Some of the world's best beaches can be found in some very surprising places, and Alaska, despite being known as a frosty, snowy place, is home to some beautiful beaches that people of all ages can enjoy.
In fact, Alaska has the unique distinction of having the longest coastline of any other state, with over 5,500 miles of coast in total.
1. Black Sand Beach
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Out in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, Black Sand Beach is named due to the beautiful black sands found here.
They’re not quite as soft to touch as the sort of sands you’ll find on white or golden beaches, but they’re incredible to look at. Visitors will also be able to marvel at the magical views in every direction, with snow-capped mountains and stunning icy spots all around.
The views at this beach are quite possibly the best in all of Alaska and you'll definitely want to bring your camera along to snap some photos to share with your friends. This beach is also a good camping and kayaking spot, so there are plenty of activities to enjoy here. Black Sand Beach Map
2. Fort Abercrombie State Park
Stretching out over 182 acres in total, Fort Abercrombie State Park is one of the best and most beautiful recreational areas in all of Alaska.
The park is filled with a wide variety of landscapes including forests, hiking trails, rocky areas, and sandy beaches.
You can even find a lot of old World War II military outposts dotted around the park, making it a nice spot for explorers and history enthusiasts, and there's plenty of fascinating flora and fauna to be admired as well.
As for the beaches themselves, they all offer soft sands and outstanding views, and since the park is so large, you can almost always find a little private spot just for you and your friends. Fort Abercrombie State Park Map
3. Schooner Beach
Schooner Beach is a very special beach for several reasons. The first thing that makes this beach special is the presence of the Satsuma Maru, a schooner that crashed onto the shore many years ago and still remains as an exciting wreck to admire and explore.
You'll also find some really good surfing conditions at this beach, so if you've got the skill and courage needed to brave the Alaskan waters, this is a great place to ride some waves.
Even if you're not interested in surfing, it can be thrilling to sit on the sand and watch the surfers out on the water, taking photos and strolling along the sands as the day passes by. Schooner Beach Map
4. Yakutat Beach
Yakutat Beach is one of the most untouched and little-known beaches in all of Alaska.
It's also one of the state's best-kept secrets. Once you visit this beach for the first time, you'll be instantly captivated by its unique beauty and charm.
The sands here are littered with old bits of driftwood and pretty little shells, so it's a super spot to do some beachcombing, but if you're looking to do something a little more intense, the waves here can get quite big and pose a fun challenge to even the most experienced surfers.
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5. The Homer Spit
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One of Alaska's best known beaches, The Homer Spit is a highly popular fishing and boating area.
You'll see dozens of different boats in the local docks and out on the waters at every time of day and night, and the local area is equipped with lots of useful stores, restaurants, rental places, and more, so there's always plenty to do at this Alaskan beach.
The town is also known as one of the best places in all of North America to go fishing for halibut, and the beach is dog-friendly too so you can bring your four-legged friend along for some fun in the sun. The Homer Spit Map
6. Whittier Beach (Head of the Bay)
A hidden gem of Whittier is its charming Head of the Bay. Literally the head of the bay, this shore greets the beautiful water of the Prince William Sound and is every nature photographer’s dream. Head of the Bay is characterized by its beach of flattened rocks. Enjoy picnics out on the beach, take long walks along the shoreline, or enjoy animal-watching care of the mountains around you. From the head of the bay, visitors can also enjoy a nice view of the downtown area. Locals often enjoy evenings by the firepit at this beach as well as tide pooling during the warmer months. Whittier Beach (Head of the Bay) Map
7. Tonsina Creek
Looking for a moderately difficult hike to enjoy in Seward? The Tonsina Creek Trail could be what you’re looking for. This 3-mile scenic trail is a favorite amongst locals. It is a 2-hour hike that starts with a steady climb up the shores of Resurrection Bay and ends at the Tonsina Creek. Hikers will get to see several gorgeous sceneries as well as landmarks like a lovely metal expansion bridge.
Explore marshes and meadows, see Salmon spawning in the summer, or enjoy majestic forests filled with hemlock, spruce, and cottonwood. Great for an afternoon excursion, the Tonsina Creek Trail is also a great choice for nature photographers.
8. Captain Cook State Recreation Area
The Captain Cook State Recreation Area is a hidden gem of the Kenai Peninsula. Virtually unknown and relatively undiscovered by those unfamiliar with Kenai, this recreation area is a serene and peaceful outdoor destination that features thriving forests, a huge lake, many streams, and saltwater beaches. As its name states, Captain Cook State Park has a few recreational activities to enjoy.
Stormy Lake is great for bird watching, berry picking, and canoeing during the summer months, while also being a top ice fishing location during the winter. Wildlife enthusiasts can catch glimpses of beluga whales, moose, bears, harbor seals, and more, while other activities like camping, hiking, and biking are also available.
Captain Cook State Recreation Area, Kenai Spur Highway, Nikiski, Alaska 99611, Phone: 907-522-8368
9. Kasilof River Beach
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At the western end of the Kenai Peninsula lays the Kasilof River Beach, a popular recreational destination in the fishing town of Kasilof. With fishing being the lifeblood of this town, it only makes sense that the Kasilof River Beach would be best known for its incredible fishing opportunities. With 30 acres of land, the beach has a boat launch for guests who want to fish away from the shore. Meanwhile, the Kasilof River beach also has great wildlife viewing opportunities with many lynxes, black and brown bears, as well as moose roaming the area. For first-time fishers, fishing guides can be booked at the boat launch.
