This town was a cross between a New England port town with a little bit of Key West vibe. Maybe because it was in the 80’s while we were there, the feel of the locals were extremely welcoming and laid back. We had a great time visiting a lot of the staples around town. We loved spending our nights at beautiful Bishop Beach which allows for overnight parking on the beach, as well as spending the day on Homer Spit (free shoulder street parking and parking lot at the local fishing hole). Be sure to check out Salmon Sister’s cute store front and Two sisters bakery. If you find yourself in Homer on Wednesday or Saturday, be sure to swing by the local Farmer’s Market.
Though it needs no explanation, this is one of those spots that should be on the bucket list of all of us kids at heart. With a reindeer exhibit in the parking lot (Rudolph was on vacation at the time of our visit) you'll find it's worth the pit stop to swing by Santa's House. Mr. and Mrs. Claus are available Wed-Sun for photos and they have their own post delivery service so that you can mail letters from "The North Pole" with the authentic shipping stamp!
This one stop shop is home to the Iditarod gift shop, museum, mini sled dog trail and trophy room showcase. We came at the prefect time as one of their dogs had puppies a month prior that we were able to hold and play with. Take a practice run with the sled dog team around the practice track for $10!
iditarod headquarters - wasilla
This southern Alaskan port city is also home to Kenai Fjords National Park and endless adventures. You’ll find no shortage of things to keep you busy. Looking for a good challenging hike with outstanding views, be sure to conquer the summit of Mt. Marathon - on a clear day, it will no disappoint. Also, be sure to check out The Cookery for ½ priced oysters during happy hour (5-6pm get there early!) and don’t forget to indulge in their cream cheese ice cream with a balsamic reduction topped with fresh strawberries and warm candied bacon! If you’re looking to do day trips or excursions, we had a memorable time doing the overnight kayak adventure out of Miller’s Landing, as well as spending the day hiking and exploring the Harding Icefields. We didn’t do it, but heard great things about the fjords cruises as well as the charter fishing excursions which we’ll save for next time we come! Definitely one of our favorite spots in all of Alaska.
Just outside of Fairbanks, this spot is nestled between a lily pad covered lake and forested wetlands. Good fishing year round and plenty of water activities for everyone! We rented an aqua bike for $5/hour!
birch lake state rec site
A town we almost decided to skip, but so thankful we didn’t. Once we make it to the entrance of the town, you’ll proceed through a very tight but unique one-way tunnel that alternates access in and out throughout the day (until 11pm). Once you're on the other side of the tunnel, you’ll be greeted with a lot of fishing oriented charters and businesses. The history and the town’s makeup is something that really fascinated us. We spent an entire day with some of our friends exploring and taking in the awe of both Byron and Portage Glacier.
A very inviting ski resort town, Girdwood surely is a town you don’t want to skip while in the Anchorage area. No matter the time of year, there’s plenty to do and see for everyone. We found excellent free parking right off of their main street which was pleasantly had 2 Alaskan coffee shops, foodie joints, a thai food truck, unique thrift store, as well as a great brewery not too far up the street (walking distance). If you’re near Alyeska resort, you’ll have to stop by The Bake Shop for their huge cinnamon rolls and delicious food options for both breakfast and lunch. Near the resort, there’s a moderate ranked trail called Winner Creek Trail that is a great walk through the woods that comes with a hand-tram pulley cart over a river along the route (sadly it was closed when we were there, but looked incredible!)