25 Best & Fun Things to Do in Whittier (AK)

Whittier is a small but incredibly beautiful city located southeast of Anchorage with approximately 58 miles just at the mouth of the Passage Canal in Alaska, United States.

The city has a population of about two hundred and fifty-five, making it one of the smallest cities in the state and country.

Irrespective of the city’s size, there are many enchanting attractions to visit and numerous activities to indulge in while in the city.

Some of the popular places to visit in Whittier include Prince William Sound Museum, Granite Bay State Marine Park, South Esther Island State Marine Park, McKinley Explorer, Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe, and more.

Are you planning an exploration of Whittier, here are the top things to do in Whittier, AK.

Things to Do in Whittier, AK

1. Begich Towers

Begich Towers
Credits: youli zhao / Shutterstock
Begich Towers

Whether you’re looking for a place to lodge or not, visiting Begich Towers is one of the best things to do in Whitters.

Begich Towers is a 14-story building that offers sweeping views of its environment, starting with the glaciers, waterfalls, and ocean.

This building is open to both seasonal and permanent inhabitants, including tourists on a vacation, with the provision of every necessary amenity.

Begich Towers features the breakfast units on the 14th and 15th floors; the structure is popularly referred to as “a town under one roof.”

In 1953, Anton Anderson designed this building to host the United States Army Corps of Engineers headquarters.

Begich Towers features a bakery, photo lab, 4-lane bowling alley, library, cafeteria, theater, church, radio station, barbershop, and more

Address: Begich Towers, Kenai St, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

2. Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel
Credits: NAParish / Flickr
Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

How does visiting the longest highway tunnel in the world sound? Add a visit to Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel to your list of best things to do in Whittier, AK.

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is the longest ever highway tunnel that transits through a mountain and about the only route to travel to Whittier by rail and road.

This tunnel is more than 2½ miles long, and you will surely cross this route during your journey in Whittier.

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel was built in accordance with the varying temperature of the region, and it is open for both cars and trains.

This one-lane tunnel was constructed in a way that vehicles could ideally travel through the railroad track.

Although there is a toll specifically for private vehicles to pass through, it might take a little while before you’ll be able to enter

3. Pegasus Ponies and Petting Zoo

Pegasus Ponies and Petting Zoo
Credits: hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

Pegasus Ponies and Petting Zoo is the number one family fun center in Whittier, perfect for children of different ages.

This center offers the public an extraordinary experience through several exciting activities and features.

Pegasus Ponies and Petting Zoo educates about the various animals, including how to care for them and feed them.

Both children and adults are allowed to get close to the animals and play with them under the supervision of professional staff.

Pegasus Ponies and Petting Zoo offers essential services such as digital pictures, animal crafts, pony rides, animal education schemes, and digital pictures.

They also host numerous events like grand openings, Carnivals, birthday parties, church gatherings, corporate parties, company get-togethers, and more.

Address: 13414 Loumont St, Whittier, CA 90601, United States

4. Whittier Harbor

Whittier Harbor
Credits: Chance Horner / Shutterstock

If boating is something you enjoy doing, add a visit to Whittier Harbor to your list of fun things to do in Whittier, AK for a wonderful experience.

Whittier Harbor is an ice-free port built to cater to the needs of adventure seekers, especially boaters in the city.

The company is open throughout the year with three hundred and fifty slips ideal for permanent and transient berth holders.

Whittier Harbor offers numerous boats for patrons to pick from if you’re interested in spending the day on the water.

You can also go kayaking, fishing, water skiing, and boating on the water, which is the surest way to spend the day.

5. Granite Bay State Marine Park

Granite Bay State Marine Park
Credits: Rocksweeper / Shutterstock

One best thing to do in Whitter is visiting Granite Bay State Marine Park whenever you want to get outside and have fun.

Granite Bay State Marine Park is a beautiful natural preserve consisting of protective Islands, forests, and two bays.

The park’s shoreline is compacted with numerous granite cliffs and boulders, making it a perfect spot for hiking.

Granite Bay State Marine Park is surrounded by a good number of hills offering spectacular views to climbers and hikers at every position in the park.

This park is also excellent for fishing and camping as it features many campsites either on the cliffs, by the lakeside, or beachside.

