Palmer is one of the cities and is the headquarters of the Matanuska Susitna Borough in Alaska, United States, located 42 miles to the northeast of Anchorage along the Glenn Highway in the Matanuska Valley. It is the ninth-largest city in Alaska and is an integral part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. 

The town is famous for its 90-pound arugula and seven-pound turnips, as well as other massive root vegetables, a result of the night sun that shines for up to 20 hours every day in the summer. Palmer’s charming and pedestrian-friendly downtown is full of fun events and activities. You can spend a whole day or an entire weekend studying the town’s agricultural past and culture, participate in a community event, or even discover about the musk or oxen.

Palmer Alaska

Things to do in Palmer

Visit the Matanuska Glacier

If you’re looking for a fun day trip, head to your way along the Glenn Highway on your way to Palmer and the Matanuska River Valley. within an hour, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. There’s plenty to explore and do along this scenic route which includes a short trek for a 200ft waterfall as well as an old village.

For other things to do, go with a guide:

Experience the excitement of walking along the stunning glacier, go on for An ATV, Jeep, or even an SUV tour and raft down the glacial river, or go on the zipline.

You can also combine the excitement of dogsledding on an iceberg with a thrilling flight excursion that is landed on the glacier. You’ll be able to meet the dogs as they drag you across the glacier!

Matanuska Glacier palmer alaska
Matanuska Glacier Access

Take a Scenic Drive to Hatcher Pass & Independence Mine

Take in the stunning scenery of Hatcher Pass through the scenic Hatcher Pass an excursion lasting 3 hours from Anchorage. The route is 60 miles long and provides plenty of recreation opportunities.

The stunning alpine tundra is bursting with wildflowers in summer and is awash with snow in winter.

At the summit of the pass, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of mountains and peaks, great blueberry picking, and Independence Mine Historical State Park–a former gold mine, where you can visit the fascinating buildings of the past.

Scenic Drive to Hatcher Pass & Independence Mine

Devour the Agriculture

In the Matanuska Valley’s fertile region where the vegetables can the size of a monster agriculture and tourism is certainly something that happens.

Explore along the Old Glenn Highway the country road that passes through land that’s been used for farming for a long time. Experience animal-raising at its best (and learn about history) on The Musk Ox Farm as well as take the youngsters to visit the reindeer at Reindeer Farm.

Do you want to travel with someone to guide you? Register for an excursion by Alaska Farm Tours and stop at three farms to see what life is like for the farmers of Alaska.

For a taste go to the Raven’s Perch located at Knik River Lodge. Knik River Lodge, which serves food from farm to table with stunning views.

Devour the Agriculture

Get in the Air

If you’re strapped for time, or simply desire to see Alaska’s beauty from the air, a flightseeing tour is the best option.

There are a variety of options from 1-hour sightseeing tours, flying over glaciers, or longer-lasting excursions that include glacier trekking, ice climbing helicopter-hiking, iceberg kayaking, paddleboarding, and much more.

The sky is the limit!

Flight Seeing Tour

Go for a Hike

This region has an abundance of beautiful nature trails and parks that you can explore. One of the most impressive options can be found at The Butte, a small mountain with a small but steep climb, which gives an amazing view towards the surrounding farmland and over mountain peaks that look craggy as well as The Knik Glacier.

If you’re looking for a challenge the Hatcher’s Pass has two 8-mile (full-day) hikes, such as the Gold Mint Trail or Reed Lakes.

Take advantage of the chance to embark on an excursion with a guide to the Glacier Matanuska.

Are you afraid to venture out on your own? Take a trip with Revel Treks and Tours for a half or full-day hike. They also have special tours such as a walking tour through Palmer as well as the Hike and Brew excursion or multi-day backpacking.

Hiking Palmer Alaska

Best Places to Stay in Palmer Alaska

Pioneer Motel

The Pioneer Motel is a component of the downtown area in Palmer, Alaska since 1953. With eight comfortable cabins and 18 gorgeously renovated guest rooms, we’re the most modern motel located in Palmer. In the past, we have again received the distinction of being rated the highest hotel in the region. We provide a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, that is modern and clean rooms. This classic “mom and pop” motel is conveniently located on the Glenn Highway in the “Heart of Palmer.” We are just a few minutes walk or bike ride from fine restaurants, exclusive shopping, art, and entertainment as well as a local brewery.

Pioneer Motel Palmer Alaska

Alaska Glacier Lodge

The Alaskan-owned and operated by Alaskans. Alaska Glacier Lodge provides a unique blend of true Alaska adventure and the comforts that you’d expect from a premier hotel. We welcome guests to relax in one of our cozy cabins, eat in The Raven’s Perch Restaurant and enjoy the breathtaking mountain views which surround you. We would love to share our beautiful region the state of Alaska with you!

