Come Along for one LAST Summer Family Vacation to Alaska

18 Summers… that’s all we parents have before our kids head off to college, and that’s where we are now. Our youngest daughter graduated high school, and embarks to college in just three weeks. So we have one “last” summer vacation, and we left it up to her to pick. She wasted no time in saying, “Alaska!” The family’s dreamed of getting to Alaska for years, and there’s no better time than right now. Continue reading for more details on our itinerary, and be sure to follow along as I post live during the trip.

Alaska Railroad

The Coastal Classic Train traverses the mountainous Chugach National Forest en route from Seward to Anchorage. Photo by Glenn Aronwits, courtesy Alaska Railroad

After we fly into Anchorage, we’ll be taking the Alaska Railroad south to the sea and then north to Denali as we ride the rails all the way to its northern terminus in Fairbanks. For our first stop, we’ll spend a couple of nights in the coastal community of Seward, and explore Kenai Fjords National Park by water and land.

Kenai Fjords Tour

Kenai Fjords Tour, image courtesy Pursuit

We’ll return to Anchorage to explore the largest city in Alaska for a couple of days before boarding the railroad’s Denali Star to explore the national park. Pursuit’s Denali Backcountry Adventure will take us farther into Denali than any other tour, and I’m hoping we’ll see bear, moose, caribou, sheep, and maybe even wolves if we’re really lucky. Of course the highlight of Denali National Park will be catching a glimpse of the peak of the tallest mountain in North America.

Finally, we’ll ride the rails to the end of the line in Fairbanks where we can pan for gold, ride the riverboat, and get upclose and personal with even more local fauna like reindeer and sled dog puppies. This doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of all the adventures we’ll be having on this “final” summer family vacation to the Last Frontier. Be sure to follow along with all of our live posts.


Chena River in Fairbanks, Alaska, image courtesy of Explore Fairbanks

DISCLOSURE: The Alaska Railroad, Pursuit Collection, and Explore Fairbanks are hosting Adventures by Daddy on this trip to Alaska including travel via the railroad, accommodations, and some meals & experiences. However, all opinions are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.