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7 Days in Alaska: Two Alaska Week Itineraries for 2024

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The absolute silence of Denali National Park. The misty spray of a waterfall running over the cliffs of Kenai Fjords. The unusual flavors of reindeer sausage topped with pineapple salsa. Alaska is a place full of experiences that you may have never had before – which is likely why you’re planning a visit in 2024. It’s time to have that bucket list experience!

Looking back now, I can see how lucky I was. Growing up in Alaska didn’t seem like anything special when I was a kid – after all, there were never any cool bands on tour in town and everything from fashion trends to new movies and music took months to reach us from the Lower 48.

But that was then… Now, I can see that I was lucky to grow up in Alaska. I’ve also been fortunate enough to revisit Alaska, including most recently in August 2023. I know that Alaska is a bucket list destination and people usually only visit once – and I take it seriously that you’re here reading my advice on how to make that once-in-a-lifetime trip happen.

7 Days in Alaska Hero

In this post, I’ve put together not one but two itineraries for how to spend 7 days in Alaska, because I know that not everyone wants to do all the same activities. That’s why thought: Why not do two weeklong itineraries for Alaska, instead of just one 7-day Alaska itinerary? These two itineraries for a week in Alaska are my best suggestions, but you can also use these 7-day Alaska itineraries as suggestions and customize them for yourself.

As you plan to spend your week in Alaska, I’m happy to answer any questions you have! Once you’ve reviewed my suggestions for spending 7 days in Alaska, let me know any questions you have in the comments below.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), Dena’ina Ełnena, and Tanana peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

This post was originally published in December 2019, and was updated most recently in October 2023.
I also update this post again in March of the new year to ensure all of the info is accurate.

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7 Days in Alaska: 2 Itineraries to Consider

To be honest, I couldn’t choose between the two 7-day Alaska itinerary options I typically recommend when friends and family ask how to spend a week in Alaska. So… I put them both in this post!

Itinerary AItinerary B
Day 1AnchorageAnchorage
Day 2AnchorageAnchorage
Day 3DenaliSeward
Day 4DenaliDenali
Day 5SewardDenali
Day 6SewardFairbanks
Day 7GirdwoodFairbanks

And here are maps of each of these Alaska itineraries for 7 days, so you can get a sense for which one goes where:

Itinerary A

7 Days in Alaska - Itinerary A Map

Itinerary B

7 Days in Alaska - Itinerary B Map

The main differences between them are:

  1. Itinerary A works whether you want to rent a car, take the train, or a combination of both.
  2. Itinerary B is a little more complicated and specific. I recommend renting a car in Anchorage to visit Seward, taking the train from Anchorage to Denali to Fairbanks, and then flying from Fairbanks to Anchorage for your return flight.
  3. Itinerary A gives you more time on the Kenai Peninsula in Seward and Girdwood; Itinerary B takes you to Fairbanks to see Interior Alaska.

Both tours visit Denali, which is a little bit different in 2024 due to a road closure at Mile 43 of the Denali Park Road (which has been ongoing since 2021 and will continue through 2026). I put together a guide to the Denali Bus Tours in 2024 and my recommendation for what to do given this road closure, and have addressed whether visiting Denali is worth it even with the road closure. (Spoilers – YES!!!)

Now that you’ve got the basics, let’s run through each one in a little more detail. Then you can choose the one that’s right for you and start planning!

7-Day Alaska Itinerary A: Anchorage – Denali – Seward – Girdwood

Valerie in Alaska

My first suggested Alaska 7-day itinerary is inspired by several trips I’ve taken over the years. This is an easy trip you can do by renting a car, but it doesn’t show you quite as much of Alaska as Itinerary B. Here it is, for your consideration.

Day 1: Anchorage

As I grew up in a small community just outside Anchorage, it’s funny to write about it as a travel destination – I just think of it a bit like ‘home,’ even after all these years!

