Photo by Jeremy Talbott
Cruise Passenger Day Itinerary
If you're coming to Valdez this summer on a cruise ship and only have a few hours to explore town on your own, you're in luck! Not only is Valdez one of the most exquisitely beautiful small towns in Alaska, its also easily walkable, with most attractions within a few blocks of the Ferry Terminal and Kelsey Dock where cruise ships dock. Here are some things to do:
As you come ashore at the Ferry Terminal and pass Kelsey Dock, one area to check out is Valdez's boardwalk along North Harbor Drive. From the Kelsey Dock, take Fidalgo Avenue until it meets with North Harbor (about a 5 to 10 minute walk). As you stroll the boardwalk, you'll discover many of Valdez's local shops and restaurants along North Harbor, including several of our local seafood restaurants. The boardwalk faces out onto the adjacent Small Boat Harbor, where you may see sea otters playing in the water or bald eagles flying overhead looking for fish.
North Harbor Drive and Small Boat Harbor photo by Cody Honea
As you're walking through town, you'll probably notice feral bunny rabbits running through town. They are commonly spotted outside the restaurants on North Harbor Drive and Kobuk Drive and hopping along the park strip. Where did they come from? What are they up to? Why are they so cute? Nobody really knows, but feel free to ask the locals all about them.
Photo by Carlie Smith
Valdez has two new local craft breweries on Galena Drive, only a few minutes walk from most other downtown spots. Outdoor seating is available during the summer to enjoy our scenic mountain skyline while sipping on a craft beer. Galena Drive also offers local gift shops selling hand-crafted Alaskan souvenirs and an outdoor dinner theatre show during the summer.
Photo from VCVB
Valdez has several museums that are available right in town. Check out the Valdez Museum on Egan Drive, and the museum's "Remembering Old Valdez" exhibit on Hazelet Avenue. The Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum at Prince William Sound College is also open throughout the summer.
Photo from VCVB
As you explore Valdez by foot, you can discover some great views of town and the Port from our easy hiking trails. Three notable ones that are available close to the docks are Overlook Trail and Meals Hill Trail. The trailheads for these two trails are on Hazelet Avenue, just around the corner from Kelsey Dock and the Ferry Terminal. Another quick trail not too far away is Dock Point Trail, which is on the other side of the Small Boat Harbor, a few minutes walk from Kelsey Dock. Look for the trailhead at the end of North Harbor Drive or at the end of Kobuk Drive.
View of town from Overlook Trail. Photo by VCVB
While the main townsite of Valdez can easily be traversed by foot, there's much more to discover just outside of town. Rentals for bicycles and electric bikes are available in town. Consider a bike rental, and set out to explore the Bike Path that runs for a few miles to the east of town. Along the way you can stop to check out the Crooked Creek wildlife viewing platform, Old Town Valdez, and the Valdez Duck Flats.
Photo from Valdez Electric Bike Rentals
Check the calendar! Valdez has local festivals and celebrations running throughout the year, and you may be able to join in depending on the dates for your cruise ship arrival. Major events during the spring and summer include the Valdez Fly In & Air Show, Gold Rush Days, and the Richardson Highway Rendezvous music festival. See our events calendar for more upcoming events.
Photo by Callen Hearne
As you explore town, feel free to stop by the Valdez Visitors Center on Fairbanks Drive. We have exhibits on display about local art, history and wildlife. Our staff can help you find what you're looking for and make the most of your time in Valdez. Want help planning your trip before you set sail? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (907) 835-2984.
Photo from VCVB