Why it wows: Alaska’s scenic beauty amps up along this narrow channel, an inlet just south of Anchorage. Sea, sky and dramatic mountains on each side, Turnagain Arm has it all—plus the chance to view Dall sheep, beluga whales and eagles. No wonder the 45-minute drive between Anchorage and Girdwood is considered one of North America’s most beautiful.
How to see it: Head via car or motor coach along the Seward Highway, which curves around the shore of Turnagain Arm. Another option: the train between Anchorage and the port of Seward, which hugs the arm with plenty of time to admire the views. On either journey, you’ll see Chugach State Park’s mountains jutting up on one side of the arm; on the other side, the sometimes 4-mile-wide flats (depending on the tide) stretch to the opposite shores of Cook Inlet, where more mountains soar to the sky.