No doubt: Getting to see a majestic brown bear snatching salmon from an Alaska stream is the memory of a lifetime. But as iconic as these massive land predators are, they're just the start of what Alaska has to offer. Keep your eyes peeled for soaring bald eagles, colorful puffins, stately sandhill cranes, shy black bears, acrobatic humpback whales, and of course the regal, knobby-kneed moose, the largest member of the deer family.
While you can see wildlife for yourself almost anywhere in Alaska, you can improve your chances of viewing wildlife by joining a bear viewing tour, whale watching tour, birding tour, or wildlife excursion. The state is also home to a variety of zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers, most of which are dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating Alaska wildlife, giving you up-close views of Alaska’s incredible and diverse land and marine animals. Wildlife tours often include other highlights like glacier viewing and sightseeing and use all modes of transportation — from boats to buses to kayaks to your own two feet.
Some of Alaska's best wildlife sights are seasonal: every spring, locals and visitors alike depart on day cruises in hopes of seeing gray whales migrating to their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas, and birders flock to tidal flats and wetlands to view thousands of birds on their annual spring migrations. And if you travel to the state's northern reaches, you might be lucky enough to see caribou traveling in herds so large, they blot out the horizon.
Needless to say, make sure you bring a pair of binoculars and a good camera. You won't want to miss a single photograph or memory on your Alaska wildlife watching tour.
Plan Your Trip
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Alaska: AKA Your Next Adventure
Where will your Alaska adventure take you? Order our Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner and plot your course.