Anchorage + Kenai Peninsula: 5 Days Family Kids 5-12

5 Days


Mid-May to Mid-August


Car Cruise Ship

Why This Trip?


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Day 1

Arrive & Overnight in Anchorage

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Fly into Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. When selecting your hotel, consider the space you need for your family. Several hotels in Anchorage offer suites; you could also opt for a vacation rental home. Renting a car will give you the flexibility you need when traveling with young kids. Pick up your rental car directly from the airport or after you check in to your accommodation at an off-airport location (which may be a little less expensive). Depending on what time you arrive, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring. Go out to eat, pick up some groceries so you have snacks for the kids, and do some light exploring.

  • The Alaska Zoo is a perfect place to start. Kids can see a variety of Alaskan animals, like bears, moose, and eagles.

  • Stroll through downtown Anchorage to visit shops, restaurants, and historic sites.

  • Kincaid Park is a scenic, child-friendly destination—kids love the sandy dunes.

  • Take a short drive out to Ship Creek to see the salmon run and enjoy the scenic views.

Day 2

Day & Overnight in Girdwood

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Drive southeast about 45 minutes to Girdwood. Check out our Turnagain Arm driving guide for scenic stops along the way. Here are some fun activities to choose from when you arrive:

  • Enjoy a family-friendly hike in the Chugach National Forest on the Winner Creek Trail. A more challenging hike is the North Face Trail up Mt. Alyeska. If you hike up, you can take the tram down for free!

  • Skip the hike and just take the tram, then explore the trails at the top.

  • Pan for gold at Crow Creek Mine.

  • Join a dog-mushing tour. Ride a cart on a trail through the woods or take a helicopter to a glacier and mush across the snow (a higher budget item, but a fun splurge if you can swing it!).

Check into your Girdwood accommodations for the night.

Day 3

Drive from Girdwood to Seward

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Grab breakfast and continue south on the Seward Highway to Seward. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive, but you’ll find many fun pit stops and attractions on the way. Detour to the Begich Boggs Visitor Center to learn about glaciers; there’s an optional 1-hour boat ride to the face of Portage Glacier. Or drop by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you can explore a scenic 1.5-mile loop by car or on foot. The center offers free daily educational programs, so look at their schedule and see if one of them fits into your schedule. You can also sign up online for a chance to feed moose!

As you continue your drive to Seward, there’s a rest area with vault toilets at Turnagain Pass, about 30 minutes south of Girdwood, and another at the Tern Lake Day Use Area, about an hour south. Once you arrive in Seward, check in to your accommodation. If you have the time and energy, the SeaLife Center is a must-see attraction, especially for kids.

Day 4

Day & Overnight in Seward

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Get out on the water! Here are some options.

  • Day Cruise: Depending upon the ages of your kids, you might opt for the 3.5-hour cruise in Resurrection Bay or the 6-hour cruise, which goes into Kenai Fjords National Park. Kids will love looking for marine life, including whales, sea otters, and puffins. All-day cruises have child rates to make it more affordable for families, and the longer cruises include a meal.

  • Fishing Charter: Take a half-day charter in Resurrection Bay to fish for salmon.

  • Kayaking: Paddle trips are available for kids ages 6 and up, depending on the company.

After a day on the water, check out the fun Waterfront Playground to get the wiggles out. Have a relaxing dinner and unwind at your Seward accommodation.

Day 5

Drive from Seward to Anchorage

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Begin your journey north toward Anchorage. Stop about 12 miles north of Seward for a mini-adventure on Exit Glacier. Most visitors typically start by exploring the accessible, mile-long glacier-view loop trail. From there, you can take the short spur to get even closer to the glacier. You can also opt for a guided ranger walk, offered twice daily from late May to early September.

Plan at least an hour for this visit. While you can catch a glimpse of the glacier by car, driving doesn’t provide the same level of engagement as the walking trails. On foot, you can fully enjoy your time at Exit Glacier before continuing on toward Anchorage.

Check out this audio guide to learn more about Exit Glacier.