When planning a vacation to the Last Frontier, visiting Wasilla, Alaska is a must-do. This community is located on the Parks Highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, making it easy to access and jam-packed with many fun things to do.
Wasilla is charming and scenic, with some of the best tours in Alaska, plus the Wasilla Farmer’s Market where you can find wild-caught salmon and other delicacies. As part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, you’ll enjoy easy access to some terrific urban exploits as well as adventures in the great outdoors. Plus, Wasilla is home to the Iditarod Trail Headquarters, home of the world’s most famous dog sled race.
Continue reading to discover the top things to do in Wasilla and some of the most popular attractions to help you plan your upcoming trip to this scenic city.
- Most significant landmark – The Iditarod Trail Headquarters
- Best park – Denali National Park
- The best activity for kids – Alaskan Live Steamers
- The best activity for adults – Grand Denali Flight With Glacier Landing
- Best nightlife – Bearpaw River Brewing Company
- Best all-around accommodation – Alaska Knotty Pine B&B
Best Things to Do in Wasilla, Alaska
1. Grand Denali Flight with Glacier Landing
Set off on an airplane tour of Denali National Park and you’ll get an up-close look at North America’s tallest mountain. During your tour, you will see the arctic alpine tundra of the park’s remote interior, see the Wickersham Wall of Denali, and experience all the staggering beauty this remote area of Alaska offers.
Your Denali airplane tour starts at a unique Alaskan log cabin, where you will be guided to your high-wing, single-engine aircraft for a tour of a lifetime. The experienced pilot will take you on an adventure through the heart of Alaska Ridge, where a flattened tundra landscape will surround you after emerging on the range’s north side. Finally, the glacier landing provides an exhilarating experience where you can play in the snow, take amazing photographs, and take in the natural wonder surrounding you.
2. Dog Sledding Tours
Wasilla, Alaska, is home to the Iditarod Race. So wouldn’t it be amazing to experience a dog sledding tour in the same area where this famous dog sled race occurs? Several private dog sledding tours take you on an adventure where you can enjoy a taste of life on the trail without hard work. One tour we recommend is the Willow, Alaska Husky Sledding Adventure, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Denali as you sled across the area on private trails.
Another dog sledding tour we recommend includes a helicopter flight over the Chugach Ridge, Knik Glacier, Lake George, and the Wasilla area. This experience includes a one-hour dogsled adventure where you might have the opportunity to spot black bears, moose, Dall sheep, or mountain goats off in the distance. Then, your helicopter will take you to a glacier, where you will land, meet the dog team and enjoy a dog sled ride through the snow.
Visiting in the summer when there’s no snow? No problem! Check out these summer dog sledding tours.
After enjoying some dog sledding around the area, make your way to The Iditarod Trail Headquarters & Museum, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour, watch rare race footage, and admire trophies and photos of these historical races. You can also visit the Knik Museum and Musher’s Hall of Fame to learn about this fascinating sport. After spending the day visiting and exploring The Iditarod Trail, stay the night at the nearby Susitna Suites. This hotel is the perfect home base for all of your Iditarod-related activities.
3. Anchorage: Knik Glacier Helicopter and Ice Climbing Tour
Are you ready for a four-hour adventure where you can climb on vertical glacier ice? Then you want to experience the Knik Glacier Helicopter and Ice Climbing Tour, where you can experience the beauty of this glacier and experience Alaska as you have never experienced it before.
When visiting Wasilla, this tour is a must and allows you to adjust the tour based on your climbing skills and abilities. Your climbing tour will take you through frozen waterfalls just a short walk from where the helicopter lands.
The meeting location for this helicopter and ice climbing tour is at the Knik River Lodge in nearby Palmer, Alaska. If you are not staying at the lodge, the Alaska Knotty Pine Bed and Breakfast is a quiet place to stay offering beautiful views and close access to many outdoor recreational areas.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Anchorage, Alaska
4. Extreme Fun Center
Address: 3501 E Old Matanuska Rd, Wasilla, AK 99654
Though visiting an indoor amusement park might not be the first place to visit when on an Alaskan vacation, Wasilla’s Extreme Fun Center is one of the best family-friendly attractions in the area and a fun experience for travelers with kids.
In Extreme Fun Center you’ll find video games, a rock climbing wall, indoor racing karts, laser tag, mini bowling, and more. Plus, you can enjoy a great meal here, and the bar has 20 beers on tap. Extreme Fun Center is the perfect spot for families, where parents can relax and refuel while the kids play.
