Are you planning an Alaska road trip and want to find all the best Alaska roadside attractions along your route? Whether you’re driving the Alaska Highway, popping off a cruise, exploring Denali National Park, or vacationing in Anchorage, Juneau, or Fairbanks, you won’t want to miss these fifteen must-see places to go in Alaska. They’re fun road trip stops and great additions to your travel itinerary or route.
Below are the 15 best roadside attractions in Alaska: from an abandoned igloo to a land of mukluk, from a giant whale bone to a giant fishing hook from a town devoted to Christmas to a town with a cat as the mayor! You won’t want to miss any of these bucket list worthy tourist traps and road trips stops on your Alaska vacation.
Ready to hit the road? Let’s go! I call shotgun!
- The 15 best Alaska roadside attractions (in no particular order):
- 1. Igloo City
- 2. Metal Chickens
- 3. Balto the Wonder Dog
- 4. Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn
- 5. Giant Knife
- 6. Giant Hammer at the Hammer Museum
- 7. Barrow Whale Bone Arch
- 8. The Cat Mayor
- 9. World’s Largest Gold Mining Pan
- 10. Last Train to Nowhere
- 11. World’s Largest Santa Claus Statue
- 12. Fur Factory Atlas Statue
- 13. Mukluk Land
- 14. Mosquito Sculptures – Delta Junction
- 15. Circle Hook: 13-Foot-Tall Halibut Hook
- Bonus: Hyder, Alaska Road Trip
The 15 best Alaska roadside attractions (in no particular order):
1. Igloo City
George Parks Hwy, Cantwell, AK (mile post 188.5)
In 1972 Leon Smith set out to build a three-story tall igloo-shaped hotel called Igloo Lodge. While the outside facade, an 80-foot tall by 105-foot wide dome, was completed, he never quite finished the interior and it never opened as planned. Decades later the abandoned igloo still stands on a plot of land between Anchorage and Denali. While you can’t stay in Igloo City, it makes for some fun photo ops and an eerie stop on an Alaskan road trip.
2. Metal Chickens
Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost, Airport Rd, Chicken, AK
At Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost you’ll find some giant metal chickens made up of scrap metal. Next to the big clucker is a guidepost sign that lists the mileage to other poultry-centric towns (like Hen, Israel; Rooster Rock, Oregon, and Two Eggs, Florida). Be sure to also stop for selfies at the “I Got Laid in Chicken, Alaska” sign in town.
3. Balto the Wonder Dog
Palmer Museum of History and Art, 723 S Valley Way, Palmer, AK
Balto the Wonder Dog was a Siberian Husky and sled dog
(1919 – March 14, 1933) was a who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, transporting essential diphtheria antitoxin on the Iditarod trail to combat a disease outbreak. The pup became a national hero and was honored with statues in New York and in Palmer.
4. Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn
8910 Parks Hwy, Fairbanks, AK
If you’re looking to stop for a drink with a side of crude humor and adult novelties, you can’t miss Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn. This roadhouse and gift shop is located at Milepost 328 on the Parks Highway, halfway between Fairbanks and Nenana (hence the name). The bar is covered in staples currencies from guests and you can stop in the gift shop for an “I ♥ Dick” bumper sticker. (Sorry kids, this Alaska roadside attraction is adults only.)
5. Giant Knife
IRBI Knives, 27546 Seward Hwy, Seward, AK
A giant knife sticks out from the ground in front of a Moose Pass knife shop. Nearby you’ll find some mannequins hanging out.
6. Giant Hammer at the Hammer Museum
108 Main St, Haines, AK
Inside Alaska’s Hammer Museum you can find over 2,000 hammers on display, with models ranging from ancient times to the industrial age. Outside you can find a 20-foot tall hammer. Get to this unique location by taking a ferry boat from Skagway then walking about ten minutes.