Kasilof River Beach, Kasilof, Alaska 99610
10. Bishop’s Beach
If you’re looking for a place to spend some time enjoying the view in Homer, Bishop’s Beach is a great choice. Though it isn’t a swimming beach, there are plenty of activities to enjoy here such as beach combing and leisurely walks. Those who want to enjoy a hike after stopping by can access the Beluga Slough Trail. Bishop’s Beach is a great place to enjoy a picnic with several fire pits, grills, and picnic tables available for rent. Meanwhile, the beach is also nearby other Old Town attractions including public artwork, shops, art galleries, and other similar Homer establishments.
Bishop’s Beach, Homer, Alaska
11. Outside Beach, Seldovia
Outside Beach is literally Seldovia’s outside beach. Located just a short drive outside of town, the beach boasts incredible views that reach Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay. At the inlet, visitors can even spot the famous Pacific Ring of Fire with Mount Illiamna and Redoubt visible from the shores of Outside Beach. As if that weren’t enough, Outside Beach also has great views of the Augustine Volcano, and on a typical day, visitors will often see the steam that rises out of this 4,000-foot island cone. RV hookups are available at this beach which is great for fishing, beach bonfires, picnicking, and quiet walks.
Outside Beach, Seldovia, Alaska 99663
12. Chena Lake Recreation Area
Chena Lake Recreation Area is known for having two distinct sections, Lake Park and River Park. Both sections of the recreation area were created in 1967 and have similar recreational activities to enjoy. Lake Park features the 260-acre Chena Lake with 45 campsites, swimming beaches, boat rentals, fishing docks, and a boat launch. It also has picnic sites, a playground, three volleyball courts, and a horseshoe pit. Meanwhile, the smaller River Park rests along the Chena River and has much of the same features such as 35 campsites, day-use picnic areas, and sports areas as well. What differentiates it is the 4.5-kilometer nature trail that guests can enjoy whether guided or self-guided.
Chena Lake Recreation Area, 3780 Laurance Road, North Pole, Alaska 99705, Phone: 907-488-1655
Vacation Inspiration: Islamorada Beaches, Key Largo Beaches, Florida Islands, Florida Keys
13. Rotary Beach
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The chilly and marine life-laden waters of Ketchikan have made swimming a very bad idea for locals. This is why most people turn to Rotary Beach for their water recreation. Waters are much more temperate and calmer at Rotary Beach, which is protected by a cement causeway. Known locally as Bugge Beach, Rotary Beach is home to a mix of sandy and rocky shores, several tidepools, and fantastic views of Nichol’s Passage. Enjoy searching for eels, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and clams among other sea creatures before gathering around for a Ketchikan-style picnic. For the full Ketchikan-style experience, be sure to stop by Tatsusda’s on the way to Rotary Beach to pick up a supply of hot dogs and matches for the firepit.
Rotary Beach, 3507 S Tongass Highway, Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
14. Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park
Come and discover historical and cultural treasures at the Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park. This Southern Alaska Beach hides a secret that is revealed only during the low tide – 8,000-year-old rock carvings scattered along the beach’s stony shore. The petroglyphs are believed to have been sketched by the Tlingit people, who once called these shores home thousands of years earlier. 40 rock sketches have been found all over the beach depicting faces, salmon, whales, and the community. The petroglyphs at this state historic park are among some of the most concentrated historic and ancient drawings in the world and a treasure to native Alaskans.
Petroglyph Beach State Historic Park, Wrangell, Alaska 99929
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15. Nome Beaches
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Would you believe that the beaches of Nome were once the site of Alaska’s gold rush? The shorelines between the great Bering Sea and Front Street used to be laden with tents a good 30 miles along the coast. Thousands came to get their shot at riches. Today, some of the gold that brought many to Nome’s shores can still be chanced upon, albeit offshore and towards the western and eastern ends of the beach. Weekends will find recreational gold miners descending upon the beach to dredge the sands to find some of this sparkly treasure. Apart from the gold hunt, visitors to Nome Beaches can enjoy great bird watching, cozy up to bonfires, or comb the sands for lovely beach glass. The sunset views at this beach are also nothing short of spectacular.
Nome Beaches, Nome, Alaska
16. More Info About Alaska Beaches
This means that The Last Frontier is home to a long list of beaches. And it gets better! One of the most exciting advantages of visiting Alaska's beaches is that the largest state's coastline is mostly untouched by civilization and the tourism industry.
Many of America's best beaches can be a lot of fun to visit, but the experience is affected by lots of resorts, hotels, attractions, and more.
The beaches of Alaska are totally calm and quiet, offering purely peaceful experiences that allow visitors to feel completely at one with nature and appreciate the awesome scenery and surroundings, witnessing the power and beauty of nature without any distractions.
Best Beaches in Alaska
Alaska’s beaches are some of the best in the world for relaxing and forgetting about the stresses and worries of regular day-to-day life. If you really just need to get away from it all, this is the place to be. Not only that, but Alaska's beaches might surprise you in terms of their beauty and the wide array of available activities. Fishing, sunbathing, kayaking, and even surfing and arctic swimming can be enjoyed all around this state. Read on to learn all about the best beaches in Alaska.
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