8 Day Alaska Road Trip Itinerary

Are you looking to plan the perfect Alaska road trip itinerary? You’ve come to the right place.

Experiencing a road trip through the Last Frontier is one of the most thrilling and unforgettable adventures you can have in your lifetime. However planning an Alaska road trip itinerary is another story. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming.

For starters, Alaska is a vast territory with more than 665,400 square miles of diverse and untamed landscape. For those great at math and geography, that’s one-fifth of the total size of the entire United States. It’s not exactly the easiest state to get to logistically, either. 

The only ways to explore Alaska are by driving the Alaska Highway or cruising the coastline. My guess is, if you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking to explore by land. I may be biased, but I think driving is the best way to maximize your time and see the very best of what the 49th state has to offer. 

Hint: it’s a lot!

To help you plan your adventure stress-free, read my in-depth eight day Alaska road trip itinerary below. You’ll learn everything you need to including the most convenient routes, the best places to stop and explore, and excursions to book along the way. 

Disclaimer: This post was created in collaboration with Travel Alaska. It may contain affiliate links that I make a small commission from if you make a purchase. This comes at no additional cost to you. All opinions and recommendations are my own. 

Best Alaska Road Trip Itinerary Route: 

There are a few popular routes that many travelers enjoy including on their Alaska road trip itinerary especially during the warmer months. However, this post assumes that you are flying into Anchorage and renting a car to get around from there.

You’ll begin your road trip in Alaska’s largest city before heading North to the town of Talkeetna. You’ll spend a night there before heading southeast towards the quaint ski town of Girdwood. After a night in Girdwood, you’ll venture on to the charming coastal town of Seward for two nights. Your journey will end back in Anchorage where you will spend another two nights eating your way through the city. 

If it’s small towns you’re looking to explore, don’t worry. I have a couple of those on the itinerary as well (hello, Willow and Whittier!)

Ready to get planning? Let’s fill up the gas tank and hit the road!

Why a Road Trip is the Best Way to Explore Alaska

As I mention previously, Alaska is a massive state. If you plan to see most of the best sites and attractions, you’ll have a lot of ground to cover! 

Taking a cruise is the most popular mode of transportation for exploring Alaska. They are often affordable and provide a brief intro to many different regions of the state through packed itineraries. Still, most cruises allow less than a day to explore at each port, which may not be enough for some people. During the cruise season, many ports also experience overcrowding as multiple ships dock at the same time. If you’re prone to getting sea sick, the Gulf of Alaska can get very rough which is also something to be mindful of. 

looking out over the Chugach Mountain range in Girdwood, Alaska

Once in Alaska, it’s possible to explore different regions via rail on the stunning Alaska Railroad. With routes running from Seward to Fairbanks and back, it’s a historic and unique way to experience Alaska. However, it can get quite expensive and routes can be limited during certain seasons. It’s often difficult to get around without a car after you arrive at each destination, too. I’ll cover this experience in a separate blog, but for purposes of this post, we’re sticking to the highways. 

While planning your Alaska road trip itinerary, you’ll find that can spend as much time in each place as you want without relying on the schedule of a cruise ship or train.

When is the best time to take an Alaskan Road Trip?

It’s probably no secret that Alaska can experience some pretty extreme weather during the winter months. Winter temperatures in Alaska range from 0 degrees to a frigid -18 degrees from November to the end of March. The coldest month is usually January when average daytime temperatures rarely surpass 5 degrees. 

Most cities see only 4-6 hours of sunlight a day. Some parts of Alaska see no sunlight at all including Barrow and Prud Bay. Unless you’re traveling to Fairbanks to see the Northern Lights, many tour companies and attractions are also closed until spring or summer.

For these reasons, the best time to plan a road trip is in May or September. Both of these months mark the shoulder season for Alaska. During this time, you’ll be able to score better deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars. There will also be fewer crowds than during the summer months.

the perfect Alaska road trip itinerary includes a stop at Portage glacier

What to Bring on an Alaska Road Trip

Assuming you plan your Alaska road trip during warmer, deciding what to pack should be much less stressful. Even though you won’t be packing for sub-zero temperatures, Alaska is home to many different environments with varying climates. Alaska has a whopping eight national parks, though you can only drive to three of them easily.

