Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Whittier, AK

  • Published 2022/10/13

Set between enthralling glaciers and majestic mountains is a tranquil seaside destination in Alaska.

Whittier is a picturesque city located on the west side of Prince William Sound, boasting tons of once-in-a-lifetime nature trips.

This sleepy part of Alaska is known for its community under one roof where most of the locals live along with the essential establishments like a school, grocery store, and more!

The city of Whittier may be small, but it offers exciting adventures which attract visitors from around the world.

If you plan a trip to this charming city soon, read on for the 20 best things to do in Whittier!

Take a Day Cruise through the Calm Waters of Prince William Sound

View of the Calm Waters of Prince William Sound

joann campbell /

One of the best things to do in Whittier is to explore the spectacular coastal scenery and tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound.

You can take a day cruise through the calm waters of Whittier, where you can venture to watch the calving glaciers, see thundering falls, listen to the icebergs cracking, and more!

View of tidewater glacier in prince william sound

saraporn /

Whether you have plenty of time or a short time to spend, there are short and long cruises leaving Whittier Harbor to take you on an adventure.

Do not miss out on the enthralling experience and go cruising for a memorable trip to Whittier!

Make sure to book your cruising trip ahead and bring out the adventurer within you.

Scenery from the Calm Waters of Prince William Sound

Rubes.fotos /

Hike the Trails of Emerald Cove Trail

If your definition of a well-spent day is to go on an exciting outdoor exploration, then hike through the Emerald Cove Trail!

Hike through thick forests, take a break to enjoy the cascading sound of the waterfalls, see the rich flora and fauna of the region, and appreciate the beautiful views of nature.

If you are going on a nature trip with the entire family, do not forget to pack some hearty snacks and have a picnic while enjoying the great views of nature.

The Emerald Cove Trail is Whittier’s one of many nature respites where you can take a breather from the busy city life.

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life by getting lost in the beauty of nature at the Emerald Cove Trail.

Learn about the History of the Region at the Prince William Sound Museum

A ferry on Prince William Sound Museum

Christoph Strässler from Oberdorf BL, Schweiz, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A trip to Whittier would not be complete without learning about the heritage of this region in Alaska.

The Prince William Sound Museum features exhibits and artifacts covering over 120 years of history.

A tour of this museum will surely fascinate you with the informative exhibits and historic accounts in Alaska.

This museum may be small, but it is brimming with great informative stories that will take you through the area’s history.

Whether you are a history buff o a curious person, the Prince William Sound Museum is a must-visit on your trip to Whittier.

Stay the Night in Whittier’s Public Use Cabins

If you are looking for a place to spend the night in Whittier where you can have a relaxing time surrounded by the peaceful ambiance of nature, then you should consider staying the night in one of Whittier’s public-use cabins.

Enjoy the rustic and peaceful ambient in any public use cabins set along trails, remote lakes and beaches, and lush woodlands.

These public-use cabins in Whittier are the perfect place to enjoy a cozy time after a day of exploration in the city.

Most of the public use cabins are set in a charming, secluded area surrounded by the tranquil offerings of nature where you can unplug from the digital world and appreciate life with your loved ones.

If you plan on staying in one of these cabins, make sure to book your reservation in advance for a swift and hassle-free stay at Whittier.

Drive through the Whittier Tunnel

A train and a car at Whittier Tunnel

syc011 /

Experience a unique road trip on your way to Whittier by driving through the longest combined vehicle and railroad tunnel in North America.

The Whittier Tunnel, also known as the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, is a 2.5-mile highway tunnel that will take you through a fascinating drive in Whittier.

The Whittier Tunnel is a single-lane tunnel, so you would have to wait for your turn to drive through the tunnel.

Front View of Whittier Tunnel

Chance Horner /

You will surely not be bored of waiting for your turn to drive through the tunnel because you can marvel at the fascinating views of mountains and valleys as you wait.

Make it a point to experience driving through a mountain in this fascinating tunnel in Whittier.

Explore the Waters on a Jet Ski with Glacier Jet Ski Adventures

Get an up-close view of Alaska’s gorgeous scenery that can only be accessed by going on a water excursion.

Have the best adventure experience on your trip to Whittier, where you can see towering glaciers, majestic waterfalls, and mystical icebergs.

The Glacier Jet Ski Adventures will take you on an exploration leading to stunning glaciers and gorgeous mountain views.

You will also have the chance to get an up-close observation of the wildlife of Blackstone Bay.

There is nothing to worry about if it is your first time driving a jet ski because the knowledgeable guides will ensure that you can comfortably operate your jet ski.

