Alaska, located in the northwest corner of the United States, became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. Prior to becoming a state, Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million. It was considered a territory of the United States until it was officially granted statehood. Today, Alaska is divided into five regions: the Inside Passage, Southcentral, Interior, Arctic, and Southwest. Each region has unique features and attractions, including glaciers, national parks, and native culture.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States, with a land area of over 663,000 square miles. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, and bald eagles. The state's economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas production, fishing, and tourism. Visitors to Alaska can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
When visiting Alaska, it is important to bring warm clothing, even during the summer months. Layering is key, as temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day. It is recommended to bring a waterproof jacket, warm hat, gloves, and comfortable waterproof shoes or boots. But you can travel anytime because every season has its own activities and adventures.
Alaska has two time zones. The majority of the state is in the Alaska Time Zone, which is one hour behind Pacific Standard Time. However, the Aleutian Islands, which are located farther west, are in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone, which is one hour behind the Alaska Time
There are several options to get to Alaska, including by plane, car, or cruise ship. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, as well as other cities throughout the state. If you prefer to drive, you can take the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska. Another popular option is to take a cruise ship to Alaska, which allows you to see the state's stunning coastal scenery and visit multiple destinations.
Alaska is committed to responsible tourism through the Adventure Green Alaska (AGA) program. This program promotes sustainable tourism practices and encourages visitors to minimize their impact on the environment. Some AGA-certified businesses and activities include eco-friendly lodges, wildlife tours that prioritize conservation, and outdoor recreation companies that follow Leave No Trace principles. Visitors to Alaska can help support responsible tourism by choosing AGA-certified businesses and being mindful of their impact on the environment.
Do you know that Alaska has 229 tribes?
Alaska has a rich and diverse Indigenous culture, with 229 federally recognized tribes and over 20 distinct cultures, each with their own unique traditions, languages, and dialects. In fact, there are more than 300 different dialects spoken among Alaska's Indigenous peoples. Visitors to Alaska can learn about and experience this rich cultural heritage through various cultural centers, museums, and events. If you decide to buy any native craft, look for the seal that signifies you’re buying an authentic Alaska Native Handicraft.
In our next blog we will share the best places to visit in each area of Alaska don't miss it.