Address: Esther Island, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

6. Bettles Bay State Marine Park

Bettles Bay State Marine Park
Credits: rbkomar / Shutterstock

One of the fun things to do in Whittier, AK is visiting Bettles Bay State Marine Park, a beautiful park that occupies a whopping six hundred and seventy-nine acres.

Bettles Bay State Marine Park is an undeveloped state marine park in Alaska, with no possible road access.

The park features two historical attractions, which include a gold mine and an old stamp press found in the southeast region of the park.

Bettles Bay State Marine Park offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to come out and have fun; you’ll find various habitats like salmon spawning, estuaries, waterfowl nesting, eelgrass beds, and more.

Although there are campsites here, but camping isn’t advisable due to the wetlands, which are easily flooded during high tide cycles.

Bettles Bay State Marine Park features preferable camps located close to the mouth of Bettles Bay, just on the southern beaches.

The park is excellent for hiking due to the trails present, which are undeveloped and pretty challenging; you can also go fishing, boating, or picnicking.

Address: Bettles Bay, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

7. Emerald Cove Trail

Emerald Cove Trail
Credits: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

Emerald Cove Trail is a circular trip trail of 6.6 miles surrounded by several beautiful attractions such as glaciers, prince William sound, and amazing waterfalls.

The trail consists of numerous tiny outgrowth trails caused by berry-pickers in search of salmonberries and blueberries, which are nice and delicious during the late summer season when they are fully ripe.

Emerald Cove Trail is a highly popular trail and is mostly visited by hikers who need a more adventurous hiking experience.

The trail starts at the verge of Shotgun Cove Road from the day-use region with several stone steps leading to the beach.

While hiking through the coarse forests, listen to the waterfalls’ pleasant and rhymic sounds as you also take time to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna in the area.

Emerald Cove Trail is a great place for picnicking, just bring enough food & drinks and be sure of having the best time of your life while appreciating the works of nature.

Address: Shotgun Cove Trail, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

8. Crazy Rays Adventures

Crazy Rays Adventures
Credits: BILD LLC / Shutterstock

If you enjoy casting lines and waiting to make a big catch, add a visit to Crazy Rays Adventures to your list of fun things to do in Whittier, AK.

Crazy Rays Adventures is a renowned company known for offering visitors an amazing experience through their incredible saltwater fishing trips.

They take visitors to the glistening Prince William Sound’s waters, which offer remarkable views of the beautiful environment.

During your fishing trips, you will find numerous fish species, including rockfish, halibut, salmon, long cod, and more.

 Aside from fishing trips, Crazy Rays Adventures also offer lodging packages for those who would love to stay for a while.

Address: Wasilla, AK, Phone: 907-315-5382 United States

Also, check out our checklist of fun things to do in Corvallis, things to do in Bandon, and things to do in Gold Beach, if you are planning an Oregon road trip.

9. Decision Point State Marine Park

Decision Point State Marine Park
Credits: Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich / Shutterstock

A perfect place to spend the day while having great fun, Decision Point State Marine Park should be on your list of things to do in Whitter.

Decision Point State Marine Park is a popular spot in the city open to everyone, both locals and visitors, with lots of fun activities to offer.

The park stretches to four hundred and sixty acres filled with lots of natural amenities and a highly visited place by kayakers and a bit of boaters.

Decision Point State Marine Park consists of several campsites open for those who want to go camping with their travel companions.

There are clean restrooms convenient for use, and Decision Point State Marine Park is adequately maintained and well cared for.

Address: Passage Canal, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

10. 26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises and Tours

26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises and Tours
Credits: 26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises and Tours / Facebook
26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises and Tours

Phillips Cruises and Tours is a glacial cruising company that has been in existence since the 1950s and was established by Brad Philips.

This company offers you a more unique experience when you see different marine wildlife with tidewater glaciers that soar high as you glide through. 

Phillips Cruises and Tours takes you on tour using one of their elegant high-speed catamarans and travels through the bays.

The highly knowledgeable and friendly tour guides enlighten the guests about the region’s history and numerous fascinating facts.

Phillips Cruises and Tours is for groups in need of some intimate moments filled with fun, including nature lovers, solo travelers, couples, and more.

Address: 100 West Camp Road, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

11. Ziegler Cove State Marine Park

Ziegler Cove State Marine Park
Credits: Anetlanda / Shutterstock

Ziegler Cove State Marine Park is a relatively small cove situated in the northern region of the mouth of Pigot Bay.

