Palmer is a beautiful small town just 40 miles from Anchorage and 13 miles from Wasilla. Palmer exudes small town charm with its quaint downtown area. With a population of just 6500, Palmer is smaller than Wasilla, and the outlying area hosts most of the agriculture for this part of the state. With just a few big box stores (Fred Meyer and Carrs), Palmer doesn’t have quite as many shopping options, but is still well serviced. The mountains are close – Hatchers Pass to the north, the Chugach Mountains to the east and south. The iconic Pioneer Peak is a dramatic presence, with a steep 6,000ft+ elevation gain. Palmer is also home to the yearly Alaska State Fair.
Market Snapshot – Current Market Summary Report – Palmer
There are typically significantly fewer homes available in Palmer, compared to Wasilla, but there is still a decent inventory. There is a variety of homes available – from neighborhood settings with half- to one-acre lots, to larger parcels with more space. Surrounding areas can have distinctly different feels – Hatchers Pass area, Farm Loop, Lazy Mountain, and the Butte. Homes are mostly more recent than the 70’s with many newer homes available. In 2016 the average home price was $278,951, with 49 days on the market and 99% list-to-sale price.
Parks and Recreation
Prime hiking trails are all around – Lazy Mountain, Matanuska Peak, Hatcher Pass trails, The Butte, Pioneer Peak, and more! Just outside of Palmer is access to the Matanuska River, and a little further out is a popular spot for ATVing, 4×4-ing, fishing and hunting, as well as Jim Creek and the Knik River. Several lakes are available for water sports, including Finger Lake. Hatcher Pass provides lots of hiking and exploration opportunities, Independence Mine State Historical Park, as well as a spectacular mountain drive.
Most lakes in the area have public access.
The Alaska State Fair is every August/September.
Off-road and ATV opportunities are extremely popular, and winter sports of snow machining (snowmobiling in the lower-48), ice fishing, downhill skiing (in Hatcher Pass or further south in the Anchorage/Girdwood areas), cross-country skiing, and sledding are close by. The area is covered by an extensive network of unmaintained trails, but be sure to do your research in order to avoid trespassing.
Dining and Shopping
The food scene in Palmer is actually one of the best in the area, with some really neat restaurants including Turkey Red, Humdinger’s Pizza, Noisy Goose Cafe, Inn Cafe and Steakhouse, and more!
Summertime brings farmer’s markets and roadside produce stands. There are several big box stores in the area, including Carrs and Fred Myers, as well as a number of other small businesses, shops, and services.