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100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska

100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska

I live just outside the city of Palmer Alaska. Palmer is a charming little town, and there’s a lot to love about it. So much so that I HAD to write this post of 100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska. Now because Palmer is so geographically small, I am including places outside of Palmer but still known and loved as things to do around Palmer. And I’ve also added things that make Palmer a pleasant community. So this list will have Palmer restaurants, Palmer playgrounds, places to visit in Palmers like farms and museums and lots of other things to do in Palmer Alaska. Many of the things I’ve listed don’t have websites of their own, in those cases, I’ve tried to link up the most relevant web information. Please feel free to send me an email if you have something to add to the list; I will be updating the list at least monthly.

100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!

Who NEEDS it?

Who needs this list?? Everyone! People who live here might need a reminder of all the best things to do, see, witness, visit or places to shop. This list is also a great list for anyone looking to stay in a Palmer Airbnb or VRBO rental, or stay in a BnB, or grab a hotel or motel room, or move to Palmer Alaska. If you live right outside of Palmer, this list is perfect to plan a day trip TO Palmer. And OBVIOUSLY, if you have visitors coming in for the summer check my list and get busy with them.

Weather in Palmer Alaska

A quick tip! I know a lot of people are curious about the weather in Palmer, well I can tell you that it’s windy here, a lot, but it’s still a great place to visit OR live. Also if you’ve got a weather app, it’s a great way to see what the weather is like in a place you plan to visit. Add a new location on your phone app for weather in Palmer Alaska, and you’ll get a good idea of what it’s like here before you visit or PLAN to visit.


