enjoy jousters, street musicians, and nobility celebrate medieval times in authentic dress. Storytellers will enchant with their fairy tales. Magicians and dancers add to the celebration. "Olde English" spoken here!
June 4-5 and 11-12, 2016
Where: in Anchorage
This Sitka music festival is a major, three-week long event. Chamber music performances occur in Harrigan Centennial Hall. A wine and music event is held. Classical musicians travel from the world over for this musical extravaganza.
May 31 – June 26
Where: Harrigan Centennial Hall Sitka, AK 99835 in Sitka
This Seward traditon began in 1915. Now, there are junior, womens', and senior divisions. Even toddlers compete in "mini-marathons." No marathoner will ever forget the regular race's start; a mile and a half up a mountain face, past waterfalls and steep cliffs.
July 4, 2016
Where: in Seward
Denali National Park and Preserve, located in Alaska's interior, surrounds North America's tallest peak, Denali. Thanks to the national park's bus system, visitors can see many popular highlights in the park, including the peak itself. Narrated tours allow travelers to learn more about the large park and its natural inhabitants, including grizzly bears, moose and caribou.
For those who want to explore another of Alaska's national parks, the Kenjai Fjords National Park is an excellent stop. From the town of Seward, visitors can take guided cruise tours of the national park to see an abundance of marine wildlife, from whales to puffins. Glacier Bay National Park, located near Juneau, features iceberg-filled bays and more than 15 glaciers. Visitors to the isolated park, which can only be accessed by boat or plane, can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing and hunting.
In Anchorage, Alaska's most populated city, visitors can learn more about the state's history at the Anchorage Museum. The museum's permanent exhibits include a gallery of Alaskan history and artwork from locals. Detailed dioramas help guests imagine the daily life of past Alaskan residents. History buffs can also visit the Museum of the North in Fairbanks for another extensive look at Alaska's history. In the “Gallery of Alaska” exhibit, visitors can examine gold nuggets, mammoth tusks and whale bones.
For a more personal look at Alaska's mining history, visitors can take a tour of the El Dorado Gold Mine. At the end of the informative tour, guests are invited to try their luck at panning for gold.
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