photo via alaska-in-pictures
One of the biggest attractions in Alaska that draws tourists from all over the county and the world is the Northern Lights. Northern Lights are a mystical vision that leave many in awe, and have inspired stories and legends throughout the years. The various colors – which range between hues of greens and blues to oranges, purples, reds, and pinks, are caused by the collision of electrically charged particles from the sun that come into the Earth’s atmosphere. The lights are known as Aurora borealis in the north and Aurora australis in the south. Alaska is one of the only places in the United States where you can see the Northern Lights to their full potential, and you can see them in almost any part of the state. Other popular spots to see the aurora are in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. When planning to see the Northern Lights, it’s recommended to spend a few days at the location – the auroras are unpredictable, and the vibrancy of colors varies daily. Instead of just checking the weather, they offer aurora updates to see what is predicted for that night. Many tourists stay close to the capital, Anchorage, where the lights can still be seen and many hotels offer deals and tours to go see the lights. Staying away from the city’s bright lights is key, and some recommend going out to the Denali and the Yukon Territory, where there is very little contact with the city. You can only see the lights at night, and the best time to go is during the darkest times of the year, between September and April.