Best Palmer Alaska "Stay another Day" Reasons | Alaska's Harvest Bed and Breakfast in Palmer, Alaska

Best Palmer Alaska "Stay another Day" Reasons

This has been an eventful spring here at Alaska's Harvest B&B!  We have added a spacious 1200 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath luxury log cabin to our 15 acres!  We cleared out the trees in front of it so it shares the beautiful view of the mountain range we enjoy every day.  I LOVE MY LOG CABIN!  It sleeps 8 comfortably and would make the perfect home base rental for a small group or family as you visit the South Central area of Alaska!  Log in to www.alaskasharvest.com and check it out! 

Last spring we added the 2 additional private bathrooms so that each of our 6 rooms now has a private bath, kitchenette and three have private balconies.   (pics to be added)

Other additions here are: as every year, my Shetland ewes are all pregnant and will have their new lambs late in April. Also I have 2 little tiny miniature Schnauzers, Tebow and Piper.  My dear furry friend, Wishbone developed a degenerative spine disease causing his little body to give up at age 13. It breaks my heart to not have WIshbone with us as I rarely went anyplace without him.  He traveled over 70,000 miles with me on the back of my motorcycle, flew in big and small planes with me, canoed with me and climbed every mountain I've climbed.  He can never be replaced.  BUT, having said that, Tebow is helping my heart heal, and is a brilliant, beautiful fun new little friend.  WELCOME TEBOW and Piper!!

Discover Palmer!     From the majestic Pioneer and Twin Peaks in the Chugach Range to the Talkeetna Mountains in South central Alaska, Palmer is framed in breathtaking beauty. Located 42 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway in the Matanuska Valley, the city's unique history and heritage are unparalleled in the state. 

HISTORY… In 1935, under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration established the Matanuska Colony.  From the drought-starved Midwest, 203 families traveled by train and ship to reach the fledgling colony.  Their housing was in a tent city for that first Alaskan summer.  Each family drew lots for individual 40-acre tracts and a farming adventure began.  Back in 1935, those original Valley Colonists already knew this fertile valley could produce a rich agrarian heritage, making Palmer the only Alaskan community to develop from an agricultural lifestyle. Read about our Fascinating history!

AGRICULTURE PLUS … Today, Palmer is a garden hub for the state, and the unique microclimate produces amazing giant vegetables, found on display annually at the home of the Alaska State Fair.  Palmer agriculture today provides food to communities across the State of Alaska. Read about the unique Farms across our Valley.

The pedestrian-friendly downtown is filled with shops and boutiques with books, arts and crafts, and offerings from local artists, businesses, services, and farmers.  Come taste the hometown flavor of small-town Alaska. Walk, drive or just stop and enjoy the summer flowers in bloom in the historic downtown center.

EVENTS … In the summer, residents and visitors play at our world-class 18-hole golf course, hike in the mountains, raft our rivers, leisurely stroll through the gardens and Visitor Center museum, and enjoy outdoor music, food, farm and craft vendors at the Friday Fling market and fair.   Palmer is the seat of the Matanuska Susitna Borough government. The borough spans 23,000 square miles, about the same size as West Virginia. Check out our events and attractions.

Winter recreation also abounds in Palmer.  The snowy slopes at nearby Hatcher Pass and surrounding areas offer snow machining, snow-shoeing, ice skating, dogsled mushing and cross country skiing.
Any time of year in Palmer, one can eat at truly Alaskan gourmet restaurants, and shop at many unique and surprising retail stores.

Just outside Palmer roadside attractions include the Knik Glacier, Matanuska Peak, Pioneer Peak, Hatcher Pass and to the north the Matanuska Glacier, each of which offer several outdoor adventure opportunities. Trek on a glacier, go flight seeing or take an airboat ride, fish, hike, white-water raft, ride ATVs or horses, or sight-see and photograph some of the most accessible natural beauty in Alaska.  Hiking in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley is the best!  Trails are well manicured while you are literally in the wilderness Alaska is known for!

