Best Alaska Beaches

If you don’t immediately think of surf and sand when you think of Alaska, get ready to have your whole perception changed. With more coastline than any other state in the nation, measuring out at approximately 5,580 miles, it’s only natural that Alaska would be filled with the most glorious beaches in the entire world.

And guess what? I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet; many of our beaches are totally secluded! That means that you can can literally relax and unwind with the mere sounds of waves crashing in the background without litters of people stumbling over you.  Here are the best Alaska beaches:

Chiniak Beach – Kodiak

Get away from the busy harbor life and find a peaceful spot all to yourself to sit back and take in the stunning Alaska views.  Ready to start planning your vacation to Kodiak, Alaska?  Visit our Kodiak Alaska Travel Guide, <<Click Here.>>
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Aside from rivers where salmon are spawning, this is one of the best spots to watch bald eagles. They perch in trees and on rocks here, hunting for washed-up salmon and other food. It’s also a great place for a picnic, or to go beach combing. Ready to start planning your vacation to Juneau Alaska?  Visit our Juneau Alaska Travel Guide, << Click Here >>.
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Black Sand Beach – Barry Arm

With water cascading down from the hanging glaciers, sea life playing among the ice bergs and a commanding view of Barry Arm, Black Sand Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches in Alaska. The significance of this beach it its proximity to the tidewater glaciers. After a five minute paddle from Black Sand Beach, one can explore the massive rocks the Coxe glacier has exposed after retreating a 1/4 mile. With so much ice calving off, a kayaker can end up moving more ice that water with each stroke of the paddle.  Black Sand Beach is 1/4 mile long, with icebergs frequently stranded on the sand . At low tide, it is possible to walk the coastline past the length of the beach allowing for great exploring missions.  Ready to start planning your trip to Barry Arm?  Visit our Anchorage Alaska Travel Guide, << Click Here. >>

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Kincaid Beach – Anchorage

If not for the cool Alaska temps, it’d be easy to think you were in Southern California.  The sand is fine and very little mars its surface other than the occasional piece of driftwood. Flanked on one side by tall bluffs and on the other by gorgeous views of the Cook Inlet, Kenai Peninsula and nearby Fire Island, Kincaid Beach offers fun and tranquility. You won’t find surfable waves here and the water is too cold for all but the bravest of souls, but other activities abound. Picnics, bonfires, mud fights, and all manner of games go equally well. Keep your eyes peeled for Japanese glass fishing floats, one of the most cherished finds for new and seasoned beachcombers alike. The mud flats can be dangerous and the waters of the Cook Inlet are prone to extreme tidal shifts so don’t venture too far out.  Ready to start planning your trip to Anchorage?  Visit our Anchorage Alaska Travel Guide, << Click Here. >>

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Homer Spit – Homer

With glacier-studded mountains and crystal-clear water surrounding you, the tiny businesses and miles of beaches that make up the Spit also make for one of Homer’s most beautiful features. Take long walks, take photos, check out the boats returning with their huge catches, or cast a line for salmon yourself at The Fishin’ Hole-located near the boat harbor-which is stocked with kings and silvers.  Ready to start planning your trip to Homer?  Visit our Homer Alaska Travel Guide, << Click Here .>>

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Schooner Beach – Yakutat

Shipwrecks and big waves; this is Schooner beach. The beach is named after a three mast schooner called the Satsuma Maru that crashed onto the shore. Beyond Yakutat’s beaches lies a surfers dream…miles and miles of empty waves. These sandy beaches abound with driftwood and occasional glass balls for the beachcomber. Behind Yakutat soars the 18,008-foot summit of Mt. St. Elias, second-tallest in the United States.

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Mill Bay Beach Park – Kodiak

One of the easiest beaches to access from town, this park has a nice overlook and excellent waterfront with picnic sites. In late July through September, you can fish from the beach for silver and pink salmon. Wander down the beach to a small creek (on the left side) that is filled with salmon in late summer. Surfers ride storm waves here, and some locals even scuba dive in the cove (during calm spells). On warm summer days, the local kids hit this beach, showing their Alaskan grit by swimming in the cool waters.  Visit our Kodiak Alaska Travel Guide, <<Click Here.>>

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Kasilof Beach Road – Kasilof

Whether you’re interested in a peaceful walk through a secluded estuary or want a front row seat for the annual salmon dip netting extravaganza where hordes of locals collect salmon with giant nets attached to a ten-foot pole, Kasilof Beach Road is the place for you. The river-mouth is lined by the beach, dunes, an estuary, and a broad salt marsh. The woods to the north and south also provide a chance to spot bald eagles and moose, so take your camera!

