Things To Do In Whittier Alaska
Conveniently located just 60 miles southeast of Anchorage, this picturesque town offers unparalleled natural beauty, outdoor adventures and many other unforgettable things to do in Whittier Alaska. What sets Whittier apart is its strategic position as the closest saltwater fishing port to Anchorage, reducing travel time by approximately 1.5 hours compared to other nearby locations.
Whittier’s compact size makes it easy to explore on foot. Visit the historic Buckner Building, a remnant of the town’s military past, or enjoy locally caught seafood at one of the quaint restaurants along the waterfront. Whittier has been known as a, quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem. All jokes aside though, it is one of the strangest yet neatest places in Alaska
For those seeking a closer encounter with the region’s natural wonders, embark on a glacial cruise to witness the mesmerizing tidewater glaciers of Prince William Sound. The stunning blue hues of glaciers contrasting with the surrounding mountains create a visual spectacle you won’t soon forget.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or simply someone seeking tranquility surrounded by nature, Whittier has something for everyone. Plan your trip to this Alaskan gem, and get ready to be enchanted by the wonders that await in Whittier, Alaska.
The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel
Access to Whittier is gained by traveling from Anchorage to Portage Valley and then through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier.
The tunnel is a one-way rail line and road that goes 2.5 miles through Maynard Mountain and on into Whittier. (see below for tunnel schedule) Once you arrive in Whittier, you will instantly be in Western Prince William Sound. Huge mountains and valleys surround passage canal where the city of Whittier, Alaska is located.
Best Things To Do In Whittier Alaska| Getting Into Nature
Whittier, Alaska, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a playground of adventure amidst awe-inspiring natural beauty. Surrounded by majestic mountains and the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, the town beckons with a myriad of outdoor activities. Nature lovers can marvel at the breathtaking tidewater glaciers that grace the horizon.
Hikers and explorers will find themselves in paradise with numerous trails winding through lush forests, revealing panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Kayakers can paddle along the calm waters, encountering wildlife such as seals and sea otters. There are so many things to do in Whittier Alaska! Whether you’re seeking the thrill of adventure or the tranquility of nature, Whittier’s outdoor offerings are as diverse as the Alaskan wilderness itself, promising an unforgettable experience for every nature enthusiast.
Hike The Trails In Whittier
If you’re looking for things to do in Whittier Alaska that get you into the great outdoors, one of the coolest hikes you can do is the hike up to Portage Pass trail.
It is 800’ in elevation. The hike is not very aggressive but it does go up through a mountain valley and then at the summit you can look down over Portage Glacier. It makes for a pretty fun time and it is kid friendly.
There are black bears in the area however so take the necessary precautions as you see fit. Another hike that is available is the trail up to Horsetail falls. The trail head is located up by the Buckner building.
This is a fairly mild hike and it is also kid friendly. At the top of the trail there is a rest area that overlooks all of Whittier and Passage Canal.
There is also another trail located behind the Begich Towers that leads up to a big waterfall.
Find Amazing Photo Opportunities
All of the hikes make for good photographing opportunities however the Portage Pass hike is probably the best.
Shotgun Cove or Salmon Run is also a great place to take pictures as there is numerous scenic views to be captured. In August there are thousands of pink salmon there and they can make for great pictures.
Sea lions occasionally come into the cove but mostly harbor seals and sea otters are spotted.
Whales are periodically seen in the bay as well mostly out beyond the harbor rock wall.
The best place to see sea lions is probably out in front of Fee’s Custom Seafood’s as this is where the baitfish congregate that they feed on.
Go Berry Picking in the Summer
Horsetail Falls and Portage pass both offer berry picking opportunities however Horsetail falls tends to be much better. Blueberry picking is made easy with custom berry pickers that can usually be found at local stores. Bring lots of gallon sized Ziploc bags as you will need them. Late July and August are the best times for berry picking.
Tip: Use your Whittier Alaska BlueBerries to make the most delicious pancakes ever.
You can even find some of Alaska’s famous Salmon Berries if you look hard enough. This may be the tastiest of things to do in Whittier Alaska!
Best Things To Do In Whittier Alaska| Out On The Open Water
In Whittier, Alaska, the allure of adventure extends onto the mesmerizing waters of Prince William Sound, promising an unforgettable maritime experience. Immerse yourself in the nautical wonders of the Last Frontier by embarking on a boat excursion from Whittier’s scenic harbor. One of the best things to do in Whittier Alaska, is to get out on the calm waters, flanked by rugged coastlines and towering mountains, as you witness the dance of playful sea otters, majestic seals, and perhaps even the spout of a distant whale. The fjord-like inlets and hidden coves reveal the pristine beauty of the region, providing a front-row seat to the splendors of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. Whether you’re an avid angler, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply seeking serenity on the waves, getting out on the water in Whittier promises an enchanting maritime adventure that will linger in your memories long after the journey ends.
Go On A Glacier Tour
Whittier, Alaska, stands as a gateway to a glacial wonderland, inviting visitors to witness the breathtaking beauty of majestic glaciers. Embark on a glacial cruise from Whittier into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, where colossal tidewater glaciers come to life against a backdrop of towering mountains. These icy giants, such as the mesmerizing Blackstone and Beloit Glaciers, captivate with their ethereal blue hues and dramatic calving displays. The sheer magnitude of these natural wonders, often accompanied by the distant echoes of cracking ice, creates an awe-inspiring spectacle.
Whether navigating the serene waters or standing on the deck of a boat, visitors can experience the unique sensation of being in the presence of these ancient, ever-changing marvels. A journey of things to do in Whittier Alaska isn’t complete without immersing yourself in the glacial grandeur, leaving you with lifelong memories of nature’s icy masterpieces.
