The Alaskan Coast is a region of breathtaking natural wonders, untamed wilderness, and unparalleled beauty. Embarking on a group tour along Alaska’s 6,640 miles of rugged coastline offers an unforgettable adventure filled with diverse landscapes, wildlife encounters, and cultural experiences.

Whether your group is filled with nature enthusiasts, history lovers, or those simply seeking a unique travel experience, a tour of sites along the Gulf of Alaska is sure to be unforgettable.           

As one of Alaska’s main hubs, Anchorage is the ideal destination for staying put—offering the conveniences of the urban world with access to the surrounding great outdoors. Head to Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge and watch for birds, moose, bears, and other animals. Take a ride on the Alyeska Tramway for aerial views of seven glaciers, kettle ponds, and Turnagain Arm.

Anchorage Northern Lights. Credit: Visit Anchorage/Jody Overstreet
Anchorage Northern Lights,
Credit: Visit Anchorage/Jody Overstreet

Groups seeking a more cultural experience should visit the Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center. From museums, cultural centers, and shopping to wildlife, parks and trails, and northern lights, Anchorage offers groups the opportunity to experience the best of Alaska—all in one place.

Group travelers are welcome to immerse themselves in the charm and diversity of Ketchikan. Home to three Native groups—the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian—cultural traditions offer rich experiences for visitors. For a taste of history, visit the Totem Heritage Center, home to the largest collection of original 19th-century totem poles. Ketchikan also has a history as a hub for Norwegian halibut fisherman and boat builders. Well known for its commercial salmon fishing, the city has been dubbed “The Salmon Capital of the World.” With a multitude of deep-sea fishing charters and guided tours, a fishing trip makes for a great group excursion.

Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is a wilderness paradise—close in proximity to other major coastal destinations but secluded by way of travel. There is no road that links the city to the mainland, so cruises and flights are the best options for the journey. Juneau’s most popular attraction is the Mendenhall Glacier: a half-mile-wide icecap that ranges from 300 to 1,800 feet deep. Then, just 45 miles outside the city, Tracy Arm Fjord boasts spectacular landscapes with glaciers, granite walls, mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife around every corner. 

Downtown Skagway, Alaska. Credit: Reinhard Pantke
Downtown Skagway, Alaska,
Credit: Reinhard Pantke

Located directly between the Kenai Mountains and Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is one of Alaska’s most historic communities (and most scenic, too!). Boasting myriad outdoor activities, there is no shortage of options for taking in the spectacular landscapes. Glacier and wildlife cruises, kayaking in Resurrection Bay, and whale watching tours are just some of the many opportunities for exploration in the area. In the winter, go dog sledding or take a cross-country ski trip along the five-mile Bear Lake Winter Trail.

One of the most popular towns to visit in the Inside Passage, Skagway sports gold rush history, beautiful scenery, and one-of-a-kind architecture. During the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897, Skagway attracted over 40,000 gold-rush stampeders—which is still a driving force in the tourism trade for the city.

Downtown, visitors are transported back in time with historic false front shops, restaurants, wooden sidewalks, and restored buildings. Take a stroll down Broadway Avenue and explore more than 20 historic buildings that have been preserved by Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, including The Moore House, Jeff Smith’s Parlor, and The Mascot Saloon.

Written by Elizabeth Roubik

Main Image: Alaskan Railroad and Turnagain Arm, Credit: Visit Anchorage/Nicole Geils