17 Day Alaska Summer Road Trip Itinerary

In June of 2023, Teddy and I got married in Alaska and had a two week road trip exploring what we were able to in the state for our honeymoon. Alaska is so large that we barely scratched the surface, but we wanted to share what we did so that as you plan your own trip, you can choose what to include in your own itinerary!

Day 1 – Travel Day

  • Fly into Anchorage
  • If you arrive in Alaska earlier in the day, drive up to Palmer to stay overnight. If you have a later flight, stay in Anchorage and drive up the next day.

Day 2 – Matanuska Glacier + Palmer

  • Breakfast at Perk Up Espresso – There’s coffee huts all over so pick whatever is close. We loved trying all the different ones in the area.
  • Scenic drive to Matanuska Glacier – Enjoy the various scenic pull outs and lakes along the way.
  • Hike the Matanuska River Loop Trail for free or book a tour to get you out on the glacier. Since we were going onto a glacier in a few days we didn’t book a tour but would be interested in the future.
  • Dinner at Palmer Alehouse -We had a lovely waitress here and really enjoyed our food.
  • Stay at a Palmer Airbnb or the Alaska Glacier Lodge for the next 5 nights

Day 3 – Alaska Railroad to Spencer Glacier

  • Drive to Anchorage and board the Alaska Railroad – We took it to the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop and did a short hike before returning the same way. You could also get off and do the rafting in the area or do an excursion in Whittier. This is a full day commitment so bring snacks and buy lunch on the train. Enjoy the views along the way though, especially with so much daylight if you go in the summer.
  • Dinner in Anchorage at Moose’s Tooth for pizza – You can’t go wrong with any of the pizza options here. They were so stinking good.

Day 4 – Hatcher Pass

  • Visit Independence Mine – There was still a lot of snow when we were there so we didn’t get dto do as much exploring we wanted.
  • Hike Short Gold Mint Trail – This connects to a larger trail which would have been awesome to do had we more time. It was pretty though and great before lunch at the lodge.
  • Lunch at Hatcher Pass Lodge – The chicken noodle soup and berry cobbler were must trys.
  • Drive part of Hatcher Pass – Ideally not in the rain or wind like we atttempted.
  • Dinner at Palmer Brewery – We didn’t get here but had it on our list of options to go out to eat.

Day 5 – Chugach State Park

  • Breakfast at Palmer Coffee Co – The waffles here are delish
  • Hike at Eagle River Nature Center – We did the shorter trail here in the rain but it was still beautiful
  • Hike or Kayak at Eklutna Lake – We really wanted to do this because the lake looks beautiful but we didn’t have enough time the day we were in the area.
  • Dinner at the Noisy Goose Cafe – We didn’t get to this one but it came highly recommended

Day 6 – Knik Glacier Tour

  • Breakfast at Purple Moose Espresso – Get the chai and reindeer sausage burrito
  • Visit the Musk Ox or Reindeer Farm – Great for families with kids
  • Lunch at the Butte Burger Place – We didn’t get here but our Airbnb hosts said it’s a favorite of theirs
  • Alaska Helicopter Tour – This is the most incredible experience I’ve ever had and you can book different excursion add ons. Don’t skip this!
  • Dinner at Raven’s Roost – Check out the cowboy steak or the caribou medallions.

Day 7 – Talkeetna

  • Drive to Talkeetna
  • Book a flightseeing tour of Denali through K2 Aviation.
  • Walk around downtown Talkeetna by the river and enjoy the shops
  • Grab lunch downtown
  • Stay overnight at the Talkeetna Lodge and enjoy dinner in the dining room with hopefully a peak at Denali

Day 8 – Denali

  • Book your bus tour ahead of time with an early morning departure. You can grab coffee and snacks at the bus depot before you board. If you don’t plan to get off the bus and want a comfier ride and are willing to pay for it, choose the narrated option. If you may want to get off and do some exploring, pick the green bus like we did but bring your own snacks
  • Grab a late lunch at Prospector’s Pizza and order the fried ravioli
  • Hike the Horseshoe Lake Trail that’s about 2 miles and 400 or so feet of elevation
  • Enjoy dinner at 49th State Brewing and order a soda flight If you want to try their various flavors
  • Try to catch sunset in the park and if it’s clear, maybe a view of Denali!
  • Stay overnight at Denali Bluffs Hotel or the Grand Denali Lodge

Day 9 – Denali

  • Grab breakfast at Black Bear Coffee House. We loved their chai and baked goods.
  • Attend the sled dog demonstration and check out and meet all the adorable pups. There’s also a little history hut you can check out too and has yearbooks of their missions and pictures of previous dogs.
  • Pack a picnic for lunch so you can stay in the park before your afternoon hike.
  • Hike the Savage Alpine Trail which is about 4 miles point to point You can catch a bus from the point back to your car.and 1400 feet elevation gain. It’s rated as hard, but from what I hear, it’s totally worth it.
  • Dinner at Canyon Steakhouse in the McKinley Chalet Resort. If there’s a wait for dinner, sit in the circle shaped room off the right. If there’s a seat open you can sit right down and don’t have to wait.
  • Go for a ride on the Midnight Sun ATV Tour and enjoy the views around the park
  • If you have an extra day drive up to Fairbanks and visit the Cheetna Hot Springs

Day 10 – Denali

  • Drive into the park for some wildlife watching or take a hike before heading out or stop to hike in Denali State Park
  • Grab lunch south of the park at McKinley’s Creekside Cafe or continue on and get lunch in Talkeetna
  • Head south and stay overnight in Seward

Day 11 – Seward

  • Breakfast at Resurrect Art Coffee House
  • Boat Tour of Kenai Fjords (5 hours to 8.5 Hour Tours)
  • Dinner at Resurrection Roadhouse
  • Stay overnight at the Windsong Lodge (If you book a boat tour, you can book this hotel with it for a discount)

Day 12 – Seward

  • Breakfast at Resurrection Roadhouse or grab lunch in town at Le Barn Appetit Inn & Creperie
  • Hike the Lookout Trail at Exit Glacier (About 2.2 miles)
  • Drive to Millers landing for coffee and beautiful views
  • Grab lunch in town at Seward Brewing the Gold Rush Bistro, or Ray’s Waterfront
  • Spend the afternoon at the Alaska Sealife Center
  • Dinner at the Cookery or the Salmon Bake
  • Stay overnight at the Windsong Lodge or if you’re going down the peninsula, overnight at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge

Day 13 – Soldotna

  • Book a fishing or bear viewing tour (or both)
  • Pack a lunch and enjoy the day experiencing the wilderness and wildlife of Alaska

Day 14 – Homer

  • Drive to Homer
  • Ride the water taxi over to Kachemak Bay State park and go for a hike
  • Take a boat over to Seldovia Village for a bit to eat lunch and explore
  • Go to dinner at Fat Olive’s
  • Stay overnight at the Baycrest Lodge and relax and take in the views

Day 15 – Homer

  • Charter a fishing tour for halibut even if you haven’t fished before
  • Enjoy dinner at the Twisted Goat or The Kannery
  • Stay overnight at the Baycrest Lodge

Day 16 – Girdwood

  • Pick up breakfast at one of the coffee and breakfast huts on the drive north
  • Go for a hike at Byron Glacer
  • Visit the Alyeska Resort and ride the aerial tram to the top of Mount Alyeska
  • Enjoy lunch at the top of the mountain and walk around
  • Drive to Anchorage for dinner and check into your hotel for the night

Day 17 – Travel Day

  • Enjoy your last views of the Alaska mountains out your window seat on your return home!

Leave a Reply