Make it a point to book a thrilling jet ski adventure with Glacier Jet Ski Adventures for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on your trip to Whittier.

Explore the Trails of Portage Pass Trailhead

Portage Pass Trailhead at Whittier, Alaska

Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for a bit of challenge on a hike, then you should check out the Portage Pass Trail in Whittier.

The first mile on your hike in this trail is very steep, but you will be welcomed by a fantastic view when you get to finish the first climb.

The experience does not end on your first climb—you can explore side trails that will lead you to numerous scenic overlooks, displays of thundering waterfalls, and majestic valleys.

Do not forget to wear appropriate clothing because you will be passing through obstacles like melting snow, creeks, and muddy trails.

Make it a point to explore the Portage Pass Trail and have a spectacular hiking experience on your trip to Whittier.

Relax with the Sound of the Cascading Waters at the Lu Young Public Beach

This hidden gem in Whittier is the perfect place for a relaxing hang out with your loved ones.

The Lu Young Park is the perfect hideaway where you can enjoy a beautiful summer sunny day far from the hustling and bustling in the city.

If you want to enjoy some time of quiet and relaxation, this secluded park in Whittier is the place for you.

Relax as you listen to the cascading sound of the water and appreciate the fascinating sight of woodlands and mountains.

There are picnic tables and BBQ grills in the park so that you can have a picnic with your loved ones surrounded by the lovely vista of the mountains, water, and trees.

Experience a Bone-Chilling Exploration at the Buckner Building

Front View of Buckner Building

Flaxphotos /

Are you looking for a peculiar and uncanny adventure on your trip to Whittier?

The Buckner Building along Blackstone Road is an abandoned military building with an amazing history attached to the structure.

This building was once known as the “City Under One Roof” because it served as a self-contained military base with essential facilities and recreational facilities for the military and their families.

Abandoned Buckner Building at Whittier, Alaska

FairbanksMike, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You will get the spooks as you explore through the building and learn about the fascinating history behind its disrepair.

Experience a unique urban exploration on your trip to Whittier by stopping by the Buckner Building.

Pitch Your Tent at the City of Whittier Campground

Amp up your outdoor adventures by camping out in a primitive location in Whittier.

The City of Whittier Campground offers the best camping experience on your trip to the city.

Enjoy the fascinating sights and sounds of nature as you spend the night under the starry skies in this charming campground.

Pitch your tent, set up a bonfire, and huddle around to share intimate moments with friends and family.

This campground makes for an unspoiled moment with your loved ones surrounded by nature.

Unplug from your daily cares and enjoy the best camping experience at the City of Whittier Campground!

See the Stunning Waterfalls at the Horsetail Falls Trail

Stunning Waterfalls at the Horsetail Falls Trail

Sofiia Dorsey /

If you want to go hiking but do not want the daunting task of going through steep climbs and obstacles, take a hike through the Horsetail Falls Trail.

This scenic hiking area is set on a low elevation loop that will lead you to the cascading waters of Horsetail Falls.

There are boardwalks guiding your way through the trail, so the hike through this trail is definitely on the easy side.

Do not forget to stop and pick some berries, capture some great photos, and look out for flora and fauna in the area.

Take a short, leisurely hike in this charming hiking trail in Whittier for a spectacular nature trip!

Reel in the Fresh Catch with Whittier Marine Charters

Fishing is a great way to spend your day in Whittier, so make sure to go on a fishing excursion on your trip to the city.

If you are looking for an amazing fishing experience, you should check out the Whittier Marine Charters!

Get the chance to reel in various fish species like halibut, lingcod, rockfish, salmon, and many more.

Aside from the thrilling fishing trip, you will definitely appreciate the abundant marine wildlife and mystical glaciers as you leave the harbor.

You will surely have a memorable saltwater fishing trip in the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, so make sure to book a fishing trip with the Whittier Marine Charters.

Paddle Your Way through the Calm Waters of Prince William Sound

People kayaking at the Calm Waters of Prince William Sound

gnohz /

Another way of exploring the calm waters of Prince William Sound is by taking out a kayak for an adventure!

Take a guided kayak tour through the secluded areas of Prince William Sound, where you can see the fascinating scenery of tidewater glaciers and thundering waterfalls.

You will also get to meet the majestic marine wildlife that thrives in the area since kayaks are less disturbing for these creatures, so make sure to keep an eye for them!

There are a lot of kayaking tours in Whittier, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you are looking for something significant on your trip.

Make it a point to include a kayaking trip on your vacation to the city of Whittier.

