Alaska is one of the most vibrant, exciting and wild of the United States and Alaska souvenirs are just as unique as the state they hail from.
Filled with natural wonders and stunning wildlife, the state of Alaska is the most unique of the states in the United States and draws millions of tourists annually to take advantage of the opportunity to embrace the wild nature of this area.
Whether you are looking for precious metals and gems or you prefer something more historic and culturally minded, souvenirs from Alaska come in all shapes and sizes while encompassing the rich and storied history of this wild frontier land.
When traveling to this exciting and rich landscape, this list of the best Alaska souvenirs will help you know what to look for to truly commemorate your time spent there.
Alaska Souvenirs: 11 Alaska Gifts To Bring Home
1. Stay warm with a handmade Qiviut hat
Due to the very cold climate of Alaska, locals over the centuries have found many unique and interesting ways to stay warm and one of those ways has turned into one of the most popular Alaska souvenirs; a hat made from qiviut!
Qiviut is the downy undercoat of a musk ox, an animal which thrives in the cold climate of this state, and some reports claim it to be over eight times warmer than wool!
In addition to that, the downy fur of the musk ox is finer than cashmere and yields a softer, finer yarn that isn’t itchy like traditional sheep wool. Knitters from all around the state hand knit each and every hat, making for a truly one of a kind and unique of the Alaska gifts to bring home.
If you can’t find one while in Alaska, you can buy one online and have it shipped!
2. Support the Native American community through their art
It’s no secret that Alaska has a lengthy and robust history of Native American habitation and this history can be seen no matter where you go in the state.
One of the most rewarding and culturally significant Alaska souvenirs you could bring home is a unique piece of Native American art from one of the native tribes that inhabit this robust and vibrant landscape.
You’ll find examples of their art in virtually every store and gift shop all over the state, from art pieces to clothes, small statues and even full-size totem poles crafted by artisans trained by elders from the community!
Be sure that you are supporting authentic native artists when purchasing your Alaska gifts for the added benefit of knowing that your dollars are going toward supporting the native people of Alaska.
3. Bring home a unique hand-carved wooden bowl
Alaska has a long history with logging and forestry. In fact it was one of the first major industries in the territory.
Examples of this history are still found to this day, particularly along the Alaskan panhandle, from logging communities to history sawmills and lumber processing stations. For this reason, wooden objects can be found everywhere and make some of the best Alaska souvenirs to bring home.
Artisans painstakingly carve, chisel and sand wooden bowls into unique shapes that perfectly accentuate the natural variations found in the wood.
The pieces are then oiled and dried, sometimes with unique animal totems and carvings burned into the wood to add an additional decorative touch. Look for examples that carry the Made in Alaska badge to ensure you are getting an authentic Alaskan handicraft to bring home with you as a souvenir of your trip to the Last Frontier.
4. Follow the path of the Gold Rush to score some gold of your own
One of the most popular attractions in the state of Alaska is the many historic gold rush towns and settlements as well as the museums and tours that help explain this states storied history of gold prospecting.
In many locations around the state, you can buy authenticated Alaskan gold from the gift shop. For added adventure and memory making, join a tour that allows you to pan for gold in the same rivers and creeks that brought people in droves centuries ago.
Being able to find your own nugget of gold is a once in a lifetime experience and makes it all the more exciting. For this reason, gold in its raw form is one of the most popular Alaska souvenirs that travelers seek to commemorate their time spent there.
5. Take home a piece of Jade Mountain for yourself
When one thinks of Alaska, gold is of course the first thing that comes to mind, but Alaska is actually the home to a huge deposit of the precious gem jade, and one of the most popular Alaska gifts.
There is even a whole mountain of it in the southern portion of the state! Native Americans have been using it in jewelry for centuries and today, small jade carvings and jewelry items can be found in gift shops throughout the state!
Whether you want a small carved art piece or a beautiful pair of earrings or a necklace, you’ll be able to find a handcrafted piece that not only commemorates your time spent in Alaska, but also complements your style or decor, making jade items one of the most ideal Alaska souvenirs to buy before heading back to the mainland.
6. Grab an Ulu knife to wow your friends in the kitchen
The Ulu is a traditional Native American knife used for centuries by native Alaskans for everything from butchering and food preparation to skinning animals and making clothing, making it one of the best Alaska gifts to bring home.
. This unique blade is curved and incredibly sharp, usually equipped with a wooden or bone handle. Today, these blades can be found in many gift shops and stores, including ones with handles made from the bone of native species found in Alaska.
They are sometimes paired with a matching bowl to help with the dicing and chopping of vegetables or herbs and make quite a statement in the kitchen! To impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess and cultural knowledge, an Ulu knife is one of the best Alaska souvenirs to bring home to regale others with tales from afar.
7. Brave the cold with an authentic pair of Alaskan mukluks
Snow is a given in most of the state and with it comes items unique to the Last Frontier! While in Alaska, you’ll be able to find an authentic pair of mukluks to stave off the cold and make a stylish statement at the same time.
Originally created by the Inuit native Americans, these boots are lined with soft and incredibly warm fur, making them perfect for an inclement weather, either in Alaska or your hometown on the mainland. With a variety of styles and patterns created in the fashion of the original Inuit peoples, mukluks make for one of the most eye catching as well as utilitarian Alaska souvenirs you could bring home.
Next time you’re trudging through the snow in the soft, supple leather boots, you’ll be sure to recall the time you spent in the Alaskan frontier!
8. Try birch syrup, then bring some home for later
Alaska is covered in birch trees and the native Alaskans have made good use of this fact by making birch syrup to flavor their food.
Created in the same fashion as maple syrup, this sugar additive is lighter in flavor with a unique appeal and is often found on every breakfast table in the entire state. Drizzled over pancakes or waffles, this syrup adds a sweet and subtle flavor to the American classics.
Because of its popularity in the state, souvenir jars of birch syrup can be found in many gift shops and restaurants, making it a perfect addition to the list of Alaska souvenirs to bring home as a memory of your trip.
9. You can’t go wrong with a souvenir t-shirt
If none of the above particularly suits your needs, you’ll be able to find innumerable souvenir t-shirts to buy for any of the people on your list, or even yourself!
From shirts emblazoned with catchy phrases to detailed drawings of wildlife like brown bears, salmon and wolves, you’ll be able to find something eye catching and easily recognizable as a souvenir from Alaska.
If it is too cold for t-shirts, you’ll also be able to find hats, gloves, sweatshirts and even jackets and rain-coats with symbols, phrases and the names of the location from which you purchased the item. And if you’re truly desperate, you could look for the old cliché; I conquered the Last Frontier and all I got was this stupid t-shirt! Tourist tees are a classic commemorative item and one of the easiest to find Alaska souvenirs!
10. A totem pole
In Ketchikan you can expect to find the largest collection of totem poles in the country and many stores sell them as well as little trinkets to remember your trip by.
Alaska is a diverse and wild land filled with so many adventures and such a rich and storied history. From the Alaskan gold rush to the lengthy history of the native tribes, Alaska has so much to offer travelers seeking a wild escape from everyday life.
To remember your time in America’s Last Frontier, there are innumerable Alaska souvenirs to bring home as a way to remember your time there. If you are taking an Alaskan Cruise, you will find a variety of things at different ports. If you find something you love, get it!
This list of some of the best Alaska souvenirs is just the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended! You’ll have to visit yourself to find something that is perfect for you and your Alaska travel experiences!
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