I’m assuming that you arrive on Day 1, and probably sometime in the afternoon or evening. Many flights to Alaska arrive ‘after dark,’ except that in the summer, it’s light so late at night that you might arrive while the midnight sun is up!

On this first day, your only objective is to get to your hotel and get settled. If you’re staying in Downtown Anchorage, you can go for a walk around – but I’ve got lots of suggestions on that for Day 2, so if you’re feeling like a rest, that’s okay. You’ll see a ton the next day!

For dinner, be sure to make a reservation for 49th State Brewing; it’s my absolute favorite spot for dinner in Anchorage and their food is awesome. It’s an easy walk from almost all of the downtown Anchorage hotels.

Resources for Day 1:

Day 2: Anchorage

Today is your day to explore Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. There are a couple of activities I love whenever I’m in town, so you can choose a few of them and plan your own day to explore the city.

If you have a rental car and happen to be visiting on the weekend, be sure to make a stop at the Anchorage Market There you’ll find local food vendors, farmers and growers, craftspeople and musicians, and plenty of opportunities to snag great Alaskan souvenirs right off the bat. I highly recommend making your way to the food stalls to try the corn fritters with honey butter (left, below).

If you’d rather stick closer to downtown, spend the morning walking along historic 4th Avenue. While there, a great place to seek out is Tia’s Reindeer Sausage on 4th Avenue. Her spicy sausage and pineapple sauce (right, above) is an unusual but delicious combo for lunch, and affordable too!

In the afternoon, choose between an outdoor ride along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (rent bikes from Pablo’s Bicycles) or head indoors to the Anchorage Museum. The Museum underwent extensive renovations and improvements in the last two decades and has some outstanding exhibits on Native Alaskan culture, Alaska’s special relationship with Russia, and more.

Here are a few good Anchorage restaurants for dinner:

  • The Glacier Brewhouse is an Anchorage institution, with tons of microbrews on tap.
  • Similarly, Humpy’s is a local spot with great burgers and beer.
  • If you want something fancier, consider dressing up for dinner at the Crow’s Nest atop the Hotel Captain Cook.

Resources for Day 2:

Day 3: Anchorage to Denali

Today is all about getting from Anchorage to Denali.

I recommend taking the Alaska Railroad for Day 3 (to Denali) and Day 5 (back to Anchorage); the train leaves Anchorage around 8am, and it takes about eight hours to get to Denali. The train can also be the best way to relax while seeing Alaska. In 2024, I’m especially encouraging travelers to book on the Alaska Railroad since cars have been so expensive over the past few years, as they have been for a few years now.

For another, budget-friendlier option, check out Park Connection, a bus service that operates between Anchorage and Denali (and also connects down to Seward).

If you choose to rent a car instead, it only takes about 5 hours to drive from Anchorage to Denali. You may want to stop off at some of my favorite Denali viewpoints or other towns along the way (like making a detour to Talkeetna) which could take longer.

If you arrive in time by car or by train, consider booking the Denali Glacier Landing flightseeing tour from Fly Denali on their 6:15pm flight; tell them I (Valerie & Valise) sent you. This is my top excursion recommendation in Alaska and it’s worth every penny! (There are loads of other great things to do in Denali too if you need more suggestions.)

In the evening, go grab dinner at Lynx Creek Pizza. This restaurant is located on one of the resort properties but it’s got a very local Alaskan vibe and their pizzas are fantastic; it’s also one of my favorite places to eat in Denali.

Resources for Day 3:

  • You’ll need accommodation for two nights in Denali (Day 3 & 4):
  • Book everything in advance. Denali is expensive and sells out early – that’s just how it is!
  • If you take the train, arrange your hotel transfers directly with your hotel; they all offer this service so a car is not needed.

Day 4: Denali National Park

Today’s the day: you’re headed into Denali National Park! This is one of two national parks that I grew up visiting (the other is Kenai Fjords which you’ll visit on Day 6 of this itinerary) and I love how open and wild it is.

