What to do and see in Whittier, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 21, 2017 Marianna Hollaway

Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. The 2015 population estimate was 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.
Restaurants in Whittier

1. Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

Portage Glacier Hwy, Whittier, AK 99693 +1 877-611-2586
Excellent
55%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 426 reviews

Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel

Reviewed By edbishop55 - Hancock, Massachusetts

Check the schedule so you don't wait, or miss the tunnel opening in your direction. We drove through and then went through it in a train. It does cost $13.00 on the way into town and free on the way out.

2. Byron Glacier Trail

Byron Glacier Road, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 150 reviews

Byron Glacier Trail

Reviewed By Koyangi - Michigan

The trail is well-maintained, fairly flat, and only a mile one-way, so if you can walk a mile, there is no reason not to check this out. Beautiful hike, and the glacier (even though mostly melted in September) and view of the mountains at the end is spectacular- feels like you're in Middle Earth. Easy trip and pretty drive from Anchorage.

3. Portage Glacier

Portage Lake Loop, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK 907 783 232
Excellent
65%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 795 reviews

Portage Glacier

A popular tourist attraction.

Reviewed By Decemberborn - Kent, Washington

Came upon this little gem by accident. Our daughter was in Anchorage for a short amount of time and we were going to try and take her to see a glacier. We didn't have enough time or $ to see the ones out of Whittier and the hotel recommended somewhere else which we decided not to do. Found a brochere in the hotel lobby on this and gave them a call. We drove down there from Anchorage and picked up our tickets.

It was a short drive to the parking lot which had plenty of parking. We boarded and sat inside because it was a little breezy. Did have someone on board narrating which I personally could have done with out, but think it was required. Boat ride was real smooth despite the wind. Once the glacier came into view most people went upstairs to get a better glimpse of it. Although it was cold and windy we were able to actually see the glacier calving. There was a hands on of ice pulled out of the lake.

Not much else to do here other than the cruise to the lake and walk/drive to the visitor center.

4. Whittier Harbor

Whittier, AK +1 907-472-2327 ext. 6
Excellent
44%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 158 reviews

Whittier Harbor

Reviewed By ExpertComptable - Tiffin, Ohio

Surprised to find Whittier not as attractive as expected. There was a visiting cruise ship - probably for local fjord tours or even a fresh catch of the day.

5. Begich Boggs Visitor Center

Portage Lake Loop, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK 99587 +1 907-783-2326
Excellent
57%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 153 reviews

Begich Boggs Visitor Center

Reviewed By Carolyn J - Anchorage, Alaska

It has been years since I last wen to the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. I was stunned and impressed by the exhibits. For some many years, the exhibits focused on the glaciers. Now the exhibits are more comprehensive and cover everything about Portage Valley. There is a lot of interactive stuff and a lot of stuff that will engage kids. Since this is the 150th anniversary of the Cessation Treaty that resulted in the U.S. acquiring Alaska from the Russians, there was also a special exhibit on this subject. I was so glad to have stopped at the Center and my out of town guests had not initially been enthusiastic about stopping but were ecstatic by the time we left.

6. Prince William Sound Museum

100 Whittier Street, Whittier, AK 99693 +1 907-472-2354
Excellent
57%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 47 reviews

Prince William Sound Museum

Please check our website for imaging and description. Thank you

Reviewed By sunni014 - Kilgore, Texas

Toured this museum while waiting on our tour boat. A lot of history about Prince William Sound. It is a very small museum but very interesting.

7. Horsetail Falls Trail

off Reservoir Rd, Whittier, AK
Excellent
44%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
42%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 7 reviews

Horsetail Falls Trail

Reviewed By Carribeantraveler52

I was looking for a trail to lead us to a view of the spectacular waterfalls that come off the Whittier glacier and form Whittier Creek. I asked several people about it without finding out if it led to a good overview of the falls. So my wife and I started up the well maintained trail but didn't get to the end as we heard what sounded like the huff of a bear. So we thought it best to make plenty of noise and turn back. It is scenic but I did not accomplish what I set out to do.

8. Begich Towers Incorporated

Whittier, AK
Excellent
13%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
35%
Poor
13%
Terrible
13%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 15 reviews

Begich Towers Incorporated

A 14-story housing complex with shops, restaurants, a library, church and laundromat.

Reviewed By Kristie S - Oakland, California

June was super sweet, but the facility was very unpleasant. Our apartment was dusty, hot, dirty, old, crammed with odd furniture and bric-a-brac, windows that didn't stay open, no internet, leftover opened food, musty bedding, and a strong, stale smell of cigarettes as the elevator door opened onto other floors. The entrance to the building was off-putting: no address or signage, orange caution fencing around the perimeter of the building, debris cluttering the walkways. My son and I are experienced travelers, but we were not prepared for that place and we left first thing in the morning as soon as the tunnel opened.

9. Prince William Sound

AK +1 800-324-7602
Excellent
86%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 454 reviews

Prince William Sound

Soak in the breathtaking scenery of fjords, glaciers, waterfalls and bays whether kayaking, sailing or cruising through the calm waters. Wildlife abounds in the form of whales, seals, sea lions, eagles, bears and deer.

Reviewed By jameshuang - Taipei, Taiwan

Princess William Sound (威廉王子灣) is located on the north of the Gulf of Alaska (阿拉斯加灣), on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula (基奈半島). Its largest port is Valdez. College Fjord (學院峽灣) is inside the Princess William Sound with a 35 km (21.7 mi) long fjord and has more than 12 glaciers. It is a popular destination for cruise ships. Five of the glaciers are the tidewater glaciers (glaciers that terminate in water), and another five are large valley glaciers in College Fjord. Some of the glaciers were named after Ivy League colleges (such as Harvard, Yale, Amherst, etc.) by Harriman expedition in 1899. The original goal of the expedition was to find a way to the Klondike gold fields.

This was another amazing location to see glaciers on our Alaska cruise trip. We entered the Princess William Sound which was a beautiful bay on the way to College Fjord. We needed to voyage through lots of islands and channels in order to reach the College Fjord. It was an unforgettable experience to see miles of mountains with snow and glaciers on the snow capped peaks. It took us two hours from the Princess William Sound to the entrance of College Fjord. Before we entered College Fjord, we passed the Port Wells. We saw a series of glaciers on our left once we entered the College Fjord. Far away at the head of College Fjord is the Harvard Glacier on Harvard Arm. The other major glacier is the Yale Glacier next to the Harvard Glacier on the Yale Arm. The 2.4 km (1.5 mi) wide, 76.2 m (250 ft) high magnificent Harvard Glacier is the 2nd largest glacier in the Princess William Sound. Although the glaciers we saw all had black small rocks which made them looked not so pretty, but the massive size and the surroundings were really stunning. We were lucky because the weather was good, and we could see the blue sky most of the time. Besides the College Fjord, we really enjoyed the icy scenery in the Princess William Sound area. We also saw whales, water birds, sea lions and otters in addition to the snow-mountains and glaciers. We live in a place where there is no snow in the winter; therefore, this trip was a wonderful experience for us.

Be sure to bring your camera and binocular telescope with you because you need it when you visit such amazing glaciers and nature. You don’t need a tripod because you are taking a ship or boat. Even if you visit during the “summer” season, you need to bring a coat once you are on the deck.

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