Book Your Stay at the Inn at Whittier

If you are planning on staying in the city for a couple of days, make sure to book a place with the most comfortable offerings.

The Inn at Whittier is the perfect choice if you are looking for a place to stay for its cozy atmosphere and complete amenities.

This laid-back hotel is set close to Whittier harbor, offering pristine views of the waters along with the sight of boats sailing in the area.

Enjoy a relaxing night’s sleep as you listen to the sound of the ocean and wake up with the fascinating view of the mountains gleaming in the daylight.

The Inn at Whittier is not your standard hotel because this lovely place offers both comfort and majestic nature views, so make sure to book your stay in this charming inn on your trip to the city.

Go on a Roundtrip with the Glacier Discovery Train

View of Glacier Discovery Train

stellamc /

A trip to Whittier would not be complete without seeing the fascinating sights of the nearby areas of the city.

The Glacier Discovery offers scenic day trips through the nearby towns in the area.

The train can take you on a round-trip sightseeing excursion where you can marvel at the majestic mountains of Alaska.

Glacier Discovery Train passing through scenic snow capped mountains

Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you enjoy going on train rides, then this train ride through Alaska Railroad is the gateway for seeing beautiful sceneries and wildlife in the region.

Book your train tickets in advance and alight the train at Whittier Depot for an exciting sightseeing trip in the area.

Book a Stay in the Anchor Inn

The Anchor Inn is a family-run business that has been around since 1980.

The Anchor Inn is a three-story building with a restaurant, a land laundromat, accommodation, public phones, and evening entertainment.

In addition, a nearby structure provides more housing, a mid-sized grocery, and a recently established museum.

Each room is distinctive, which is an intriguing fact that most visitors are unaware of.

For guests’ convenience, it offers a range of lodging options, including basic rooms with one or two queen-size mattresses and the option of an extra kitchenette.

Join the Adventure Trips by Saltwater Excursions

Alaskan-owned and managed Saltwater Excursions specializes in multi-species adventures.

They specialize in catching Halibut, Salmon, and Rockfish, but you may also catch a wide variety of other species throughout your excursion.

Experience top-tier fishing in Alaska’s abundant waterways while taking in the scenery of mountains covered in glaciers and abundant wildlife.

Come and discover the wonder with Saltwater Excursions, offering salmon and halibut fishing trips while also taking tours of the animals and glaciers.

For an unforgettable experience, reserve your spot for a genuine Alaskan trip!

Go on a Fishing Excursion with Crazy Rays Adventures

Travel to Whittier, Alaska, and join Crazy Rays Adventures for a Rocking Alaska Halibut Fishing Expedition.

They provide top-notch saltwater fishing excursions in Alaska’s renowned Prince William Sound.

The world-renowned Alaska halibut fishing grounds of Prince William Sound will be your destination as they transport you down into its pristine seas.

The journey starts from Whittier, Alaska’s little boat harbor, and within moments of leaving the route canal, you’ll witness stunning glaciers, whales, and an abundance of marine life.

You’ll also be right in the center of some of the greatest fishing in the whole world.

Fishing with Crazy Rays Adventures is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Alaska.

Admire the View at Glacier View Suites

Glacier View Suites is a great place to use as a base when exploring Prince William Sound!

Every Glacier View Condo Suite accommodates four people and has a living room, kitchenette, dining space, two separate rooms with two queen-size mattresses, and a personal full bathroom.

They have roomy living areas with cable TV and an internet connection.

The historic Begich Boggs Tower’s top two stories are where you’ll find all of the Glacier View Suites.

The suites offer a fantastic sight of the nearby mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, trains, water docks, and the city of Whittier from a 14-story high viewpoint.

Relax at Whittier Parking and Camping

In the center of Whittier, Alaska, Whittier Parking and Camping provides guarded automobile and vessel trailer parking along with a unique campsite.

A short distance south of the neighborhood’s tiny boat harbor, exclusive marina, cruise port, and day-cruise amenities is Whittier Parking and Camping, located along Whittier Street across from the train lines.

They provide more than 50 distinct, unserviced camping areas in a tranquil setting south of the parking area, several of which are close to Whittier Creek.

During the six-month summer season, parking and camping services are offered at affordable prices to help guests who go on vacation in Western Prince William Sound.

Their pleasant team keeps an eye on everything throughout extended business hours, seven days a week.

Final Thoughts

This charming seaside city in Alaska is a gateway to all thrilling outdoor adventures combined with a space for relaxation.

If you are planning a trip to Whittier soon, do not forget to reference this list for a memorable exploration experience!

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