The main thing people get stuck on when planning to visit Denali is that you can’t take private vehicles into Denali National Park beyond Mile 15. This means no rental cars either! Instead, you’ll need to book a bus tour which is a service offered by the National Park Service, to see all the park has to offer.

Personally, I love this solution: it protects the park, improves safety for wildlife and visitors, and cuts down on crowds and traffic. So please don’t email me asking why the NPS does this or complaining that you want to drive yourself into the park – I fully support the bus tours and encourage everyone to take one.

In 2024, there are a limited number of bus tours to choose from, but you’re in luck – I wrote an entire post about it so you can learn the scoop on Denali bus tours. To be honest, I don’t believe it’s worth it to go for any less than the Tundra Wilderness Tour. There’s a good chance to see wildlife, and you’ll ride along a significant length of the park road. In sum: book the Tundra Wilderness tour!

After your bus tour, head back to your hotel before dinner at another local restaurant, Moose-AKa’s – it’s the one I consider the best in Denali by far.

Resources for Day 4:

  • Stay at the same accommodation in Denali for a second night.

Day 5: Denali to Anchorage to Seward

Alaska in Autumn - Valerie in Denali

You’re now past the halfway point of this Alaska itinerary for 7 days, so sad! By whatever way you got to Denali, it’s time to head back south.

If you are taking the Alaska Railroad, you’ll board a 12:30pm train which arrives in Anchorage around 8pm. You’ll then need to rent a car and drive south to Seward; it’s a minimum 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage to Seward. This is a long day, so plan ahead to avoid being tired on the drive. (Alaska has great coffee!)

If instead, you’ve rented a car for this whole trip, I recommend heading out no later than 11:30am so you can get to Seward by around 7pm.

In either case, it’s well-known that the Seward Highway (between Anchorage and Seward) is slow, often has construction, and requires careful driving. Don’t rush the travel this day – enjoy the journey and arrive safely in Seward in time for a late dinner.

Resources for Day 5:

Day 6: Seward & Kenai Fjords National Park

Get an early start and board a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park. This national park can only be accessed by boat, and there are several other boat tour operators to choose from.

I prefer Major Marine Tours, who I’ve cruised with many times growing up in Alaska and visiting since. Their 8.5-hour Kenai Fjords Northwestern Fjord Cruise is ideal because it takes up most of the day, but also gives you extra time to see wildlife like whales, bald eagles, and otters, and to view glaciers in the national park. Kenai Fjords Tours is another major operator in Seward; I also have a post comparing Major Marine and KFT if you’re trying to decide between both.

After your cruise, try dinner at The Cookery. They have insanely good fresh seafood and plenty of other options if you’ve seen enough marine creatures for one day.

Resources for Day 6:

  • Stay another night in your Seward hotel.

Day 7: Seward to Girdwood to Anchorage

View from Alyeska Tram

On your final of these 7 days in Alaska, it’s time to make your way from Seward back to Anchorage. As I said, it’s a 2.5-hour drive, and you can set out after breakfast in Seward (try Sea Bean Cafe to fuel up before you hit the road).

Stop for lunch at Girdwood Brewing in Girdwood. This small town is a short detour off the Seward Highway, but it’s popular year-round for skiing in the winter and arts and hiking in the summer. If you have the time before your flight home, you can also ride the Alyeska tram up Alyeska mountain for some stunning views. It’s a great way to end your time in Alaska, looking out over the mountains and scenery.

If you have a very late flight (like after midnight), you could stay in Girdwood for dinner; my two favorite spots are Jack Sprat and The Double Musky. If your flight is earlier, head back to Anchorage and stop for dinner at the Moose’s Tooth; this is Alaska’s favorite pizza spot and is awesome as a final meal before you fly home.

7 Days in Alaska Itinerary B: Anchorage – Seward – Denali – Fairbanks

Alaska - Fireweed

If my first Alaska 7-day itinerary doesn’t quite strike you as the perfect Alaska itinerary for you, here’s another Alaska week itinerary you might like.