TRANSFORMATION … Today, Palmer is in the midst of a significant metamorphosis.  The town has experienced a population surge as thousands of people are moving to the Palmer area to enjoy the safe and pleasant quality of life.  In less than 20 years, the heart of the Matanuska Valley has transformed from a peaceful rural area to a rural bedroom community, and most recently, to an increasingly self-sufficient, commercial employment center. The population growth in Palmer and the surrounding area has been significant and the City's population has increased an average of 3.3% since 2000, with 5,343 residents currently residing in the 5.2 square mile city.

Palmer is the home of several public and private schools, an active Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants group, the Alaska State Fair, a Visitors Center,  the Alaska Job Corps Center, and State Superior and District courts.  City facilities include an airport, library, golf course, ice arena and numerous parks and ball fields.  In the past year a Museum Association, the Palmer Arts Council, a Board of Economic Development and a downtown business improvement district have been established by local citizens.

These changes come with a unified vision both to retain the historic character of Palmer and to emerge as a new kind of community; to hold to the best of its historic character while embracing the need to grow responsibly and change to keep the quality of small-town life.

Come discover Palmer! You WILL stay another day!


Palmer Points of Interest

Friday Flings and Palmer Chamber

Visit our Palmer Historical Society/Museum.   

WE had fun over Christmas with a family event at the Reindeer Farm here in Palmer!  IF you have never petted a reindeer or fed a baby one, you MUST come to the valley and make it part of your schedule.  It is less than 10 minutes from us and very affordable for the whole family. WHO wouldnt love this ?  

Mother's Day afternoon at the nearby Musk Ox Farm is another of our favorite local events.  When the babies are born in the springtime, there is nothing cuter to watch play than these little ones! Come see our unique musk ox and touch their qiviut.  It is the softest, warmest fiber on earth, being 8 times warmer than wool.

The Mat-Su should be your DESTINATION!  There is so much to do right here in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley you can't possibly do it all in a 2 day stay!   Nearby Knik Glacier has several unforgetable tours to offer, from helicopter to air boat, hiking to dog-sledding!  Check out some of the great options here

Best South Central Cruises

You can't go wrong choosing one of the many cruises that port in Seward. You are sure to see everything from Puffins to whales.  Porpoise play along side the boat, sea otters float on their backs to watch the people and sea lions bask in the sun on the rocks lining the spectacular shores of Resurrection Bay.  A favorite of mine is the Fox Island Dinner Cruise Once you reach Fox Island you are provided a buffet style all-you-can-eat meal of wild Alaskan salmon and prime rib.    Upgrade your meal experience on Fox Island and add a 1/2 lb. of chilled Alaska King Crab!  View menus here

Out of Whittier, a spectacular day cruise is the   Prince William Sound 26 Glacier Cruise

The 26 Glacier Cruise departs from Whittier and travels through the pristine passageways and fjords found in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Upon leaving Whittier, the vessel heads east out Passage Canal toward Egg Rocks or Perry Island in search of migratory Steller sea lions. From there it proceeds to the very scenic area called Esther Passage where only small ships can navigate the waterway. High mountains protect this narrow channel from rough seas and winds. Many different animals call this area home; bald eagles are commonly seen fishing in the area along with occasional black bear sightings. It is not uncommon to see orca whales, humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and a variety of birds in this narrow passage.

Rainbow Tours out of Homer is among the best small boat tours in South Central for seeing a large selection of wildlife.  Orca whales are frequently near the boat.  This is a A 7 hour fully narrated tour to the community of Seldovia. Departing at 10:30, first stop is at Gull Island seabird rookery, home to 15,000 seabirds. 

Alaska's Inside Pasage is remarkable, breathtaking and uniquely Alaskan!  There are several great cruises that stop along the way at the primary ports of call to provide you with a taste of Alaska as experienced only on the water way. Inside Passege Cruises are at the top of the list for experiencing the inside passage the Alaskan way!   

Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier are highlights. Ever since the 1890’s visitors have come to Alaska because of wondrous reports about Glacier Bay—stories of towering glaciers which calve icebergs into the sea and scenic beauty beyond belief. When the famous naturalist John Muir explored Glacier Bay, much of the bay we have today did not yet exist. In fact, one of the key reasons Glacier Bay has been preserved as a national park is that it’s a living laboratory; as the ice recedes, scientists can now study the advancement of plants and animals, unlocking mysteries of ice ages past. Ever changing, Glacier Bay National Park is still one of Alaska’s most popular coastal attractions and most visited national parks.

Holland America as well as  Princess Cruise Line and  Royal Caribbean   Royal Caribbean   The incredible landscape of the Inside Passage is home to diverse wildlife - orca, mountain goats, bald eagles, bears, puffins, sea otters and more - but the superstars of the area are the gentle giants who feed here every summer. Look out for the awesome acrobatics of breaching humpback whales. You'll never forget the sight of these 40-ton beasts hurling themselves into the air, almost completely escaping the water. If you're especially lucky, you could see them swimming together to create a bubble net, trapping and eating fish by the giant mouthful.

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Best places to eat in Palmer/Wasilla Alaska :

 The Noisy Goose Cafe This is a unique Alaskan style family restaurant.  Check out the website to see a video of the fun atmosphere and menu.

The Valley Hotel Cafe 24/7.   The restaurant and coffee shop are open 24/7, in addition the Caboose Lounge and Iron Horse Liquor Store are well stocked with your favourite spirits. This is a mom & pops owned, family restaurant with average prices, large portions, huge selection and home made pies. Great for families with children.  It is also no-frills, but no price hike for tourist season either!

The Palmer City Alehouse Takes serious pride in their food and are proud to serve delicious  hand made fire rock pizzas, hand pressed burgers, great tossed salads and have over 45 draft beers to choose from! Dinner served 7 nights a week and have large screen TV's so you'll never miss a game!

Turkey Red Fine Dining  was established in 2008, Turkey Red is the leading fresh food restaurant in Palmer, Alaska. We use good quality fresh and locally sourced ingredients to bring wholesome baked goods and Mediterranean inspired dishes to our community, reducing energy usage and ensuring higher nutritional value.  If you’re looking for fresh, wholesome food, you’ll find it at our restaurant and café in Palmer, AK.   Monday - Saturday 7am - 9pm746-5544     550 S Alaska St Suite 100 Palmer AK 99645

Evangelo's Italian Restaurant     Greek comfort, Italian class. A restaurant is a place you go to treat yourself, to be taken care of, to be excited about food.  At Evangelo's Restaurant, we

have always worked to bring a sense of home in our kitchen, food, and dining experience.  Evangelo's is a taste of our Mediterranean home.  

 

Chepo's Mexican Restaurant You, our customer, are why we are here.  You are the most important person to us.  We take pride in our personal and hospitable services.  We care about the quality of food service to you as if you were a guest at our home.  We invite you to add the flavor of Mexico with our authentic Margaritas in a variety of delicious flavors.  Enjoy!

King's Asian Buffet Chinese Food: 301 W Parks Hwy   Wasilla, AK 99654          907-357-9977

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Grocery shopping in the valley:   

Carrs Grocery Stores are owned by Safeway, so similar to any Safeway in the lower 48, located in Palmer and Wasilla.    Fred Meyers Stores are a full grocery and Superstore with an extensive health food selection, sushi bar, Starbucks, Cheese bar, Olive bar, bakery, cafe, delicatessin and flower shop inside.  They also carry clothing, hardware, house hold, pet supplies, office supplies, pharmacy  and many more categories.  Fred Meyer's  are located in Palmer and Wasilla.    Wal-mart Super Store in Wasilla is an all-inclusive grocery/department store, located just off the Parks Highway as you enter Wasilla.

