There’s plenty happening in Alaska this year, so read below, mark your calendars and head north for the experience of a lifetime!

The Valdez Ice Climbing Festival will celebrate 40 years of bringing climbing enthusiasts to Valdez. From Feb. 17-19 in Keystone Canyon, the festival draws climbers of all ages and skill, offering clinics on more than 100 natural ice climbing venues. 

  • Accessible via scenic floatplane ride from Juneau, Taku Glacier Lodge is celebrating 100 years in 2023. Since 1923, the lodge has provided an idyllic day trip to travelers to experience the lodge, located in the Tongass National Forest, and a salmon bake. 

  • Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon Route is celebrating 125 years of service in 2023, continuing to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience along the historic route of the Klondike Gold Rush. WP&YR will commemorate the anniversary with a variety of events and happenings throughout the summer.  

  • Holland America Line is celebrating 150 years of sailing in 2023, just after celebrating 75 years of sailing in Alaska in 2022. In 2023, Holland America Line will sail 121 cruises to the Great Land. 

  • The Alaska Railroad turns 100 this year. Connecting visitors and Alaskans since 1923, it is the last full-service freight and passenger railroad in the U.S. On July 15, 2023, in Nenana, the Alaska Railroad will commemorate the moment 100 years ago when President Warren G. Harding drove in the ceremonial golden spike to signal the completion of the 470-mile mainline. Passengers will experience the centennial through special onboard commentary revisiting 10 decades of the Alaska Railroad’s impact in Alaska and be treated to special centennial-themed touches from the onboard food to commemorative souvenirs.

Classic and beloved Broadway shows are coming to Anchorage as the inaugural season of Broadway Alaska takes over the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts located in the heart of downtown Anchorage. Broadway Alaska will kick off the season with the Tony-Award-winning musical “Hamilton” for a 30-show run in August 2023.

  • The Mat-Su Valley was selected as the host community for the 2024 Arctic Winter Games. More than 3,000 athletes and volunteers from the circumpolar world will spend a week participating in biennial athletic events and cultural exchanges. This is the first time the Mat-Su Valley has hosted the Arctic Winter Games.

  • Interior

    • Fairbanks’ Sophie Station Suites’ new Summit Suite is a one-of-a-kind experience with capacity for VIP overnight accommodations for up to four or a space for meetings, retreats, receptions and more for up to 22 people. The space features two bedrooms with two custom-built, spa-like bathrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen, with catering options available.   

    • Borealis Basecamp has added eight new “cube” accommodations on the eastern part of its property in addition to its existing igloos. The cubes are more spacious, offer even more privacy and feature a full wall of “Arctic glass” on the northeast side of the cubes for optimal aurora viewing.


    • The Mat-Su Borough was awarded a $6.7 million federal grant to complete the construction of the Gateway Visitor Center. Located between Palmer and Wasilla on the Glenn Highway, this world-class facility will connect visitors with area attractions and activities, as well as educate them about Alaska Native cultures, agriculture and much more. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2023.

    • Just south of Anchorage, the newly completed Alyeska Resort Nordic Spa – Alaska’s first – offers hot and cold outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, massages and a bistro. The resort has also opened a new on-property restaurant, Forte, which focuses on Italian cuisine.

    • Based out of Whittier, Phillips Day Cruises and Tours has contracted with All American Marine to build a new high-speed catamaran. With expected completion by May 2024, the catamaran will spaciously accommodate up to 150 passengers and provide high-quality amenities to enhance its day cruising experiences in Prince William Sound.


    • Ketchikan International Airport is continuing upgrades to its townside ferry terminal with expanded parking and passenger terminal improvement projects nearing completion. Other airport ferry facility improvements underway include updates to the passenger waiting area at the airport as well as new docks for both the town and airport locations. 

    • Just south of downtown Ketchikan, the Herring Cove area is home to a salmon hatchery and is a popular location for fishing and wildlife viewing. To provide safer and more accessible bear viewing in the area, Alaska’s Department of Transportation has begun upgrades to the Herring Cove Bridge to install a new structure with pedestrian walkways on both sides plus rehabilitation and safety improvements on the highway such as guardrail, striping and signage.

    • Alaska Native-owned Cape Fox Lodge is installing a new funicular to help further connect guests to downtown Ketchikan. The lodge will also be adding to its culinary offerings, with the addition of Eagle’s Nest, a pizza restaurant, to its portfolio.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.