You don’t have to see the same places everyone else does. Here’s our guide to the coolest glaciers, biggest bears, and best small town
Yes, some are melting fast, but Alaska’s glaciers are still huge and impressive. Most visitors head to Glacier Bay, day-tripping up Tarr Inlet to watch Margerie Glacier calve (drop chunks of ice into the water). But when locals send visiting relatives to a glacier, they’re more likely to steer them to the Tracy Arm–Fords Terror Wilderness (pictured), south of Juneau. It’s more intimate and more dramatic—ice chunks fall off with near-frightening regularity, kicking up waves. And watch for shooters, bergs that break off below the surface, then shoot up like they’re hoping to fly.
Info: From $169; late May–early Sep; allenmarinetours.com
While you’re there: Juneau has another good glacier 12 miles north of downtown: Mendenhall (907/789-0097), in the Tongass National Forest.