Day 1: Anchorage

Like Itinerary A, what you can do on Day 1 depends a lot on what time your flight arrives to Anchorage. If you arrive quite late, you should make your way to your hotel and rest for the night. Instead, if your flight arrives in the afternoon or early evening, consider some of my suggestions for Day 2 (below).

If you arrive in time for dinner, try 49th State Brewing, the Glacier Brewhouse, or Humpy’s, as I recommended above, or check out the rest of the Anchorage restaurants I recommend.

Resources for Day 1:

  • You will need 2 separate nights in Anchorage (Day 1-2 and Day 3-4). I recommend researching which hotel you want to stay at, then contacting or calling them to book the nights directly:

Day 2: Anchorage to Seward

On your first full day of 7 days in Alaska, you have the morning and early afternoon to explore downtown Anchorage. Similar to my recommendations for Day 2 in Itinerary A, I suggest:

  • Wandering the stalls at the Anchorage Farmer’s Market & Festival to find great Alaskan souvenirs and sample local foods.
  • Visiting the Anchorage Museum to learn more about Anchorage history, culture, and art.
  • Biking along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to admire scenic views.

You can also explore Anchorage by just walking around! The downtown core is pretty small and set up on a grid system, so it’s easy to stroll blocks and find interesting gift shops, galleries, and more. (Pro-tip: 4th & 5th Avenue are the best streets to ‘get lost’ on.)

In the late afternoon, pick up your rental car and drive south to Seward. It’s a 2.5-hour scenic drive along the Seward Highway; go slowly and don’t rush this drive to be safe as it’s a pretty dangerous two-lane highway. Depending on when you arrive in Seward, you may have time to visit the Alaska SeaLife Center. There you’ll be guaranteed to see some marine mammals that are living at this center for rehabilitation and treatment.

Resources for Day 2:

Day 3: Seward to Anchorage

Cruising in Kenai Fjords National Park

In this itinerary for 7 days in Alaska, this day is the same as Day 6 of Itinerary A above. That is, I recommend spending most of the day on the Major Marine Tours8.5-hour Kenai Fjords Northwestern Fjord Cruise to explore Kenai Fjords National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for Humpback whales, puffins, sea otters, and more!

After you disembark from your cruise, it’s time to make the 2.5-hour drive back to Anchorage. You’ll want to do this in order to make an early morning departure from Anchorage on Day 4 (tomorrow).

Once you get to Anchorage, consider dinner at the Crow’s Nest atop the Hotel Captain Cook. You’ll have stunning views and a splurge-worthy dinner on your last night in Anchorage.

Resources for Day 3:

  • You’ll stay another night at the Anchorage accommodation you’ve already arranged.
  • No other info is needed for today.

Day 4: Anchorage to Denali

Here’s the halfway point in this Alaska itinerary for 7 days… and this day is exactly like Day 3 in Itinerary A, described above – except your only option here is to take the train:

  • Rise and shine early to catch the 8am Alaska Railroad departure from Anchorage.
  • Arrive in Denali around 4pm.
  • Book the 6:15pm Denali Glacier Landing flightseeing tour from Fly Denali. Tell them I (Valerie Stimac) sent you!
  • Have dinner at Lynx Creek Pizza.

It’s a long day but offers some of Alaska’s best experiences: the AKRR, seeing Denali, and some of the best pizza in the state!

Resources for Day 4:

  • You’ll need accommodation for two nights in Denali (Day 3 & 4):
  • Book everything in advance. Denali is expensive and sells out early – that’s just how it is!

Day 5: Denali

Best National Parks - Denali National Park

Day 5 in Itinerary B is identical to Day 4 in Itinerary A. Here’s a reminder of what it includes:

  • Rise and shine to catch an early Tundra Wilderness Tour into Denali National Park. This is a 5-6-hour bus tour and the best option to see as much of the park as possible in a single day. (If you need a refresher on different Denali bus day tours, click here.)
  • Return to your hotel in the afternoon before dinner at Moose-AKa’s.

