The Aleut people called it Alyeska, the great land. Alaska is one of the world's special places, full of exotic wildlife, magnificent mountains, glacier-carved valleys and steep, rocky coastlines.
Alaska is bigger than life, its sheer mass hard to comprehend. The distance from Barrow, on the northern coast, to Ketchikan, at the southern edge, is more than 1,350 mi/2,174 km—about the same as New York City to Miami. Alaska has six distinct climatic regions, the tallest mountains, the biggest glaciers, the most plentiful fishing and the wildest nature preserves on the North American continent.
Visitors go to Alaska for the fishing, hiking, hunting or camping—Denali National Park is a big attraction. Some go for the northern lights, or to whale-watch while cruising the Inside Passage. Some even go to Alaska for the Iditarod dogsled race.
Even as Alaska vacations become more accessible, distance creates costs. Per-day expenses in remote parts of the state are comparable with those in major urban centers. The abundance of spectacular scenery and wildlife, however, should more than compensate.
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