7. Barrow Whale Bone Arch
Brower St., Utqiagvik, AK
Visit the “Gateway to the Arctic,” a whalebone arch made from the jawbone of a bowhead whale. The giant whale bone connects Utqiagvik to the town’s history in whaling. Since humans first lived in the area, whales have provided for all their needs: with the meat being used for food, skin and bones for construction and clothes, baleen for tools and art, and blubber for oil. You can find this symbolic attraction on the beach near The Cape Smythe Whaling and Trading Station.
8. The Cat Mayor
Nagley’s General Store, 13650 E Main St, Talkeetna, AK
Nagley’s General Store in Talkeetna made national news in 1997 when Stubbs the cat was elected to a civic post via write-in vote. Stubbs was beloved by many and prrrr-oudly held the position of unofficial cat mayor of Talkeetna. Sadly Stubbs passed away on July 21, 2017, but you can still visit Nagley’s General Store to meet his successor Denali.
9. World’s Largest Gold Mining Pan
Anvil City Square, 308 Bering St, Nome, AK
The welcome sign for Nome, Alaska is formed in the shape of a 20-foot diameter gold pan. The World’s Largest Gold Mining Pan is located a block away from the Iditarod finish line and stands next to a statue of “The Three Lucky Swedes” who originally discovered gold in Nome in 1898.
10. Last Train to Nowhere
Nome-Council Rd, Solomon, AK
This ghost train can be found in the ghost town of Solomon. The train was shipped to Alaska from New York in 1903 to transport miners to the bustling gold towns of the area. In 1913 the train got stranded in a snow storm and has been frozen in time ever since.
11. World’s Largest Santa Claus Statue
Santa Claus House, 101 St Nicholas Dr, North Pole, AK
North Pole, Alaska is the town “Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year ‘Round.” It is home to the Santa Claus House, a top Alaska attraction where you can sample tasty treats, shop for souvenirs, or even send a letter from Santa himself! Outside find a 42-foot tall statue of Santa Clause: the world’s largest Santa Claus statue!
12. Fur Factory Atlas Statue
Alaska Functional Fitness, 6320 MacKay St, Anchorage, AK
In Greek mythology, Atlas was a titan responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders. For years, the Atlas sculpture in Anchorage also bore the weight of furs by advertising the Fur Factory. In 2016 he was taken down but can now be found outside of Alaska Functional Fitness, an Anchorage gym.
13. Mukluk Land
AK-2, Tok, AK
Mukluk Land is one of the most unique roadside attractions in Alaska. Mukluks are the tradition Alaskan boots made from the skin of a seal or reindeer. Mukluk Land is a junkyard meets amusement park. With the world’s largest mukluk out front, Santa Claus’s rocket ship, a trampoline igloo, a mini golf course, and skee-ball lanes, this eccentric park is a must-see stop on an Alaska road trip.
14. Mosquito Sculptures – Delta Junction
2885 Alaska Hwy, Delta Junction, AK
At the end of the Alaska Highway in Delta Junction you’ll find giant milepost that is a perfect spot for Instagram selfies. But you’ll also find some giant mosquitoes. An ode to the “unofficial Alaska state bird,” you won’t have to worry about these giant bugger, they’re made of metal.
15. Circle Hook: 13-Foot-Tall Halibut Hook
3978 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK
Circle Hook, a 13-foot tall halibut fish hook was installed in Homer in 2015 by local Moose Run Metalsmiths and Bay Welding Services. The giant fish hook honors the town’s status as “halibut fishing capital of the world” and is said to be “the largest fishing hook sculpture in the galaxy.”
Bonus: Hyder, Alaska Road Trip
Hyder, Alaska is the only town in Alaska that is accessible from British Columbia, Canada. It’s about a 20-hour drive from Seattle, Washington. But it makes for a fun road trip. Once in Hyder you can stop by the bar to get hyderized and watch for bears before turning around.
Want to see more of the strangest roadside attractions in America? From Alabama to Wyoming, check out our list of the best roadside attractions in each state.
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Photos by Jan Kronies on Unsplash, Bryan Goff on Unsplash