Anchorage Day Tours & Things to Do In Anchorage

Take a Glacier Tour on Matanuska Glacier or plan other things to do near Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. It boasts five-star dining and hospitality while at the same time is surrounded by wildlife, breathtaking views, and adventure galore. Here are a few of our favorite Anchorage day tours and things to do in Anchorage, Alaska. If you’d like an adventure and amazing experience, this list is for you.

Anchorage Snowmobile Tours

Book a guided Anchorage snowmobile tour with Alaska Adventure Guides.
Book a guided Anchorage snowmobile tour here.

With hundreds of thousands of square miles of backcountry to explore, you’re sure to have the adventure of a lifetime on an Anchorage snowmobile tour!  Ride snow covered trails through boreal forests and across frozen lakes, through the valleys and into the hills of the Willow and Petersville areas of Southcentral Alaska.  On clear days, you’ll have unparalleled views of the Alaska and Talkeetna mountain ranges, including Mt Denali.  Guests can choose to operate their own snowmobile (if you want to sound like an Alaskan, you can call it a snowmachine) or to ride along with another member of their party.  Your snowmobile guide will choose between several available locations to ensure every tour has access to the best riding conditions available.  Anchorage snowmobile tours include transportation from Anchorage, riding for 3 to 4 hours, and return transport you to your hotel after an epic day of adventure.  Total tour time with travel and riding will be between 7 and 9 hours, depending on drive time, snow conditions, weather and daylight. Speaking from personal experience, there hardly a better way to experience wild Alaska, and reach faraway wilderness, than riding a snowmobile in winter. You’ll be talking about this adventure for the rest of your life! Visit Alaska Adventure Guides to learn more about Anchorage snowmobile tours.

Distance: Local pickup at your hotel, 2+ hour drive, 3-4 hour riding, 7-9 hour day of adventure

Alaska Corporate Retreat, Glacier Art Tours, Wilderness Healing

Guests display their personal art created on Matanuska Glacier, an optional activity during Alaska corporate retreats.
Guests display their personal art created on Matanuska Glacier, an optional activity during Alaska corporate retreats.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and wild destination to enjoy a weekend overnighter and retreat for family and friends, or host corporate retreat for your hardworking team at the office, do consider Sovereign Light LLC. Located up the highway from Matanuska Glacier and operated by Kayde Scarola, Sovereign Light provides tours and getaways that include two nights stay in a comfortable cabin, dinner, on-sight activities, and just about every tourism opportunity this side of the Talkeetna Mountains. Packaged tours, getaways and retreats include their popular Corporate Retreat & Teambuilding, Wild Art Tour, Mountain Sound Tour, Healing Getaway, and Alaskan Tea Time. Sovereign Light is filling a need for diverse, interesting, helpful and inspirational Alaska tours unlike anything else in the area. Those on a corporate retreat can enjoy evenings by the bonfire, and days that include the group’s choice of a glacier hike, river rafting, wine at the glacier, helicopter flightseeing, or even a scavenger hunt. And that’s not all! Interested parties are just going to have to visit the Corporate Retreat web page to learn all the details and plan the best outing possible for your work crew. Groups of family and friends can partake in some of the same great activities, which also include a wilderness tea time, creating art on Matanuska Glacier, basking in the therapeutic sounds of singing bowls on the glacier, or other health and wellness opportunities. For an unforgettable outdoor retreat with fantastic accommodations and the best host anyone could ask for, we strongly urge folks to look at the retreat packages designed and hosted by Kayde Scarola at Sovereign Light LLC. For corporate retreats, this is your opportunity to plan an excursion coworkers will be talking about for years to come.

Distance: 2+ hours from Anchorage, amazing views, best scenic drive around

Whitewater Rafting Near Anchorage, Alaska

Book with Flow AK for Whitewater Rafting near Anchorage, a perfect Anchorage Day Tour!
Book with Flow AK for Whitewater Rafting near Anchorage, a perfect Anchorage Day Tour!

If you take only two guided tours during your entire trip to Alaska, first take a Glacier Tour. Second, book yourself a whitewater rafting adventure for you and your friends or the whole family. There are many ways to enjoy and explore Alaska, but very few will make such a long-lasting impression and give you the thrill of a lifetime as a guided whitewater rafting tour. Based out of Hope, Alaska, Flow AK provides whitewater rafting trips on Alaska’s Sixmile Creek with Class II through V rapids. You can even embark on a less adventurous float trip of the calmer waters of Sixmile Creek and Turnagain Arm. The drive from Anchorage only takes about 1 hour 45 minutes, and in itself is a breathtaking experience, traveling along Turnagain Arm as you wind along the Chugach Mountains. You can occasionally see beluga whales, and taking a break in Girdwood for lunch or dinner is recommended. But by all means, take it from us; you MUST go on an Alaska whitewater rafting tour. You won’t regret it.

