Have you been dreaming of a trip to Alaska? With the lush scenery, boundless wildlife and breathtaking views that are unique to the 49th state.
For lots, Alaska is a dream travel destination (for good reason). But that means you’ve got to plan your trip to Alaska right. Here’s how to make the most of your Alaska itinerary 10 days trip and create memories to last a lifetime.
We’ve gone ahead and planned the entire trip day-by-day for you! In this ultimate Alaska itinerary guide, you’ll also find helpful tips and advice on the best time, prices and packing list for a great trip!
Planning a Trip to Alaska? Here Are Some Tips.
The Land of the Midnight Sun boasts beautiful landscapes, impressive wildlife and it’s full of adventure. It’s no wonder Alaska is such a popular travel destination.
But it’s not the easiest place to travel to and around. You’ll need to plan carefully and wisely to make sure you get the most out of your Alaska trip. Here are some important information to know before you start creating your Alaska itinerary.
When’s The Best Time To Visit Alaska?
What kind of Alaskan adventure are you looking for?
There are 2 seasons that people travel to Alaska for – summer and winter. You’ll get completely different experiences for either season you choose to visit. If you’re looking for the season to do the most activities (or the best weather), the summer months are the best time to visit Alaska.
You get gorgeous summer weather with slight chances of rain and best of all…
…You get 18+ hours of sunlight. Yup – welcome to Alaska!
However, with gorgeous weather all day, come crowds of people. Most of the activities I recommend in this blog post on the 10 day Alaska itinerary are available in the summer months (June-August).
What’s an Alaska Itinerary for 10 Days Going to Cost?
Let me preface this by saying:
Alaska is not a cheap travel destination.
We suggest creating a budget and as a rule of thumb add 30% to that budget. Most of the guided tours and activities will cost more than the usual but you’ll see…they are worth it.
Things like food and groceries cost more compared to the Lower 48 states but only a few bucks difference.
Also, be aware: prices tend to be higher in the summer months because it is tourist season.
What To Pack For Your 10 Days in Alaska?
Alaska’s weather is famously unpredictable. You’ll need to pack well for your Alaska trip to make sure you’re prepared for anything! Here’s a quick packing list for Alaska:
– Layers. Layers. Layers. Pack several sweaters, light jackets or a versatile puff jacket like the popular one from Uniqlo.
– Durable Shoes. Bring a good day shoe for all-day Alaskan adventures and/or bring hiking shoes for climbing those mountains.
– Eye mask. You might think it’s weird but anyone that’s been to Alaska in the summer knows this is important especially since there are 18+ hours of sunlight.
How To Travel Around Alaska for a 10 Day Itinerary?
We believe the best way to see Alaska is by car. Driving around the beautiful 49th state gives you more control of your Alaska travel itinerary and the ultimate freedom to do what YOU want to do.
Your travel time will always be short if you rent a car and the Alaska road trip views? So unreal – you’ll want to stop at each viewpoint.
We recommend renting a car from Enterprise, Budgets or Sixt – we’ve had good experiences with all 3 companies in different countries. They usually have good deals on sites like rentalcars.com and make sure you thoroughly read through the reviews.
The Ultimate Alaska Itinerary 10 Days: Full of Fun, Adventure & Wonder
Are you ready for your ultimate Alaska itinerary? Here’s a quick snapshot to see all the destinations you’ll explore, a map of where you’re driving to/from and you can read more below for the detailed guide.
Alaska Itinerary 10 Days:
- Day 1: Get Settled in Anchorage
- Day 2: Hike Flattop Mountain & Explore Anchorage
- Day 3: Travel to Denali National Park
- Day 4: Adventure Around Denali
- Day 5: Travel to Seward
- Day 6: Explore the Kenai Fjords
- Day 7: Travel to Homer
- Day 8: Drive & Enjoy Girdwood
- Day 9: See Wildlife in Girdwood
- Day 10: Return to Anchorage
Day 1 Alaska Itinerary: Get Settled in Anchorage
You’ve landed in Anchorage! Now what? You’d be surprised but there is plenty of things to do in Anchorage. It’s worth spending a day or two in this city – where my brother, Grant, is based.
I’ve created a list of things to do in Anchorage some are the ‘normal’ tourist things but I’ve also added some local tips from my brother that you can’t miss!
Things To Do In Anchorage Alaska
Most people would be surprised but there are lots to do in Anchorage. My brother has lived in Anchorage for over 15 years now and there’s always something new to see or do whenever we visit.
