Valdez Museum & Historical Archive
For something to do on those rainy days a museum will keep you occupied for a good few hours.
The museum has a wide and varied range of historical artifacts from the earliest days when Native Alaskans inhabited the area now know as Valdez. And on to the first European explorers in the 1700s.
A large exhibit from the gold rush era that firmly established Valdez as a port Town for the interior and the Klondike goldrush. The Valdez Museum has something for everyone from a steam-powered fire engine.
And marine life from the Port of Valdez displayed in a large saltwater fish tank, A cannon from the 1860s.
To poignant exhibits that tell the story of the 1964 earthquake and the Exxon Valdez of 1989 and the devastating effects it had on the people and wildlife of Valdez
Catch Some Stars At Tiff
View this post on Instagram
Meeting a celebrity is a dream for most. Luckily, the city offers you the opportunity to turn that into a reality with its annual Toronto International Film Festival that welcomes the best in the industry. With stars stepping onto red carpets and staying at the hottest hotels, your chance of meeting your fave celeb has never been better.
When: September 8 to 18Where: 350 King St WestPrice: Varies
Valdez Alaska What To See And Do
Located at the head of a fjord in Prince William Sound, Valdez is surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains that seem to rise from the shores of Port Valdez. Since this Alaskan port town marks the southern end of the Richardson Highway, it is out of the way for many summer visitors–in fact, it wasnt in our original travel plans.
However, if you have a couple days to spare, it is well worth traveling off the beaten path to Valdez. The road less traveled leads to some pretty epic scenery–mountains, glaciers, iceberg-filled lakes and waterfalls–plus opportunities for viewing wildlife. Valdez is also an ideal destination for adventure-seekers. Choose from year-round activities that range from sea kayaking and glacier hiking in the summer to heliskiing and fat bike riding in the winter.
We hope our guide will give you an idea of what to expect when visiting Valdez and help you plan the perfect trip to Alaska!
Read Also: Things To Do In Nyc Friday
Valdez Whale Watching Alaska
Take a day to head out into Prince William Sound in search of the largest creatures on earth.
Valdez is home to several types of whales including the humpback, killer whale, gray whale, minke and beluga.
While whales can be found year round, most of the whales migrate long distances and can be seen during their specific return to the fertile waters of Alaska.
Each whale has its own season, for example the best time to see killer whales is in September, while humpbacks are best viewed June to August.
Your captain will know what whales are there and where to find them.
Hike The Local Trails
Love to hike? Valdez was made for you. Youll find a number of breathtaking hiking trails here that lead you to spectacular spots like waterfalls and mountain passes.
And in winter, the snowy Chugach Mountains make for fantastic skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, and ice climbing.
Trail above Worthington Glacier. Photo by Pam Smith.
Read Also: Things To Do In Delaware County Pa
Top Paid And Free Things To Do In Valdez Alaska
Do you want to know Why visit Valdez? and the top paid and free things to do in Valdez? Coastal beauty is surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world in the port town of Valdez Alaska on the Prince William Sound. This remote small Alaskan town offers top Alaska attractions historical and outdoor adventures. Most tourists dont make it to Valdez since it is not on the way to anywhere else in Alaska, and its far from most of Alaskas big name destinations. With less tourism in this beautiful place, Tom and I were drawn to it.
Often referred to as the Switzerland of Alaska, surrounded by scenic mountains that plunge straight into the sea, Valdez is spell-binding. Find out about the experiences that make Valdez worth the visit
- Valdez was the landing port for miner hopefuls heading to Alaska from Seattle for the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800s.
- The devastating earthquake and tsunami on Good Friday 1964.
- Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 was one of the worst oil spills in North America.
- Valdez is the southernmost terminus for the Trans-Alaska Oil pipeline.
- Valdez is one of the most important commercial fishing ports in Alaska today.
Gold Creek Coastal Kayak Tour
Pangaea Adventures Gold Creek Coastal Kayak Tour is a great way to see one of the lesser-known areas of Valdez. Gold Creek State Park encompasses wild beach and rainforest, and can be accessed by a relatively easy kayak from Valdezs small boat harbor. Youll paddle through beautiful Prince William Sound, keeping an eye out for wildlife like seals, whales, and otters, before landing on a deserted beach for lunch. After you eat, youll walk through a lush rainforest to a hidden waterfall before kayaking back.
Recommended Reading: Free Things To Do In Monterey
Explore Thompson Pass Is A Must
On the drive from Valdez to Thompson Pass, you will notice that the views start to change, as you go up in the mountains and the views are absolutely stunning. If you have more time to explore, you can find great hiking trails too.
There are parking areas along the highway where you can pull off your car for better views and pictures. You will see some signs indicating photo opportunities that I recommend stopping in at least some of them.