100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska-The List!
(In no particular order of course!)
  1. Palmer Train Depot-A lovely old community building located in the HEART of Palmer, some say it is the heart of Palmer!
  2. Old #5-This train has a history; it ran the coal line up at Moose Creek! It’s located just next to the Palmer Depot.
  3. Friday Flings-Every Friday during the summer downtown Palmer-fresh produce, music, food, and art
  4. Palmer Museum and Visitors Center-Awesome Log building in the middle of Palmer-revolving displays visit often!
  5. Pioneers Home-A wonderful way for seniors to stay in their community, the Palmer Pioneers home is nestled right in the heart of Palmer.
  6. Nice Sidewalks-For the most part we have nice big sidewalks through the core downtown area. They make it excellent for exploring our town.
  7. Palmer Events Arena– Ice skating lessons, practices, games and it’s available for dry rentals too!
  8. Little League baseball Fields-Little League teams and free games to watch most of the summer.
  9. Soccer Fields-Lots of soccer teams to choose from, this is a skill-building league from the youngest on up.
  10. Job Corps-a great place for kids to learn skills to succeed in the world set in our small town!
  11. Mat-Su Miners-Alaska Baseball League Team in Palmer, games through the summer, also baseball clinics for Little League Kids.
  12. Palmer Public Library-Story Hour, summer reading programs, adult reading programs, internet access, room rental too, a great resource all the way around.
  13. The Green-Located east of the Palmer Public Library, this lawn is open to public use all year long. Part of it is partitioned off with a fence and marked no trespassing, that’s unfortunate. For the most part, it’s a wonderful place to sit or let your kids run for a few minutes.
  14. Grow Palmer-Community Gardens that everyone can harvest from! Beds are located throughout Palmer; harvestable beds have Grow Palmer markers, beds are planted and tended by volunteers. Be a good neighbor and pull a few weeds while you’re harvesting.100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  15. Edible Rail Trail-This is part of the bike trail that runs parallel to the extinct railroad tracks north of Palmer, part of the Grow Palmer garden containers are located adjacent to the Bike Trail.
  16. The Art Cafe-Coffee, shopping and art classes all wrapped up in one! (No website)
  17. Artists Uncorked-Painting classes for groups, wine is involved!
  18. Vagabond Blues-Palmer’s original coffeehouse, great soup, and bread. (No website)
  19. The Reindeer Farm-Where else can you feed reindeer, visit with a moose or bison and see a baby yak all in the same hour? Disclosure, I do some contract work for them, but I would recommend the experience to anyone who asked what to do in Palmer.100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  20. The Musk Ox Farm-Come visit the herd, Qnit with Qiviut, or join them for Oxtoberfest
  21. Pyrahs U-pick Farm The valley’s only U-pick vegetable farm! Check their site for current produce selection and please know they are serious about no wild kids running through their business.
  22. Climb the Butte– A short and easy hike will gain you fabulous views of the valley. (No website)
  23. Climb Lazy Mountain-A longer hike than the Butte, but the views are stellar! (No website)
  24. Hike in Hatchers Pass-Lots of trails to choose from, pick yours according to your climbing needs. (No website) 100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  25. Independence Mine-Grab a tour and then take a hike around!
  26. Rent a Boat at Kepler Park-The perfect place to spend an afternoon (or the night in their campground) lovely for families who want a boat ride but don’t have a boat. (No website)
  27. Matanuska River Park-RV park, playground, and hiking trails, they have indoor toilets.
  28. Bike Park at the Matanuska River Park-Lots of fun on this beautiful track. You have a pump track, skills area and flow trail that connects to the larger River Park Trails.
  29. Bugge Park-Sweet little playground, kind of loud by the highway but a nice place to let kids run for a few minutes or longer. No website but the address is 220 South Cobb Street
  30. Back Country Bike and Ski Shop-Locally owned bike shop. Buy a bike, rent a bike or skies, come for their free classes or sign up for a ride. They’re helpful and will answer all your questions.100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  31. Fireside Books-Locally owned indy bookstore! It’s been in Palmer for over ten years, grab a new favorite or order old faves for friends. They also host special events throughout the year.
  32. Colony Days– A yearly event held in celebration of the founding of our town. Includes a parade, a car show, fun races, kids events, Colony House tours and so much more!
  33. Colony Christmas-Another yearly event celebrating our town’s heritage. This time its Christmas! Lots of bazaars, entertainment, sleigh rides, and fun events.
  34. Matanuska Susitna Borough Building-This building is the old Central School and is now the Borough Building, the seat of the Matanuska Susutina Borough. It’s a beautiful old building and anchors the east end of the Green.