Anchorage Market & Festival: Just happen land during a weekend?
You’re in luck! You can buy food, snacks and mingle with local vendors.
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail: A fun bike ride with scenic views and vegetation.
You could be lucky and spot a moose on the trail too! The ride takes around 2-3 hours to complete and we HIGHLY recommend renting e-bikes instead. The last hill is a killer – no joke.
Visit the Alaska Tourist Information Center: They give you great advice and you can take a postcard from there too!
Ship Creek Fishing & Sunset Viewing: Watch as locals do their best to catch their salmon for the season!
A great place to get the local vibe and people watch. Head to the end of the dock and watch the sunset (around midnight) – one of the most spectacular spots!
Where To Stay In Anchorage
You’ll book 2 nights in Anchorage. There are some iconic hotels to stay in Anchorage especially for a short trip – you’ll want to stay somewhere within walking distance to all of downtown. Here are our suggestions:
- Hotel Captain Cook: True icon. If you don’t stay here – at least walk around the lobby.
- Hilton Anchorage: Centrally located and you know what to expect.
- Coastal Trail Airbnb: You’re still close to downtown and have quick access to take a walk or bike around the famous Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. First time using Airbnb? Sign up here for a discount.
Where To Eat and Drink In Anchorage Alaska
Anchorage is surprisingly a foodie haven! I get excited every time we go back to visit my family because we go to all our favorite food joints.
Pizza – Moose’s Tooth: Is it a trip to Anchorage without visiting Moose’s Tooth? To be clear: it’s not. My awesome friend, Hunter, works there and says people literally go straight from the airport with suitcases in hand to eat the famous pizza. TIP: Wait times are extremely long – 2 hours at times so be prepared!
Brunch – Snow City Cafe: Perfect brunch spot to enjoy great breakfast food and fun vibes.
This is literally our favorite spot and free coffee refills are always great. TIP: Wait times are long too 30-90 minutes but oh so worth it!
Dinner – 49th Brewing Company: Try their excellent craft beer selection and enjoy a good ole American meal at this popular restaurant.
Tip: Sit out on the deck and you get an incredible view (it’s especially nice in the summer).
Lunch – Spenard Roadhouse: A local favorite! You must try their tater tots – everyone talks about it and has it every time they visit.
Wait times will be shorter than Moose’s Tooth at only around 30 minutes so it’s a great option if you can’t get into the others.
Ice Cream – Wild Scoops: You have to try the best ice cream shop in Anchorage! They have really cool local flavors that you’ll want to try.
In the summer, there’s always lines but it moves fast so you need to stop here for a treat!
Sunset Drinks – Crow’s Nest: The views are spectacular and the perfect spot for a nightcap.
Best Coffee in Anchorage Alaska
Kaladi Brothers Coffee: A local coffee roaster you have to try.
They have cafes all around town and if you like it – you can pick up a bag of beans for home!
Coffee Queen: Our favorite coffee hut.
Coffee huts are a fun Alaskan thing you have to try. Drive through the coffee hut and order an iced vanilla latte – the consistency is spot on every time.
BOOM!: Another coffee hut that’s pretty famous for being open 24/7. Yes – even in winter! A popular drink is a red bull (with any flavor). If you ask for that – they’ll know what you mean!
Day 2 Alaska Itinerary: Hike Flattop Mountain & Explore Anchorage
As you’ve recovered a little more from the journey, use this day to do some hiking and relax in the afternoon by exploring downtown Anchorage.
Use this day to hike to Flat Top Mountain – a must-hike for any Alaskan and tourists. The hike is only 1.5 hours long and while it says that – take your time and just enjoy it because it could take longer. Afterwards, you can take the rest of the day slow and explore downtown Anchorage and visit the Anchorage Museum.
Things To Do In Anchorage Alaska
- Hike Flat Top Mountain Trail: A must-hike (is that a word?) for any Alaskan and tourist visiting Anchorage. The hike is rated an ‘Easy’ on AllTrails but it’s not as easy as you think. It’s definitely a good hike that takes about 1.5 hours return but it requires some true effort especially at the top. The views are worth every step and you might even see some paragliders run off Flat Top Mountain. A true Alaskan experience!
- Anchorage Museum: Take a journey of the Alaskan heritage through art, craft and the history of the region.
- Walk Around Downtown: Enjoy walking around, take a photo by the famous 4th Avenue sign and pick up some souvenirs from Polar Bear Outlet. Try a reindeer sausage from the Red Umbrella Sausage cart!
