When you think of your summer vacation options, you might not think of island hopping in Alaska. That makes sense, of course, but dig a little deeper and you might be impressed by the massive state's island offerings. While the temperatures you can expect in July and August will depend greatly on where exactly you are (it is, after all, the biggest state in the U.S.A. by far), the summer temperatures in some places can be quite surprisingly pleasant — maybe not predictably bikini pleasant, but certainly comfortable enough for checking out the views leisurely. If you’re willing to ditch your standard-fare beaches this summer for the sake of pristine Alaskan views you’ll never forget, start researching these islands now.
1. Kodiak Island
Off of Alaska’s Southern coast sits Kodiak Island, an archipelago that houses the expansive Kodiak Island Wildlife Refuge. As the second largest island in the U.S., you’ll have plenty of space to explore with mountainous terrain, dense forests, and cliffs overlooking the ocean.
2. Akun Island
Akun Island isn’t at all an obvious island destination, not even in the context of Alaskan islands. It’s a part of the Fox Islands, which are a part of the Aleutian Islands, off of Alaska’s southwestern shore. What stands out about Akun is its now-wild population of cows, it’s Iceland-esque grassy rock landscape, and the Akun Island Basalt Sea Cave, which provides some gorgeously surreal scenery for adventurous travelers to kayak through.
3. Admiralty Island
Located in southeast Alaska, near the border of British Columbia, is Admiralty Island. Most of this large and beautiful island is a protected wilderness area where old-growth temperate rainforests thrive without obstruction. If you’re going to Alaska to view the brown bears (from afar), Admiralty Island is a perfect place as it is home to the highest density of the animals in North America.
4. Prince of Wales Island
At a little larger than the state of Delaware, Prince of Wales Island gives visitors plenty to explore. Located in southeastern Alaska, the beaches here are beautiful and the hiking opportunities are plentiful. Of note for the curious traveler are the upside down trees at the Glacier Gardens. Uprooted by a landslide, the trees were replanted top-down and the roots now serve as a flower pot, creating a Dali-like image for visitors.
5. Hinchinbrook Island
With a population of only five — you read that right — this Gulf of Alaska island is a great destination for those who really want to get away. Known for its wilderness, getting there won’t be easy. But once you’re there, you can enjoy the sounds of the wild while relaxing in one of the most faraway places you’ll likely ever visit.
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