  35. Borough Gym-An entire rentable gym! Seriously you can rent the WHOLE thing for your special event.
  36. Palmer Ale House-Sits on the north side of The Green. Home to the biggest basket of fries in Palmer, and so much more. Lots of TVs in a small environment, worth noting if you don’t like sports or TVs. Food is tasty!
  37. Turkey Red-Locally owned, all dishes made from scratch, and they support local farmers and foragers. Baked goods, full meals, coffee, tea, beer wine, and even a Stew of the Day.
  38. Pizzaria Delphi-Oldest pizza place in Palmer, there’s a reason it’s still around! Good old fashioned pizza.
  39. Downtown Palmer Deli-They serve up a huge selection of menu items. Plus gelato, coffee, and tea. Sit by the fireplace it’s nice on the couch!
  40. Thai and Pho Restaurant-When your 14-year-old raves about the Pho and repeatedly asks to go back you know it’s good. It IS good. Try it out.
  41. Alaska State Fair-Voted as one of the ten best fairs in America. It’s is a fun-filled 10-day event.100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  42. Alaska State Fairgrounds Events-Rent a building or go to an event hosted at a rented building. SO many cool venues to choose from.
  43. Knik Glacier Views-Just look southeast from any hill in Palmer, and you can see the beautiful Knik Glacier-that’s pronounced Ka-Nik, the k is NOT silent!100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  44. Pioneer Peak-Due south of Palmer you can’t miss this majestic mountain.100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  45. Arkose Brewery-Palmer’s FIRST brewery but not the last for sure! Come for a tour or a tasting or just fill up your growler.
  46. Bleeding Heart Brewery-Palmer’s second brewery and just too much fun, they have heart! Located on a working farm just south of Palmer you’ll find food trucks on most nights, great beers and lots of humor.
  47. Matanuska Brewery-Palmer’s newest brewery! They have a small tasting room open now and are currently working on plans for a larger tasting room too.
  48. Shear Fire Beauty School and Salon-Shear Fire offers a full-service salon along with a beauty school right in the heart of Palmer. Great prices, students services available, teacher services as well.
  49. Local Vegetable Farms-Sprinkled around Palmer you’ll find lots of agriculture going on, from small endeavors to large multi-generational farms. Locally owned and serving Palmer AND Alaska!
  50. Farm Stands such as Sun Circle or Arctic Organics open for business during the summer months. Bushes Bunches has a longer season and aggregates produce from around the valley, supporting smaller farmers.
  51. All Dahlia’d Up-Local flower farmer Misty Vanderwheele sells her fresh Dahlias and Sweet peas at local markets around Alaska. She also hosts two farm tours a year!100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  52. People WAVE at you with their WHOLE HAND-(No website obviously) But yes people in Palmer Alaska WAVE at you with their whole hand, on purpose, to say HI! Wave Back!
  53. Arctic Fires Bronze Works-Award winning artist Par Garley brings fire to Palmer with his bronze work business.
  54. Palmer Dance Walk-A weekly dance walking event where everyone is welcome to join in and dance walk your way down the bike path.
  55. Alaska State Fair Parade-Always the FIRST Saturday of the Alaska State Fair in downtown Palmer.
  56. Valley Arts Alliance-All artists group who put on multiple events every year including the Wearable Arts Show and Art on Fire.
  57. Radio Free Palmer-Big Cabbage Radio-Palmer’s very own community radio station, with shows hosted by local folks.
  58. Palmer Senior Center-The Senior Center offers lots of ways to connect with other seniors in the Palmer area. Classes, workshops, meals, planned outings are just of FEW of their offerings.
  59. Palmer Garden and Art Faire-Vendors, classes, arts, flowers, crafts and MUSIC fill the Green in Palmer for the faire!
  60. Mat-Valley Agricultural Showcase-This is the garden located next to the Palmer Museum and Visitors Center. You can walk through the garden but please don’t let your kids or dogs wander through it.
  61. Palmer Historial Society-They host, monthly history nights, collect artifacts and share their love for Palmer!
  62. Colony House Museum-One of my personal favorite things in Palmer, this little house is just brimming with Colony era items.
  63. Christmas Carols in the Colony House Museum-This happens on the Saturday of Colony Christmas and in our family’s opinion one of the best things to do during Colony Christmas. They also have a bake sale and cookies to nibble on.
  64. Walking Tours of Palmer-A great way to discover our town’s history!
  65. Crevasse-Moraine Trails-This is one of our favorite places to hike in the Valley. Lots of trails, you can get lost so grab a map or snap a photo of the map!
  66. Humdingers Pizza-Woodfired pizza in Palmer, yes, please! And they cater.
  67. Skate Park-It may be small, but it IS a place just for skateboards.
  68. Bars-Yes there are plenty of bars to choose from in Palmer, and most of them are located on South Colony Way. Just take a drive down the main street, and you’ll find them!
