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When is the Best Time to Visit Alaska? (With or without kids!)

Alaska has something for everyone. But when it the best time to go?

Some people prefer the Alaskan summer, which is June 15 to August 15.

mid-summer Alaska

During spring and fall, many hotels and day tours offer tourists discounts of between 10% and 25%.

Winter, which generally is from late November to mid-March, has its special attractions too.

More on Cool Kid Facts: Alaska State Facts & History of Alaska

Spring and Summer in Alaska

This is the peak season for visitors visiting Alaska.

The longest day of the year is June 21 when you can expect to have 19 hours of daylight in Anchorage and 22 hours in Fairbanks.

camping in Anchorage
Camping in Anchorage

In late May to late July, it is daylight for 24 hours, hence Alaska being called the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Most tours operate from mid-May to mid-September.

Tours to the Denali National Park run from mid-June to the end of August. This is the best time to take a whale tour to see the humpback whales during their migration.

humpback-whale

Alaska is abloom with all kinds of wild flowers and wildlife during the spring and summer.

May is a good time to visit to see moose, reindeer, bear and other wildlife. This makes for wonderful picture-taking opportunities.

Visitors can also take advantage of rafting, hiking, flightseeing trips and glacier and wildlife tours.

bear facts for kids

Fall and Winter

From September to early April is the best time to see the Northern Lights. Be prepared for all kinds of weather.

You definitely will encounter snow from late November to March. This is a good time to experience snowmobiling, dog sledding tours, and skiing.

common-murre

Fall and early winter are good times to view a variety of bird and whale migrations.

Fall is also the time to view the tundra in all its glory. From late August and early September, the higher elevations of tundra turn a deep red and birch, aspens, and alders turn yellow and orange.

alaska autumn tundra

Special Days to Visit Alaska

Golden Days

This happens in the 3rd week of July and most activities are held in the Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. It is a celebration of Fairbank’s Gold Rush history. Everyone dresses up in period costumes.

Alaska State Fair

This is held during the last week of August to the first week of September each year in Anchorage. The exact dates are available from the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

alaska state fair

Typically, there are animals, food booths, vendors, musical performances and other events for visitors and local residents to enjoy.

University of Alaska Festival of Native Arts

This is a celebration of Native culture and is held in Fairbanks in late February or early March. The exact dates are available from the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

There are performances in dance, music, and traditional arts put on by Native groups from Alaska and outside Alaska.

Six Osage Native Americans

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous

This is held at the end of February into the first week of March each year. The exact dates are available from the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

It began in 1935 as a sporting event for miners and trappers. Today it is a carnival with all the usual trappings.

There is a Running of the Reindeer Event, a fur Auction, an Eskimo Blanket Toss, and an opportunity to see and buy local art.

Eskimo Blanket Toss

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race

This is the longest ultra-marathon in the world and is at least a  thousand-mile trek by dog sled. It is held in March and exact dates can be found by contacting the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

The race starts in Anchorage and tests the endurance of dog teams and their mushers.

Iditarod Sled Dog Race
Iditarod Sled Dog Race

The Alaska Folk Festival

This festival is held during the first week of April each year in Juneau. Musicians perform in local bars and restaurants as well as perform in impromptu outdoor performances.

The exact dates can be obtained from the Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Celebration

This event is held during the first week of June every even-numbered year. Exact dates can be obtained from the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau.

George Catlin Ball Play Of The Choctaw Ball Up Google Art Project

More than 50 Native Dance groups and more than 3000 Native Alaskans from all over Alaska come to Juneau to perform and share their stories and culture.

Visitors can see and purchase authentic Native and Northwest Coast art.

Helpful Websites

Travel Alaska – Official Travel and Vacation Information & Guides from the State of Alaska.

skiing-snowboarding

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