5. Grand Knik Helicopter Tour
If you’re starting to see the wisdom of air tours, then this glacier expedition is just what you need. The Grand Knik Helicopter Tour is the perfect way to see the glaciers surrounding the area and provides views of spectacular scenery before setting down on Knik Glacier.
From the air, you might see mountain goats, Dall sheep, and moose, and if you experience the tour in the summer, you may see some bears. The tour departs from the Knik River Lodge in nearby Palmer, and is worth every penny.
See Related: Best Denali Hiking Tours | Hike Denali National Park
6. Go Fishing
The Wasilla area is one of the best places for fly-fishing in all of Alaska. This Half-Day Alaska Private Fly Fishing Trip is for travelers of all ages and fishing abilities, so it’s good for anyone to try.
You might also try chartering one of the many local commercial fishing boats around Lucille Lake or Wasilla Lake, or try casting a line yourself. Wasilla Lake in particular is good for ice fishing, and the rainbow trout are plentiful. Kayaking is also a popular way to explore the lakes around Wasilla.
7. Turnagain Arm Tour
Address: 555 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501
When visiting the area, you do not want to miss out on experiencing the Turnagain Arm. This is the perfect Alaskan day trip adventure and a must when traveling with kids. It’s a bit farther than the Knik Arm (about an hour south of Wasilla), but it’s part of the series of waterways that makes up the Gulf of Alaska, and it’s one of the more extreme environments you can find nearvy.
The Turnagain Arm Tour is the perfect bear-viewing excursion in the area and is a super scenic day tour you do not want to miss. Visitors can experience superb views of the Turnagain Arm landscape, nestled along the Seward Highway, with a scenic tour of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation area, which is full of outdoor history.
8. Bearpaw River Brewing Company
Address: 4605 E Palmer-Wasilla Hwy, Wasilla, AK 99654
Thirsty? Then it’s high time you checked out one of the local breweries. The Bearpaw River Brewing Company is an excellent choice for any beer enthusiast. With multiple brews and a selection of mouth-watering pizza, this could be a spot where you can enjoy lunch after your morning hike.
If you are looking for a hotel close to many recreational activities and a short distance from the Bearpaw River Brewing Company, you may want to book your stay at beautiful Alaska’s Lake Lucille Bed & Breakfast.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Homer, Alaska
9. ATV or UTV Off-Road Adventure Tour
Looking for some action and adventure? Enjoy an ATV or UTV Off-Road Adventure Tour through the Knik River Valley, where you can navigate water crossings, roll over slit dunes, and wind through forest trails on your own ATV.
This is the perfect way to lose yourself and see the fascinating beauty of the area, including breathtaking panoramic mountain views and a glimpse of the Knik Glacier. This tour is an off-roader’s dream, providing a once-in-a-lifetime Alaska wilderness adventure.
10. Anchorage Alaska Helicopter Tour
Address: 29979 E Knik River Rd, Palmer, AK 99645
Alaska is a beautiful part of the world and it’s flipping massive. One of the best ways to take in as much of Alaska’s natural beauty as possible in a short amount of time is from the air – you should definitely book a glacier landing helicopter tour.
These tours provide visitors with one of the most memorable experiences Alaska has to offer and depending upon the time of year, you can enjoy a sunset city tour via helicopter. If you visit during the winter, you can book the glacier dog sled tour offered by the same company.
During your helicopter tour, you will see massive glaciers surrounding the National Park, including the Knik Glacier, beautiful icebergs, sprawling prairies, and breathtaking mountains.
11. Willow Creek Mining District
Address: Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska
Old or abandoned mining districts can be found throughout the U.S. and from the moment you walk into one you feel like you have stepped back in time.
The Willow Creek Mining District is home to a former mine that remains open for exploration, discovery, and recreational purposes. Learn about mining practices, capture memories near historic mining equipment, and catch a glimpse of what it looks like within the dark and mysterious mines.
Interested in learning more? The Dorothy Page Museum and Old Wasilla Townsite are operated by the Wasilla Knik Historical Society, where artifacts showcasing Alaskan mining history are on display.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Seward, Alaska
12. Nancy Lakes Recreation Area, Camping Site, and Hiking Trails
Address: Nancy Lake Pkwy, Willow, AK 99688
At the Nancy Lakes Recreation Area Camping Site, you will be amazed by the breathtaking forest surroundings, which remain largely untouched, set along a gorgeous lake.
This stunning park has been carefully preserved for camping, kayaking, skiing, and fishing, providing a calm atmosphere to relax in a natural environment. You can enjoy many winter activities here or camp under the stars before heading out to the region’s state and national parks, or another day trip adventure.
The park offers primitive camping and limited cabins, which provide modern-day conveniences in a camping environment. Be sure to make reservations early, as these do fill up quickly in peak seasons.