Resources for Day 5:

  • Stay at the same hotel in Denali for a second night.
  • No other info is needed for today.

Day 6: Denali to Fairbanks

Since you’re still enjoying the Alaska Railroad, you have the morning and early afternoon to yourself in McKinley Village, the town near Denali National Park. This is a great opportunity to walk around and do any souvenir shopping you still need to buy.

The Alaska Railroad departs Denali at 4pm and arrives in Fairbanks at 8pm. Based on my recommended accommodation below, you’ll head straight there for dinner and relaxation on your last night in The Last Frontier.

Resources for Day 6:

Day 7: Fairbanks to Anchorage

5 Days in Alaska - Fairbanks

Your departure time will have the biggest effect on how much you can do during your day in Fairbanks. You may choose to spend the whole day at Chena Hot Springs – and seriously no judgment if that’s the case!

If you choose to wander into town, here are some of the best places:

  • Fairbanks has some surprisingly dynamic museums, including the Museum of the North (all about Alaskan culture and history) and the Fairbanks Ice Museum (the name says it all; open in the summer!).
  • Pioneer Park is a quirky historic theme park that will teach you more about Interior Alaskan history, including the Pioneer Air Museum (focused on aviation in Interior Alaska) and Tanana Valley Railroad Museum.
  • If you can arrange transport, Gold Dredge No. 8 is a little way out of town but offers an interesting peek at the gold mining history in this part of Alaska.

This Alaska 7-day itinerary ends now, in Fairbanks… so how do you get back to Anchorage to fly home??? To do this, you’ll take a one-way flight from Fairbanks to Anchorage, then catch your flight (or cruise) home. Check the links in the resources section below.

Resources for Day 7:

  • Book your flight from Fairbanks to Anchorage with Alaska Airlines, or compare flight times and prices using Kayak or Skyscanner.

Have other questions about how to spend 7 days in Alaska? Let me know in the comments below!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.


  • Carol Schneider

    I would like to use Trip One but I have 11 days. I would like to drive to Homer and fish for halibut. Where should I stop for hotel along the way. I don’t want to drive back to Anchorage until the very end.
    Need hotel recommendations AND fishing charters for 5-7 hours?


  • maria hanggi

    hi valerie. . thank you for sharing your itinerary options. We will visit Alaska the end of July for one week. We would like to follow your tour but have interest in:
    * a day trip on the train to the Yukon (where should we fit that in?)
    * fishing for Salmon and Halibut (can we book this in Seaward?)

    • Valerie

      Maria, thanks for reading. Unfortunately, I don’t believe you can actually go to Canada right now based on the border closures. And given that I haven’t done any fishing, I recommend just doing some google research to find and book a fishing charter in advance!

    • Leah Lundy

      Thank you for these great itineraries! I can’t decide between renting a car or the train. I’m sure there are perks to both, if you had to choose, which works you pick? We were also thinking the last week of August and first week of September, do you think those times are okay or would July be better?

      Again, thanks for the great itinerary!
      Leah Lundy

  • Pam Marsh

    Hi Valerie, thanks for the great itineraries! I was wondering why, in itinerary B, the train is the only option to get from Anchorage to Denali, Denali to Fairbanks? Thanks!

    • Valerie

      Great question, Pam! I typically advise the train for one-way travel like that because one-way rental cars are more expensive and the train ride is much more scenic. I hope that helps as you plan!

  • Lauren

    Hi there! I am planning a 7 day trip from Anchorage at the end of June. Your sample itineraries have been so helpful, however I am stuck on which to choose. Which do you recommend for those who have never explored Alaska before?

    • Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Lauren! It depends on what you want to do! If you’re set on seeing glaciers and whale watching, itinerary A is the best choice; if you want to explore further into Alaska, see the midnight sun (given your visit in June), and visit Chena Hot Springs, then itinerary B is the one to pick!

