By Sydney McIntosh
Distinguished Young Woman of Alaska for 2011
Ladies, it’s that time of year. The air is spring fresh, the days are getting longer, the sun is shining and you know summer is just a few weeks away. I’ve been living in New York this year, and have really fallen in love with the whole concept of seasons. There is a joke in Alaska that there are only two seasons, Winter and Construction, because fall and spring both last about two days. But let me tell you something, I am obsessed with Alaskan Summers. Hands down the coolest place to be May- August, I promise.
So I’ve comprised a list of the best things to do in Alaska in the Summer. ?
1. Water Skiing
Being pulled by a boat around a glass-flat lake, under the midnight sun is not only super fun, but great exercise! If you can’t ski, you can go tubing which is just as fun!
2. The Fairbanks Midnight Sun Run
Not your average 5k race! Everyone from your hardcore runner, to little kids in costumes show up every year to run at night all through Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska. You can sit and watch, or participate, some people even do both, stopping to chat then walking, it’s fun for everyone.
3. Angel Rocks Hike/Chena Hot Springs Recovery
This is the best hike to take in interior Alaska, it takes about 2 hours to get up to the top of these amazing rocks, with scenic 360 views of beautiful untainted wilderness. Most people camp up on the top and then finish the 8 mile hike down the next morning. When your body is tired at the end, soak it in the Hot Springs located at the end of the trail. It’s glorious!
4. Camping and Fishing
You really can’t go wrong when you camp in Alaska, you can drive about ten minutes from my house and stay along a river, or you can drive to the mountains and take 4-wheelers into the wilderness. There are hikes, canoes and other activities that the state has for visitors, the state is your playground!
5. Outdoor Concerts
Since the sun is up all night during solstice, a fun way to spend it is at an outdoor concert. The state fair hosts some very popular artists and local bands play all the time. It’s cheap and very Alaskan to dance the night away!
What are some of your summer favorites? Leave some comments of things I should try in your state! I can’t wait for summer!
Sydney McIntosh is a college freshman at Nyack College in Nyack, New York. Originally from North Pole, Alaska, Sydney was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Alaska for 2011. Learn more about Sydney here!