13. Wilderness, Wildlife, & Glacier Experience
Some people will go to almost any lengths to get the best photograph. If that sounds like you, then the Wilderness, Wildlife, & Glacier Experience is for you.
This guided adventure takes you into the wilderness and includes admission to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Area. You will learn about local flora and fauna, see exclusive areas of the Chugach National Forest with views of the Chugach Mountain Range, and have a photography lesson from your tour guide.
14. Alaska Live Steamers
Address: 1300 S Island St, Wasilla, AK 99654
Do you go loco for locomotives or are you looking to keep your wee ones sated? When searching for Wasilla attractions the kiddos will love, Alaska Live Steamers is one of the most fun places to choose from.
This largely open-air Alaska museum is dedicated to preserving the state’s rich history of railroads and educating future generations to keep the memory alive with awesome models and miniature railways. During your visit to Alaska Live Steamers, you can enjoy train rides on the mini trains, learn more about their full-size counterparts from the resident train lovers, and have a bunch of fun at one of Wasilla’s top attractions.
15. Museum of Alaska Transportation
Address: 3800 W Museum Dr, Wasilla, AK 99654
So you saw Alaska Live Steamers and thought, “it’s good, but can we go bigger?” Well, friend, you’re in luck, because Wasilla is home to the Museum of Alaska Transportation.
This incredibly informative indoor and open-air museum, covering around 20 acres, is filled to the gills with almost every conceivable form of transportation. From vintage cars and trains to historic aircraft, tractors, and even vintage snowmobiles, you can learn about the history of getting around Alaska, as well as how these modes of transport helped support the industrialization of the state and exploit Alaska’s natural resources.
Although the museum is typically only open during the summer, they do host other events throughout the year. Regardless, this place is a must for fans of trains, planes, automobiles, and everything else in between.
16. Wasilla Creek Wetlands Trail
Address: 5990 E Nelson Rd, Wasilla, AK 99654
When it comes to hiking and exploring, you may be like us here at VT and prefer hikes that are off the beaten path. While you could hardly say it’s unpopular, the Wasilla Creek Wetlands Trail isn’t so much a path or paved trail, as it is a boardwalk – a floating boardwalk!
Also known as the Wasilla Creek Boardwalk Trail, this is a nice, short, but fairly unique route that will allow you to explore Wasilla’s wetlands up close, without getting your feet wet. At about a mile long, it’s a very pleasant walk for all, and great for novice hikers or kids.
17. Get some rounds of golf in
Address: 2721 E Sleepy Hollow Cir, Wasilla, AK 99654 & 7307 S Frontier Dr, Wasilla, AK 99623
One of the most important features of a great golf course is the scenery. So it should make sense then, that Alaska is home to some fantastic golf courses – when not blanketed with snow.
The Sleepy Hollow Golf Course is a par-3, 9-hole course that seems pretty easy but offers a few challenging shots. Nearby Settlers Bay Golf Course (off of scenic Knik Goose Bay Road) offers an 18-hole championship course that’s known for having some of the best greens in Alaska, plus the restaurant is home to some fine dining options.
See Related: Best Golf Bachelor Party Destinations to Visit
18. Go Cross-Country Skiing
While there are plenty of opportunities across Alaska for both alpine and nordic skiing, if you’re a fan of the latter, you should look into the Mat-Su Ski Club in neighboring Palmer.
Established in the 1980s in the southern Mat-Su Valley, this club is a great place for beginners and experts of any age to indulge in nordic skiing along groomed trails. Hosting training camps, classes, and races throughout the winter, they also offer snow chariots for kids too small for skis. The scenery of the Mat-Su Valley is stunning as well – and if you want to get to know it better, take a tour of the Matanuska Valley and you can visit reindeer, go for a hike, and enjoy the best of local cuisine.
What is Wasilla known for?
Wasilla is a popular stop on the Parks Highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It’s known for being home to the Iditarod headquarters, fishing charters, and the perfect base camp for any Alaska adventure.
What are some fun things to do in Wasilla?
Wasilla, Alaska, is home to many thrilling and exciting adventures where everyone can find something fun and unique to experience. Some of the more fun things to do include taking a helicopter tour of the Wasilla area.
What is there to do in Wasilla in the winter?
Don’t let the cold and dark Alaskan winters dissuade you from visiting Wasilla. You can go for a dog sled ride, look for moose in the Palmer Hay Flats, go ice fishing, and explore the town’s many guided adventures that happen all year long. When the bitter cold sets in, visit the Wasilla Museum or spend your time indoors at various visitor centers throughout the region.