  • HeatherM

    These plans are super-helpful as I start my research for my family of 5 (3 teens). I was looking at some of the hotels you recommended, and they don’t seem to accommodate 5 large people. Are there ones I should specifically be looking at? We usually stay at air bnb’s, but the hotel options in Denali and Fairbanks seem better, as we wouldn’t have a rental car then.

    • Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Heather! Thanks for asking – with that many people in your group, you will need to look at booking 2 rooms at the hotels I recommend. There aren’t many options in Denali for sure, but that’s the only way to do it. I hope that helps!

  • Siobhan Callahan

    These are great resources, thanks for sharing! I’m starting to plan an extended family trip for summer 2022 and we are leaning towards the main trip starting/ending in Anchorage and including Denali and Seward/Kenai National Park, similar to your first itinerary. Some of us have extra time and I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to extend our trip in Juneau and go to Glacier Bay National Park? I’d love to do the Uncruise trip but we don’t have quite enough time! If we’re seeing the scenery/glaciers in Kenai, is it different enough to try to include Glacier Bay?


    • Valerie

      I’d recommend holding off on the Southeast/Glacier Bay for a separate trip – it’s really worth giving it more time so you can enjoy that region!

  • Brian

    These are wonderful options, if wee arrive on Saturday night and leave the following Saturday night after 10pm, does this give us an 8th day? If yes, could we easily option 1 and Fairbanks? Are Car Rentals in short supply this summer?

    • Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Brian. Based on your dates, that’s only 7 days so no, there are additional days for Fairbanks. Also, yes, rental cars are impossible to find; if you haven’t booked one yet, you likely won’t find one.

    • Brian


      Thank you Valerie, I will go with your option 1. This site is fantastic you have helped make a task of booking a trip to an unknown place extremely easy.

      Thank you again

  • Prat

    Thanks for such a detailed guide. I have about 8-9 days in Alaska and option a sounds good. What is your opinion about matanushka glacier? I have heard that’s a must see and was surprised as it was not mentioned? Is it worthwhile and if yes when exactly can I fit that in?

    • Valerie

      To be honest, I don’t know why everyone is talking about Matanuska Glacier this year – where did you hear it was a “must-see?” I don’t consider it a must-see if you only have 10 or fewer days; I’d spend more time in Denali or down on the Kenai Peninsula instead.

      • Valerie

        Not really; the travel times and activities are pretty tight in each of these itineraries. You could stop for a short time, but there isn’t time for an overnight or any tours based out of Talkeetna in these itineraries.

  • Tanvi Bhagat

    Hi Valerie! Both your itineraries were super helpful while planning our trip. We did a combination of both – landed in fairbanks(Chena), then took the train to denali and then to anchorage. Rented a car and covered Girdwood and Seward and took the flight back to San Francisco from Anchorage.
    Your accomodation options were really helpful and our trip was a success.
    Thank You so much.

  • Grace

    This is a silly question but what are you supposed to do with the luggage in-between checkout times? For example when you check out of the hotel and are exploring the town before you get on the train for the next stop…do you have luggage recommendations if you have to walk around with it?

  • Tracey Morris

    Hi, thanks for the itinerary. You mention you can’t take a rental car into Denali NP, but you can drive to mile 15/Savage River can’t you? We were hoping to rent rather than have to rely on shuttles to give us more flexibility to hike.

    • Valerie

      You can certainly do that – but with only 7 days, I recommend folks take the bus to get as far into the park as they can and experience the vastness and wilderness further than 15 miles in. Also, your chances of seeing wildlife are much less in that first 15 miles, another reason the buses are the best way to experience the park (especially with only 7 days).

