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 get into town, 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 in Anchorage
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Start downtown at the Anchorage Museum. The kid-friendly Discovery Center offers interactive exhibits and activities for children to learn about Alaska’s history, culture, and art. Round out the day with one of these adventures:
Visit the Alaska Botanical Garden; spend a couple hours checking out the rock and herb gardens, strolling the wildflower walk, and exploring other areas—you’ll even see some art along the way.
Check out the paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which affords scenic views of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains, as well as connections to Kincaid Park. You can rent bikes or just walk with little ones. Many bike rental shops offer little trailers to tote the little ones in.
Drive from Anchorage to Seward
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Wake up early and begin the 2- to 3-hour drive south to Seward, on the Kenai Peninsula. Check out our Turnagain Arm map for recommended stops and rest areas along the way. Popular activities on the drive to Seward include:
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!
Just before you reach Seward, stop at Exit Glacier. This is the one part of Kenai Fjords National Park that’s accessible by road. There’s an accessible, paved loop trail that leads to a view of the glacier and an optional short spur (doable for the littles) that gets you even closer.
Go dogsledding! Canine athletes will pull you along fun trails, and you’ll get the chance to play with puppies.
After your long day, check in to your Seward accommodation.
Day in Seward
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Hop on a half-day small-ship cruise and venture out into Resurrection Bay. It’s perfect for adults and little ones alike, and the boats often have fun programs for kids on board. You’ll explore the coastlines and look for whales, seals, puffins, and more. There are heated cabins inside these cruises, so if it’s too chilly outside for the little ones, you can take them into the cabin and still enjoy the views. Bring warm clothes, since it can get breezy. Once back in Seward, spend the rest of your day wandering among the fun shops downtown and visiting the amazing Waterfront Playground—it’s a great spot to get the wiggles out. Have a relaxing dinner and unwind at your Seward accommodation.
Day in Seward & Anchorage Return
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After breakfast, head to the Alaska SeaLife Center, which features interactive touch tanks where kids can get up close to various marine creatures like starfish, sea urchins, and anemones. The center boasts interactive displays and hands-on activities designed with kids in mind.
If time and budget allow, take a flightseeing tour from Seward to look down on the magnificent Kenai Fjords from above before starting the 2.5- to 3-hour drive back to Anchorage.