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Arctic Vacation in Alaska

Updated on November 3, 2014

How to Plan an Arctic Vacation in Alaska

Arctic tourism is on the travel bucketlist of many a fan of adventure travel. For United States citizens, the easiest way to plan an arctic vacation is to choose Alaska as their gateway to the Arctic. A passport is not required and no second-language skills are needed.

To travel inside the Arctic Circle in summer is to experience the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Here we have pictured a public-domain image of Kotzebue, Alaksa, a city located just inside the Arctic Circle and on a spit of land that juts into the Bering Sea.

Make Fairbanks, Alaska Your Home Base

Arctic vacation travel

Fairbanks lies about 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle. This city of 35,000 hosts an array of activities at the summer solstice on June 21. Most notable is the baseball game played at midnight without benefit of outdoor lighting.

Other events include the Midnight Sun Fun Run and an on-going street party.

Fairbanks is also home to America's farthest north university, the University of Alaska. Its Museum of the North is world-class. And enjoy the Alaska air as you stroll along the campus cross-country ski trails.

Photo of Fairbanks, Alaska courtesy of Jeffrey Allen at wikipedia commons

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Alaska History Books - Arctic vacataion travel

Identical twins Terrence and Dermot Cole are the go-to experts for Alaskan history buffs. Here is just one book by Terrence Cole, a history professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

More Alaskan History Books - Arctic vacation travel

Terrence's twin brother, Dermot Cole, is a former columnist for the daily newspaper, The Fairbanks News-Miner. Here is one amazon selection on Alaska history written by Dermot.

Travel Inside the Arctic Circle

Arctic vacation travel

Once you have checked out the fascinating small city of Fairbanks, Alaska, it's time to journey north into the Arctic Circle. One option is by road. And the only way to do that is to travel the Dalton Highway.

The Dalton Highway parallels the Alaska Oil Pipeline; it is only open to the public during the summer months. Tour buses and vans can escort you the 500 miles from Fairbanks to the Prudhoe Bay oil field near the Arctic Ocean. You will pass through miles of boreal forest and cross the Yukon River and the Continental Divide before traversing the flat and treeless tundra of the North Slope.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to rent a truck to drive the distance yourself.

When the sun rises at Prudhoe Bay on May 20, it does not set until July 22. This image, courtesy of Micah Bochart at wikipedia commons, was taken at Mile 256 of the Dalton Highway in the Brooks Range.

Inupiat Eskimo Culture and More

Alaska vacation travel

Arctic Circle holidays can be had by flying to points within the Arctic Circle. Day trips originating at the Fairbanks International Airport are popular to arctic vacation destinations.

In Barrow and Kotzebue you can experience Inupiat Eskimo culture first hand. This image, by Floyd Davidson at wikipedia commons, features Inupiat Eskimos in Barrow enjoying their nalukataq blanket toss. (Nalukataq is the word for "toss up".) Meanwhile, Kotzebue is the home of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics every July.

Multi-day tours within the Arctic Circle can be tailored for individual interests, such as hunting, fishing, photography, and wildlife viewing. No arctic vacation is complete without a trip to the Gates of the Arctic National Park near Coldfoot.

Let me know you stopped by - Alaska vacation travel

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Everyone that I know who has traveled to Alaska just raves about their trip. Such a fascinating area.

    • jayceehaynes profile image

      jayceehaynes 5 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This sounds like a fun place to visit. Alaska looks beautiful!