  • Alyssa

    Hello! My fiance and I are currently looking into Alaska for our honeymoon and we liked the idea of your second itinerary but were trying to keep cost down. We were wonderning types of things could be done at each location you mentioned as more of a “do your own thing” type of feel. Like maybe day hikes, ATV tours, etc instead of the airplane tour in Denali or Marine tour in Seward? Or if we had to choose between the two which one we should choose? Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Alyssa! To be honest, I’d suggest just saving up until you can afford to do Alaska fully, rather than trying to cut down some of these experiences. You’ll be missing out on some of the major things that make Alaska special, especially if choosing between flightseeing in Denali and the whale watching tour in Seward. I do have this little product that has some tips on saving money, which might help:

  • Wanda Melendez

    Valerie, We like the idea of doing a house at Denali, but wondering what options from train station to the house and what options for groceries for cooking.

    • Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Wanda. To stay at a house rather than a hotel, you’ll need to have a rental car to get around and stock up on groceries.

  • Wanda Melendez

    Hi Valerie, Do you know if there is good fishing spots for kids in Denali, Anchorage, or Seward? We have our own travel fishing rods. I think it would be fun to do for a couple hours.


    • Valerie

      Denali has limited fishing spots; in Anchorage take a look at Fish Creek – but be prepared that it’s not really casual fishing, instead you might find yourself sport fishing alongside many others!

  • Ashley

    Hi Velerie! Love you blog post! I actually plan to do a 7 days in Alaska and am very interested to take your Plan B. However, I will be travlling alone and can’t drive car. Do you think Its still possible to take tour / train to travel between the towns in this 7 days?

  • Wanda Melendez

    Hi, Do you know if the weather on the Kenai Fjords National Park is cooler than the temperature in Seward in June? We will be going there and doing the hike to the bottom of the Fjords. It looks like the trail is paved, do you think we are fine wearing comfortable tennis shoes? We are also doing a cruise that you recommended for 8 hours. Is there a lot of rain in June? Just looking at what we need to bring for end of June.


    • Valerie

      Wanda, I’m not sure what you’re referring to… you can’t hike to the bottom of the Fjords as they are filled with water.

  • Neal

    Hi Valerie,

    Thanks for all of the great info and suggestions. My wife and I are owning on flying into Anchorage for 8 days in mid to late March 2023. From what I’ve seen online, the flightseeing tours, Denali Bus Tours and other things are closed during this time of the year. Would you recommend different itineraries during this time of year or the same itineraries but with different things to do? Thanks in advance!


  • Gwen

    I have an Alaskian cruise booked ofr June 2023 for my family of 5. Now I am thinking I wold rather visit Alaska but not on a cruise. I am in the very early stages….the can I afford this right now stage. Visiting Denali is #1 on my list. Are there affordable accomodations at Denali? I want to use your suggestion and take the train from Anchorage. While there I want to do the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Where do you recommend we could stay if we aren’t renting a car in this area?
    Your website has been very helpful.

  • Rosanne

    Hi Valerie

    Thank you for all this wonderful information. We are from Australia and hoping to visit Alaska for a week at the end of August. I was tending towards itinereray 2 as I wasnt really keen on the very long day on day 5. Would there be an earlier train that would enable us to get to Seward earlier than 8pm?

    Also, in itinerary 2 you say that we will need 2 nights accomodation in Fairbanks however, from what I can see in the itinerary its oonly one night. Am I mis-reading something?

    • Valerie

      Hi, Rosanne! There is one train to Seward, so that is your only option if you want to take the train. You are right, you do only need one night in Fairbanks in itinerary 2. I fixed that error, thanks for catching it!

  • Suzanne

    Hi Valerie,
    My family and I are coming from Seattle in July 2023 and I’m thinking the best use of our time might be to fly from Seattle to Anchorage, stay one night, drive to Seward, stay 1-2 nights, then, back to Anchorage for some time there, 2 nights, head to Denali, stay 2 night, then drive to Fairbanks and stay 1-2 night, then fly out of Fairbanks to Seattle. Do you see any pitfalls/issues with this itinerary?

    • Valerie

      That looks a lot like the itineraries I suggest, so I don’t see any problems with it… but you might have difficulty booking hotels in some places at this point since availability is limited in Seward and Denali.