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Cannon Beach – Yakutat

At Cannon Beach, you can walk for miles on untouched sand. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting treasures like windy driftwood or beach glass. The area is also great for picnicking, surfing, and camping. There are three different campsites located about 1/4 mile apart along the beach.

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Chena Lake Recreation Area – North Pole

Two parks make up the Chena Lake Recreation Area, The Lake Park, and The River Park. Both were created by the construction of a 7.1-mile long earth fill dam in 1967. At The Lake Park, you’ll find two designated swimming areas, both with beautiful sandy beaches, two fishing docks, a boat launch, playground, three volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit, and more. The River Park has many of the same amenities along with a 4.5-kilometer self-guided nature trail.

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Nome Beach – Nome

Nome Beach is located between the Bering Sea and Front Street, with a seawall extending about a third of a mile to protect the city from storms. In the summer, Nome-ites come here to explore the beach for driftwood and sea glass, build bonfires, and watch the amazing sunset over the Bering Sea. The gold that originally brought the world to Nome is still here, in smaller quantities, so you can also bust out your gold pan and dredge for some sparklers!

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Kenai Beach – Kenai

Located at the mouth of the Kenai River on “Alaska’s Playground,” Kenai Beach is known for world-class salmon fishing and some of the most stunning sunsets in the world. Bring the friends and have a fire on the beach or spend the day playing in the sand. In the springtime Beluga whales have even been spotted from the beach.

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28 Comments

  1. Dan

    Wow, I never thought of Alaska for beaches, but they look beautiful. My wife and have always talked about going there some day. If we ever make it there we will have to go to the beach! Thanks,
    Da.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You would love Alaska, it is very beautiful. If you want to see the beaches as well, head there in June, July, or August. Only good months for weather 🙂 Thanks for stopping by the best Alaska beaches!

      Reply
  2. Garen

    One of the states that I haven’t taken a vacation to is Alaska.

    I have heard that the winter is dark, though. Meaning it’s like 14-16 hours of darkness. I can’t remember where I read that. But, do you know if that is true?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Garen, I lived there for 22 years. June thru August the sun does not set, then the days start getting darker and during the winter months the sun does not come up…it is like dusk from 10 am to 2 pm. The rest of the day it is dark. So visit during the summer months. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Eden

    Really enjoyed and found it interesting reading through the list. There sure are a lot of varied, fantastic and stunning beaches in Alaska. Nice images.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Eden and glad you enjoyed the best Alaska Beaches. I have been to most of them and I did play in the water! Only during the summer months tho 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  4. Christina Piccoli

    I’ve actually been to a beach in Alaska, but I did not even realize there were SO many others there! Looks like I need to plan a trip back. 🙂

    I was on the beach in Homer. What’s really cool about the beach there is that the tide goes way, way out. When I was there, the tide went way, way, WAY out. My sister and I explored the sea life while the tide was out. We saw all kinds of starfish (big ones too!), baby Halibut and we even saw an octopus, which was incredible! So I definitely recommend that beach!

    Now, I need to visit all these others you have listed!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I concur Christina! I lived there 22 years, and I highly recommend visiting some of the beaches. It is an incredible vacation destination. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. Marla Smith

    What beautiful beaches. I have picked out 2 that I would really like to visit. My husband has been wanting to go to Alaska for years for the wildlife. Now we can both have our favorite vacation. Me with a beach and my husband with wildlife. I would never think of going to Alaska for a beautiful beach. You have opened my eyes on new beautiful beaches. Do you know if any of these are actually warm enough in the summer months for swimming? I am thinking not, but maybe if we are brave we could put our toes in the water. I would like to check out Black Sand Beach in Barry Arm for the pure beauty of it. Thanks for providing me with information that I would have never thought of in beach destinations.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I lived there for 22 years and I did swim, and I did where my bikini and get a tan. So you can most certainly swim. June thru August is really the only time for that though 🙂 You can both have a wonderful vacation in Alaska! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  6. Bex

    What an insightful post with such beautiful pictures! I had no idea how many beaches Alaska offers, or that I could consider a surf travel destination so now am now keen to go explore. Great post! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Bex, and yes there is great surfing to be had in Alaska. Water is cold, so just be ready for that 🙂 Thanks for visiting the best Alaska beaches!

