Featuring: Anchorage, Denali National Park and Preserve, Fairbanks
Day 1 Anchorage
Spend the day exploring Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Rent a bike and ride along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, watch a sled dog demonstration, hop on a Segway for a tour of downtown or visit one of Anchorage’s museums. To explore the areas just outside Anchorage, opt for a day trip on the Alaska Railroad to view a glacier or take a boat tour in Prince William Sound. Then sample the culinary delights of one of Anchorage’s many fine restaurants, complete with wild Alaska salmon, king crab or fresh-caught halibut.
Day 2 Denali
Head north by car or board the Alaska Railroad for the eight-hour scenic rail tour to Denali National Park and Preserve, home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali. Here you’ll be able to explore by road, air or water on a bus tour traveling into the heart of the park for wildlife viewing, white-water rafting through the deep canyons, or on a flightseeing tour circling the peaks of the Alaska Range. For dinner, try an authentic salmon bake or sample the ales at one of the state’s fantastic breweries. Overnight at one of the many lodging options at the Denali park entrance.
Day 3 Denali - Fairbanks
Spend the morning checking off one more adventure on your list in Denali, such as an ATV tour, horseback riding or a visit to the National Park Service’s sled dog kennel. If you’re travelling during late August or early September, you’ll be treated to Alaska’s vibrant autumn colors. The tundra turns deep shades of orange and red for a few brief weeks before winter sets in. Then it’s on to Fairbanks, either by car or back aboard the Alaska Railroad.
Day 4 Fairbanks
Located in Alaska’s Interior, Fairbanks has a rich cultural and gold rush history. Experience both on a riverboat cruise aboard a sternwheeler where you’ll see a dog mushing demonstration, a bush plane performance and get to experience life at an Athabascan Indian village. Then try your luck at gold panning at one of two mines, stop by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Visitor Center or rent a kayak for a leisurely paddle down the Chena River. Be sure and stop by the University of Alaska Museum of the North, one of the top 10 attractions in the state, to view impressive exhibits on the gold rush, the northern lights and Alaska Native culture. Depart for home from the Fairbanks International Airport, or return to Anchorage via the Alaska Railroad (requires an additional day).