Thompson Pass experiences 80 feet of snow accumulation per year, which makes this places the snowiest point in the United States.
NOTE: When snow the Thompson Pass may close the road, very few gas stations between so fill up the tank before you hit the road. Pay close attention to the weather conditions before you plan your driving here.
Valdez Glacier Lake & Valdez Glacier
If you enjoy off the beaten path adventures this might be the highlight of your Valdez visit.
Loaded with icebergs from active calving of this gigantic ice block, Valdez Glacier and Glacier Lake is an alluring spot that serves as a paddleboarding hub in summer and ice-skating venue in winter.
You can drive right up to the lake, walk around the area and touch the icebergs that have washed ashore.
Valdez Glacier sits at the back of the Valdez Glacier Lake.
One of the best parts about Valdez Glacier is the fact that you can DIY without a tour or a guide.
Its one of the more accessible glaciers in Valdez since you can kayak right up to it! It has receded quite a bit so you cant see it from the lakeshore, but a kayak will take you to it!
You May Like: Unique Things To Do In Tulsa
Where To Eat In Valdez
Valdez is small and the nearest city is hours of driving time away, so it’s good to know where to get decent grub while visiting. We’re not foodies, I’m afraid, so the following recommendations are based on reviews I’ve read – not experience.
Old Town Burgers
Alaska Halibut House
Ruth Pond Park & Overlook Trail
Ruth Pond Park is located at Valdez Civic Center just off Hazelet Ave. Its a delightful little park for a picnic with your family on a sunny summers day. .
The pond is stocked with rainbow trout every year and is a great spot to teach your kids how to fish. If you get a hot summer day on your visit the pond is a great place to cool off.
But beware of the fact that there are no lifeguards at the pond so children should be supervised at all times. The park surrounding the pond is well kept with larges areas of grass and a small trail.
There are picnic tables dotted around the grassy area, there is a small playground beside the pond, parking, and bathrooms at the Civic Center.
The Overlook Trail is located in Civic Center Hill. The trail gets its name for its unparalleled 360-degree views overlooking downtown Valdez. Then out over the small boat harbor and beyond into Valdez Cove, and on to the Chugach Mountains.
The trail is small but with an elevation gain of 75 ft. With approximately 130 steps with handrails to help you up and down the steeper parts of the trail. Once at the top you will find a covered pavilion with picnic tables.
Ruth Pond and the Overlook Trail are a few minutes walk from downtown. Overlook Trail as with Ruth Pond Park is excellently maintained. The trailhead is located in the car park of the Civic Center.
Also Check: Best Things To Do In Portsmouth Nh
View Salmon At The Hatchery
Hatcheries across Alaska help support sustainable salmon runs year after year. The Solomon Gulch Hatchery was built in 1981 and released its first pink salmon fry in 1982. Since then, salmon have continuously returned to the hatchery, making the trip upstream before entering the facility using a fish ladder. Watch as waves of pink salmon fight their way upstream during one of the earliest runs in the area. With hundreds of salmon swimming by, its no surprise that other Alaska animals are drawn to the site as well. Regular guests of the Solomon Gulch Hatchery include bears and eagles.
Back In Time At The Old Valdez Townsite
Like Seward and other coastal towns of southcentral Alaska, Valdez was devastated by the enormous Alaska earthquake in March 1964, known as the Good Friday Earthquake. Much of the town of Valdez at the time was destroyed and the remaining land was determined unstable and unsafe.
Over a period of a couple years, the town was moved to the new town, its current location about 4 miles away. New buildings were built and some of the old ones were moved to the new space.
Today you can take a self guided walking tour of the open area that used to be the town of Valdez before the earthquake. This walk around the old townsite is a unique way of learning about history and adding in your imagination as you explore.
You May Like: Things To Do In Temecula With Kids
The Solomon Gulch Hatchery
This hatchery is part of the fishing program strictly controlled by the State of Alaska. A visit to the hatchery can consist of a walking tour which can be guided or self-guided. Whichever you choose, youll learn a lot about what goes on here.
During the summer months is the best time to see the salmon returning making their way up the river. It is also a great place to see the local wildlife. You may spot sea lions and black and brown bears coming to feed on the salmon.
There is a viewing platform for visitors, but you should check the tide schedule before you go. It is best to visit just before high tide for the best views.
Valdez Ak: Small Town Big Fun
Valdez, Alaska is a small town of only a few thousand people, but the location in the Chugach Mountains along with the history allows for plenty of fascinating things to see and do. Variety is a good description of the many activities that can take place in Valdez.
First of all, the area is simply gorgeous. Mountains and sea meet in this area as the ocean sends the Valdez Arm into the continent. Being near the ocean means there’s a lot of rainfall and weather can be gloomy even in July and August. However, it also means everything is green and there are waterfalls literally everywhere you turn your head. I’ve never seen so many waterfalls surrounding one single town.
