Situated between stunning mountains and Prince William Sound, Whittier in Alaska, is a luxurious city that boasts only 300 inhabitants.
The Whittier residents live in an old military barracks similar to an old hotel. It’s incredible, as you can view Whittier’s history in the surrounding buildings.
Find below 12 things you can do in Whittier, Alaska. From exploring the scenic landscape to immersing yourself in the fascinating history of the city.
Be ready to discover the best things Whitter has to offer!
1. Whittier’s history
First of all, we recommend you to learn more about Whittier’s history, and the best way to do it is with a visit to a Museum.
Explore Whittier’s fascinating history and take a trip back through time.
2. Take a day cruise
If you are looking for incredible views and landscapes during your trip to Alaska, a day cruise in Whittier will be perfect for you. So get out on the water and experience the thrill of seeing glaciers calve.
There are two available options. You can choose for a shorter or longer day cruise and if it’s the case, head out to Prince William Sound to see glaciers and look for wildlife while surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls.
3. Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel
Another great way to deep into Whittier’s history is to drive to Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, one of the most important city’s historic sites.
There’s also part of World War II history in this tunnel, as back at that time, the town was built to transport food and supplies.
This tunnel was built in 1942 with the purpose to connect the Alaska railway tunnel. It is a 13,000-foot-long tunnel and it’s the longest running tunnel in North America.
4. Looking for hiking in Whittier?
Whittier offers hiking trails for people of all ages. There are short and long trails that you can choose to explore the best of Whittier.
If you choose to hike the Horsetail Falls trail, you’ll be amazed at its beautiful views.
Horsetail Falls Trail features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate, and it’s primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching.
This trail is for those who want to view the Portage Glacier. The Portage Pass trail takes you to the snow brush before placing you on the rocky shoreline at Portage Lake, where you can get a close-up view of the snout.
This tour is rated as difficult. However, it’s still a trail to enjoy with a family.
5. Discover Wildlife in Marine Parks
If you are not into snowboarding and rock climbing, a trip to a Marine Park could be your best choice.
Granite Bay State Marine Park is a Marine Park in Whittier, Alaska. Explore its protected island, harbors, its pristine coastline, granite cliffs and more.
In this park, you can find great spots to fish and camp, being possible to camp on the beach, by the lake or on the cliffs.
6. Dock for the Day at Whittier Harbor
The Whittier Harbor Master is a full-service, ice-free port, which is open year-round. This harbor is the gateway to Prince William Sound and caters to all your water sports needs.
Do you want to make the best of this experience?
Then, we recommend you rent a boat to explore the sea. You are going to love to see salmon jumping in the harbor.
7. Get a Workout With Kayaking
Whittier holds the world’s largest glacier, making kayaker riders look amazing.
Explore the most stunning waterfalls, hidden caves, and all the sea creatures nearby.
Pay attention to puffins, humpback whales, orcas, and the occasional goat. And, if you are not into solo kayaking, don’t worry! There’re plenty of guided kayaking tours to choose from in Whittier.
8. Jet Ski
If you want to explore the glaciers around Whittier, a Jet Ski tour could be the best option.
If you choose for a Jet Ski Tour, you will get the close-to-the-water intimacy you won’t find with a day cruise, and with a Jet Ski, you will be able to cover more territory than with a kayak.
9. Public Use Cabin
Experience the best of Alaska staying in public use cabins!
Public Use Cabins are one of the best ways to enjoy Alaska, getting the authentic flavor of the city. Also, some of the cabins are set on lush islands, which will make your experience even more memorable.
Reserve well ahead of time, as these public cabins are highly sought after by travelers.
10. Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm features a wide variety of attractions that are perfect for families of all ages.
Choose rides such as the Timber Mountain Log Ride and the Xcelerator that will provide your great thrills and a variety of shows and special events.
As you make your way through the park, you’ll encounter a variety of attractions, including a boardwalk, an Old West ghost town, Camp Snoopy, an old schoolhouse, and a western museum.
Be delighted by a water park that features a raft ride, water slides, wave pool and a beach house.
And, don’t worry! When hunger strikes, find several eateries around the park selling delicious food from gluten-free options and pizza to chicken and burgers.
11. Whittier Greenway Trail
Whittier Greenway Trail is the perfect place to spend a day outdoors.
This trail, which runs through the center of the city, has more than 400 acres of parkland and it’s suitable for all ages and skill levels.
It’s one of the best trails in Whittier, Alaska, for biking, walking and running.
12. Visit the Buckner Building
The Buckner Building is for those who want to deviate from the designated tourist path.
This place housed a secret military base till 1964, it contained:
- bowling alley,
- and enough rooms for officers and their families.
However, in 1964, the Great Alaska Earthquake destroyed the remaining integrity of the building, which makes this place even more historical.
If you visit the Buckner Building, you will probably find the rooms flooded with water and littered with graffiti. However, the local government has started cracking down on trespassers. So now, you can take a trip up to view the Buckner Building from the outside and experience military history.