Things To Do In Whittier

A day cruise ship on the water in front of a glacier.

Phillips Cruises & Tours sails past one of the many breathtaking glaciers in the Whittier area.

1. Take a Day Cruise

With the world’s densest concentration of tidewater glaciers, a day cruise in Whittier is perfect for getting out on the water and experiencing the thrill of seeing glaciers calve. Choose a shorter or longer day cruise and head out onto the calm waters of Prince William Sound to see glaciers and look for wildlife while surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls.

2. Paddle a Kayak

The calm waters of Prince William Sound make for the perfect place to take out a kayak and paddle among the spectacular glaciers. Plus, because kayaks cause less disturbance, it’s easier to get close to wildlife like sea otters, sea birds, and even whales. Launch from a dock or drop-off point and enjoy the view of shimmering waters backdropped by snow-capped peaks.

People kayaking in the Prince William Sound with a glacier in the back ground.

Float through Prince William Sound on a guided trip with Lazy Otter Charters. Or adventure on your own with a double or single kayak rental.

A smiling woman on a jet ski in front of a glacier.

Zip along the waters of Prince William Sound on a jet ski with Alaska Wild Guides.

3. Pilot a Jet Ski

A Jet Ski is one of the best ways to explore the glaciers around Whittier—you’ll get the close-to-the-water intimacy you won’t find with a day cruise, and you can cover more territory than you would in a kayak. And if you love to Jet Ski (or want to try it), this is the only place in Alaska to do it!

4. Try a Small Ship Expedition

If you have a few days and really want to explore this scenic area of Alaska, an expedition on a yacht offers an intimate way to do it. With just a few other passengers (usually up to 12 or so), you’ll have the flexibility to relax while sailing around and enjoying sports like kayaking and fishing along the way.

A luxury yacht sails along Prince William Sound with snow capped mountains in the background.

Cruise around Prince William Sound with Alaskan Luxury Cruises.

Portage Glacier surrounded by lush greenery and blue mountains.

Enjoy a family-friendly hike along Portage Pass Trail to see the gorgeous Portage Glacier. Photo by Kathleen Barth.

5. Take a Hike

Whittier offers a couple short hiking trails that make for easy exploration of this scenic area. Walking Horsetail Falls and Portage Pass trails will give you some fantastic views of waterfalls, glaciers, and Prince William Sound.

An old black and white view of the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel during it's construction.

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel during its construction.

6. Tour Historic Sites

Take a trip back through time to explore Whittier’s fascinating history. Drive the Whittier Tunnel, North America’s longest highway tunnel that cuts through the base of a mountain (just get the schedule first, as the tunnel is one-way and trains use it, too).

There’s also some WWII history here, as the town was built to transport food and supplies during the war. Learn all about it at the Prince William Sound Museum.

7. Stay in a Public Use Cabin

Get a real flavor of remote Alaska by staying in public use cabins, some of which are set on lush islands. Reserve well ahead of time, then reach these rustic spots by taking a water taxi with Lazy Otter Charters and spend your days exploring and relaxing.

A small A-frame cabin in the woods.

Unplug and unwind at one of the many public use cabins in the Whittier area.

Whittier Day Tours & Attractions View All

Season: May 01 to Oct 04 $129+ 3.75 hrs - 5 hrs

Phillips 26 Glac­i­er Cruise, out of Whit­ti­er, will take you to 26 dif­fer­ent glac­i­ers in just 5 hours. Enjoy cozy com­forts on the high-speed cata­ma­ran and wan­der its out­door decks as you come with­in 300 feet of mas­sive tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers. In addi­tion to glac­i­ers, the cap­tain will be on the look­out for wildlife like otters, whales, har­bor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the after­noon, and a hot lunch is includ­ed in your tour.   ...more

Season: Year Round $175+ 3.5 to 9 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you any­where you want to go with­in Price William Sound — or just cus­tomize a tour to what­ev­er you want to see. Maybe that’s glac­i­ers, or whales, — or maybe it’s qui­et time on a seclud­ed beach. Lazy Otter can also help facil­i­tate tak­ing you and your fam­i­ly on a camp­ing trip. You’re not held to any strict sched­ule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one  ...more