Distance: 1.75 hours, includes coastal drive with cliffs and occasional Dall Sheep or beluga whales

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Located at mile 79 on the Seward Highway, the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is home to many of Alaska’s most majestic wild animals. AWCC aims to give a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, research, education, and quality animal care. Visitors can drive or walk through the park and enjoy seeing the Grizzlies, Bison, Wolves, Lynx, and much more in their natural settings. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is an experience the whole family will enjoy and reminisce about for years. Alaska Adventure Guides offers a day trip from Anchorage to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Distance: 1 hour along Turnagain Arm coastline

Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier Tour

Take a glacier tour on Alaska's Matanuska Glacier.
Take a glacier tour on Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier.

Now, of course, our favorite excursion in the Anchorage vicinity is our very own destination, the Matanuska Glacier. Matanuska Glacier is only a scenic two-hour drive northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway, making it an easy day trip from Anchorage. It is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. A guided tour is highly recommended; you’ll learn how the glacier was formed and how it shaped the landscape in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. You’ll explore blue meltwater pools, ice caves (as available), its many ice formations, and deep crevasses. Our guided tours include safety equipment, including a helmet and crampons attached to your shoes to help prevent slipping on the ice. These Alaska glacier tours are for all ages and abilities, and there’s no other excursion that allows such intimacy with the surroundings and a glacier. After completing your tour, you’ll never look at glaciers the same way. Book a glacier tour today.

Distance: 2 Hours from Anchorage, amazing views, best scenic drive around

Flattop Mountain Hiking Trail

Another of our favorite things to do near Anchorage is hike the Flattop Mountain Trail, considered the most popular day hike in Alaska. The trailhead is thirty minutes from downtown Anchorage in the Chugach State Park. The park rates the Flattop Mountain Hiking Trail as moderate to strenuous, so ensure you are ready for a moderate hike. When you reach the summit, you will enjoy an expansive view of the entire Anchorage Bowl and Cook Inlet, along with Mt. Redoubt and Denali. Well worth the workout. Learn more about the Flattop Mountain Hiking Trail.

Distance: 15 to 20 minutes from Downtown Anchorage

Rafting Tours on Willow Creek

Take a family rafting/float trip on Willow Creek during or after your trip to Denali National Park.
Take a family rafting/float trip on Willow Creek during or after your trip to Denali National Park.

Take a family-friendly wilderness rafting experience on Willow Creek in Willow, AK. The creek drifts through Willow Creek State Park and offers spectacular sightseeing you can only experience from the comfort and safety of their rafts.

Willow Creek and the surrounding area are ideal habitats for many mammals and birds. The water dwellers, beavers, salmon, and waterfowl are most noticeable to the summer visitor. Nesting bald eagles, along with the occasional moose, mink, and river otter, can also be seen.

Willow Creek Tours offers morning, noon, and late afternoon tours. Each tour lasts 3 hours and can easily fit into your limited Alaska vacation time. This tour lets you relax, float down a quiet creek, and immerse yourself in nature! Book a rafting tour with Willow Creek Tours today.

Distance: 1+ hours north toward Denali National park, amazing views of Denali on clear days

Fishing Trips near Anchorage

Alaska Adventure Guides offers Anchorage Fishing Tours for salmon, trout and grayling.
Alaska Adventure Guides offers Anchorage Fishing Tours for salmon, trout and grayling.

Alaska Adventure Guides offers both ice fishing tours and summer fishing day trips near Anchorage. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-timer, our expert guides and top-notch equipment ensure a thrilling and comfortable experience.

Choose your fishing adventure! They offer the option to fish for rainbow trout, dolly varden, and landlocked salmon. Or, if you’re seeking larger, more voracious prey, we can venture a bit further to target northern pike. The choice is yours.

Distance: Local pickup at your hotel and transport to nearby fishing streams

Helpful Tips for Traveling to the Matanuska Glacier

Best Lodges, B&Bs, Airbnbs, and Cabins near the Matanuska Glacier

Best Restaurants Near the Matanuska Glacier

Top Instagram-Worthy Spots on the Glenn Highway