The cove contains a guided Anchorage surrounded by largely grown alder, muskeg, and spruce. Ziegler Cove State Marine Park is a park you should visit in Whittier with your buddies.

Ziegler Cove State Marine Park can contain up to four boats in its cove simultaneously, making it an excellent place for boating.

You’ll find a picnic spot at the top of the shale pebble beach on the eastern side of the cove with a nice fire ring.

At the northern shore is a campsite just at the mouth of the forest; there are trails excellent for hiking with a beautiful scenery.

Make sure you come with lots of snacks and drinks and enjoy a lovely picnic after having fun with your family and friends.

Address: Whittier, AK 99693 United States

12. Glacier Jetski Adventures

Glacier Jetski Adventures
Credits: YanLev / Shutterstock

Are you ready to go outside and have fun? Glacier Jetski Adventures should be on your list of fun things to do in Whittier, AK.

Glacier Jetski Adventures is a great company and the first to use jet skis to take patrons on various glaciers tours.

If you want a closer view of the glaciers and waterfalls in Alaska, Glacier Jetski Adventures is the best place for you.

Glacier Jetski Adventures offers jet skis that are eco-friendly, easily operated, and incredibly comfortable as you tour the area.

The staff is friendly and incredibly knowledgeable, always ready to answer every question and offer assistance when needed.

Address: Billings St, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

13. South Esther Island State Marine Park

South Esther Island State Marine Park
Credits: Jamie Swint/ Facebook
South Esther Island State Marine Park

For a wonderful day out with your family, South Esther Island State Marine Park is a place you will love to visit.

South Esther Island State Marine Park is a place that truly defines the real beauty of nature and visiting this park is a perfect way to explore the city.

This place is both fun and interesting; you will have to pass the Quillian Bay, which is home to one of the biggest salmon hatcheries in the world.

The hatchery, the only property relatively permanent in the park, is called the Wally Noerenberg Hatchery. It nurtures three species: Pink salmon, Coho salmon, and Chum salmon.

South Esther Island State Marine Park features several campsites beside the bushy regions, muskegs, and along Esther lake.

Address: Esther Island, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

14. Anchor Inn

Anchor Inn
Credits: Barbara Ann Spengler / Flickr
Anchor Inn

Dining at Anchor Inn is one of the best things to do in Whittier, AK with your family and friends for an unforgettable stay dining moment.

Anchor Inn’s restaurant serves tasty and healthy meals suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a laid-back and cozy environment.

This restaurant is a meeting place for many tourists and visitors because they get to enjoy delicious and freshly made meals.

Anchor Inn’s restaurant offers an extensive food menu including prawns, sandwiches, baskets of halibut fish & chips, burgers, fried chicken, scallops, and more.

They use fresh meats sourced from local merchants who supply them to the restaurant on a daily basis.

Address: 743 Whittier Street, Whittier, Alaska 99693, United States

15. Varly’s Ice Cream Parlor

Varly's Ice Cream Parlor
Credits: Atsushi Hirao / Shutterstock

Are you in for some delightful treats? Add a stop at Varly’s Ice Cream Parlor to your checklist of best things to do in Whittier.

Varly’s Ice Cream Parlor is a family-friendly location offering treats that will tickle your taste buds.

They are also well known in the city for delicious and well-prepared pizzas which come in different kinds of toppings according to your preferences.

Varly’s Ice Cream Parlor offers vegetarian pizzas, kraut pizza, meat lovers pizzas, Garlic, Chicken & Red Onion Pizza, BBQ Chicken, Onion & Jalapeno Pizza, Hawaiian Pizza, and more.

They also offer different varieties of ice cream, malts, shakes, soda, coffee, milk, hot tea, and more that you will love to try.

Address: Harbor Triangle, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

Washington is the closest to Alaska, check out our guides on things to do in Issaquahthings to do in Port Townsend as well as things to do in Wenatchee for a memorable time.

16. Prince William Sound Museum

Prince William Sound Museum
Credits: Lloyd Lasrado / Facebook
Prince William Sound Museum

Are you searching for a place where you can discover new facts? Add a visit to Prince William Sound Museum to your list of top things to do in Whittier, AK.

