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Inside Alaska

Inside Alaska

Go beyond the shoreline to experience even more of Alaska

By Loren Holmes

If your first sight of Alaska is by cruise ship, you’ll no doubt be in awe of this beautiful land. With surprises around every turn, it’s rarely a letdown for first-time visitors.

But the coast is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Alaska may have more coastline than the entire lower 48 states, but it’s also twice the size of Texas, the second-biggest state in the union. So if time allows, it’s well worth your while to take a few days before or after your cruise to travel even further and explore the interior. Here are a few suggestions to whet your appetite.

Denali

No talk of Alaska would be complete without mentioning the crown jewel, Denali National Park. About 250 miles north of the nearest coastal town, Anchorage, Denali boasts more than 6 million acres of rugged beauty. It includes North America’s highest peak, 20,320-foot Mount McKinley, as well as abundant wildlife.

You have a few options to get to Denali. Several cruise lines offer trips north by train, from either Anchorage or Seward, and you can also book the trip yourself with the Alaska Railroad. For those who want more flexibility, renting a car can be a scenic alternative.
No matter how you get there, the best way to see the park is to ride the 90-mile park road via bus. Personal vehicles aren’t allowed past mile 15, which makes for a quiet, uncrowded…

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Photo: Joao Canziani/Getty Images

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