Travelers from urban areas outside Alaska may be surprised at the informal style of dress worn by most Alaskans. Even when dining at formal restaurants or attending a play, weather dictates the clothing worn by Alaskans year-round and fashion often yields to practicality. While summer temperatures reach into the 80s in Fairbanks in Alaska’s interior, most regions of the state average daily temperatures in the mid-60s. Packing for a summer trip to Alaska varies slightly according to travelers’ intended destinations and activities.
Pack waterproof clothing for outdoor activities in Alaska.
Southeast Alaska, also known as the Inside Passage, is a region commonly toured by cruise ships, and several ports of call, such as Skagway and Juneau, may be on travelers’ itineraries. According to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, average summer temperatures in July and August range between 62 and 65 degrees during the 16 or 17 hours of daylight and drop to 48 degrees at night.
Ideal clothing choices for Inside Passage cities, such as Ketchikan and Haines, include short-sleeved shirts and shorts during the day and jeans or slacks and long-sleeved shirts during the evenings. The coastal cities of the Inside Passage often receive rain during the summer months, so a lightweight, waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes are recommended by ATIA.
The Southcentral region of Alaska includes Anchorage and the towns of the Kenai Peninsula, such as Seward and Homer. Average summer temperatures reach 65 degrees, and visitors can expect 21 hours of daylight. The Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau recommends that visitors layer clothing as the key to comfort, because your body temperature may vary according to activities. Travelers venturing up Mount. Alyeska or heading out early on a charter fishing boat may wish for thicker coats or even rain gear, while those staying downtown Anchorage may experience warmer temperatures requiring only short-sleeved shirts and shorts. The visitors bureau emphasizes that casual wear is accepted virtually everywhere in Anchorage and beyond the city limits.
In Alaska’s southwest region, including the cities of Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Dillingham and Bethel, temperatures are slightly cooler than those in the southcentral and Inside Passage regions. With many coastal cities and islands found in the region, precipitation is typical any time of year, so waterproof layers are essential. Summer temperatures average 60 to 62 degrees and dip down to 46 to 49 degrees at night. ATIA recommends packing short- and long-sleeved shirts, walking shoes, a windbreaker, long pants and shorts when traveling to the southwest region.
The warmest region during the summer months, Alaska’s Interior encompasses the cities of Fairbanks and Delta Junction and 6-million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve. Temperatures typically reach 72 degrees and may reach the upper 80s in Fairbanks. Rain may not be as prevalent during a visit in July and August to the Interior Region, so waterproof outer wear may not be necessary. A light jacket for the evenings may be advisable, but clothing may primarily be short-sleeved shirts and shorts for daytime and long-sleeved shirts and pants for later in the day.
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