Prince William Sound Museum was established in honor of the numerous legends from Alaska, which will also serve as an eye-opener to things you probably didn’t know about.

Though this museum is small, it is filled with several collections of artifacts and exhibits that give insight into the history of Whittier.

Prince William Sound Museum features artifacts about World War II, World War I, and the rail terminal in the region.

You’ll find about thirty-two exhibits focused on different events, including the construction of the Whittier Tunnel.

Prince William Sound Museum features highly-detailed artifacts such as the grade model of the S.S Northwestern erected in 1889, which was used in trade routes between Cuba until 1942 during Dutch Harbor.

Address: Department 102, 743 Whittier St, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

17. The Lu Young Public Beach

If you want a place to chill and relax with your friends and family, add a visit to the Lu Young Public Beach to your Whittier to-do list.

The Lu Young Public Beach is the perfect place to spend time, especially on a hot summer day in a peaceful and quiet environment.

The lovely melodic sounds of the waters are all you need to relax and have a great time while enjoying the scenic views of mountains and woodlands.

The Lu Young Public Beach consists of many picnic areas with a good number of picnic tables and BBQ grills for those who want to go on a lovely picnic with loved ones.

Don’t forget to come with your recording device while visiting so you can capture all the memorable moments.

Address: Shotgun Cove Trl. Whittier, AK 99693 United States

18. Horsetail Falls Trail

Horsetail Falls Trail
Credits: Ron Clausen [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Horsetail Falls Trail
Take a stroll down the Horsetail Falls Trail in Whittier, which is a perfect way to while away time while having fun outdoor.

Horsetail Falls Trail is a trail that every nature lover will love to visit, plus the easily-accessible boardwalk.

The trail is surrounded by a good number of waterfalls, different types of flora & fauna, and blueberries, as well as Whittier Creek.

Horsetail Falls Trail begins from the back of the closed metal gate to an ancient gravel road of approximately 0.25 miles.

You also get to enjoy incredible views of the passage canal when you arrive at a desk; Horsetail Falls Trail is also open for camping, although you might not be able to camp due to the little space available.

19. Surprise Cove State Marine Park

Surprise Cove State Marine Park
Credits: Vitalii Nesterchuk / Shutterstock

Whether you want to stay overnight or spend the entire day outside, visiting Surprise Cove State Marine Park is one of the fun things to do in Whittier, AK.

Surprise Cove State Marine Park is found beside the Cochrane Bay, a popular destination for many families.

The park features several forested uplands, which are excellent for hiking as well as backcountry camping with your friends.

Surprise Cove State Marine Park comprises seven campsites on different areas of terrains scattered throughout the park

The most used campsite is nestled on the gravel beach and can conveniently contain up to twelve tents at once; there is a take-off spot for motor boats of small sizes & kayaks with a bathroom and bear-proof lockers on the campsite.

Address: Surprise Cove, Whittier, AK 99693 United States

20. McKinley Explorer

McKinley Explorer
Credits: Jerzy Strzelecki [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
McKinley Explorer
Looking for a better way to explore the city of Whittier? McKinley Explorer is the right place for you.

McKinley Explorer takes their guests on an amazing tour on their rails cars which can contain from 86 to 88 persons.

They ensure every guest has a seat reserved in the car with a glass-dome window that stretches to the entire car length.

McKinley Explorer makes sure everyone is comfortable with the provision of foot rests and other necessary features.

A tour guide is made available for every tour to educate the visitors and answer every question thrown at them.

McKinley Explorer features a full-service bar at the upper level, while downstairs has clean washrooms, a fantastic restaurant, and a section that offers scenic outdoor views.

The dining room cannot contain everybody at once, so the guests are made to take turns; they get to enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch.

21. Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe

Varly's Swiftwater Seafood Cafe
Credits: TravelingOtter / Flickr
Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe

Are you hungry? Visiting Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe is one of the best things to do in Whittier, AK with your travel companions.

Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe is a lovely restaurant with a casual setting and well-decorated interior.

They offer delicious and healthy meals made with the best locally grown ingredients by highly skilled chefs who use unique recipes.

Varly’s Swiftwater Seafood Cafe offers a comprehensive food menu including calamari steak sandwich & fries, half lb cheeseburger & fries, chicken strips & fries, chicken strip sandwich & fries, caesar salad and roll, Crab Cakes

Zucchini, Large Onion Rings, and more.

