An Alaska beach is more than your typical shoreline. It comes with epic views of mountains, wildlife, or glaciers. The landscape provides a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.
We explore the best Alaskan beaches in this article. And if you’re wondering if you can swim on the beaches, we’ll discuss that as well. Let’s dive in!
Does Alaska Have Nice Beaches?
Alaska beaches are extremely beautiful. The state has over 33,000 miles of coastline with varying scenery. It has many beaches ideal for picnics, hikes, camping, fishing, and more. But keep in mind these aren’t Caribbean beaches. In Alaska, you’ll find black-sand beaches from volcanic ash, frozen tundra beaches next to glaciers, and some sandy options close to towns and at the foothills of mountains cascading into the ocean.
Are There Swimmable Beaches in Alaska?
You can swim in Alaska during summer, particularly from July to September. But keep in mind the temperatures won’t be warm. You’ll find tolerable swimming locations in shallow waters.
While beaches on the ocean are chilly, there are protected bays that can have warmer water. For example, Jewell Lake Park is a favorite beach for people of all ages. It’s in Anchorage on Turnagain Arm. The sandy beach has a swimming area, a picnic area, and a playground.
Traveler’s Tip: After exploring all of the Alaskan beaches check out all of these mountains in Alaska.
Does Alaska Have Any Sandy Beaches?
There are some sandy Alaska beaches. While sand may not be the predominant feature of beaches around the state, you can find some. Beaches around Anchorage tend to be sandy and protected, so they’re great for swimming and spending the day in the summer. Yakutat, on the southeast tip of Alaska, also has a sandy beach. You might even see some orcas swimming by while relaxing on the beach.
Best Alaska Beaches
The chances of seeing sea life and wildlife from an Alaska beach are high. Your beach day here is more than sun and swimming. It’s all about the epic views and being engulfed in nature. Let’s look at seven of the best beaches in the state.
Black Sand Beach on Prince William Sound
Location: On Prince William Sound, northwest of Tatitlek.
About: Black Point has a beautiful beach on Prince William Sound. There are trees for shade on the beach you can kayak to and from. The water is very deep here, from 18 feet to 300 feet.
Best for Viewing: Black Sand Beach is best for viewing snow-capped mountains and sea life. You’ll get amazing views by flying over the area or kayaking along the shoreline.
Kincaid Beach in Anchorage
Location: Unnamed Road, Anchorage, AK 99502
About: Kincaid Beach is in west Anchorage and easy to access from almost anywhere in the city. You’ll find beautiful driftwood here on a sandy or muddy beach, depending on when the tide is out.
Best for Viewing: Kincaid Beach is perfect for watching the sunset. The chances of seeing sea life from here are pretty good.
Schooner Beach in Yakutat
Location: On the northwest shore of Yakutat Bay.
About: Named after a Japanese schooner wreck in 1900, Schooner Beach is sandy. It offers views of mountains and the bay, where orcas and more frequent.
Best for Viewing: The shoreline is ideal for hiking and spotting wildlife. On a hot summer day, you may be able to wade into the water without getting too cold from the nearby glacier water.
The Homer Spit
Location: Homer, AK 99603
About: The Homer Spit is a peninsula of shoreline and not necessarily all beach. However, you can access the coast in several places. Just remember to be aware of the tide so you don’t get stuck in the mud when it’s out.
Best for Viewing: The Homer Spit is best for viewing wildlife like sea lions, orcas, birds, and more. The unique experience also offers oceanside dining with views of mountains.
Eagle Beach in Juneau
Location: The Tongass National Forest, 28955 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801
About: Eagle Beach is in the Tongass National Forest, north of Juneau, Alaska. With views of snow-capped mountains, the beach has walkable paths of sand and foliage. And since it’s in a recreational area, there are a lot of opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Best for Viewing: Keep an eye out for eagles and other wildlife. It’s a great place to take a stroll, only a short distance from the city of Juneau.
Bishop’s Beach in Homer
Location: Northwest of Homer, AK 99603
Best for Viewing: The beach is swimmable in the summer months, but do plan on it being chilly. It also has panoramic views of mountains, and bald eagles are often spotted here.
Fossil Beach in Kodiak
Location: 41520 Pasagshak Rd, Kodiak, AK 99615
About: Fossil Beach is a small, sandy spot surrounded by a cliff on Kodiak Island. While this beach is the most difficult to reach on our list, it’s one of the most beautiful. It kind of reminds us of Ireland with high cliffs and foliage on top.
Best for Viewing: The beach is best for viewing fossils on the cliff’s face. And it offers stunning views of cliffs in the distance cascading into the sea.
Traveler’s Tip: While exploring all of the Alaskan beaches
keep an out for the Terrifying Kushtaka.
Are Alaska Beaches Worth Visiting?
Visiting an Alaska beach is worth it and a must-do on any trip to the state. Whether looking for a relaxing day by the water or observing wildlife, these beaches have it all. And while you might not be lounging in your bikini on Alaska beaches, they offer some of the most beautiful views in the world.
Which Alaska beach would you like to explore first? Tell us in the comments!
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