Still, there’s plenty of hiking trails within them to explore glaciers, waterfalls, ice caves, snow-capped mountains, and glacial lakes. For indoor activities, there are endless museums, nature centers, and Native American sites to enjoy. To best prepare for exploration in any environment, be sure to put the below items in your suitcase before you go.

Essential Alaska Road Trip Items

A guidebook or map of Alaska. Once you’re on the ground in Alaska, you’ll realize wifi isn’t always reliable when you’re out in the wilderness. Having a guidebook and a map to know where you are and where you’re going is a must.

DSLR camera and a long-range lens. This is a no-brainer, but you’ll need a camera to capture all of the amazing memories you’ll make! I recommend a camera from the Canon EOS R series with a long-range lens for capturing wildlife. A 200-600mm lens should do the trick!

External chargers. Alaska is very remote, so you won’t always have a wall plug-in close by. Sometimes you can drive for hours and see nothing but wilderness. Bring two or three external chargers to make sure your devices are always ready to go. You’ll need them for all the photos you’ll take!

Wool lined clothing. Merino wool lined clothes help maintain body heat and they are super comfortable! I always pack a couple pairs of leggings and matching long-sleeve tops.

Mosquito repellent. Locals calls mosquitos the official “state bird” for a reason! They are big and there can be many of them during the warmer months, especially around bodies of water.

Waterproof hiking boots. It rains quite a bit in May and September. If hiking, it’s possible you will have to hike over streams, shallow rivers, or encounter waterfalls. To prevent blisters from hiking in wet shoes, pack these.

Waterproof jacket or windbreaker. Pack a lightweight jacket to layer over other articles of clothing. It’s perfect to stay warm on cooler nights, or dry while hiking near waterfalls or in the rain.

what you need to pack for an Alaska road trip

Alaska Road Trip Intinerary: Recommended Route

Total Miles Driven: 502.3
Driving Time: Approx. 11 hrs (more if making detours or additional stops)
Number of Days: 8

This easy eight day itinerary is great for first-time visitors to Alaska or people who prefer to drive shorter distances. It does not include stops in the towns of Fairbanks or the North Pole. All recommendations are given from a first-person perspective. This route is simply a personal recommendation as a result of an Alaska road trip I did with my mom in September.

1: Start Your Journey in Anchorage

The closest airport to Anchorage is the Ted Stevens International Airport. There are a number of convenient and affordable flights there from most major U.S. cities, especially from the West Coast. You can find non-stop flights with Alaska Air, American, Delta, and United. If you have time to spare, spend a few days exploring Seattle before heading North. That way, it breaks up the flight time and you’ll have a less than a four hour journey to Alaska.

Pro Tip: Be sure to snag a window seat to get a view of the absolutely epic mountain landscape as you fly in!

view of Alaska mountain range from the window seat of an airplane

After you arrive, pick up your rental car. There are rental car companies with plenty of options at the airport. Alternatively, you can pick up a rental car at an off-site location in town. It is sometimes cheaper to rent them from off-site lots, but it’s less convenient since you have to Uber. Some of the rental car companies in Anchorage include Alamo, Alaskan Car Rental, Enterprise, and National Rent a Car. You can easily compare vehicles and find best prices to book in advance using Skyscanner or Expedia. If you plan on off-roading, be sure to book a vehicle with good 4-wheel drive options even in the warmer months. Some good options include the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and the Jeep Commander. If you plan to stay on main highways in good weather, you’ll be fine with a sedan. This is what we chose!

Depending on what time you arrive, you can hit the road immediately, or grab dinner at one of Anchorage’s many restaurants and rest up until the morning. For safety reasons, it’s best to drive during daylight in Alaska, especially if you don’t know the landscape. Use your best judgement when deciding to take to the road. Just don’t spend more than a night in Anchorage. You’ll have plenty of time to explore it later on in the itinerary!

