Many people plan a trip to Alaska so they can experience the vast and beautiful wilderness of the Last Frontier. While its natural beauty is spectacular, visitors also should take an opportunity to learn more about the culture of the Alaskan people and the history of the land. There are many museums throughout Alaska that feature fun and engaging exhibits designed to interest people of all ages.
These are the best museums in Alaska.
Alaska State Museum
The Alaska State Museum, located in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff (APK) Building at 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, AK, is the perfect place to begin for those who want to know more about the cultural history of the state. There are many objects and artifacts on display throughout the museum, as well as several exhibits, which provide additional information about the native cultures in Alaska and the history of pioneering in the state. In addition to the permanent exhibits on display, there are always various rotating exhibits to enjoy as well. One upcoming exhibit is the Alaska Positive exhibit, which focuses on photographic art of Alaska. This museum has varying hours depending on the season of the year. On the first Friday of every month, visitors can get in free from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Totem Heritage Center
The Totem Heritage Center, located at 601 Deermount Street, Ketchikan, AK, is dedicated to preserving and displaying totem pole artwork. It showcases the traditions and the role of artwork in the Tsimshian, Tlingit and Haida communities. The staff who work at this museum aim to provide visitors with more information about the contemporary totem pole artwork on display, and teach visitors about the respect and reverence these works of art deserve. The hours of this museum vary seasonally. Admission for adults is $6, and children are free. Local residents are always invited to visit the museum for free.
The Pratt Museum is a natural history museum that emphasizes the importance of ocean life in Alaska. Located at 3779 Bartlett Street Homer, AK, the main exhibit at this museum is the Kachemak Bay exhibit, which combines photo essays and community-based videos with interactive and engaging technology to provide visitors with insight into life in the region. The Marine Gallery is a favorite among the youngest visitors who love to get a glimpse of ocean life up close. Like many of the other museums in Alaska, the Pratt Museum has both summer and winter hours. It is closed during the month of January. Members always get in for free. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 6-18 years old and free for children under 6.
The mission of the Anchorage Museum is to connect people by showcasing the human experience. It is the largest museum in the state, and at any given time, it may have art, history, science or culture exhibits on display for visitors to enjoy. There's a hands-on science exhibit that includes marine life touch tanks and a planetarium. There's also an interactive story gallery that tells the story of Alaska, its people and its natural wonders in an engaging way. It is located in the heart of Anchorage at 625 C Street, and has varying hours based on the season. Members enjoy free admission. Admission is $18 for adults or $15 for Alaskan residents. Admission is $9 for children ages 3-12 and those 2 and under are free.
While many of these museums are the perfect addition to any vacation itinerary, they are also worthwhile day trips for locals who reside in Alaska. With many rotating exhibits and new experiences being offered each year, there's always something new to discover at these top Alaska museums.
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