The cafeteria offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options with nice drinks to match with the delicious meals.

The staff is friendly and helpful while attending to guests, offering them the best customer service and hearty meals.

Address: Harbor Rd, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

22. Wild Catch Cafe

Wild Catch Cafe
Credits: Wild Catch Café / Facebook
Wild Catch Cafe

Wild Catch Cafe is one sure place to enjoy delightful breakfast meals, and they also serve the best seafood in the Whittier.

The cafe offers not only breakfast meals but also lunch and dinner using food products imported from New Zealand and Australia.

Wild Catch Cafe is all about keeping the meals simple and tasty with their highly comfortable rustic setting and great live music by talented artists.

They offer meals like homemade tartare sauce, omelet, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, clam chowder, avocado cheeseburgers, hamburgers, salmon filet burgers, chipotle black bean burgers, chips, and so on.

Wild Catch Cafe offers a wide variety of soft drinks, beers, bottled juices, wines, and coffees for customers to choose from.

They are always open from Tuesday to Thursday from 6am-7pm, and from Friday to Sunday from 6am-8pm (Closed on Monday).

Address: Harbor Loop Rd &, Harbor View Dr, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

23. Inn At Whittier

Inn at Whittier
Credits: The Inn at Whittier / Facebook
Inn at Whittier

Inn At Whittier features a restaurant that offers tourists an amazing Alaskan dining experience that they won’t forget in a hurry and would make them return for more.

This restaurant provides a casual setting with breathtaking views of Whittier Harbor coupled with the beautiful Prince William Sound.

Inn At Whittier offers a comprehensive menu that is usually rotated according to the season, using fresh ingredients to prepare the meals.

The restaurant offered delicious and well-prepared hamburgers, steaks, seafood, and more while also offering vegan and gluten-free options.

Inn At Whittier provides accommodation to guests who need a place to stay or simply want to stay for a while. There are twenty-five rooms that are highly comfortable and well equipped with soft beds, TVs, microwaves, and more.

There is a fantastic fireside tavern that offers the best cocktails with great music performances organized only on weekends.

Address: 5A Harbor Loop Road, Whittier, Alaska 99693, United States

24. Portage Pass Trailhead

Portage Pass Trailhead
Credits: Frank K. [CC BY-SA 2.0], Wikimedia Commons
Portage Pass Trailhead
Among the best things to do in Whittier is to hike the Portage Pass Trailhead. 

Portage Pass Trailhead is a fantastic hike with a gorgeous view of Portage Glacier. It is also the only established trail with a Portage Glacier view.

Early settlers, Alaska Natives, and Russian fur traders have historically utilized Portage Pass. 

Today it serves as a migratory route for birds and a recreational area for hikers. The hike is nearly two miles in length. 

The trail starts with 750 feet in elevation gain over relatively rough terrain and levels at the top of the pass. From there, the trail moves past Divide Lake and ends at Portage Lake. 

The gravel beach on Portage Lake is also a fantastic place to have a picnic lunch. 

Address: Portage Pass Trail, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

25. Lazy Otter Charters

Lazy Otter Charters
Credits: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

One of the best things to do while vacationing in Whittier is to go on a boat trip with Lazy Otter Charters. 

Lazy Otter Charters is a family-owned and operated boat tour business that has been around since 1994. 

It is your one-stop shop in the city for sightseeing excursions, water taxis, and an awesome cup of coffee. 

Lazy Otter Charters have a comprehensive knowledge and love for Prince William Sound. They can aid you in planning a trip to the Sound.

Whether you want a tailored glacier cruise, transportation for a kayaking adventure, public use of the cabin, or the numerous beaches in the Sound, Lazy Otter Charters is ready to help you have a fun adventure. 

Address: Lot 2, Whittier, AK 99693, United States

Check out more cities in the United States, here is  a guide on things to do in Pinetop, AZ, things to do in Winter Garden, FL and fun things to do Tombstone, AZ in for a fun time

Plan a Trip to Whittier

Whittier is one city that has everything you need to have a wonderful vacation with your family and friends; it offers an array of things to do.

The city is every tourist’s dream place; it has many natural resources, from oceans, trails, forests, coves, preserves, beaches, and more. Just get ready to explore all the city has to offer and create new memories