“The Last Frontier” is probably the last place coastal state that you’d expect to go to the beach. However, it actually boasts the most coastline of any American state with more than 6,600 miles of oceanic shores, on both the Arctic and Pacific oceans. Given its long summer days of nearly endless sun, plenty of people flock to its myriad of sandy and rocky shores to enjoy a day strolling or playing by the ocean, with a few brave ones taking the “polar bear plunge” into Alaska’s frigid waters
While most people don’t think about beaches when traveling to Alaska, the state has the most coastline in the country, with a whopping 6,640 miles (33,904 miles by the NOAA). Even though it’s in the north and has a colder climate, many tourists and residents enjoy visiting the top beach towns and coastal cities in …
Top Beaches and Coastal Towns in AK
Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, makes for a one-of-a-kind city on the water. It’s cut off the rest from the rest of the continent via road and many of its tourists arrive by cruise ship. However, like Anchorage, the southern Alaska coastal city has a few beaches both oceanside and lakeside to discover. Other beach towns include Homer and Seldovia for those looking for a unique summertime beach destination.
Guide to Visiting the Beaches in Alaska
Alaska has the country’s longest coastline with an impressive 6,640 miles of shores (33,904 miles by the NOAA), nearly five times the amount of Florida in the number two spot. Even though this state isn’t typically associated with the typical beach setting, some Last Frontier shores are worth the trek up north for.
This northwestern state has it all, just a bit cooler. Whether you’re looking for beaches near towns and cities or in the rural wilderness, you can find them in different parts of the state. Eagle Beach and Kincaid Beach Access give people who are staying in bigger cities like Juneau and Anchorage access to the water.
Visit Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), the northernmost city in the United States, one of Alaska’s top beach towns. And check out the black sand beach that overlooks the Arctic Ocean if you’re in the mood for some extreme travel.
There are numerous islands in Alaska, and many of them are relatively isolated. These islands have some of the world’s most pristine beaches.
Kodiak Island is home to the city of Kodiak, yet since you can only get there by air or boat makes it seem like you’ve traveled to another planet. In addition to its long coastline, the state is full of beautiful lakes where you can canoe, fish, and watch animals.
It’s wise to limit how far into the wilderness you go along Alaska’s wild coasts since a lot of the state is remote and undeveloped. Many different kinds of fish, animals, reptiles, and birds rely on the Alaskan Peninsula as their home.
Bears are the top predators in this ecosystem. Seventy percent of the continent’s brown bears, including most of the continent’s grizzlies, Kodiak bears, and black bears, are found in Alaska.
The farther north you go, the more likely it is that you may come across polar bears, who are known to frequent certain beaches and can be quite dangerous. Some urban beaches have patrols that watch for bear traffic, while others have designated limits for people. Locals tell tourists to stay in the designated areas because they are likely to see polar bears and other large predators beyond those zones.
Alaska Coastal Climate
Temperatures on the Alaskan shore are often substantially lower than those in the lower 48 states. The best time to visit cities like Anchorage is in the summer when the weather is pleasant, the skies are bright, and the city’s roughly 460 flower beds are in full bloom. The scenery alone is reason enough to visit, but most people won’t need to pack their sunbathing or swim gear.
Summers in the south and along the coast are often overcast, with a chance of rain and a mild temperature range of 40°F to 60°F. From November to March, the average high temperature in the interior of Alaska is between 0°F and -30°F, which is well below freezing.
Even though it might be chilly near the ocean, there is enough to do on Alaska’s magnificent coasts. All summer long, those who aren’t afraid of the cold sea can find beaches to surf, paddleboard, kayak, and even swim at.
It’s common practice for people to take advantage of the long, bright days during the few weeks (or months, depending on how far north you travel) when the beaches aren’t frozen. A day on an Alaskan beach could include anything from a leisurely stroll through the dunes to a photo shoot or even some kite flying.
Alaskans and visitors alike travel to the state’s beaches every summer for the prime fishing season. You should have all the necessary licenses before casting your line, especially since certain fish species are only available to be caught by Alaskan natives.
Some coasts are better than others for whale viewing, and during certain seasons, boat cruises are available. There is a wide variety of terrestrial animals you could see along the shore or in any other body of water, regardless of the season.
Cities around Alaska have made preparations to welcome visitors. There are many places to stay, including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, inns, and bed and breakfasts, particularly in the major cities.
In addition, many smaller communities have somewhere to stay, making them convenient destinations for tourists interested in seeing rural areas. Alaskans love to spend time outdoors, and there are plenty of campsites all around the state too.
If you’re looking for a really authentic slice of America, then you need to visit the Last Frontier, where you can enjoy a unique beachfront like no other. Despite not being the best places for tanning, the coastlines nevertheless have a ton of fun things to see and do.