Recommended Day Trips
Alaska is one-fifth the size of the continental United States. The biggest challenge is to choose what to do and where to go. There are options in every budget that will make your visit memorable, whether you are looking for extreme Alaskan adventure, or prefer to take it all in with scenic drives and guided tours. You can easily stay two weeks at the Agate Inn and not see and do everything our area of Alaska has to offer.
With so much to see and do located nearby, it can be overwhelming to decide how to fit it all into your schedule. You can plan your itinerary from the many options listed individually in our Area Activities & Sightseeing section, or look below for suggested day trips that include the things you want to see!
Most visitors underestimate the distance between communities in Alaska. Fairbanks, Homer and Valdez are all short drives (from approximately 4 to 8 hours) from the Agate Inn … in different directions.
Glaciers and the Great Outdoors
Enjoy a leisurely complimentary continental breakfast provided with your accommodations. Venture on a scenic one-hour drive along the beautiful Matanuska River to the terminus of the Matanuska Glacier. Engage a glacier tour guide, don crampons and helmet for a morning stroll on ice, ten thousand years old and hundreds of feet thick.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at the glacier or dine at nearby restaurants. On the return drive, spend the afternoon touring the Musk Ox Farm and the gardens at the Palmer Visitors Center or the Colony Village at the Alaska State Fair. Return to the Agate Inn for an evening barbecue or dine out.
Glacier Hike and River Rafting
Get an early start with your complimentary continental breakfast provided with your accommodations. Pack a picnic lunch, then motor through the scenic one-hour drive along the Matanuska River to the Matanuska Glacier. Spend the morning exploring the glacier. After lunch, head back south thirty minutes to Nova’s headquarters for your 2:00 PM whitewater-rafting trip down the Matanuska River past the Lions Head. On the way back to the Agate Inn, stop for dinner at one of the various restaurants in Palmer. After dinner, walk through the garden display at the Palmer Visitors Center.
Knik Glacier & Eklutna Lake
Plan a short day at Knik Glacier or a long day touring Eklutna Lake. Take a four-hour round trip airboat shuttle to Knik Glacier. Watch crystal blue icebergs the size of ten-story buildings tumble with thunderous force into Knik Lake. Or, drive to Eklutna, tour Eklutna Village, the spirit houses and its Russian Orthodox Church. Spend the rest of the day hiking, biking or kayaking around Eklutna Lake in Chugach State Park. Kayak and bike rentals are available at the Lake.
Iditarod Trail & Hatcher Pass
First stop is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters. Learn about the history of the “Last Great Race” and then take a real live sled dog ride. Next, head north on Main Street and stop for a tour of the Dorothy Page Museum and Town Site Park. Afterward, continue north on Main Street and follow the Wasilla Fishhook Road on to Hatcher Pass. Stop for a picnic lunch at the top of the Pass or lunch at Hatcher Pass Lodge. Spend the rest of the day touring Independence Mine Historical Park and hiking through beautiful alpine terrain. Try your luck at gold panning with a gold pan on loan from the Agate Inn.
Hike Hatcher Pass
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and head into the Talkeetna Mountains for a full day of exploring Hatchers Pass. Tour the Independence Mine State Historical Park or pan for gold. Take one of the short hikes near the mine, Summit Lake or Craigie Creek. Or for a more strenuous alpine hike, venture on the 8-mile Reed Lake trail (an alpine classic). Plan to picnic or stop at the Hatchers Pass Lodge for lunch or dinner.
It is an early morning today, meeting your fishing guide at the Little Susitna River for a full day of salmon fishing. Afterwards, stop at Knik Museum and Mushers Hall of Fame. Along the way, watch for Beluga and Killer Whales. Just before reaching Wasilla stop at the Iditarod Trail Headquarters and try a sled dog ride. Plan to barbecue fresh salmon for dinner on the Agate Inn’s grill.
Spend the morning trout fishing in the nearby Kepler-Bradley Lakes or Cottonwood Creek. Relax the rest of the day or tour the Alaska Museum of Transportation & Industry in Wasilla. On Fridays at 1 PM add a tour of the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, and learn about the earthquakes that occur in Alaska every day.
Plan an all day excursion to Whittier for the “26 Glacier Cruise”. Catch the catamaran at noon for a five-hour tour of Prince William Sound. Photograph glaciers, sea otters, seals, whales and bird rookeries. On the way home, stop in Anchorage for dinner and some shopping.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Take a breathtaking two and one-half hour drive to Seward, then take a cruise to view tufted puffins, orcas, harbor seals, stellar sea lions and glaciers. While in Seward tour the Alaska SeaLife Center. On the way back to Wasilla, stop in Anchorage for dinner and some shopping.
A Day on the Links
Enjoy a leisurely complimentary continental breakfast provided with your accommodations. After breakfast, head off to one of the local 18 hole par 72 golf courses to meet your tee time. The scenery is magnificent at both courses. Later in the day, spend some time touring the nearby attractions, such as the Musk Ox Farm, Reindeer Farm, Colony Village and our five local museums.
Mt. McKinley by Air
Mt. McKinley Flight
Before breakfast, call one of the Talkeetna air services to check weather and availability for Mt. McKinley flights. A flight around Mt. McKinley is truly awesome. Add a picnic lunch and landing on the Ruth Glacier for a trip of a lifetime. Spend some time walking through Talkeetna…..our “Northern Exposure” town.