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Things to do in the Palmer/Wasilla area:

Rent a Bike:   

BackCountry Bike & Ski  is the Matanuska Valley's premire headquarters for all things bike and ski: Featurig expert sales, expert service and expert advice.Backcountry Bike and Ski is a small, locally owned, full service shop.  We offer a range of quality brands to fit a wide variety of budgets and riding styles. Along with tune ups and repairs, we provide all the accessories you need to make your experience fun and successful.

 Go Horseback Riding

Alaska Horse Adventures  Our invigorating scenic trail rides can last from 1.5 hours to a full day. Whether it’s gentle and easy for beginners or quick paced for the advanced thrill seeker, you’ll ride through enchanting forested trails traveled by moose, bears, lynx, coyotes, migrating birds, hawks and eagles! Expand your adventure with a half or full day of riding along the Knik River.

Our guides and horses are experienced for deep woods and mountain high adventures… as well as the most gentle and memorable children’s activities and parties. When winter arrives with snow, that’s when trail riding can be at its best. There is nothing more exhilarating than a ride through fresh powdery snow! We find that all ages love our horsedrawn sleigh rides through the woods and over the frozen creek…and end the ride with warm-up beverages (hot chocolate, etc..) in the cabin or at the fire-pit.

Whether you’re looking for romantic getaways, family enrichment, backwoods “roughin’ it,” hunter & game transporting, or horsedrawn nostalgia, Alaska Horse Adventures has it!

Take a Hike

Hike the Bodenburg Butte for a great family outing!  Few hikes offer as much bang for the buck. Bodenburg Butte is a short, easily accessible climb near Palmer that provides 360-degree views from atop what's essentially a large rock in the middle of a broad braided floodplain formed by the Knik and Matanuska rivers.

From the top, hikers can gaze upon a vast swath of rivers, forests and farmland stretching from Knik Glacier to Cook Inlet. To the south, 6,398-foot Pioneer Peak rises like a wall from surrounding farmland, while 6,119-foot Matanuska (Byers) Peak stands guard to the east. And nestled between the iconic peaks is Knik Glacier, its white-blue icy expanse drawing the eye like a giant shining gemstone.

 For an extensive list of fantastic hikes around Palmer, including maps and duration information, visit  Great Hikes!

Visit A Glacier:

Knik Glacier several tours by vehicle, airboat, helicopter and walking. 

The Matanuska Glacier  is without a doubt the largest and most spectacular sightbetween the cities of Palmer and Glennallen, and was chosen by Alaska Magazine as #2 of “49 PLACES TO GO IN THE 49th STATE”.  It originates from within the Chugach mountain range of South Central Alaska and is visible from the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway in Glacier View, Alaska.

The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in Alaska that can be reached by vehicle.  It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide at its terminus. It is classified as a valley glacier; a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley. About 10,000 years ago it began its retreat to its present day location, and it has not seen any significant change in mass for almost two decades. Because the Matanuska Glacier is a weather hole, cold air from the glacier forces warm air upward towards the mountain peaks. This results in sunny skies and more favorable weather than its surrounding areas, making this a perfect destination for the Alaskan traveler.

Only two hours north east of Anchorage by way of the Glenn Highway, the Matanuska Glacier can be seen for miles before reaching some of its ideal viewing locations. Be patient and watch for large waysides. These locations provide a safe place to take advantage of its magnificent views.

At milepost marker 101, you will find the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area that encompasses approximately 229 acres. There is not direct access to the glacier from this recreational area, however; this is a popular location to stop and take advantage of the easy walking trail that parallels the glacier and the Matanuska River. A pavilion provides shelter and a resting spot for those who wish to simply sit and enjoy the view.

Travelers wanting to experience the ice up-close should visit Matanuska Glacier Park at milepost marker 102.  This privately owned park is the glaciers only access point.  An entrance fee is collected at the office which then allows travelers to drive up to and park next to the glacier. Those seeking adventure can continue on foot onto the ice in about fifteen minutes. They then can explore the glacier on their own or choose to take advantage of one of the several local guide companies who have appropriate gear to get to some of the glacier’s most spectacular sites.

