10 Must-See Alaska Destinations for Healthcare Travelers
Alaska, the Last Frontier, offers healthcare travelers a truly unique travel experience. Boasting the lowest population density in the nation (just one person per square mile!), Alaska is known for its vast and untouched wilderness, with breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. With more than 34,000 miles of coastline – spanning the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Bering Sea – it’s a true paradise for marine enthusiasts and travel nurses or allied travelers seeking coastal adventures.
If Alaska is on your healthcare travel bucket list, you’re in for an unforgettable travel adventure. Here are ten of the best places to visit in Alaska while on assignment.
Glacier Bay National Park
The icy wonderland of Glacier Bay National Park is a must for any adventure-seeking healthcare traveler. Marvel at the colossal glaciers and be on the lookout for humpback whales, sea otters, and harbor seals. The park offers a rare opportunity to witness the dynamic forces shaping Alaska’s landscape.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Head to Kenai Fjords National Park for a sightseeing coastal adventure like no other. Cruise through fjords, spot orcas and puffins, and witness the drama of tidewater glaciers calving into the sea. Don’t miss the Harding Icefield, one of the only remaining icefields in the U.S.The area offers something for everyone: boat tours, kayaking, cross-country skiing, beach combing, biking, hiking, flightseeing, and more. It’s a marine spectacle that will stay with you forever.
Nestled in the heart of Alaska, Fairbanks is a unique blend of wilderness and culture. This vibrant city, known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, offers healthcare travelers one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, which can be seen 243 days a year in Fairbanks on average. Several excellent museums provide a glimpse into the area’s history, like the Gold Rush, or you could get up close and personal with a sled dog or reindeer. Don’t miss the charming downtown area, and for a relaxing way to unwind, you can’t beat a soak in the Chena Hot Springs.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is a wilderness mecca and home to North America’s highest peak. Grizzly bears, reindeer, wolves, elk, and over 167 species of birds roam the six-million-acre park, so healthcare travelers seeking wildlife need to look no further. Its towering mountains, lush forests, and diverse wildlife make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Take time to explore the trails, go camping or backpacking, and witness the majesty of Denali itself. And for the truly adventurous, book a guided flightseeing tour with Fly Denali.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in the Portage Valley is a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska wildlife, offering education, research, and animal care. The center takes in orphaned and injured animals and provides them spacious habitats on the 200-acre space. Visit for a unique opportunity to connect with the state’s incredible biodiversity.
Located near Juneau, one of the best cities in Alaska to visit, Mendenhall Glacier is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. At the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, panoramic views unveil a thirteen-mile-long river of ice terminating on the far side of Mendenhall Lake. Marvel at blue icebergs floating amidst reflections of southeast Alaska’s coast mountains, connected to the expansive Juneau Ice Field—a 1,500 square mile remnant of the last ice age nestled in the lofty peaks of the coast mountains. With plenty of hiking trails, you can witness abundant wildlife and take in the stunning ice formations that define this iconic glacier.
Alaska’s Inside Passage
Explore the southeastern part of Alaska by cruising through the Inside Passage. See wildlife-filled fjords, glaciers, and gorgeous islands along this 500-mile stretch. Visit charming coastal towns like Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, each with a distinct character and history. The Inside Passage is also home to the Tongass National Forest, the largest U.S. national forest – it also happens to be the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world!
Anchorage, Alaska’s urban jewel, seamlessly combines modern amenities with the untamed beauty of the Last Frontier. Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and coastal wonders, this city provides a gateway to outdoor adventures. From wildlife encounters to scenic hikes, Anchorage invites travelers to experience the best of both worlds – a bustling urban center and the pristine wilderness that defines Alaska. Get oriented with an Anchorage Trolley Tour, or rent a bike and ride the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Anchorage also offers all the perks of a bustling major city – museums, brew pubs, nightlife, and more!
Want to explore Alaska on an epic road trip? Swap your car keys for a window seat on the Alaska Railroad. While not technically a destination itself, the Alaska Railroad is one of the best ways to see many destinations and take in the vast landscapes of Alaska. Whether it’s the Coastal Classic, Denali Star, or Glacier Discovery route, each journey promises breathtaking views and a unique perspective of the state’s beauty.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Discover the grandeur of Wrangell-St. Elias, the largest national park in the United States. Its dramatic mountain ranges, expansive glaciers, and the historic Kennecott Copper Mine are a testament to Alaska’s wild beauty.
Advice and Must-Have Gear for Alaska Travel Assignments
Be Prepared for Changing Weather
Alaska’s weather can be unpredictable. Pack layers, waterproof gear, and sturdy footwear to adapt to the varying weather conditions.
If you’re an adventure seeker, consider bringing items like a good backpack, binoculars, and a reliable camera to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife.
Cold Weather Gear
No matter what time of year you are on assignment in Alaska, you’ll want to be prepared for colder temperatures. Insulated boots, thermals, and coats that withstand extreme temperatures are an absolute must in the winter. And don’t forget accessories like gloves and hats – even in the summer months.
If you’re venturing into bear country, carry bear spray, make noise on trails, and be knowledgeable about bear safety practices.
Ready to Explore Alaska?
These ten must-see destinations offer a blend of natural beauty, wildlife encounters, and cultural experiences, making Alaska a once-in-a-lifetime experience for healthcare travelers. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and prepare for an expedition into the heart of the Last Frontier.
Ready to take your next travel adventure to Alaska? Check out TNAA’s available jobs and book your Alaska assignment today!