Where to Stay in Anchorage

If you arrive late and decide to stay the night, a great lodging option is the Hyatt Place Anchorage Midtown. This cozy Hyatt property is located near many of the city’s best parks and top sites. The lobby includes a lounge with a fireplace as well as a full service bar and restaurant, The Placery. All rooms are suite-style, spacious, and extremely well-kept. They even include a sectional couch and lounge area for additional sleeping.

2. Head to Talkeetna: The Gateway to Denali

Total Miles from Anchorage to Talkeetna: 113.6
Drive Time: 2 to 2.5 hours

Your first destination will be the charming town of Talkeetna, known as the mid-point between Anchorage and Denali National Park. This former gold-mining town is found at the base of the former Mt. McKinley and is full of amazing views and activities.

an outpost in the Alaskan town of Talkeetna

What to See and Do in Talkeetna

Talkeetna is super cute and quaint. The first thing you must do after arriving is stroll the downtown area to check out the shops, general stores, and cafes. If you arrive before check-in to your hotel, briefly park at the Welcome Center lot or at the small shopping complex across the street. The town of Talkeetna itself is very small and walkable. As you make your way through the town, there are a few places you must stop at!

  1. Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe. This family owned and operated bakery serves pastries, artisan bread, and savory local cuisines year-round. Definitely try the Alaska Barley Bread and the Molasses Multigrain made with Alaskan birch syrup if they are on the menu!
  2. Shirley’s Burger Barn. For the best burgers in town, stop by Shirley’s! In addition to handcrafted burgers, Shirley’s also sells clam chowder, fried halibut, homemade chili, reindeer hotdogs, and onion rings.
  3. Denali Brew Pub. Savor local micro-brews, cocktails, and local pub-style cuisine at Denali Brew Pub. Order the “Razzery” if you like a sweeter meads or wine. For a darker brew, “One Tree Birch” Belgian Gold Brew with birch syrup.
  4. Once in a Blue Moose. This adorable gift shop sells unique Alaskan gifts, souvenirs, and collectibles. I bought a beautiful antique compass here!
  5. The Antler Outpost. This is a fun and quirky store that sells gold nugget jewelry, handcrafted knives, furs, and antler carvings. I found a beautiful Alaskan Billiken good luck charm here. Be sure to ask the shop owner for a cup of Chaga tea for $2.
  6. Talkeetna Historical Society. Inside of the old Talkeetna School Building, you can learn about the history of this rural Alaskan village. Check out the Talkeetna Museum to learn about Native American history, aviators, and gold seekers.

Denali Brewing is one of the top places to eat on an Alaska road trip

What to See and Do Outside of Talkeetna

Outside of the town’s limits, there’s plenty to explore out in nature! If you have time, book a flight seeing tour via helicopter or small aircraft. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of Denali to see snowy peaks, glaciers, and waterfalls that aren’t easily accessible on the ground. It may still be a bit too chilly to take to the nearby Sustina River for water activities in May or September. However, if you plan your road trip in the summer, guided raft excursions and jet-boat tours are popular activities. If you visit between the months of August and April, you may even see the Northern Lights! A few places to potentially view them include the Talkeetna Riverfront Park or Christiansen Lake which is a six minute drive outside of town.

Where to Stay in Talkeetna

For such a small town, there are endless lodging options close to downtown or just outside of town. The Talkeetna Roadhouse is where we stayed during our visit. The building is a former hauling supply station built in 1917, and has survived through two pandemics! However, the 107 year old property is currently undergoing a massive yet exciting renovation project and is temporarily closed until at least the summer of 2023. Whenever they do open back up, be sure to try their Roadhouse Sourdough Hotcakes. They also have a sister property known as Trapper John’s Cabin & Cottages that is open and taking bookings year-round. If you’re into camping, there are also plenty of nearby campgrounds and camping excursions to enjoy.

3: Make a Pit Stop in Willow

Total Miles from Talkeetna to Willow: 41.7
Drive Time: 45 minutes

The next morning, pack your bags and head slightly south towards the town of Willow. Known as the home of the world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters, it’s a busy hub within the Mat-Su-Valley. Aside from hiking, if there’s one thing you must-do when visiting Willow, it’s trying your hand at dogsledding.

