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Hidden Gems of Alaska

by Mary Melnick

Sep 2, 2020

Photo: Jennifer Wan | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Although Alaska may not be on everyone’s radar, it might move higher on your family’s must-visit list when they learn more. There are countless activities and breathtaking sights throughout the state, plenty of wildlife to see and much more, whether you spend time in the top tourist areas or venture off to explore Alaska’s hidden gems.


Beach Vibes


Drive along Summer Bay Road and discover a beautiful spot called Humpy Cove — a long, sandy, rocky beach along a creek. Relax or stretch your legs with a walk along the beach. Rent kayaks and get out on the creek, or fish for Alaskan salmon. Humpy Cove is home to Orca Island Cabins, which offers a secluded wilderness hideaway; keep an eye out for sea lions and humpback whales while relaxing on your balcony. Plan for a stop during a summer visit, as the road is closed during winter.


Enchanted Forest


Hidden in the woods outside Talkeetna lies Goose Creek Tower (also known as the Dr. Seuss House), stretching about 14–17 floors high, with each floor smaller and smaller as you climb. Although the house is on a private property, you can still see it pop through the trees from the highway.


Hidden Ice Caves


Explore Mendenhall Ice Caves, a 12-mile-long glacier in Juneau. Take a guided tour through the hollow glacial cave and take in the breathtaking blue hues. The ice cave is only accessible to travelers willing to kayak to the edge of the ice and then climb over the glacier — well worth the adventure.


Secret Garden


Although Juneau is a popular tourist destination, many travelers pass right by Glacier Gardens. Located in Tongass National Forest, the Glacier Gardens create a unique experience for travelers. The highlight of the gardens are the unusual flower towers, made from trees flipped upside down — the owners use the roots as planters for beautiful flowers. Visit during the summer to see the flowers in bloom.


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