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Anchorage and Palmer-Wasilla in the Mat-Su Valley

Travel Resources

Everything from vehicle rental to things to do along the drive. 

Know Before
You Go

If you're planning a trip to the Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, here are some things you should know before you go:

  1. Climate: Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley has a subarctic climate with long, cold winters and mild summers. Be sure to pack warm clothing if you are visiting during the winter months, and bring layers for the summer.

  2. Wildlife: Alaska is known for its wildlife, and Anchorage is no exception. You may encounter bears, moose, and other animals while hiking or exploring the area. It's important to be aware of your surroundings and take appropriate precautions to avoid encounters with wildlife.

  3. Outdoor activities: Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy hiking, fishing, skiing, and other outdoor activities throughout the year. Make sure to bring appropriate gear for your planned activities.

  4. Northern Lights: If you're visiting during the winter months, you may have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. The best time to view them is from September to April, and it's recommended to get away from city lights for the best experience.

  5. Culture: Anchorage has a rich cultural heritage, with a significant Native Alaskan population. Be sure to explore the local museums and cultural centers to learn more about the area's history and traditions.

  6. Food: there is a diverse food scene, with options ranging from traditional Alaskan fare to international cuisine. Be sure to try some of the local seafood, such as salmon or halibut, while you're there.

  7. Safety: Anchorage is generally a safe city, but it's always important to be aware of your surroundings and take appropriate precautions. Be sure to lock your car and secure valuables, especially if you are leaving them in your car while exploring.

​Overall, Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley is a beautiful and exciting destination with plenty to offer visitors. Be sure to plan ahead and pack appropriately for the weather and your planned activities, and enjoy your trip to this unique and vibrant city.

Scenic Views

There are many scenic views to enjoy in the Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, and Wasilla areas. In Anchorage you could try the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or a hike at Flattop Mountain.


If views from the peak is your goal, you could try hiking at the Eagle River Nature Center, Hatcher Pass in Palmer, or the butte in Butte. 

Palmer and Wasilla offer several hikes through relatively flat and moose-filled environments, the Pioneer Ridge Trail and Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge at Reflection Lake

These are just a few of the many scenic views to enjoy in the area.

Things To Do 

Anchorage, Alaska offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all interests. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Anchorage:

  1. Explore the great outdoors: Anchorage is surrounded by natural beauty, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Visit Chugach State Park to go hiking or mountain biking, or take a scenic drive along the Seward Highway to enjoy views of Turnagain Arm and the Chugach Mountains.

  2. There are several museums and cultural attractions, including the Anchorage Museum, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the Alaska Aviation Museum.

  3. Plenty of shopping and dining options in Anchorage to suit every taste and budget. Check out the Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall for indoor shopping, or explore local markets and craft fairs for unique souvenirs and gifts.

  4. Anchorage hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Fur Rendezvous winter festival, the Anchorage International Film Festival, and the Alaska State Fair in nearby Palmer.

  5. See wildlife: Anchorage is a great place to see wildlife up close, with opportunities to view moose, eagles, and even bears in their natural habitat. Take a wildlife viewing tour or visit the Alaska Zoo for a close-up look at native animals.

Things To Do 

Palmer, Alaska is a small town located about 40 miles northeast of Anchorage, known for its scenic beauty and agricultural heritage. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Palmer:

  1. Visit the Alaska State Fair: The Alaska State Fair is held annually in Palmer in late August and early September, featuring agricultural exhibits, live music, carnival rides, and more.

  2. Explore the Matanuska Glacier: The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States and offers a unique opportunity to walk on a glacier. Guided tours are available, and visitors can also explore nearby hiking trails and scenic overlooks.

  3. Visit the Palmer Museum of History and Art: The Palmer Museum of History and Art offers exhibits and artifacts showcasing the history of the Matanuska Valley, including its agricultural roots and Native Alaskan heritage.

  4. Go fishing or rafting: The nearby Matanuska River offers opportunities for fishing and rafting, with guided tours and rentals available.

  5. Visit local farms and markets: Palmer is known for its agriculture, with a variety of local farms and markets to explore. Visit the Alaska Grown market or take a farm tour to learn more about the area's agricultural heritage.

  6. Attend the Colony Days festival: Colony Days is an annual festival held in Palmer in June, featuring live music, a parade, a carnival, and other family-friendly activities.

Things To Do 

Wasilla, Alaska is a town located about 40 miles north of Anchorage, known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and historical significance. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Wasilla:

  1. Visit the Iditarod Trail Headquarters: The Iditarod Trail Headquarters is located in Wasilla and offers a museum and exhibits showcasing the history of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

  2. Go fishing or boating: The nearby Wasilla Lake offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and other water activities. Rentals and guided tours are available.

  3. Explore the Hatcher Pass area: Hatcher Pass is a scenic area located near Wasilla, featuring hiking trails, historical mining sites, and scenic overlooks.

  4. Visit the Dorothy G. Page Museum: The Dorothy G. Page Museum offers exhibits and artifacts showcasing the history of Wasilla and the surrounding area.

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