Luckily, Willow is where you can find the 4-time Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey’s homestead. Home to dozens of the world’s top Alaskan Huskies, you can go behind the scenes of one of the top racing kennels of all time. Not only will you learn about the Iditarod race itself, you’ll take an in-depth look at the dog breed that makes it all happen.

the homestead of Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey in Willow Alaska

Perhaps the highlight of the tour is manning your own 4-dog sled. For 45 minutes, you’ll fly through a private birch forest trail system designed specifically for novice sled drivers or “mushers”. You’ll make a few stops along the route for photos and bonding time with the dogs. This is your chance to give them water and plenty of love!

Before ending the tour, you’ll get the chance to interact and play with the newest husky puppies. Human interaction from a young age is very important for this social dog breed. It teaches them obedience, affection, and bonding.

alaskan husky puppies at Dallas Seavey's homestead. Dog sledding is a great activity for an Alaska road trip itinerary

After saying your goodbyes to the pups, head to nearby Denali Brewing for a lunch of wood-fired pizza and brews (or cocktails if you’re not much of a beer drinker). Try some of their hot honey on your pizza crust and order the Blueberry Mojito from Denali Spirits to pair it with!

4: Relax in the Ski Town of Girdwood

Total Miles from Willow to Girdwood: 108.7
Drive Time: 2 hours

Continuing Southeast, your journey will take you back through Anchorage city limits and down the Turnagain Arm. During the drive, be sure to keep your eye out for Beluga Whales. They are sometimes swimming through the channel with their babies! Your destination? The ski town of Girdwood. Most known for its downhill skiing and snowboarding, it’s also home to one of the most luxurious and only ski resorts in the entire state: Alyeska Resort. It offers the longest ski season of any mountain range in the country with seven ski lifts and more than 1,600 skiable acres. One of their trails is the longest double black diamond run in North America, and receives an average or 669 inches of snow per year!

Alyeska Resort is the premier ski lodge in Alaska. It's a must when visiting Anchorage.

If skiing isn’t your forte, or you prefer to relax on your road trip, Alyeska Resort is a perfect place to unwind. The 4-star chateau style hotel offers a unique Alaska experience with rich Native influences, multiple on-site restaurants, and a new Nordic spa. To maximize your time at the resort, be sure to enjoy the amenities below:

Relax at the Nordic Spa

The newest Nordic spa in Alaska features stunning views of the Chugach Mountain range and North America’s northernmost rainforest. You’ll relax with a series of hydrotherapy. After the spa, head indoors to take a refreshing dip in the pool or enjoy a session in the hot tub before dinner.

Eat a Seafood Dinner

Alyeska Resort is home to more than half-a-dozen cafes, bars, and restaurants. Enjoy a seafood dinner of fresh halibut, salmon, or Dungeness crab at Aurora Bar. If you’re craving casual Italian, hit up Forte Alaska for house made pasta and locally sourced seafood. For the freshest seafood, sushi, and Asian fusion cuisine, you’ll want to make a reservation at Sakura Asian Bistro. To stay fueled up in between meals or ski runs, the Tramway Cafe is a great place to grab a quick sandwich, bowl of bison chili, or cup of coffee.

salmon dinner at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood Alaska

Take the Alyeska Aerial Tram up to Mt. Alyeska

Take the aerial tram up to the top of Mt. Alyeska and enjoy sweeping views of the Turnagain Arm and the Chugach Mountains. You can also enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at the top of the mountain at Bore Tide Deli and Bar. For $60USD, you’ll get a round trip ticket on the tram and $25USD in dining credits to Bore Tide. Tickets for the tram must be purchased at the box office at the resort.

Utilize the free shuttle to explore the town

The Glacier Valley Transit provides free public transportation around Girdwood. The shuttle service follows a Flex route from Alyeska Resort down to the Speedway Express gas station, and makes stops around town. The shuttle can even drop you off at popular trail heads and pick you up at designated times. Just be sure to get the phone number of the shuttle driver to alert them when you are ready for pick up. While free, it’s best to offer some sort of cash tip to the driver for their services, especially if you have luggage.