  • Bob

    Thank you Valerie for the informative guide and advice in your website. Your comparison of various marine tour companies is very helpful. Is there a comparison of different flightseeing tour operators? Since there seems to be several flights and flight operators with some almost half the price of the recommended one, I was trying to understand the difference.

    Also, are there any hotels you would recommend in Talkeetna ?

    • Valerie

      Hi, Bob. I don’t have a comparison of flightseeing operators, but I would never pay for a discount flight – the flights cost what they cost because it’s how they ensure that they’re safe and reliable. If something is cheaper, it’s either going to be unsafe, or it’s not going to be the same experience as the one I recommend, which is the one I think is the best.

      For hotels in Talkeetna, see:

  • Cory

    I love your itineries and have decided to use “B”. Question: Since I won’t have a car, how do I get FROM Chena Hot Springs Resort to Fairbanks airport?
    Also from where RR drops me TO Chena Hot Springs Resort?

  • Anu

    Hi Valerie,
    Is April a good time to visit Alaska? Apr 1 – 8 during school spring break. We would prefer to do Itinerary B as I read that Northern lights can be seen until Mid April from Fairbanks. Will first week of April for your itinerary B be suitable?

    Thank you

  • Anna

    Your blog is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! Planning our first Alaska trip for mid-August 2025. Would we be able to see the Aurora then in Fairbanks although it’s still summer?

  • Jyotisman Saha

    Hey guys, that’s a great itenary there and i found this to be relly helpful. I shall be travelling to Alaska towards the end of April ’24. I was wondering if it’s still possible to view the Northern lights then?

    • Valerie

      Nope, it will be too light then. You have to visit in the winter to see the lights. Also, most experiences mentioned in this itinerary are not available in April; you will need to check everything I recommend to see what (if any) is available for your dates.

  • JenZ

    I’m planning a trip to AK for next year and have a couple of questions that I’m hoping you can help with:

    1. If I purchase the itinerary pack but am not sure yet whether we’ll want to stay for 7 or 8 days, will it work ok to purchase it for 8 days and then not use the last day if we decide to stay for 7 days?

    2. If we rent a car for the portion of the trip when we are in Anchorage/Whittier and then want to take the train to Denali, what would you recommend re: turning in the rental car and then getting to the train station? I’m assuming we would pick it up at the airport but wondered if there was another place we could drop it off or if we would need to go back to the airport and then get a taxi or rideshare.

    Thanks for your help 🙂

    • Valerie

      Jen, hi, the itinerary packs don’t really allow you to just drop a day off – it’s designed to make the most of whatever the set number of days is that you purchase (so it’s like, you won’t be in Anchorage on Day 7 of an 8 Day itinerary, so you’d have to rearrange the whole itinerary to cut a day off… negating the usefulness of the itinerary pack!).

      Taxis are the way to get around!

  • Keevin

    Hi Valerie,

    We are planning about 1 week in Alaska in Mar 2025, main priority would be Northern Lights.

    1) Would it be more prudent to focus on Fairbanks (for the NLs) and maybe on a train to Denali?

    2) Additionally, is it a must to rent a car? Or could we rely on public transit?

    3) I know that it could be done (as you showed in your sample itineraries above): but is it wrong for me to think that Anchorage might be a future trip? Because there’s adjacent things such as Seward, Kenai Fjords, etc. And I don’t want to stretch ourselves thin by trying to do Fairbanks/Denali and Anchorage.

    Any thoughts of yours would be greatly appreciated. Really love this blog and resource! Thanks

      • Keevin

        Hi Valerie,

        Yes i have perused various pages on your website. However I was just trying to see what your straight-forward concise opinions might be regarding my 3 questions? Just from your expertise/experience/perspective, it would be really helpful for someone like me. I appreciate your time.

        • Valerie

          Keevin, sorry but I get so many comments I can’t provide specific travel advice for free in the comments – I’ve spent literally thousands of hours writing articles for you to find the answers 🙂

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