Alaska is a big state. If there was one takeaway from my trip to the 49th state it's the size of the place. Denali National Park alone was massive, let alone the state as a whole. This fact is of course not lost on the souvenir manufacturers who like to demonstrate the superior size of Alaska vs. Texas on all manner of tchotchkes.
The big draw of Alaska is the rugged wilderness. You don't have to go very far to find yourself in an environment most people don't experience on a daily basis. The landscapes and the animals reveal a side of nature that is both impressive & indifferent to human beings. It was a real change of pace from the sprawling suburbs.
Even in Anchorage, the largest city, the wilderness isn't very far away. On a run down a road of homes and small buildings, lying in the distance, a row of mountains were seemingly just on the edge of town. Alaska is a surreal experience.