Day 3 Alaska Itinerary: Travel to Denali National Park
Today’s a travel day trip! Head north to Denali National Park – a must on your Alaska itinerary. If you rented a car, this makes the trip much faster – at only a 4-hour drive. The Denali National Park entrance fee is $10 per person for a 7-day pass.
Talkeetna is a small, quirky town to stop at as it’s on the way from Denali. You can have lunch at Denali Brewpub, grab a coffee at Conscious Coffee then hit the road again.
Driving from Anchorage to Talkeetna alone is a beautiful road trip with some awesome stops along the way. Either way, take this travel day to Denali easy and just enjoy the ride.
Where To Stay In Denali National Park:
You’ll book 2 nights in Denali. There aren’t a ton of accommodation options so it will also cost more to stay the night here.
- Grande Denali Lodge: Make sure to double-check when it’s available for booking. The seasons/opening dates heavily affect this.
- Denali Lakeview Inn: A comfortable spot to rest for the night. You also get to stare out at the beautiful lake.
Where To Eat & Drink in Denali National Park:
The options are a little limited but here are some great picks.
- Lynx Creek Pizza: You can’t go wrong with pizza. This is a great place that will please everyone’s palettes.
- Salmon Bake: A favorite that draws a big crowd. You’ll want to order the margarita named after the mountain itself, Denali.
- Prospectors Pizzeria & Alehouse: Another great option for pizza.
Day 4 Alaska Itinerary: Adventure Around Denali
Did you know…
Denali is the tallest mountain in North America?
The views of Denali alone are worth the journey. The wildlife and nature landscapes are just the cherry on top.
There are several ways to explore Denali National Park:
- Guided Park Tour: The tour is called ‘Tundra Wilderness Tour’ which takes you all around the park for 7-8 hours. This tour is only available in the summer. The Tundra Wilderness tour costs $162.50 for adults and $73.75 for kids in 2021.
- Flightseeing Tour: The most expensive option ($599 per person) but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take a morning tour, hop on a helicopter and fly around Denali for 2 hours. With Fly Denali, on their Denali Glacier Landing Tour, you’ll also be able to spend 20 minutes exploring a glacier on Denali (the mountain) itself. Pretty cool right?
- Walk Around & Explore On Your Own: You can’t access the park by private vehicle so you need to take the National Park Service buses. If you want to keep your costs low but still enjoy the park – you can! Drop by the Denali Visitor Center for more information to help you plan your time at the park. Make sure you tell them how long you have and they can show you which trails to take based on that.
Day 5 Alaska Itinerary: Drive From Denali To Seward
Ready for a long drive? I hope so – thankfully it’s worth it for this Alaska Itinerary 10 days trip! While the distance is 350 miles – we wanted to pack as much as we can into this Alaska Itinerary for 10 days. So an Alaska road trip, it is!
The drive from Denali National Park to Seward is 6.5 hours long. You’ll be rewarded with scenic views on this Alaska road trip and you’ll want to stop every couple hours to take photos.
Check out these impressive stops along the drive from Anchorage to Seward like Portage Glacier, Crown Point, Hope, and more. If you leave early, you can get to Seward by the afternoon giving you enough time to explore the town more and just the right time to check in to your hotel.
Best Things To Do In Seward Alaska:
I have no doubt – you will fall head over heels for Seward. Everyone does and you’ll see why! This is my brother’s all-time favorite Alaskan town because of the chill small-town vibes, picturesque mountains everywhere and amazing people.
Exit Glacier: An easy hike/walk that leads to a glacier! Can it get more Alaskan than that?!
You’ll walk for about 20 minutes to the Exit Glacier viewpoint and it’s at your own risk to get closer. This was so much fun and a must for anyone visiting Seward – we got to walk on the glacier itself!
Mt Marathon: If you’re a serious hiker, this is a great hike for you. The views at the top are insane because you get the mountains and the seas. Every year around the 4th of July, they even race to the top and people actually run it!
Alaska SeaLife Center: You can easily spend a couple of hours at the Sea Life Center in downtown Seward.
There are various types of sea creatures like walruses, sea otters and sea lions. Admissions cost 24.95 per person for the Alaska SeaLife Center.
Kayaking Resurrection Bay: Want to explore marine life? Hop on a kayak for half the day or a couple of hours – you choose! Liquid Adventures and Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking are the popular kayaking tours in Seward.
Walk Around The Town: Seward is very walkable and has such beautiful scenery everywhere you look. Downtown is filled with boutique shops and you can walk along the stunning sea port.
