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  • Emma Keechle

Exploring the The Last Funtier

What to do in the Valley? From exploring local cafes, local history and the great outdoors, there is so much to experience. In downtown Palmer on Colony Way, you’ll find the Palmer Museum of History and Art where you can learn about the establishment and development of Palmer. The museum offers local scavenger hunts, tours, and a gift shop perfect for souvenirs. 

Continuing towards downtown, Colony Way becomes S. Alaska Street, where you’ll find local cafes for your daily coffee fix. Vagabond Blue's has fresh brewed coffee from local vendors and daily fresh food options, including gluten-free choices. For a laid-back vibe and delicious acai bowls, smoothies, and teas, head to The Fern on Dahlia and Cobb.

Further up Alaska street, you’ll come across the classic Valley Hotel coffee shop and Turkey Red, which serves Mediterranean-inspired food, and fresh baked goods. 

Alaska has more coffee shops per-capita than any U.S state, so there are plenty of local coffee huts, to stop for coffee, red-bull italian sodas and lotus drinks before morning games. Stop by Perk Up, Perfect Start, Elwoods, or Purple Moose to try the AWG drink specials. 

If you prefer a sit-down restaurant, visit the Noisy Goose across from the Alaska State Fair Grounds known for its friendly family-run atmosphere and comical wall signs.

After sampling the Valley's delicious food,  get outside and enjoy some local outdoor activities.  There are lots of different outdoor activities to engage in. Right near Palmer are trails in the Butte and on Lazy Mountain. Or drive north up the Parks Highway to Talkeetna and visit Denali National Park. If you are lucky you may get a glimpse of the elusive peak of Mount Denali. 

East of Palmer, visit the Matanuska Glacier for hiking or helicopter tours. Nearby, Sheep Mountain Lodge offers skiing and hiking. For more sport-oriented activities, and a scenic drive head south from Anchorage to Girdwood, where Alyeska Resort offers downhill skiing and snowboarding. This is only a glimpse of some of the local stores and activities in the Valley. There's so  more to explore during your stay for the Arctic Winter Games. Happy Exploring!


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