email a friend iconprinter friendly icon50 Ways to See Alaska
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31. Delve into the depths at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, 125 miles south of Anchorage, at milepost 0 of the Seward Highway. Alaska's only public aquarium calls itself your "window on the sea" and delivers with a series of behind-the-scenes tours of the research and wildlife rehabilitation efforts. You can meet a marine mammal keeper, get to know a 2,000+ pound Steller sea lion, learn about the giant Pacific octopus, or even dissect a squid. Seward, +1 907 224 6300.

32. The 182-acre Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, a national historic landmark, is a haven for outdoor junkies and history buffs three miles north of Kodiak. The fort was part of the strategic buildup of coastal defenses during World War II when Japanese planes were sighted within 125 miles of the fort. Descend into the restored bunker, now the Kodiak Military History Museum, to get a sense of the period and check out the remaining gun mounts. Kodiak, +1 907 486 6339.

33. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is quintessential Alaska, accessible only by plane, about one to two hours from Anchorage, Kenai, or Homer. Highlights include the park's two active volcanoes, Iliamna and Redoubt, which are part of the Pacific's Ring of Fire, and the Telaquana Trail. But make sure to see Dick Proenneke's cabin, which was crafted in 1968 entirely with hand tools. Considered by some this century's Thoreau (with the Twin Lakes area serving as his Walden), Proenneke spent 30 years off the grid, painstakingly crafting utilitarian wood pieces and penning detailed journals documenting his woodworking and the splendid nature around him. + 1 907 781 2218.

34. Think you can handle infamous Alaskan winters? Don a parka and step inside the 40° below zero F chamber at the Alaska at 40° Below subzero experience to find out. If you enjoy temperatures frigid enough to vaporize hot water when it is thrown into the air, you may just be an Alaskan at heart. Locations in Fairbanks, +1 866 479 6673, and Denali, +1 800 426 0500.

35. Have you ever played tug-of-war using your ear? How far can you walk while carrying four people at once? You can see these, as well as other traditional strength and agility competitions, including the Nalukataq (in which a group tosses a teammate 30 feet in the air using walrus skins), at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics held each July. Fairbanks +1 907 452 6646.

36. Climbers and hikers alike head to the Chena River State Recreation Area to view wildlife and to scale the popular Granite Tors during summer months. The trail leading to these towering rock formations (some over 100 feet tall) boasts a variety of wildflowers from May through July and is "one of the most awe-inspiring hikes" in the park. Fairbanks, +1 907 451 2705.

37. See native Alaskan artists in action—carving totem poles, beading necklaces, weaving, and crafting other folk art—at the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, +1 907 747 8981.

38. Explore the rifts, mountains, and coastline of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a "living laboratory" that attracts scientists from around the world. Sea kayak through the tidewater forest, keeping a lookout for black bears, arctic foxes, gray wolves, and bald eagles. Go flightseeing from nearby communities for a holistic view of Glacier Bay. +1 907 697 2230.

39. Discover the local Tlingit culture at the Clausen Museum in Petersburg. Peruse more than 5,000 artifacts and 45,000 photographs documenting the fishing history of the Scow Bay channel. You can even learn how to catch and clean a fish yourself, just as the Tlingit Indians have done for thousands of years. +1 907 772 3598.

40. Visit the largest seabird refuge in the world at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, located on dramatic Katchemak Bay. Unique stained-glass sandhill cranes and hand-sculpted sea objects created by local artists dot the landscape. Check out brown bag seminars led by local nature experts, or attend the annual AlaskaWILD photography exhibit in August. +1 907 235 6961.

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