Fodor's Expert Review University of Alaska Museum of the North
With sweeping exterior curves and graceful lines that evoke glaciers, mountains, and the northern lights, this don't-miss museum has some of Alaska's most distinctive architecture. Inside, two-story viewing windows look out on the Alaska Range and the Tanana Valley while Otto, the 8-foot, 9-inch brown bear specimen, greets visitors to the entrance of the Gallery of Alaska. "Please touch" items include the molars of a mammoth and a mastodon, animal pelts, replica petroglyphs, and a massive quartz crystal found in Alaska's Brooks Range. The gallery also contains dioramas showing the state's animals and how they interact, and the fantastic collection of Alaska Native clothes, tools, and boats provide insights into the ways that different groups came to terms with climatic extremes.
Another highlight is the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery, representing 2,000 years of Alaska's art, from ancient to modern.