Posted in Things To Do In Alaska

Summer solstice may be celebrated across the world, but nowhere does it quite like Alaska. After a long and dark winter, locals and visitors have good reason to celebrate the summer solstice! In the north, summer solstice means a night-long celebration honoring the longest day of the year. With so many hours of daylight, it’s an extraordinary time to experience the natural beauty and unique culture of Alaska. Keep reading to learn more about the summer solstice in Alaska and our favorite events near our Alaska and Yukon properties.

What can you do during the summer solstice?

Summer in Alaska is unbeatable (not that we’re biased). These warm and bright months are the perfect time for outdoor adventures such as hiking, fishing and kayaking. The famous “midnight sun” phenomenon during the summer solstice provides between 18-24 hours of daylight in Alaska, allowing for even more time to explore. The vibrant festivals and cultural events during this period further add to the Alaska summer experience. Whether you’re an adventurer, nature enthusiast or city lover, Alaska offers something for everyone during the solstice.

Photo Credit: Wayde Carroll

When can you see the most daylight in Alaska and where?

Although summer solstice is the longest day of the year, visitors can experience long daylight hours for multiple months in Alaska. From mid-May to early August, it’s easy to wake up and go to bed with the sun still shining. For the most daylight in Alaska, travel north to Fairbanks for almost 22 hours of daylight or even further to Utqiaġvik where the sun doesn’t set from mid-May to the end of July. These extended daylight hours present a unique opportunity to experience all Alaska has to offer without the usual constraints of nightfall.

What is the temperature like during the summer solstice?

Alaska summers consist of mild weather and long daylight hours, allowing for extended exploration and activities. The temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-70s Fahrenheit, making it comfortable for outdoor activities. Around the time of the solstice, visitors can expect the temperature to be in the mid-60s to low-70s. If you think that sounds cold, you’ll be surprised by how warm the Alaska sun feels! If you’re wondering what to pack, be sure to check out our blog post about the gear locals can’t live without.

Photo Credit: Mark Nakamura

Where should you visit during the summer solstice?


Alaska’s largest city has no shortage of activity around summer solstice. Check out the Downtown Summer Solstice Festival, which features live music, delicious food vendors, artisanal crafts and art installations. Anchorage’s largest summer event invites locals and visitors to stroll through the busy streets, enjoy live performances and indulge in food trucks, ensuring a memorable celebration of summer in Alaska. Those who prefer the trails can participate in the Mayor’s Marathon for a run under the sun with a variety of distances including a five-miler, half marathon, full marathon and marathon relay. Participants can enjoy a scenic course that offers breathtaking views and, occasionally, wildlife encounters. If you’re looking for a little competition, get ready to reel in the fun at the Slam’n Salm’n Derby. Anglers from all over gather to test their skills and compete for prizes while enjoying the longest day of the year.

Photo Credit: Roy Neese State of Alaska/Chris Arend

Dawson City, Yukon

Nicknamed “Land of the Midnight Sun,” Dawson City promises 24 hours of daylight during the summer solstice. Embrace the endless daylight by exploring the stunning natural landscapes surrounding Dawson City, such as hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park. Coinciding with the solstice, National Indigenous People’s Day is a territory-wide celebration. Experience cultural festivities at Dänojà Zho with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in community, featuring traditional songs, drumming, dancing, artwork and food. For a unique experience, the Dawson City Golf Course invites golfers to practice their swing under the for their annual Midnight Sun Golf Tournament where you can enjoy a round of golf under the midnight sun. Teams of five are invited to join in on this annual best-ball nighttime golf tournament.

Photo Credit: State of Alaska/Chris Arend


If there’s one thing Alaskans love as much as endless sunshine, it’s quality craft beer. Join the 49th State Brewery for their Solstice Luau featuring live music, island-inspired cuisine and top-notch Alaska brews and dance the night away. For outdoor lovers, backpack into Denali National Park and Preserve to spend solstice with the bears, moose and caribou (from a safe distance, of course!). Another unique experience to consider is a flightseeing tour of Denali and the Alaska Range — you’ll have plenty of daylight hours to explore the glaciers and mountains. The summer solstice in Denali is one everyone should experience at least once.

Photo Credit: Ian Merculieff


The Midnight Sun Festival brings the community together in downtown Fairbanks, creating a lively atmosphere that lasts well into the night, despite the sun still shining brightly. This festival includes live music, local vendors, gold panning, a BBQ cook-off and more! To end the night, check out Fairbanks’ semi-pro team, the Alaska Goldpanners, as they continue the Midnight Sun Game tradition that started in 1906. Alaska is one of the only places in the world where a game of baseball can be played at midnight with no overhead lights.

Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Transportation


In honor of the long summer days, the Skagway Elks Club will host a good old-fashioned cookout. This much-anticipated event brings together locals and visitors for a night of celebration. Attendees can expect a lively atmosphere with live music from local bands, ensuring a night filled with dancing and entertainment. In addition to the music and food, the party often includes fun games and activities for all ages, raffles and prizes and a beer garden for those 21 and older. The party typically extends late into the night, the perfect opportunity to experience the charm of Skagway while celebrating the longest day of the year.


Whether you’re looking for live music, sports and outdoor activities, local food or just to relax and enjoy the sun, summer solstice in Alaska is always a good time. Be sure to book your stay with Westmark ahead of time as the solstice events attract large crowds throughout the state. We look forward to seeing you under the midnight sun!