7-Day Fairbanks to Anchorage with Denali and Seward for Families With Teenagers

7 Days


May - September



Why This Trip?

This 7-day itinerary offers a perfect blend of adventure, education, and family bonding, making it an ideal choice for families with teenagers. From the excitement of panning for gold and ATV tours in Fairbanks to the landscapes and wildlife of Denali National Park, each day is filled with unique experiences. The journey continues with coastal views and marine life encounters in Seward, ensuring that every moment of the trip is memorable.


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Day 1


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Welcome to Fairbanks! Here are some ideas for things to do with your teens on the first day you arrive:

Overnight in Fairbanks.

Photo: Black Spruce Dog Sledding

Day 2

Fairbanks to Denali

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Spend the morning in Fairbanks doing one of the activities you missed yesterday, then begin the 2.5 hour drive to Denali in the afternoon. Upon arrival, visit the Denali Visitor Center. Walk one of the short trails from the visitor center to begin your Denali discovery. In the evening, go to a dinner theater performance! You’ll gather around a grand table and enjoy a family-style meal while being captivated by an interactive show where the area’s rich history comes alive in front of you. Overnight in Denali.

Photo: Denali Sign

Day 3


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Spend the day exploring Denali National Park. Start with a sled dog demonstration at the park's working sled dog kennel. Teens love watching the demonstrations and meeting the dogs. Afterward, take a shorter (4-hour) Denali Park Road Bus Tour, which offers stunning views and opportunities to spot wildlife. Or, if they’re into wildlife viewing and history they may enjoy the longer Tundra Wilderness Tour. If a bus ride isn’t their thing, other tours include ATV’ing, a jeep tour on the nearby Denali Highway (a scenic road not in the National Park), whitewater rafting, and ziplining. Overnight in Denali.

Photo: Denali Park Ziplining

Day 4

Denali to Anchorage

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After breakfast, start the 5-hour drive to Anchorage. Byers Lake is a great place for a pit stop. There’s a nature trail around the lake, or kayaks and paddleboards available for rent. Continue onto Anchorage where you’ll spend the night. If you arrive in the early to mid-afternoon, rent bikes and cruise the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Spend the night in Anchorage.

Photo: Coastal Trail

Day 5

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. Here are some ideas when you arrive:

  • Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center, where interactive exhibits and touch tanks allow you to get up close with marine life like sea stars, anemones, and puffins. Older kids also enjoy the optional animal encounters, where they’ll get a behind-the-scenes view on how these animals are cared for.

  • Visit 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 that gets you even closer. If you’re in for a challenge, hike all or a portion of the strenuous Harding Icefield Trail which leads to an overview of the glacier and the Harding Icefield Itself.

  • Take a kayak tour around Resurrection Bay.

  • Go dogsledding! Canine athletes will pull you along fun trails, and you’ll get the chance to play with puppies.

  • Take a day cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park.

Overnight in Seward.

Photo: Harding Icefield Trail

Day 6

Seward to Anchorage

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If you didn’t visit Exit Glacier on your first day in Seward, hit it on your way out of town. About an hour before you reach Anchorage, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. This center offers a chance to see and learn about Alaskan wildlife like moose, musk ox, bears, wolves, porcupine and more in a natural setting. You can sign up for a bear or moose encounter for a more in-depth experience. Return to Anchorage in the evening.

Photo: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Day 7


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On your final day in Anchorage, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn about Alaska's indigenous cultures through exhibits, storytelling, dance performances, and exploring the life-size outdoor replicas of Alaska Native dwellings. If fishing is on your agenda, you can rent poles (and a guide if you’d like one) from The Bait Shack at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage and try your luck angling for the big one.

Photo: Ship Creek