$6,075+ (Inside Passage starting at $1320)
7 days / 6 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star

Set sail for 7 days and 6 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adven­ture cruis­ing in Prince William Sound, Kenai Penin­su­la or along the Inside Pas­sage. The well-appoint­ed yacht accom­mo­dates just 12 guests, allow­ing for a per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ence where you are the explor­er! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the won­ders of Alaska’s amaz­ing coast­line. All meals pre­pared by an on-board chef and fea­tur­ing fresh local  ...more

$340+ per driver 4 hours

Tour­ing the spec­tac­u­lar tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers of Prince William Sound is even more excit­ing when you do it on a Jet Ski. Go with Alas­ka Wild Guides out of Whit­ti­er to expe­ri­ence the area’s unique sights and sounds while skim­ming across the top of the water on your own per­son­al watercraft.

$340 4.5 hrs

Faster than a kayak and more inti­mate than a day cruise, the Jet Ski is a great way to get up close and per­son­al with Alaska’s gor­geous scenery. Go with Whit­ti­er-based Glac­i­er Jet Ski Adven­tures and you’ll be tak­ing your machine out on the water to explore the stun­ning glac­i­ers and wildlife of Black­stone Bay. All equip­ment is pro­vid­ed and no expe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary on this unique 4.5‑hour journey.

Season: May 15 to Sep 17 $69 to $139

The train can be used as a mode of trans­porta­tion, how­ev­er it can also be a round-trip sight­see­ing excur­sion. This pri­ma­ry des­ti­na­tion is the town of Whit­ti­er, a major cruise ship and after­noon day cruise hub. Day Trips from Anchor­age: Whit­ti­er, Gird­wood, Spencer Glac­i­er, Grandview

Season: Year Round
$400+ Day-trip | $470+ Multi-day
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline

Spend the after­noon, or a few days explor­ing the waters of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Car­o­line, a beau­ti­ful cus­tom-built yacht set for adven­ture! It’s the per­fect set­ting for a fam­i­ly or small group vaca­tion. Fill your days loung­ing on the fly­bridge, fish­ing, kayak­ing, strolling beach­es and cruis­ing to your next fan­tas­tic destination.

Call for Quote
Custom
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: The Sea Mist

Design your exclu­sive itin­er­ary then set sail into the vast open waters and wildlife-rich shore­lines of Prince William Sound aboard your own spa­cious and pri­vate yacht. Up to six pas­sen­gers can sit back, relax, and expe­ri­ence an inti­mate tour. Most guests enjoy the 5‑day/​4‑night trips, but you can also opt for 3‑day/​2‑night out­ings or even 10-day/9‑night expeditions.

Season: May 15 to Sep 15 $50+ 8 hrs - Full Day

Lazy Otter offers offers dou­ble and sin­gle kayak rentals, and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound. Not ready to kayak alone? Opt for a guid­ed trip. The calm waters have a gor­geous back­drop of the Chugach Moun­tains’ ser­rat­ed peaks. Keep an eye out for the crea­tures that walk the shores and swim in the sea: orcas, hump­back whales, sea lions, puffins, seals, sea otters, eagles, goats, and bears. 

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Whittier Parks & Trails View All

This leisure­ly, 0.75-mile trail begins just south of Whit­ti­er, a lit­tle sea­side town locat­ed some 2 hours south of Anchor­age. The trail doesn’t climb much, but it will take you high enough to get an unob­struct­ed view of numer­ous water­falls, includ­ing the long-drop­ping waters of Horse­tail Falls as it sheets over the sheer rock face of Black­stone Ridge. 

Difficulty: Moderate

This 2‑mile-long, fam­i­ly-friend­ly trail, which begins 90 min­utes south of Anchor­age at the far end of the Whit­ti­er Tun­nel, remains the only easy way to see Portage Glac­i­er on foot. And it’s has a spec­tac­u­lar con­clu­sion: After crest­ing Portage Pass, the trail drops through glacial scrub before pop­ping out on the wide grav­el shores of Portage Lake, direct­ly across from the snout of gor­geous Portage Glacier.

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