A waterfall hiking trail in Girdwood, Alaska. Alaska has many beautiful hiking trails that you should explore on an Alaska road trip

The next morning on your way out of town, be sure to stop into the Alpine Cafe and Bakery. You can find it next to the Speedway Express gas station on Seward Highway. They have great coffee and an amazing selection of handmade pastries that are perfect to take on the road!

Pro Tip: If you have a couple extra days for a longer road trip, spend them in Girdwood at Alyeska. There are multiple nearby hiking trails to explore nature, and it’s the perfect place to relax or refuel with quality local cuisine.

5: Sail the Prince William Sound in Whittier on Your Way to Seward

Total Miles from Girdwood to Whittier: 23.4 miles
Drive Time: 34 minutes

Head slightly southeast to the town of Whittier for a unique afternoon half-day tour. Home to the Prince William Sound, Whittier is known as one of the best places to witness amazing coastal scenery and tidewater glaciers. Here, you can enjoy Granite Bay State Marine Park, hike to Horsetail Falls, or take a glacier cruise. The waters are also brimming with sea life and wildlife including bald eagles, seabirds, otters, Dall’s porpoises, and even whales. There are a couple of local companies that offer shorter sails of less than five hours:

  1. Phillips Cruises Glacier Quest tour. This 4 hour cruise through Blackstone Bay is perfect for families. Along the way, you’ll see 10 different glaciers on a high-speed catamaran around 45 miles of Prince William Sound. You’ll get up-close-and-personal with glacial coastline and have the chance to see countless wildlife.
  2. Lazy Otter Charters’s Blackstone Glacier Cruise. The family-owned Lazy Otter Charters takes a 27 passenger catamaran out on Blackstone Bay. You’ll sail among sheer cliff walls through wide glacier outwash streams, and watch glacial waterfalls crash into the sea. This three hour tour is great for kids as it provides a snack, a hot drink, and the opportunity to see unique wildlife.

glacier tours from Whittier are a great way to spend time in Alaska

For the more thrill-seeking travelers, you can even book a jet ski tour with Glacier Jet Ski Adventures! On this four hour tour around Blackstone Bay, you will command an eco-friendly SEADOO jet ski. With a professional guide, you’ll fly past towering glaciers, thundering waterfalls, and icebergs. You will be given high quality dry suits and get an in-depth training from your guide on safety and navigation. To help fight off any cold, the handle bars on the jet ski are heated. It’s important to note that this tour is available from May to September only (which is perfect for your spring or summer road trip!)

After your Whittier adventure, you’ll head to the classic Alaskan town of Seward to spend the night!

6. Explore the Coastal Town of Seward

Total Miles from Whittier to Seward: 88.4
Drive Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Day 1 in Seward

Seward is famous for its close proximity to the Kenai Fjords National Park and stunning mountain landscapes surrounding Resurrection Bay. You’ll want to spend at least two nights here to have enough time to explore all Seward has to offer.

Your first night in Seward, grab dinner at The Cookery. This local favorite serves gourmet American favorites and seafood including fresh oysters from Homer, grilled halibut, tri-tip steak, and surf n’ turf. The restaurant is currently undergoing exciting renovations, but will reopen in summer 2023. If you happen to visit before it reopens, the owners of The Cookery also operate The Lone Chicharron Taqueria just down the street. Here, you can enjoy fried rockfish, eloté, street tacos, burritos, and paletas (popsicles!).

the view of the Seward Harbor in Seward Alaska

After dinner, check into the Harbor 360 Hotel. This premier waterfront hotel offers scenic views of Resurrection Bay and the surrounding Kenai Mountains. Rooms at the 2-star hotel are spacious and affordable, and come with two queen beds or one king bed. The Deluxe King Harbor rooms have private balconies overlooking the harbor. It’s conveniently located on the Seward Small Boat Harbor and within walking distance of many of the town’s best bars and restaurants. If a ride on the Alaska Railroad is on your itinerary, it’s a two minute walk to the train depot. Perhaps the most popular amenities include the complimentary hot breakfast and parking, as well as Seward’s only hotel swimming pool.