Where To Stay In Seward Alaska:
You’ll book 2 nights in Seward. As a small town, there are only a few options for accommodation but here are some suggestions:
- Hotel Seward: The lobby of Hotel Seward is an experience itself. We enjoyed staying here for a couple of nights – it was comfortable and located in the center of town. There’s also free parking available!
- Cottage Airbnb: Stay in a cute coffee house cottage right in the center of Seward!
Where To Eat & Drink Seward Alaska:
There’s plenty of cool spots to eat and drink in Seward Alaska. Here are some of our favorite places:
The Cookery: Fancy a nice night out? This is your spot!
They have an amazing Alaskan salmon dish and for dessert a huge cookie ice cream. A must-try if you’re in Seward.
Resurrect Art Coffee House: My brother got me the cutest Hydroflask here!
The coffee was pretty great too.
- Seward Alehouse: A local Alaskan favorite! Visit this bar and have a drink with the locals.
- Lone Chicharron Taqueria: Located next to Seward Alehouse is the delicious taco joint! Order the rockfish tacos and you’ll thank us later!
- Seward Brewing Company: A great backup place if the Cookery is full. You can enjoy classic dishes like burgers and fries plus more here.
Day 6 Alaska Itinerary: Explore the Kenai Fjords National Park
You can take the morning to relax, get a coffee and walk around town. Then you’ll want to hop aboard a cruise that takes you out to Kenai Fjords National Park. Here are some options to consider:
- Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise: Enjoy the sea breeze, the impressive marine wildlife like whales (!) and simply enjoy the awe-inspiring views. This cruise costs $169 per person.
- Kenai Fjords Northwestern Fjord 8.5 Hour Cruise: This cruise is 2.5 hours longer. You’ll cruise along Resurrection Bay, spot some sea lion colonies and explore the protected waters. This cruise costs $234 per person.
- Seward: Kenai Fjords Half-Day Wildlife Cruise: This cruise is much shorter at only 3.5 hours long. This is a great option if you’re short on time or want to do other activities instead. This cruise costs $80 per person.
- Feeling fancy? Take a Seward Helicopter Tour Instead: There are several helicopter tours in Seward with different durations. Choose the one that suits you and enjoy the view from above! A helicopter tour costs $___.
Day 7 Alaska Itinerary: Travel to Homer
You can leave Seward early in the morning and you’ll get to Homer by lunchtime. Spend the afternoon walking around the Homer Spit, drink lots of coffee, and eat some clam chowder.
Homer is a popular spot for Alaskans to camp in the summer. We spent our 4th of July in Homer one time and made s’mores (Matt’s first time trying them) by the fire – it was pretty awesome.
Best Things To Do In Homer Alaska:
You’ll have about a day in total in Homer. You can choose to explore some parks or just relax and enjoy walking around Spit. Here are some things to do in Homer:
- Walk Along The Spit:
- Katmai National Park: For nature lovers wanting to get out and enjoy the wildlife that Alaska has to offer – this is a great opportunity to do so.
- Fishing For Halibut: More planning is needed for this one. First, you need to buy a fishing license. Second, you’ll need to book a charter. Homer Ocean Charters is a good option for a charter. Again it’s a good chance to get out on the water and see more wildlife.
Where To Stay In Homer Alaska:
You’ll book 1 night here. Choose a place that’s on the Homer Spit so you can park the car and just walk around the town.
- Otter Beach Lodges: Get amazing sea views right from your bedroom if you stay here. The Otter Beach Lodges are in a great location on the Spit too!
- One Bedroom Suite Airbnb: Have a beautiful little getaway in this stunning Airbnb. Perfect for a couple!
Where To Eat & Drink In Homer Alaska:
There are some cool, quirky spots to eat and drink in Homer.
- Shore Brew Espresso Coffee: We had this just before we left Homer and it was perfect for the trip to Seward!
- Salty Dawg Saloon: You can’t travel around Alaska without seeing someone wear a Salty Dawg Saloon hoodie. This bar is even more quirky on the inside – you just have to see for yourself. Grab a beer here and feel like a local. Join the tradition and pin a dollar to the wall!
- Captain Pattie’s Fish House: Try the halibut, clam chowder or seafood platter to taste the different kinds of seafood!
- Carmen’s Gelato: Enjoy a couple of scoops of this tasty gelato. The perfect snack for when you arrive in Homer.