See The Marine Life
Embark on an eco tour with Crazy Ray’s Charters in Whittier, Alaska, for an unforgettable journey into the heart of marine life wonders. Departing from Whittier, and led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll navigate through these pristine waters, encountering a mesmerizing array of marine life.
From the playful antics of sea otters to the regal presence of whales breaching the surface, each moment is chance to behold the untamed beauty of Alaska’s coastal ecosystems. This immersive experience offers a close-up view of these incredible creatures and moments that let the magic of Whittier’s marine life unfold before your eyes in an unforgettable adventure.
Get In On Some Local Fishing
If you have small kids, or are just looking for something low-key, shore fishing opportunities are available in Whittier right in the harbor. A great place to go is right by the fish cleaning tables as there is numerous small cod swimming around that can make for great fun for the little one’s.
However, if your search for things to do in Whittier Alaska requires something to get your adrenaline going a bit more, you should consider booking a Whittier fishing charter with Crazy Ray’s, where the thrill of saltwater fishing meets the expertise of seasoned guides. Setting sail from the picturesque harbor, Crazy Ray’s offers a fishing charter experience like no other. From novices to seasoned fishermen, everyone is in for a treat as you navigate the pristine waters of Prince William Sound in pursuit of trophy-sized salmon and halibut. If that sounds interesting find out where to meet us in Whittier.
• Fish Processing and Seafood Market
If you would like to have your fish processed after an amazing day of fishing out of Whittier with Crazy Ray’s, we recommend the quality services available at Fee’s Custom Seafood’s.
They can commercial grade vacuum seal your fish and even make arrangements to ship your fish if you choose.
They also have fresh fish for market including Prince William Sounds wildly popular Spot Prawns. These prawns are possibly the best shrimp you can buy. We strongly recommend purchasing some of them as they are a real delicacy.
Let Fee’s take care of you so you can spend your time finding other things to do in Whittier Alaska!
Staying In Whittier
Choosing a place to stay is more than a break in between all of the things to do in Whittier Alaska — it’s an immersive experience, a chance to be surrounded by the untamed beauty of Prince William Sound and the Chugach Mountains. Whittier’s lodging options range from cozy waterfront inns to welcoming cabins, each providing a front-row seat to the breathtaking Alaskan scenery.
Imagine waking up to the sounds of seagulls and the gentle lapping of waves, with panoramic views of the harbor or mountains outside your window. Staying in Whittier means you’re conveniently situated for your maritime adventures and within easy reach of local dining establishments, where you can indulge in freshly caught seafood. Whether you prefer the intimate setting of a cabin or the comfort of a lodge, your stay in Whittier becomes an integral part of your Alaskan expedition, ensuring that every moment, from sunrise to sunset, is infused with the unique charm of this coastal haven.
Finding A Place To Camp
There are no hookups available however there is a place to dump in front of the city works building and a place to get potable water.
If the campground is full there is additional camping areas located at the head of the bay at the waters edge.
Lodging in Whittier
Before you get caught up in all of the great things to do in Whittier Alaska, make sure that you also have a great place to rest up for all your adventures!
There is a hotel located at the head of the small boat harbor and it is called the Inn at Whittier (907) 472-3200. There is a restaurant and sports bar located inside.
There is also lodging available at June’s Whittier Condos (888) 472-6001. The condos are more geared for people that would like to do a more do it yourself type of stay as opposed to dining out as they are equipped with full kitchens and more bedding areas typically.
We have stayed at both places and have found that they are both great and offer there own unique features.
Parking in Whittier
The primary parking area for our clients is located right in front of the Harbormasters building.
There is a kiosk there that accepts cash or credit card for payment. There is also parking at the Whittier parking lot located across the tracks.
Take Care of the Essentials
In the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, Whittier isn’t just a gateway to extraordinary adventures; it’s a quaint town offering essential amenities for visitors eager to explore the natural wonders. When it comes to dining, Whittier provides a delightful array of options, from local seafood joints serving freshly caught salmon to cozy cafes with panoramic views. Savor the flavors of Alaska while enjoying a meal along the waterfront, immersing yourself in the charm of this coastal community.
For those in need of supplies or seeking unique souvenirs, Whittier’s small but vibrant shopping scene has you covered. Explore local boutiques and gift shops where you can find Alaskan crafts, jewelry, and artwork, ensuring you take a piece of this magical town home with you.
Where to Eat in Whittier
In between all of the things to do in Whittier Alaska, you have to make sure you’re fueled and ready to go! There are many options for places to eat in Whittier, but here is a list of our favorites.
- Swiftwater Seafood Café (seafood) – We recommend you try the Cod Fish and Chips basket as it is on our opinion to be the best fish and chips in Alaska.
- China Sea (chinese food) – Our favorite on the menu is 103, which in Mongolian Beef. However, the Chicken soup is a favorite as well.
- Wild Catch Café (burgers and breakfast) – Their burgers are phenomenal!
- The Anchor (steaks and breakfast) – Their ribeye steak is wonderful and the captains platter is great also
Grab A Coffee
For those of us who need a little pick-me-up in the morning, or just simply enjoy coffee culture, there are a few options, such as The Lazy Otter or Wild Catch Café. The Lazy Otter also offer’s pre-arranged boxed lunches for your charter. Our favorite, and there is of course no bias here, is our very own coffee shop at Crazy Ray’s office.
Get Your Groceries
- The Anchor store is the only grocery store in Whittier and they have the basics there plus some other stuff that you might find yourself needing. For the most part they have what you will need to get by comfortably while in Whittier.
- The Harbor Store is located right above the harbor in Whittier and they have snack food, boating parts and gear, hardware, and fishing tackle. They are also the only licensed liquor store in Whittier.
There are a few stores that have gift items in Whittier located right in the Whittier triangle.