This itinerary is a mix of exciting adventures and some down time to relax during your vacation. Get to know "the real Alaska," from wildlife to glaciers to Denali, with activity ideas from cultural museums to exhilerating flights or rafting or ATV'ing. Great for those who want to relax at a slower pace, or as a "base camp" for day-trippers. You can follow this suggestion for a driving tour with activities, or customize any part yourself as you make the arrangements.
If you say, yes! this is for us! but don't want to make all the phone calls or schedule it all, you can purchase an Excursion Package which matches this itinerary, and Alaska Garden Gate B&B will take care of all the necessary arrangements for you. To build your own trip, go to the Activities page of our website.
Day One: After breakfast, head out to the Matanuska Glacier for a guided trek on the blue ice. The drive on the Glenn Highway Scenic Byway is breathtaking. Return towards Palmer and head over to your ATV tour. Choose a 4-hour or longer guided tour into the backcountry to see parts of Alaska hardly anyone gets to experience. If the day is still young, go to Hatcher Pass. Sight-see at your own pace, and take in Independence Mine and Summit Lake.
Day Two: Have a leisurely breakfast at the B&B then drive to Dream a Dream Dog Farm for the Noon presentation and sled dog ride. Go to Talkeetna for a late lunch at one of their fabulous restaurants (downtown or at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge). After walking along the main street for a while and snagging a few souvenirs, head over to Talkeetna Air Taxi for a flightseeing trip around Denali. Either hang around Talkeetna for dinner (the town gets more colorful as the day gets longer) or turn back towards Wasilla.
Day Three: Get an early start on the day and arrive at Denali National Park for a mid-day tour through the park. After the six-hour or longer bus tour, explore the shops and restaurants nearby. It'll make for a long day, but hopefully one in which you've seen outstanding scenery and wildlife in the pristine wilderness of Denali National Park.Day Four: After some big adventures and resting up, make this day an easy one of sight-seeing locally. Learn about the unique and perserving musk oxen at the Musk Ox Farm near Palmer. Take a nice drive to Eklutna Lake for a paddle or for an easy hike. In the village of Eklutna, learn about spirit houses and the Russian Orthodox church, which has been in continuous use since the late 1700's. You might also enjoy the Iditarod Headquarters or local museums.
Day Five: Take a day-trip to Seward. The drive is gorgeous and interesting. There, get on a half-day marine cruise to see glaciers and wildlife. Back in town, go to the Sea Life Center. For dinner, don't miss the chance to have the freshest, best tasting halibut in Alaska.
Customize your Add-Ins as your time permits and depending on your interests:
--You really shouldn't miss the Native Heritage Center on the outskirts of Anchorage, or the Anchorage Museum, downtown.
--Mahay's Jet Boat tour out of Talkeetna, back to Steve Mahay's homestead
--If the fish are running, you might want to check out the action on the many rivers. Go it on your own or have a charter guide take you out.--See other posts in this blog for ideas of things to do if you're into birding, antiquing, gardening, hiking, traveling with kids or guy-stuff to do.
See also the 3-Day Itinerary if your schedule doesn't quite afford this many days.
Once you have had your vacation here, we encourage you to submit your itinerary and favorite spots, so we can post them for future guests to read!