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June 2023 Inspiring Itinerary: The Perfect Alaskan Adventure by Land

Denali Tracks

Why Alaska?

Vacations to Alaska have been on the rise for years, decades even, and it’s not hard to see why: known as The Last Frontier, Alaska offers unparalleled amounts of untouched wilderness and epic adventure. Alaska is, by far, the largest state in America, and it’s actually roughly one fifth of the size of the entire continental United States. 

With that much space (365 million acres, to be specific), and with only 160,000 acres occupied by civilization, a visit to Alaska can make you feel like a true explorer, traversing land that may have only been walked on by a handful of other humans. As the saying goes, though, tread lightly, because Alaska prides itself on its connection to, and preservation of, the land. 

Welcome to Alaska

If you’ve been following along on the blog for a while, you’ll know that Alaska has been featured a number of times recently: in the Dozen National Parks You Need on Your Travel Bucket List (not just one, but two of Alaska’s Parks made the list), in the Top Ten Journeys of a Lifetime (as a suggestion for an Arctic Adventure), with mentions in a bunch of other Blogs, and with an Alaskan Cruise Inspiring Itinerary last year (this Inspiring Itinerary is totally different, don’t worry!). It just goes to show how much Alaska has to offer that it can be featured so many times for so many different experiences!

This time, instead of journeying through Alaska by sea, as is extremely popular (Hello, Alaskan Cruises!), we’ll be adventuring on land through that Last Great Frontier, from glaciers to mountains, experiencing the majesty of that untouched wilderness with each step!

Let’s Go!


Day 1

Arrive in Anchorage with its mountain views and abundance of evergreens, where your guide will meet you at the airport to escort you in your luxury transportation to your downtown hotel. Your guide will even check you in, so all you have to do is explore your spacious room and settle in after traveling. You’ll have the afternoon to wander around downtown Anchorage, though if you need some direction, your guide will be happy to offer suggestions. For dinner, you’ll head to the 49th State Brewery for a Welcome Reception, where you’ll be treated to local dishes and award winning beers!

Alaska Museum

Day 2

Start the day by visiting one of the most famous attractions in Anchorage: the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Here, one of the Center’s guides will help you learn about Alaska’s indigenous population, and the rich culture and traditions of the Alaska Native people. You’ll get to view and experience Native art, take part in traditional games, and hear incredible stories of the people whose land you are visiting. This is the perfect activity to really kick off your Alaskan adventure, as it will allow you to appreciate and understand more about everything that follows on this trip!

Alaska Lake

Next, it’s time to get outside! You’ll visit Eklutna Lake, where you can bike and kayak around the area before indulging in a barbeque picnic for lunch around a campfire. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife such as moose and bald eagles! From there, you’ll be taken to the quaint village of Talkeetna, where your guides will check you into your upscale lodge accommodations so that you can relax and explore your new surroundings. For dinner tonight, adults will get to enjoy a meal away from the kids, as your guides take the kiddos for an adventure around the lodge!


Day 3

Today’s adventure will start out with a stroll around the charming town of Talkeetna, located just outside Denali National Park and Preserve, and known for its outdoor activities and colorful character. You’re sure to find some local treasures to bring home as you wander around town. On to the highlight of the day, though, which is a ride on a Scenic Alaska Railroad Dome Train to Denali National Park! The specialized Dome train cars offer unparalleled 360 degree views to take in everything the breathtaking Alaskan Wilderness has to offer. While on your train ride, you’ll also enjoy your view with a delicious lunch served onboard as well!

Train Alaska

A special activity for Junior Adventurers while on the train will be to complete their Junior Ranger Activity Book for Denali National Park, so that once everyone arrives at the Denali Visitor Center, Junior Adventurers can be sworn in as Junior Rangers! Then, everyone will get to see a private screening of the film, “Heartbeats of Denali” and will have a chance to visit the outdoor exhibits, too. Your exploration of Denali will continue tomorrow, since your time at the Visitor Center will need to wind down as you head to your new luxury lodge accommodations for a traditional dinner and a good night’s rest before more adventuring!


Day 4

It’s all about Denali today! Starting with breakfast at your lodge overlooking the Denali Canyon, you’ll soon be fueled and ready for a day of exploration and discovery! With a naturalist specializing in everything about Denali as your guide, you’ll learn all about Denali National Park’s cultural and environmental history while riding through the wilderness by coach bus. You’ll come to understand why Denali is a near perfect example of what the National Park Service set out to do from the beginning: it preserves the human connection to the land and wildlife that has always existed, while also learning from the changes that naturally occur to the landscape of the Park over time, perfectly melding past, present and future together. 


For lunch, you’ll stop for some local fare inside the Park, before being let loose to explore Denali at your own pace for the afternoon. Unlike many other National Parks, Denali allows off-trail hiking and exploration, so you’ll be able to get a true taste of the Alaskan wilderness without the confines of a set trail. You may be able to spot wildlife such as moose or bald eagles, but as always, be sure to remain at a safe distance. Dinner tonight will be at one of Denali’s restaurants, and you can ask your guide for recommendations based on your preferences.