Valdez has its share of history too. The town was nearly destroyed in the Big Friday earthquake of 1964. To stay safe, the survivors had to literally move the location of the town further inland, where the soil was more stable.
Valdez is also where the famous Alaska Pipeline reaches port. This ice-free port is where oil tankers get filled up with the precious black gold, to take it further down in its journey to the refineries in the Lower 48. In 1989 Valdez made the headlines again as the Exxon Valdez tanker experienced a major oil spill which affected the coast of Alaska for years to come. Fortunately, the oil spill never made it to the shores of the town itself but if you recognize the name Valdez, that accident may be the reason for that.
Don’t Miss: Things To Do In Schenectady
Buy Lunch At The Potato
Come in for a coffee and a light breakfast, or swing by for a casual lunch or dinner with beer and wine.
The Potatos second site, which opened in 2014, presents gorgeous views of the Valdez port.
Performances, dinner parties, and concerts are held in their new two-story facility, which debuted in 2015.
At the Potato, they make every effort to use fresh, locally sourced foods.
Their inexpensive, homemade comfort cuisine is distinctive and nostalgic and can fill you up after a long trek or road trip.
They cater to various meal options, including gluten-free and vegan, and their staff wants to work with you to ensure an exceptional dining experience.
You’ll find a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere packed with local faces and happy stomachs, whether you’re popping by for a morning cappuccino or settling down for a peaceful lunch overlooking the Valdez harbor.
Unique Things To Do In Valdez Alaska
Valdez is a delightful port town in Alaska focused on fishing and day trips into Prince William Sound. One of the best things about Valdez is that not many visitors come this way, so there are plenty of things to do in Valdez that many Alaska visitors dont get to see.
Valdez holds a special place for me because during the four years I lived in Fairbanks, this was the closest place to the ocean for fishing and since Im from Seattle, I loved getting to see the water again. It always felt like home.
Though Valdez is known for tragedy, including the Good Friday Earthquake in 1964 and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989, today Valdez is a busy port, popular with Alaskans for fishing. Visitors who enjoy getting off the busy tourist circuit will absolutely love Valdez! Youll still encounter plenty of visitors, but nothing like many other towns in Alaska.
If youre thinking of adding Valdez to your Alaska Itinerary, follow along and Ill show you the wonderful and unique things to do so you can discover this magical place for yourself.
Also Check: Unique Things To Do In South Dakota
Attend A Music Festival
View this post on Instagram
Music fans and concertgoers have been truly spoiled this summer, as festival season has been the season that keeps on giving. Luckily, there is more to look forward to, with music festivals like Rolling Loud taking over Ontario Place from September 9 to September 11. Big names in hip-hop like Future and Migos are scheduled headliners.
When: September 9 to September 11Where: 955 Lake Shore Blvd WestPrice: $369 for three-day general admission, $849 for three-day VIP
- You might also like:
View this post on Instagram
Much like music festival season in Toronto, food festival season has continued to deliver the goods, week after week. Smorgasburg is one of the hit food festivals of the season, available every Saturday until September, and featuring a selection of 50 diverse vendors at a time. For a list of vendors available, visit the official website.
When: July 23 to September 10 Where: 7 Queens Quay EastHours: Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm
Dock Point Park And Trail
For those looking for a quick and easy hike near Valdez, look no further than Dock Point Park and Trail. Situated right near the downtown harbor, this loop trail is approximately a mile long and offers great views of the waterfront and Duck Flats wetlands.
While on this hike, you are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, shorebirds, bald eagles, moose, and bears. The trail also offers several overlook platforms and access to a nearby beach.
Read Also: Things To Do In San Juan When It Rains
Catch A Baseball Game At The Rogers Centre
View this post on Instagram
Theres nothing like a day at the ballpark, cheering on our Toronto Blue Jays as they take on the best in the game. Better yet, if you go on a Tuesday, you can catch Loonie Dogs Night, where you can test your appetite with $1 hot dogs. Where: 1 Blue Jays WayPrice: Varies
Visit The Valdez Old Town
You can visit the original Valdez, also known to the locals as Old Valdez. In 1964 the strongest earthquake already registered in North America, followed by a tsunami, devasted the original town, and they relocated 4 miles away to where it is now.
The old town was preserved as a memorial, and here you can see the signs where the buildings used to be nearly 100 years ago.
HOW TO VISIT: You can go on a self-tour., the signs indicating where the buildings had a QR Code that you can scan with your phone and read more about the history of each building/ location. Take the Richardson Highway and follow the signs for the Old Valdez.
Read Also: Family Things To Do In Wichita Falls Tx