A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 31°/54°/Partly sunny
Alaska Garden and Art Festival
See the Alaska State Fair gardens at the peak of their beauty during midsummer. There will be experts on hand to answer questions about the fair's perennial, herb, vegetable, and fruit and berry gardens. The festival will include gardening speakers, exhibits, artists and artisans, vendors, music and workshops.
Where: Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 23
Cost: $5 adults, free for age 11 and younger
Alaska State Fair
The fair will conclude with a two-day Alaska Native cultural celebration, which includes dancing and the erecting of a 16-foot totem, and artists and craftspeople displaying their work and techniques. All five of Alaska's major cultural groups will be represented. New this year will be sprint-car races. Additionally, the fair's staple of giant vegetables will be on display. Other highlights include Alaska arts and crafts, food, flowers, concerts, livestock exhibits, a lumberjack competition, rodeo, fireworks and a demolition derby. This year's theme is "Brings Out the Kid in You." The parade through downtown Palmer is Aug. 27.
Where: Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer
When: Aug. 25 to Sept. 5; hours are noon to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends and Labor Day
Cost: $10 adults, $6 youths 12 and younger and seniors
Alaska Transportation Exposition
The annual event brings together vintage tractors, antique autos and motorcycles from around the state. The expo also includes food booths, homemade ice cream, a parade, miniature displays, entertainment and pedal tractors for children.
Where: Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, 3800 W. Neuser Drive, off Parks Highway, Wasilla
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 18-19
Cost: $8 adults; $5 students, seniors; $18 per family
Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
The center monitors seismic and tsunami activity in and around Alaska and the Pacific Ocean region. The center's area of responsibility is from the Aleutian Islands to Southern California. The center was built in 1967 after the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and a subsequent tsunami that killed 114 people.
Where: 910 S. Felton St., Palmer
When: Tours from 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays
Colony House Museum
Take a trip back to the mid-1930s at the museum and follow a band of pioneers from the Midwest who traveled to Alaska to begin a farming community during Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal era. The museum is in one of the original farm homes built by the pioneers and is entirely furnished in period decor and artifacts. Many of the items were donated by the original settlers. Open house is June 11, which also serves as the 70th anniversary of the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project.
Where: 316 E. Elmwood Ave., Palmer
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, May 1 to Aug. 31; special openings are available
Cost: $2 adults, $1 younger than 12
Dorothy Page Museum and Historic Town Site
Get a glimpse of Alaska and Wasilla's history at the museum that opened in 1967. A variety of displays focus on local history, gold mining, Alaska wildlife, homesteading and the Iditarod race. Several old buildings, including the original schoolhouse from 1917, are at the site. The museum building itself was constructed in 1931 as a community hall. Showing throughout the summer is "Eight Stars of Gold: A Story of Alaska's Flag." A farmers' market is hosted noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays beginning in mid-June.
Where: 323 Main St., Wasilla
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays through Sept. 30
Cost: $3 adults, $2.50 seniors, free for children 12 and younger
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters
It doesn't have to be snowy and cold to enjoy the Iditarod, a true Alaska adventure. The headquarters features Iditarod race displays, souvenirs and videos for viewing. Sled dog rides with a wheeled cart are available. A veteran musher is on hand with sled dogs and puppies.
Where: Mile 2.2 Knik Road, Wasilla
When: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, mid-May to mid-September
Cost: Free; fee for sled dog rides
Independence Mine State Historical Park
Take a trip back to Alaska Gold Rush history with a visit to this scenic mine. The state has refurbished the site at Hatcher Pass. The park has handicap-accessible walkways, paved paths, a pavilion and more than 30 interpretive panels. Guided historic-building tours of the park are offered several times a day. The pass is named for Robert Lee Hatcher, who discovered gold in Willow Creek Valley in 1906. The mine, on the National Register of Historic Places, was closed in 1951. The road to the park is paved.
Where: Mile 17 Hatcher Pass Road, off Fishhook Road
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily starting in early June
Cost: $5 per vehicle or a $40 seasonal pass
Phone: 1-907-745-3975, 745-2827
Mat-Su King Salmon Derby
The sixth annual derby features a variety of prizes for the winners. There will be $100,000 in prizes. Participants can fish in all legal waters in the Susitna and Knik river drainages.
When: May 19 to July 12
Cost: $10 adult single-day tickets, $20 full derby; $50 pro class; $5 youth
Mat-Su Visitor Center
The center is a starting point for vacationers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough -- an area the size of West Virginia. The staff can provide tons of information about things to do in the Mat-Su. There is a kiosk with information about last-minute accommodations and activities.
Where: Mile 35.5 Parks Highway, Trunk Road exit
When: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, mid-May to mid-September
Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry
The 20-acre museum has a huge collection of artifacts from Alaska's history in the fishing, mining, farming, logging and oil industries. Indoor and outdoor displays feature boats, tractors, trains, aircraft and construction equipment. There will be a steam-engine demonstration July 23-24.
Where: 3800 W. Neuser Drive, off the Parks Highway, Wasilla
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, May 1 to Sept. 30
Cost: $8 adults; $5 students, seniors; $18 family
Musk Ox Farm
Get up close and personal with animals that are native to the harsh Arctic and a remnant of the last ice age. The Musk Ox Farm is home to a unique domestication project that began in 1964. Photograph musk ox bulls, cows and calves. Regular tours are offered. There are interpretive exhibits in the museum and a gift shop where visitors can purchase garments made of musk ox hair, called qiviut, from Oomingmak, a musk ox producers' cooperative.
Where: Mile 50 Glenn Highway
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 9 to Sept. 15
Cost: $8.50 adults, $7 seniors and students, $5.50 children ages 6-12, free younger than 6
Palmer Colony Days
The annual festival honors the colonists who arrived to establish a farming community in 1935. The three-day festival includes a juried parade, a craft fair, a garden fair, a produce market, wagon rides, children's games and entertainment. Colonist families will have a 70-year reunion with a catered dinner and a picnic.
Where: Downtown Palmer
When: June 11-13
Palmer Visitor Information Center
The log cabin in downtown Palmer is the starting point for many adventures in the Valley. The center is home to the Colony Museum, which features artifacts from early 1900s pioneer life. Exhibits include dairy farming, the Colony project, mining, homesteading, mushing and trapping. The Colony Showcase Garden features flowers and vegetables.
Where: 723 S. Valley Way, Palmer
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, May 1 to Sept. 30
Visit with Rudolph and about 160 of his friends at the Reindeer Farm outside Palmer. In the wild, reindeer are called caribou, but at the farm, the animals are tame and can be petted, hand fed and photographed. Also on display at the farm are moose, Sitka blacktail deer, Rocky Mountain elk and a young bison. Horseback rides lasting from one to several hours are available by appointment. The guides take riders to the Matanuska River or up the Butte with views of Knik Glacier and Pioneer Peak.
Where: Bodenberg Loop Road, off Old Glenn Highway
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, May 1 to mid-September
Cost: $5 adults, $3 children ages 3-11
Wasilla Independence Day Festival
Events include a five-kilometer race, midnight fireworks on July 4, stock car races, a parade, a community picnic, kids' games and a concert.
Where: Downtown Wasilla, Iditapark
When: July 2-4
Wasilla Summer Solstice Festival
Celebrate the long days of summer with music, food vendors, clowns and other events.
Where: Iditapark, Wasilla
When: June 19-21