Alaska Glacier Lodge Palmer Alaska

Hatcher Pass Cabins

Hatcher Pass Cabins is nestled close to the entrance of Hatcher Pass in the Talkeetna Mountains. About one hour to the north of Anchorage and just a few minutes away from Palmer and Wasilla The cozy log cabins are the perfect base to begin an Alaska adventure. The friendly hosts are waiting to give you a tour of your “backyard” with you and make sure you have a memorable experience, that you will be enticed to return!

Hatcher Pass Cabins Palmer Alaska

Alaska’s Harvest B&B

We’ve enjoyed this stunning beauty for the past 30 years! The children have grown up and we’re happy to be able to share our home with you. We are located in Palmer 45 minutes north of Anchorage we’re the ideal place to make your base for enjoying the numerous nearby must-see places. Within a few minutes, you can go to The Reindeer Farm, Musk Ox Farm, Independence Gold Mine, Hatcher Pass, horseback rides, ATV adventure, Knik and Matanuska Glaciers, and breathtaking views in all directions. This area is a must!

Green Motion - Eco Friendly Car Hire

With six B&B rooms within our huge house (each equipped with a bathroom and kitchenette) and a bunk area that is not displayed- sleeps 7 people, and a three-bedroom, 2.5 bath luxury log cabin that is located on the property. we are located just 2 miles from Palmer located on a gorgeously landscaped 15 acres that is surrounded by tranquil walks and a barn that houses animals like the Shetland sheep we rear as well as the moose that roam around our yard. The most amazing thing we can offer you is the stunning panorama of the mountains surrounding.

Alaska's Harvest B&B Palmer Alaska

Snowgoose Pond B&B

Snowgoose Pond B&B, your peaceful farmhouse-style getaway! Every day, you can enjoy Alaska’s outdoor activities: hike, bike or fish, and flight-see or enjoy a tasty dinner with local salmon. After that, come home and enjoy an inviting, warm place to relax and prepare yourself to face whatever Alaska awaits you on the horizon. Take advantage of a beautiful day by sitting on the deck and taking in the stunning views of the Chugach mountains that loom over the Snowgoose Pond. If the weather is cold, snuggle by the wood fire with an iced coffee

Snowgoose Pond B&B Palmer Alaska

Best Restaurants in Palmer Alaska

Noisy Goose Cafe

Under the direction of Friend and the chef Fay Carrol, they spent working for four years perfecting the culinary art of cooking at home as well as the peculiarities of serving people. (An task not suitable for the faint of heart or weak of heart.) They were working for 18 hours each day, seven days per week, sleeping most of the time on the bottom floor in the dining establishment, with the exception obviously when the restaurant was underwater and they walked for 40 miles uphill to commute to work every day. The story grows…In the end, they were living and breathing their business until it was established.

Noisy Goose Cafe Palmer Alaska

Turkey Red

Turkey Red is a top fresh food establishment situated in Palmer, Alaska. They’re dedicated to serving the freshest, highest quality, organic and local ingredients that are prepared traditionally with a lot of care and imagination. Alex Papasavas, owner of Turkey Red, started her restaurant with one goal in mind which was to provide her guests and neighbors by providing a warm place and authentic local-sourced food whenever feasible. Turkey Red isn’t the kind of establishment that is devoted to getting awards and dazzling guests in the form of Michelin stars.

Turkey Red Palmer Alaska

Palmer Alehouse

Rated Best Restaurant for three consecutive years! It offers Alaska large burgers Fresh salads, Halibut, and salads, as well as hand-made stone-baked pizza, and more than 40 local beers available on the tap. Relax on our outdoor patio with free entertainment on Saturday and Friday nights throughout the summer, starting at 7 pm. “Palmer’s most exciting and awarded restaurant offering ALASKA sized burgers with hand-cut fries, fresh salads, and hand-tossed pizzas with over 40+ local beers on tap. An extensive outdoor seating area and free concerts in the summer months.”

Palmer Alehouse

Vagabond Blues Incorporated

642 S Alaska St Suite#208, Palmer, AK 99645, United States

Vagabond Blues Incorporated

Long Rifle Lodge

The lodge is situated on the 20+ miles long Matanuska Glacier. It is situated on Mile 102.2 of Glenn Highway/Scenic Byway. We have delicious homemade desserts, delicious hamburgers, and Alaskan microbrews that are available on the tap. This is the ideal place to unwind after a hike or ice climbing trip, or whitewater rafting.

Long Rifle Lodge Palmer Alaska

Also, Check Things to do in Haines Alaska


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