- Sea Sweets: Another great place to pick up a snack – lots of candy and sweets (if you couldn’t tell by the name).
Day 8 Alaska Itinerary: Travel to Girdwood
It’s time to make your way back to Anchorage – but first you’ve got a couple more exciting stops along the way. You’ll take the next couple of days a little easier and do more sightseeing activities.
From Homer, the drive to Girdwood takes around 3.5 hours and the distance is 185 miles along the Kenai Peninsula. This Alaska road trip is short enough that it’s still fun and again you’ll soak up the scenic views the whole way.
Best Things To Do In Girdwood Alaska:
If you leave early in the morning, you can be in Girdwood by lunchtime.
One of the best things to do in Girdwood is to take the Alyeska tram up Alyeska mountain. There’s a restaurant at the top – where you can have lunch with stunning mountain views.
- Ride The Alyeska Tram: At an elevation of 2300 feet, you can take the tram up the Alyeska mountain and spend a couple of hours at the top. You can eat at the restaurant or hike around the trails. The Alyeska tram costs $35 per person for a roundtrip ticket.
- Hike Winner Creek Trail: A popular hike to do when in Girdwood. There used to be a hand tram you could take across, unfortunately, it’s closed for the foreseeable future. If you’re fond of hiking – this is still a great option for you.
Where To Stay In Girdwood Alaska:
You’ll book 2 nights in the Girdwood area. Here are some suggestions:
- Alyeska Resort: Stay at the world-famous resort in Alaska for a couple of nights. Your tram ride is included in your stay and you can enjoy the impressive views around the resort.
- Beautiful Guest Suite: A quirky, charming and welcoming Airbnb that has a couch, king size bed and a kitchen in case you want to cook for yourselves.
Where To Eat and Drink In Girdwood Alaska:
There aren’t too many options in Girdwood. Here are some that stand out:
- Double Musky Restaurant: A great restaurant with lots of charm and character. Definitely on the pricy side – around $35-55 per entree. If it’s busy, you can sit at the bar while you wait!
- Spoonline Bistro: A cute brunch place with avocado toast and a nice dining area.
Day 9 Alaska Itinerary: Explore Turnagain Arm
This is your last full day for your Alaska Itinerary 10 days trip. Make the most of it with these two experiences we highly recommend. You can do one activity in the morning and the other in the afternoon:
Portage Glacier Cruise Only: This is a great morning activity. It’s only a 1-hour boat tour that gets you close to see the magnificent Portage Glacier. If you’re lucky you might even see some ice break off the glacier and crash into the water! The Portage Glacier Cruise costs $45 for adults and $35 for children.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC): One of our favorite things we did in all of Alaska was the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center!
We went in the afternoon for 2.5 hours and honestly probably could have spent all day there. We saw Bisons, a Brown Bear (super up-close) and attended a Wolf workshop! Must-have on your Alaska Itinerary 10 days trip. The AWCC costs $17 per person.
Day 10 Alaska Itinerary: Return to Anchorage
This is your last day on the Alaska itinerary 10 days trip! Let’s take it slow and have an easy day. Your last drive on this Alaska road trip is from Girdwood to Anchorage is a short one at only around 1 hour of driving. There are a couple of things you can do today:
Potter Marsh Wetlands: Walk along the boardwalk and just enjoy the nature and landscape.
Earthquake Park: You can park the car nearby and walk along the Coastal Trail.
Stop at the park, sit down and watch the planes fly above you.
You’ve Finished Your Alaska Itinerary 10 Days Trip!
Most flights from Anchorage to the lower 48 states are red-eye flights. Have dinner and make your way to Ted Stevens International Airport.
Sit back, relax and when you get home you can tell everyone about the beauty you experience in the state of the Last Frontier. We hope you loved this state as much as we did!
10 Days Alaska Itinerary – Or Maybe You’ve Got A Few Extra Days?
The Alaska itinerary 10 days trip is over. But what’s that? You’ve got a couple more days to explore the beautiful state of Alaska? Amazing! Here are some options for you:
- Spend a Day in Talkeetna
- Visit Fairbanks and the North Pole
- Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks
- Hike to Harding Icefield
- Drive to Eklutna Lake
There you go! We hope you enjoyed Alaska as much as we have. We’re sure by the end of the trip – it will also become one of your favorite states of the 50!
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We want to hear from you…
Did we miss any of your favorite spots on this Alaska itinerary? Is Alaska on your bucket list?! Comment below and let us know. We read every response! We love this state so much and you’ll see why when you visit.