The communities of Glacier View and Sheep Mountain are one of Alaska's most magnificent and breathtaking areas.  Include this destination in your future travel plans and come enjoy the scenery, wildlife, and the wonderful amenities this area has to offer.

Come to The Alaska State Fair! 

Every summer, the last week of August and the first week of Septemer, ending on Labor Day, this is a truly uniquely Alaskan Fair!

Welcome to the Alaska State Fair, home of an abundance of diverse vendors, food to please every palate, rides, concerts, acrobats, animals, exceptional educational exhibits, record-setting giant vegetables and beautiful flower gardens.

Nestled in the heart of the Chugach Mountains, in the fertile Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the fairgrounds are just an hour north of Anchorage. Each fall, the Fair provides the perfect setting for Alaska’s last blast of summer, and is a showcase of Alaska’s uniqueness and beauty.

We invite you to not only enjoy our annual event, but also take advantage of the year-round events and services the Alaska State Fair has to offer. We have a range of facilities available to rent throughout the year, and host diverse events including horse shows, car shows, meetings, fundraisers, auctions, memorials, banquets, proms, job fairs, picnics, retreats, encampment, health fairs, reunions, funerals, gun shows, bazaars, dog shows/competitions, holiday parties, weddings and receptions, rodeos, clinics/classes, barn dances, equine events and camps, concerts and trade shows. We also offer winter RV and boat storage. To learn more, please contact us!

Take  a flightseeing tour:     

Fly Around Alaska:  Our staff provides you with the most unique, custom flight seeing tours available in Alaska.  We began as a one man, one plane school and now have over 50 combined years of experience among our staff.  Let us show you the hidden beauty and the customer favorites. We take you up close an personal to Denali's towering peaks to hidden glaciers and offer breathtaking adventure like no other!  Located conveniently in Palmer Alaska!

Talkeetna Air Taxi Flightseeing:  Join us on a Denali flightseeing tour and experience one of the great mountain landscapes on earth.  Over six million acres of mile high granite gorges, ancient blue glaciers and endless icy peaks... let's go!

Add a glacier landing to any of our Denali flightseeing tours to walk among the great peaks and experience an environment known only to mountaineers.  Our flights are safe, smooth and exciting.  Check our photos for further inspiration.  We look forward to flying with you.We know your time is limited in Talkeetna, so we are here year round to guide you through your important decision for a once in a lifetime experience. 

Talkeetna K2 Adventure/flightseeing A flightseeing trip over Denali National Park and Preserve will give you a bird's-eye view of its incredible vastness and awesome beauty. Encounter a mile high gorge, rivers of pre-historic glacier ice, snow capped mountains that extend seemingly forever and North America's tallest mountain, Denali, towering above it all. Whether you choose an incredible flightseeing tour into the mountains, add a glacier landing, decide to climb one of Denali's towering peaks, or choose to hike in Denali's back country, we will assist you in finding the right experience.
K2 Aviation invites you to experience the wonders of Alaska and Denali National Park and Preserve, and gain a new appreciation for our state's size and rugged beauty. Our location in Talkeetna provides an excellent starting point for your explorations of Denali, the Alaska Range, and Denali National Park.

Take a Train Ride:  

Alaska Railroad  The Alaska Railroad provides year-round rail transportation throughout Southcentral and Interior Alaska, traversing almost 500 miles of remote and wild landscapes and safely bringing more than 500,000 passengers to Railbelt destinations each year.

Here, you'll find information about Alaska Railroad routes, schedules, fares, and depot locations -- and when you're ready, you can easily buy a train ticket online.

Looking for more information about planning a trip with the Alaska Railroad? Check our Travel Planning page to learn more about day trips, overnight getaways and week-long itineraries.

Rich in frontier spirit and local knowledge, the Alaska Railroad is an enduring Alaska icon, offering an exceptional way to travel and see Alaska.

