Originally a farming settlement in the 1930s, the Palmer/Wasilla Area is still known as Alaska’s agricultural hub (and you can take a farm tour to learn all about it!). And although both towns are fairly small, Palmer and Wasilla are always bustling with activity. Just 45 minutes from downtown Anchorage, many people come here to check out local events, hike numerous trails, or just go on a relaxing scenic drive.
While in the area, go to the Musk Ox Farm to learn more about one of the Arctic’s oldest living species. See the special qivuit that is combed from their soft under-wool and made into various knitted goods by Native artists (available in the store!). Check out the local fairs and festivals, like the Palmer "Friday Fling" open-air markets held throughout the summer. If you’re in town in late August, come to the state’s biggest annual event, the Alaska State Fair. Check out the hundreds of vendor booths, carnival rides, nightly concerts, and record-breaking giant vegetables. If you can’t make up your mind on what to do, stop by the Mat-Su Visitor’s Center & Veterans’ Wall of Honor for more information.
For more of an extended outdoor adventure, take a tour with Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours and discover Alaska’s wilderness by ATV. If you’re here in the winter, take the Snow Safari, another guided experience with Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours. Or if you want to have an independent adventure, be sure to explore the many trails at Hatcher Pass. And don’t forget the Bodenburg Butte, a monument of nature in the Palmer/Wasilla area that is hard to miss.
You’ll want to spend more than a day here. Stay at a cozy bed and breakfast in the area, and soak up the local knowledge. Depending on the location, your backyard could be in the middle of town or at the foot of a mountain.