  69. Yearly Plant Sale at the High School-This is a yearly sale held by the Future Farmers of America in the Ag building to the East of Palme High School. Great prices!
  70. CSAs choose from Arctic Organics, Sun Circle or APU Kellog Farm CSA
  71. Palmer Cooperative Extension Service-The cooperative extension service offers so many things to the community. Classes in gardening, a state biologist, home economists, and SO much more!
  72. Alaska Picker-Looking for a piece of Alaska? Grab something rusty, crusty, old or vintage from Alaska Picker.
  73. Man Made Lake off Knik River Road-Turn left towards the glacier off the Old Glenn Highway, Man Made is several miles down on the left, look for all the cars! Wear shoes in the water! This little lake is shallow, warm and doesn’t have swimmers itch and the views are stellar. 100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska so visit!
  74. Groomed Ski Trails at Government Peak Recreation Area (GPRA), Archangel Road (Hatcher’s Pass), Independence Mine (Hatcher’s Pass) Matanuska River Park and Crevasse Moraine Trails
  75. Palmer Pool-Lots of lesson happen here, plus open swim, tot swim, team practices and so much more!
  76. Walking or Hiking Trails at GPRA-Many of the Ski Trails are also hiking trails!
  77. Single Track Trails at GPRA
  78. Chalet at GPRA
  79. Sledding Hill at Crevasse Moraine-not for the weak of heart, only go halfway up!
  80. Forestry Base-Lots of planes in and out of our little airport plus we have forestry right here if we happen to have a forest fire.
  81. Palmer Airport-If you like planes, Palmer Airport is nice to have around. Plus you can find a glacier viewing flight or jump out of an airplane or learn to fly right here in Palmer.
  82. The campground at Matanuska River Park-Camp OR RV here right at the end of the Palmer Airport Runway. Lots of planes going over!
  83. Ice Cream from the Yellow Store-(No Website) Where Palmer Fishhook meets the
  84. Bishop’s Attic Thrift Store-If you like thrifting THIS is the place to go!
  85. Church of a Thousand Trees-Just drive by and enjoy this beautiful old log church, it’s fabulous!
  86. Palmer Food Swap-yes MY OWN EVENT and I love it! Make a batch of something, bring it, swap it for tasty goods!
  87. The Annex Co-Share Workspaces-Need an affordable office space?? You can have it at The Annex.
  88. Non-Essentials-One of the best places to shop in Palmer. You can find just about anything you need for fun in the kitchen or home decorating or party prep. They also have a massive tea selection.
  89. La Fiesta-we call this little locally owned restaurant Fast Mexican because it is QUICK!! (No website)
  90. Plastic Bag Ban-I don’t think I need to elaborate on this, but I will say that we’re on the right track with this move. Especially when the two big grocery retailers in town are backing the move too.
  91. Palmer Water Tower-This iconic Palmer landmark towers over downtown; you can’t miss it. You also can’t get that close to it or climb it.
  92. Active Soles-A local owned shoe store! How did we get SO lucky?
  93. Shane Lamb Studios-Shane captures the beautiful light of Palmer so perfectly, making him one of our best-known artists.
  94. The Happy Run-Love to run?? This is for YOU! Run or walk a 5K finish at the Palmer Ale House. It happens every Monday night.
  95. Beer and Yoga- Every Tuesday and Thursday on the lawn at the Ale House. (No website)
  96. Palmer Cash Mob-What’s Cash Mob?? Show up at a local restaurant, grab a drink and a snack, visit with friends, then at a pre-arranged time visit a local business and spend 20 dollars! SO much fun!
  97. V-Ho or Valley Hotel-Good Old American cuisine served up in a 24-hour cafe. (No website)
  98. GeoCaches-We’ve got quite a few of them, some hidden right in downtown Palmer. You can access information by using a GeoCache website.
  99. We have Sister City, Saroma Japan-There’s no better way to connect with a completely different country and culture than to have a deep, longstanding relationship with another city.
  100. Alaska Raceway Park-Every weekend during the summer you can HEAR the cars as they roar down the 1/4 mile racetrack.
  101. Yoga on the Butte! Climb the Butte, do yoga 900 feet over the valley, and feel amazing all day long! First and third Saturdays on the Butte at 10 am!
  102. A-Moose-ment Park-This was a community build about 20 years ago. It sits behind the Palmer Moose Club. It’s fenced with one opening, lots of things to play with.
  103. Alaska Farmland Trust-Rasing money to buy farms to keep them here as green spaces for ever EVER!
  104. Special Santa-A program run by Mari Jo Parks, powered through countless volunteer hours that provide Christmas for kids.



If you’re planning a trip to Alaska be sure to check out my other posts about Alaska!


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10 thoughts on “100+ Things to Love About Palmer Alaska”

      • i didn’t spend hours poring over this list (tho i could’ve!), so i might have missed it… i did not see stan guthrie’s annual birthday gift of kick-ass fireworks! i also didn’t see his country cutts, an institution i palmer.


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