How to Get the Full Alaska Experience (5 Days or More)

While most visitors to the Mat-Su Valley stay for two nights, many of our guests choose five or more nights in order to experience the multitude of attractions that can be reached from Alaska Garden Gate.

This itinerary is a mix of exciting adventures with some down time to relax during your vacation. Get to know “the real Alaska,” from its wildlife and glaciers to Denali National Park and Preserve, home to the tallest mountain in North America. Activity ideas range from cultural museum visits to exhilarating flights, rafting, and ATVing. Great for those who want to relax at a slower pace, or as a “base camp” for day-trippers. Follow this suggestion for an excellent driving tour filled with activities, or customize it for a personalized experience as you make arrangements.

Day One:

Once you start your day with a hearty breakfast, head out to the Matanuska Glacier for a walk on the gorgeous blue ice. The drive across the Glenn Highway Scenic Byway is absolutely stunning! Return towards Palmer and meet up for an ATV tour. Choose a four-hour or longer guided tour into the backcountry to witness parts of Alaska hardly anyone gets to see. If the day is still young, check out Hatcher Pass. Sightsee at your own pace, and enjoy the natural beauty of Independence Mine and Summit Lake.

Day Two:

Enjoy another wholesome breakfast at the bed and breakfast, then head over to Dream a Dream Dog Farm for the afternoon presentation and sled-dog ride. After, go to Talkeetna for a late lunch at one of their impressive restaurants (downtown or at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge). Definitely take a chance to walk along the main street for a while and purchase a few special souvenirs before heading over to Talkeetna Air Taxi for a flightseeing trip around Denali. As the evening goes on, 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 exciting adventures, rest up at our B&B, then make this day an easy one and enjoy some local sightseeing. The Musk Ox Farm near Palmer is an absolute must for animal lovers. Learn about these unique animals as well as the preservation efforts to bring the species back from the brink of extinction. Then, 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 itself is gorgeous and fascinating. Once there, get on a half-day marine cruise to see the glaciers and wildlife. After, make sure to visit the Sea Life Center back in town. For dinner, don’t miss the chance to have the freshest, best-tasting halibut in Alaska right in Seward.

Additional Ideas

If you’re looking for more fun things to do, customize your add-ins as time permits. We have a few options depending on your interests:

  • 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 alone or have a charter guide take you out.

Read through our blog for additional suggestions having to do with special interests such as birdingantiquinghiking, and traveling with kids. Also, take a look at the 3-Day Itinerary if your schedule doesn’t quite afford this many days.

Start Planning Your Vacation

Our property offers a variety of options to make your adventure in enjoyable. If you plan on getting the full Alaska experience over five or more days, we recommend our cottages and apartments with luxurious accommodations. Cook dinner in the room one night in your own full kitchen or enjoy the spacious environments by relaxing with the family after a long day out.

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! We value your opinion just as much as we value making your stay with us the best it can possibly be, so check our availability to secure a room for your trip!

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