Day 2 in Seward

Your second day will require an early morning wake up call! You’ll hop aboard a private vessel to sail through Resurrection Bay along the Kenai Fjords with Major Marine Tours. The 55 mile route will take you along stunning coastline in search of sea lion colonies, whales, Dall porpoises, sea otters, mountain goats, and eagles.

The four hour tour provides unlimited water, coffee, tea, and a complimentary lunch of a sandwich and chips. During the sail, you can choose to keep warm in the enclosed cabin, or go outside on the outside deck for an unobstructed view. Keep in mind that the weather can change in an instant during certain months of the year. If the seas become unexpectedly rough, getting extremely sea sick is possible. To help ward off any sea sickness, take one non-drowsy dramamine 1 hour prior to your sail. Travel wristbands and ginger candies also help.

view of the Kenai Fjords from a Major Marine Boat cruise

After your tour, grab lunch at The Highliner Restaurant. It’s been a Seward favorite for years and serves seasonal and local cuisine using organic and sustainable practices. A few menu favorites are the crab cakes, halibut ceviche, salmon dip, and fish n’ chips! Don’t forget to pair your meal with an Alaskan Root Beer or a Matanuska Blueberry Ale.

7. Eat Your Way Through Anchorage

Total Miles from Seward to Anchorage: 126.5 miles
Drive Time: 2.5 hours

No Alaska road trip itinerary is complete without trying the local delicacies! After savoring your last meal in Seward, begin your journey North to Anchorage. This scenic drive will take you back through Girdwood, up the Turnagain Arm, and back into Alaska’s largest city. This time, instead of rushing out, you’ll finally get to explore! If you have time in your driving schedule, stop by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center outside of Girdwood. It’s a refuge for sick, wounded, and orphaned animals such as grizzly bears, moose, wolves, and reindeer with free parking and and easy walking trails.

grizzly bear at the Alaska Conservation and Wildlife park

Anchorage is home to a number of museums including the Alaskan Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum, and the Alaska Aviation Museum. For families, there’s also an award-winning zoo, parks, and nature centers. For avid hikers, Chugach State Park offers plenty of trails that pass by glacier lakes, coastline, and mountains.

Anchorage is also a popular town for foodies, serving up some of the best seafood in the state. From fresh salmon and flaky halibut, to monster king crab and oysters, you’ll find it in Anchorage.

Some of the best places to get dinner in Anchorage include:

Bear Paw Bar and Grill

This casual sports bar has been a long time favorite hang out in Anchorage. It serves a large selection of Alaska craft brews, spirits, and locally sourced Alaskan cuisine. The Spinach Crab Dip, Bison Burger, Reindeer Stuffed Jalapeños, and Halibut Tacos are great choices. For dessert, don’t pass up the blueberry crumble skillet with hand picked berries, berry ice cream, and bourbon berry drizzle.

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse

This lively casual bar and alehouse serves seafood and pub grub with live music and trivia nights. It also has a huge selection of draught craft beer. It’s been a favorite in the Anchorage community for nearly 30 years! They are most famous for their Smoked Salmon Spread made with sockeye salmon, cream cheese, Parmesan, and served with crusty French bread. Other menu favorites include the Cod Fish & Chips and the Salmon and Scallop Fettuccine.

food at Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse

Moose’s Tooth Pizzeria

Perhaps the most popular restaurant in Anchorage is Moose’s Tooth Pizzeria. It’s so popular in fact, that the wait to get a table can sometimes be nearly two hours long. They serve the best pizza in the state of Alaska hands down. Favorites on the menu include the Garlic Lover’s pizza (this is what I ordered!), the Call of the Wild, and the Chicken Ranch (what my mom ordered!). They don’t take reservations, so make sure you get there before the dinner rush hour.

pizza and beer at Moose's Tooth Pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska

With your stomach hopefully full, head to a nearby haunt for a night cap, or go back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep. The Hyatt Place Anchorage Midtown is highly recommended and not far from the airport! If you have to return your rental car to a lot not at the airport the night before, don’t worry. Hyatt Place Anchorage offers complimentary shuttle rides to-and-from Ted Stevens International Airport.

