**Updated : November 2022**
Use the map to see a visual of all our recommendations - click the arrow next to our photo to have a pop up list! This post may also contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase a product via these links, with no extra cost to you!
As a couple who lived in Alaska for a year (and plan to go back after our world trip), and adventured almost every single weekend, here are our top 7 recommendations for unique tours in Alaska! One for each day of the average vacation length. ;) We've also picked these tours for a reason, and have heard many stories of terrible tours, "tricky" tours that seem to lie to out of state visitors, and tours that are outright steeling people's money. Please do your research before booking any tours in Alaska, our IG dm's are always open to questions too!
7. Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour - Fairbanks
A Northern Lights tour is #7 on our list, only because you have the chance to do this on your own (without paying for a tour). We included this one because seeing the Northern Lights is on most people's bucketlists when visiting Alaska, and it will be a lot easier when you're with a guide who will be able to make sure you're staying safe in the winter and answer all your questions (especially if you want a chance to photograph them). Plus, this one heads out to the Arctic Circle, another big bucketlist item for some visitors. If you're visiting Alaska from out of state or don't have your own car, chance are you won't be able to make it to the Arctic Circle cut off on your own - most rental car companies out of Fairbanks have a clause saying you aren't allowed to take the vehicle down the Dalton Highway.
**It is also very important to note that you are not able to see the Northern Lights in Alaska during summer months - want to know why? It doesn't get dark enough! We have heard horror stories about people booking non refundable tours in July and August, please don't do that! The best time for Aurora Viewing is from late September to November and late February to April.
(Check out our best tips for viewing the Northern Lights here!)
6. Denali Flightseeing Tour - Talkeetna
5. Helicopter Glacier Landing - Anchorage
4. Kenai Fjords National Park Wildlife Tour - Seward
Alright, so from Seward we've been on 3 different wildlife watching tours. We not only highly recommend booking with Major Marine Tours like the one we've linked, but we also highly recommend booking the full day tour. Major Marine Tours not only has better boats, nicer staff, and better food, but we also have always had better wildlife experiences when out on their boats! On this tour you will almost certainly see some whales (orcas or humpbacks), sea lions, seals, puffins, and otters!
3. Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Tour - Juneau
It goes without saying, we had the most incredible whale watching tour in Juneau, which is why this tour makes it to the number 3 spot. The reason we recommend both the wildlife tours out of Seward and Juneau is this : from Seward you will see a variety of wildlife but they won't always guarantee a whale, from Juneau you will see whales and not always other wildlife. When we went on our tour in early September, we saw 20+ humpback whales during our tour! Plus, this one also includes a stop to Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau's other top sight!
2. Sixmile Creek Whitewater Rafting - Hope
This was the most epic and adrenaline filled tour we've ever been on! Not only is Sixmile Creek one of the most epic whitewater rafting rivers in North America - but you go through 3 different canyons! The views are amazing, you have the chance to see bear and moose, and the ride itself was incredible!
1. Alaska Bear Viewing Tour - Homer
Our number one spot goes to Bear viewing in Katmai National Park - this was hands down our favorite thing we did during our year in Alaska. There is no where else you can get this close to a grizzly in the wild, and the experience is truly unlike anything else you'll ever see. It might be a little spendy, but every penny is worth it - even just for the views on the flight over!
Check out some of our other Alaska blog posts here!
Pin this post for later!
We're Deborah & Tyler, a pretty average husband and wife duo from a pretty average state that didn't want to live so averagely. After our *Covid wedding we sold everything that didn't fit into the Jeep and moved to Alaska, then decided to take a gap year!
We share bucket list itineraries and cost saving guides to help you travel easier and inspire your next adventure! ;)
Our blog and all its content are free to you, however when you purchase through referral or affiliate links on our site we may earn a small commission. Learn more here.