Dog Sled Race

Day 5

With a full exploration of Denali National Park under your belt, it’s time to discover another famous part of Alaskan history and heritage: dog sledding and the long standing Iditarod Race. First, you’ll start with breakfast at the lodge, then head out towards Big Lake, where Happy Trails Kennels can be found. Here you’ll be given an authentic sledding demonstration and you’ll have an opportunity to interact with the sled dogs up close, as well as meet the new season’s puppy litter. Over lunch, you’ll learn how well-cared-for and loved the sled dogs are, as well as the history of the Iditarod Race. 


Once your kennel visit is complete, you’ll enjoy the view from the motorcoach as you drive along Turnagain Arm and into the mining town of Girdwood. Here, your guide will take care of check in while you settle in and take a stroll around town as you make your way to dinner (if you need suggestions, of course your guide will be happy to oblige, as always). 

Spencer Lake

Day 6

Get ready for an incredibly interactive and immersive Alaskan adventure today! Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the hotel before setting off on your very own Gold Rush! That’s right, today you’ll head to Crow Creek to discover the life of Gold Rushers, who were drawn to the 49th State in search of golden treasure and fortune.

Gold Rush

And, you’ll even get to try panning for gold yourself, right in Crow Creek. Afterwards, you’ll be treated to a picnic lunch in one of the local parks of Girdwood.

Glacier Iceberg

Time to board another train! You’ll take a short ride to Spencer Whistle Stop, where you’ll board your next mode of transportation: rafts! Rafting along Spencer Lake affords the most up close and majestic view of the picturesque glaciers of the lake, known to be one of the most beautiful locations in the state, which is really saying something since every time you turn around in Alaska, the view gets more and more breathtaking. After your rafting adventure, dinner for the evening will be provided lakeside, in the form of a traditional salmon bake, before heading back to your accommodations. 

Turnagain Arm

Day 7

An integral part of Alaska’s natural beauty is the wildlife that call Alaska home. Today will focus on those animals with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. As always, you’ll start with breakfast at your hotel before heading out on your Wildlife Adventure. At the Conservation Center, located on the coast of Turnagain Arm amid mountains and glaciers, you’ll get a clear understanding of all of the conservation efforts being taken in Alaska.


A conservation naturalist will oversee viewings of bears, moose and bison, while explaining how the wild animals were rescued and became housed in the center, and also, the rehabilitation process being used to return them to their natural habitat. In addition, a local wildlife expert will provide an in-depth and up-close presentation about local animals and their habitats and ways of life in Alaska.


After your visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, you will have the afternoon free to enjoy your last full day in America’s Last Frontier. Your guide will give you some excellent recommendations for lunch, and then you can choose to go for a hike, relax at the hotel and spa, or stroll through the town of Girdwood for some shopping and chatting with locals. Your farewell dinner will take place back at your hotel, and will be complete with a presentation of Alaska’s Native heritage as traditional dancers and drummers give you a taste of their rich and storied culture. 


Day 8

The last day of vacation is always the most difficult. But as you transfer back to the airport in Anchorage, think of all the adventuring you’ve done! You’ve visited the tallest mountain in North America; you’ve taken train rides and raft rides to see the most breathtaking sites in the state (maybe even the world); you’ve had the history and culture of the Alaskan people generously shared with you; you’ve met the famous dogs of the Iditarod and searched for your own gold; and you’ve surely gained an appreciation and carved a place in your heart for the land, the people, and the animals of America’s Last Frontier. The Adventure of a Lifetime, for sure…that is until the vast wilderness starts calling again, and you find yourself on your way back to Alaska!


Ready to Plan?

If you are ready to plan The Perfect Alaskan Adventure By Land, contact your Love of the Magic Travel Agent today, or email  And of course, whether you want your Adventure to be in Alaska By Land, or Alaska by Sea, or even if you want your Adventure to be somewhere totally different, your LOTMV Travel Advisor will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for. 

Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?

You can find links to all of 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries in this Blog: A Year of Inspired Travel: 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries, Month by Month

Just like last year, a new Inspiring Itinerary will come out each month!

So far, we have:

January 2023: The Perfect Themed Vacation, by Land and by Sea

February 2023: The Perfect Romantic Escape to Jamaica

March 2023: The Perfect Foodie-Inspired Vacation to Portugal

April 2023: The Perfect Parisian Vacation: Paris and Disneyland Paris

May 2023: The Perfect California Road Trip

And don’t forget to check out our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! You can find links to all of Jamie’s 2022 Travel Tips at this Blog: Jamie’s 2022 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: A Recap

Ready to plan The Perfect Alaskan Adventure By Land? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email 

The Perfect Alaskan Adventure by Land



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