Go Rafting: 

Nova Rafting Our Most Popular Tour -LionHead is our first and still our most popular whitewater rafting adventure! Since 1975, this thrilling trip is perfect for everyone from first-timers to experienced river runners. Located 2 hours north of Anchorage, this raft trip puts in at Caribou Creek and then merges with the South Fork of the Matanuska River. Consisting of Class III and Class IV whitewater, the South Fork travels parallel to the Matanuska Glacier. The highlight of this trip are the several miles of Class IV rapids that result from a squeeze of water between the glacial lateral moraine and “Lion Head,” a massive basalt rock wall. It finishes up with plenty of scenic vistas and intermittent Class II and III water.

Nenana Raft Adventures up near Denali is a fantastic, favorite raft! Visit Alaska and join Nenana Raft Adventures for raft trips and land tours exploring Alaska's spectacular wilderness areas. From mild to wild, we run some of the most beautiful rivers in the world.

The Talkeetna River, Sixmile Creek and the Nenana River are our favorites. From challenging Class V Alaska whitewater rafting to scenic wilderness trips through national forests, we offer a range of trip options catering to all ages and ability levels.

Our raft trips range in length from two hours to two weeks. We offer a variety of multi-day expeditions on the Tana, Chulitna, Talkeetna and Copper Rivers. On these trips you'll spend days on the river paddling, hiking and exploring with your guides and your nights in camp with peace, solitude and delicious meals. For guests travelling on tighter schedules we offer several half day and full day raft trips in the Anchorage and Denali National Park areas.

Choose from peaceful paddles, whitewater introductions or heart-stopping Class V descents. Exploring Alaska by raft utilizes a low impact means of travel through Alaska's vast wilderness and riparian areas. Rafting maximizes your opportunities to experience Alaska while ensuring that we leave a light footprint.

Experience a Zipline: 

Denali Zipline Tours  owners Mark Wildermuth and Laura Caillet live in a log home built by Mark in 1989. Mark has been enjoying the Alaska outdoors for more than 30 years, having spent some of that time as a wilderness guide including rafting, fishing and dog mushing. Mark culminated his dog mushing career by mushing the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 1995, finishing 22nd as a rookie.

The Wildermuths truly enjoy the Alaska lifestyle with their two young daughters. They are fortunate enough to home school their children which affords ample opportunity to experience and learn about the Alaska environment. Hook up your friends and family (literally!) with a Ziplining Tour gift certificate. It's perfect for all occasions. More... Ziplining is a thrilling and educational way to experience Alaska's breathtaking and natural scenery. View video...

Matanuska Glacier Zipline  The Nitro and G2 are two of the longest zips in Alaska, and the G2 is the fastest.  Nothing gets your heart pounding like zooming high above a glacially carved valley. The Nitro and G2 are two of the longest zips in Alaska, and the G2 is the fastest in the state. You’ll get the most amazing minute or so of sight-seeing you’ve ever had, gliding up to a half mile near the Matanuska River, and into the forested area around Matanuska Glacier.

Visit the Alaska wildlife Conservation Center  

We look forward to seeing you at the Wildlife Center and hope you enjoy your visit! The Wildlife Center is the perfect place to tour the vast acreage on foot or in a car. Parking is available near the gift store. Enjoy the scenic 1.5 mile loop around the variety of animal enclosures as you read informational signs about our resident animals and how they came into our care.  Resident animals include grizzly bear, woodbison, wolf, eagles, caribou, porcupine, fox, moose, reindeer and several others that vary from time to time.

Explore and Abandoned Gold Mine: 

Hatcher Pass Independence Gold Mine   Only 15 minutes from Alaska's Harvest B&B is the historical, abandoned Independence Gold Mine. It is free to explore and the views all around you are magnificent.  Make it a day trip with the family or a simple drive to view, there are countless hiking trails, blueberry picking paths and wildlife to be enjoyed.

Rent a Motorcycle:           

Eagle Rider    

MotoQuest