Why You Need to Experience the Summer Solstice in Alaska

Summer solstice is a big deal in Alaska. That’s because about a third of our state lies north of the Arctic Circle – the latitude at which the sun does not set on June 21st. In the days surrounding the solstice, Alaskans make the most of all that sun with huge celebrations and annual events. From guided outdoor activities to parties, concerts, and festivals, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the longest day of the year. Here’s why experiencing the summer solstice in Alaska should be on your bucket list.

What to Do During the Summer Solstice in Alaska

Sunset Float

One of the best ways to experience the summer solstice in Alaska is to get outdoors! For a memorable adventure on the water, sign up for a tour with NOVA River Runners. They’ve been professionally guiding trips for more than 30 years, and whether you’re in the mood for a mellow float or an exciting whitewater run, NOVA makes it easy to participate.

NOVA also offers a special sunset float during the summer solstice. You can run the whitewater, then pull over for a campfire and snack before floating down to the take-out spot. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Downtown Summer Solstice Festival

Anchorage, Alaska turns into one big celebration with the annual Solstice Festival & Hero Games. Held on Fourth Avenue, guests can enjoy live performances, arts & crafts vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, and a friendly competition between Alaska’s first responders. There’s even a kid’s zone with a petting zoo and giant sandbox. It’s perfect for a fun day out with the family!

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon

The Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon brings hundreds of runners to Alaska for an unforgettable racing experience. During the event, five races are held simultaneously: the Midnight Sun Marathon (26.2 miles), Alaska Half Marathon (13.1 miles), a marathon relay (four 6.5-mile legs), and the Coastal 5K and Buddy Half Marathon, where teams split the half marathon course relay-style. Read our blog to find out how you can participate this year.

Midnight Sun Festival

The town of Fairbanks, Alaska hosts an annual Midnight Sun Festival on the Sunday closest to the summer solstice. More than 30,000 people head downtown each year for twelve hours of fun in the sun! You can expect awesome live performances and over 150 local vendors ranging from food trucks to gold panning.

Midnight Sun Baseball Game

Another Fairbanks ritual is the Midnight Sun Baseball Game played by the Alaska Goldpanners. The game originated in 1906 and kicks off at 10:30 p.m., continuing through the midnight hour without the use of artificial lights. The sun begins to set in the North as the game gets under way, and at its conclusion some three hours later, the sun begins to rise again – also in the North. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Book Your Stay with Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages

The summer solstice in Alaska always draws a crowd. If you want to experience the Midnight Sun this year, book your stay at our Palmer bed and breakfast! It’s just a short drive from many of the events happening throughout Alaska. You can stay in an economical inn room, or be one of the first to reserve a brand new two-bedroom cottage. We even offer a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning! Rooms are filling up fast so don’t wait – head to our accommodations page and make your reservations today.

Find out how you can save on your trip to Alaska with our vacation specials!

Photo Credit: Teri Hendricks | Barberstock

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