      Reply
  7. Stephen Crossley

    Looks like a fantastic place to visit. Relaxing views, beautiful scenery, I couldn’t imagine a better place to chill out.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is beautiful for sure. Thank you for visiting the best Alaska Beaches.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

    Hi and thank you for the amazing article on Alaska! We have been looking into going there for a cruise. Looks like we might just want to fly there and stay….and explore now.

    I love your images. You have given us a lot of places to consider now. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      An Alaska cruise is really a cruise everyone should take that enjoy cruising. But if you can head to Alaska and spend at least 2 weeks exploring, it is so worth it! I lived there 22 years, and wish I would have seen more than I did. If you need any other information, please let me know. Thanks for visiting the best Alaska beaches.

      Reply
  9. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    Great list of beautiful Alaska beaches! I’ve never been there, but one thing is for sure, I put Alaska on my bucket list! I live in a hot country, and since I hate cold, I would choose to go when the weather is pleasant. When would be the best time to visit Alaska for me? Is it always cold there or there is summer time?
    Thank you and looking to hearing from you:)

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Daniella, Thanks you for visiting the best Alaska Beaches. The best time to visit Alaska is in June, July and August. The days will be long and the weather will be warm. I do say warm….never hot LOL. You can get a few showers during this time, so also bring along a rain jacket just in case. Alaska is a beautiful state, and so worth a visit!

      Reply
  10. LYNNE

    I’ve finally been to a place you talk about 🙂 I’ve been to Alaska a few times as I have family there but I never really thought of it as a place for beaches. That being said, we have spent some glorious days walking along the waters edge on secluded, picturesque shores. Probably just want to bring long pants and a jacket instead of the bikini 🙂 Glorious way to think out of the box and not just share the warm sunny beaches, but the beaches that offer a whole different exciting experience!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Exactly Lynne! I grew up in Alaska, and I did spend a lot of time on the water with my parents boat… and yes in a bikini. I guess I am just a beach bum at heart. I am in Alaska now visiting my dad, so I figured, why not write about it! Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  11. Mike

    I had no idea Alaska had beaches!! I just presumed there would be snow everywhere!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this has now moved onto our list as these places look amazing!!

    Thanks again

    Mike

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Alaska is beautiful and yes, they have beaches. I can remember growing up and heading out on my parents boat. I was always out tanning myself and playing in the water. Yes, the summers are much shorter, but they can be very nice 🙂 It is a must visit destination for sure. Thanks for stopping by the best Alaska beaches.

      Reply
  12. Alex

    I go to UC Santa Cruz and I surf. It is just marvelous. The waves crash down on me when I mess up, but I get right back up. I want to surf more. It is cool to know that I can go surfing in Alaska at Mill Bay Beach Park. There must be some good surfers there if they ride storms waves. Oh boy! Those are scary.

    I do have a question though. Have any pro surfers come out of Alaska? It seems unlikely, but you never know. Weirder things have happened.

    Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Alex and thanks for visiting the best Alaska beaches. I do not know of any pro surfers from Alaska. I do know that pro surfers go to Alaska to surf the icy waves though. I don’t think I will be doing it any time soon. I will stick to the Florida waves 🙂

      Reply
  13. Rob

    Ok, this is one place that I’ve always wanted to visit! It looks beautiful and people who have gone have said that it’s stunning!
    Black Sand Beach stands out for me. I would just love to go there. But I’m not that particular because I don’t believe that there is any part of Alaska that isn’t beautiful. My one question is, what is the best time of year to go since I cannot stand the freezing cold? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok, I am visiting right now and it is cold to me, but then I am from Florida! June thru August is going to be the best time, as that is their summer. You will want to bring a rain jacket as it can rain during this time. September is when the state fair is (nothing special in my opinion LOL), and I remember a pretty rainy time and a bit chilly. So don’t push it into September. By October it is getting pretty cold…they are forecasting snow for Monday! Yuck!

      Reply
  14. JB

    This is a great list! I’m a surfing, and I keep reading about surfing in Alaska. At first, I was worried about the cold, but I hear in late summer it’s not as bad as I would have thought. You’ve given me my short list! I appreciate it.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You can surf in Alaska, that is for sure! I think the water is cold, but my kids don’t mind it LOL. Summer are not too bad, maybe a bit rainy but I am actually visiting right now and the weather has been awesome!

      Reply

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