Small, scenic, and bustling with activity, Wasilla is worth a visit in Southcentral Alaska. Not only is it an excellent place to visit on your way to Denali and Talkeetna, it’s also a destination in itself. This town has something for everyone – from museums and historic sites to beautiful lakes and mountains. No matter what time of year you visit, you can find a wide range of things to do in Wasilla, Alaska. Here are some of our favorites.
Make the most of your trip to the Mat-Su Valley! There are so many incredible activities and things to do near Wasilla, Alaska. Request your free Vacation Guide and see what’s in store for you here! Learn about the best fishing spots, glacier hikes, museums, and more. Our guide is full of recommendations for attractions and adventures near Alaska Garden Gate!
- The Top 9 Things to Do in Wasilla, Alaska
- Book Your Stay at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
The Top 9 Things to Do in Wasilla, Alaska
1. Visit Independence Mine
Independence Mine State Historical Park is an abandoned gold mine that sits at the top of Hatcher Pass, an alpine passage in the Talkeetna Mountain Range. Within the 271-acre park is a museum, old gold mining machinery, scenic hiking trails, and more. You can even pan for gold and experience what it was like during the Last Frontier’s Gold Rush! Learn about this fascinating time in history when you visit from June to Labor Day.
2. Check Out the Iditarod Headquarters
Have you ever wanted to see what it’s like to be pulled across a snowy landscape by a team of huskies? If so, head to the Iditarod Trail Headquarters in Wasilla. The Iditarod is one of Alaska’s most iconic winter events, putting mushers and their sled dogs to the test. This race spans about 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome and features rugged terrain and harsh elements. At the race headquarters, visitors can explore a log cabin museum filled with memorabilia, trophies, photos, and videos. In the summer, you can even enjoy a dog cart ride. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift shop!
3. Discover the Museum of Alaska Transportation
Dedicated to the technology that helped establish the Last Frontier, the Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry (MATI) is perfect for history buffs and gearheads alike. Take a self-guided tour through old train cars, admire commercial fishing boats, and view farm and oil machinery. The museum also offers special weekend events like vintage snowmobile shows! It’s open all week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Mother’s Day and Labor Day.
4. Grab a Pint at Bearpaw River Brewing
Bearpaw River Brewing Company is a family-owned microbrewery that makes fresh, handcrafted beers in Wasilla. An intimate tasting room is connected to the brewhouse, and a gorgeous, copper bar top welcomes guests. You may even be able to chat with the four brothers who run the brewery. If you’re not sure which beer to try, we recommend the Frontiersman IPA or the Mat Maid Milk Stout. Yum!
5. Hike the Matanuska Greenbelt
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Alaska. If you’re looking for a great spot to explore, head to the Matanuska Greenbelt. It’s a 33-mile trail system located between Palmer and Wasilla. Stroll through forests, farmland, and diverse landscapes formed by the Ice Age. These trails are perfect for hiking and mountain biking. You can even go geocaching!
Pro Tip: Although there are directional posts at most intersections, the Greenbelt’s maze of trails can be confusing. At each trailhead, you can pick up a map to keep track of your route.
6. Go Fishing
Wasilla is a paradise for anglers. The city’s surrounding lakes and rivers are home to everything from rainbow trout to Arctic char. One of the most popular species is king salmon, which begin to move into the clear water streams of the Susitna River in early June. Check out our blog on fishing in Wasilla to learn how to reel in trophy catches!
7. Visit the Dorothy Page Museum
Did you know that the Wasilla Museum was renamed to the Dorothy Page Museum when she passed away in 1989? Dorothy was a significant historical figure in Wasilla, Alaska. She was an avid writer and served two years as mayor. Often called the “Mother of the Iditarod”, she helped organize the sled race, wrote about the event, and contributed to the formation of the Musher Hall of Fame in the Knik Museum.
In the Dorothy Page Museum, explore the history of Wasilla dating back to the early 1900s. View mining artifacts, learn about dog mushing, sit in an old schoolhouse, and admire artwork from natives. It’s also a fantastic spot for a picnic with stunning views of the Talkeetna Mountains! We can provide tasty treats for you to bring with our special add-ons.
8. Attend the 4th of July Celebration
Celebrate our country’s independence at the Wasilla 4th of July Parade! Feel free to participate and decorate a float, or sit and watch. The excitement starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Wasilla. Afterward, enjoy delicious food at the Mayor’s Picnic on Iditapark Lawn. There are live music performances and, of course, a fireworks display to light up the Alaskan sky!
9. Spend a Day at Iditapark
On a sunny day, head over to Iditapark for a fun afternoon. This 28-acre area in downtown Wasilla encompasses a playground, skatepark, BMX track, and more. There’s even an outdoor amphitheater and pavilions for events. Set some time aside to walk through this scenic area with stunning gardens and ponds!
Book Your Stay at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages
After a great day in Wasilla, take a short, 10-minute drive to our Palmer bed and breakfast and relax! Our centrally-located property in the Chugach Mountains offers wonderful views, accommodations, and amenities for every type of traveler.
Reserve an economical inn room with a private bathroom. Up to five people can sleep in these rooms with queen and single bunk beds. It’s the perfect choice for groups looking for an affordable option during their Alaskan getaway. Don’t worry, it still comes with our complimentary breakfast. While here, you can explore all of the exciting things to do in Palmer, AK! Check our availability and book your room today.
Photos Courtesy of Visit Anchorage