8. End Your Journey in Alaska’s Largest City

After eight amazing days, your Alaska road trip itinerary will come to an end. If you have an afternoon flight out, make time for one last sunrise walk through one of Anchorage’s amazing parks. The coastal trail or Kincaid Park are two great choices. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the last views of the city scape and surrounding mountains.

Freshen up for a long day of travel, and eat a hearty breakfast (don’t forget the Hyatt Place offers a complimentary buffet breakfast, too!) Head to the airport at least two hours prior to departure, especially if visiting during the summer months.

You can look back on your Alaska road trip itinerary with so many unforgettable memories. As you board your plane, it might feel bittersweet to leave the Last Frontier behind. Just know that when it comes to Alaska, it’s never a “goodbye” but a “see you later.”

the Chugach Mountain rage close to Anchorage Alaska

Alaska Road Trip Itinerary FAQ’s

How many days do you need for a road trip in Alaska?

When planning your Alaska road trip itinerary, how long you decide to make your trip is entirely up to you. Many factors come into play including the towns or cities you would like to visit, and the types of attractions you want to see along the way. Most people say the sweet spot for an Alaska road trip is between 7-10 days.

In regards to this Alaska road trip itinerary, it took eight days to travel a shorter loop route from Talkeetna to Seward and back to Anchorage. For longer road trips that begin in Fairbanks or the North Pole, you will certainly want to plan for 10 days if not more. Ultimately, this depends on your budget, time allowance, how many excursions you want to do, and the types of excursions you want to participate in.

What month is best for an Alaska road trip?

Believe it or not, Alaska experiences all four seasons. However, the seasons may be shorter or have more extreme weather.

There are pros and cons to any season, but in regards to Alaska, the best time to visit are during the shoulder season months of May and September. These months bring fewer crowds and cheaper prices for flights, hotels, and rental cards. Summer is also a great time to visit if you can tolerate slightly increased crowds and higher fares. However, it is the warmest and driest season of the year.

Is driving in Alaska difficult?

It may seem difficult, but driving an Alaska road trip itinerary is actually pretty easy! All of the highways and major roads are well paved and well maintained. Unless you make detours or plans to off-road, road conditions are well above average. If visiting Alaska during the winter months, make sure you rent a car with 4-wheel drive. You will also need tire chains in the winter, and sometimes even during the summer if traveling north of 60 North Latitude.

What month is the coldest in Alaska?

Not surprisingly, January is the coldest month in Alaska. While temperatures vary slightly throughout different regions, average daytime temperatures range from 5 degrees to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Most areas of the state see only five hours of sun per day in January, sometimes far less in certain regions. At night, average low temperatures can range from 0 degrees to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Travel Resources

To ensure your Alaska road trip itinerary goes off without a hitch, here are some of my favorite travel resources to ensure a safe, fun, and worry-free adventure in the Last Frontier:

  1. Be aware of potential weather conditions or other safety hazards prior to your arrival, download the OZZI Travel Safety App. It provides alerts in real time to help you pick safer neighborhoods to book lodging, and ultimately save money by avoiding mishaps.
  2. When making the journey to Alaska, travel days often involve multiple layovers or long layovers in one airport. Spend your time wisely and enjoy the airport lounge life with an affordable annual membership with Priority Pass.
  3. Want to explore more of the U.S. outside of Alaska? You’ve come to the right place! Read some of my other U.S. travel guides here and here.


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Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half-Dome
- Glacier Point Overlook 
- Yosemite Valley 
- Hetch Hetchy (road is open year round, but may close intermittently due to snow depending on the time of year)

As always, for your safety and to protect Yosemite’s delicate ecosystems, always stay on designated trails. If encountered, give wildlife plenty of space and do not approach. Do not disturb or remove archeological or historical objects from where they reside. Leave the park even more beautiful than you found it for future visitors 🩵

**Reservations are required to drive into or through the park on certain dates / holidays through Oct 27, 2024. Additional reservations are made available seven days before the arrival date at 8 am Pacific time, but go quickly. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations** 

Have you visited Yosemite National Park yet? #yosemitenps #nationalparksusa #nationalparkservice #usatravel #usaroadtrip #roadtrippers #outdoorsy #nationalparksgram
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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

(You’ll want to SAVE this for your next trip!)📌

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
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