alaska

Oct 19th, 2003, 01:17 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 337
alaska

Message: We have never been to alaska and have decided to forget the cruise and fly to Anchorage and tour around for 8 nights. WE will be going in August. Any suggestions for an itinerary? thanks
susan300 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2003, 03:08 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 39
Denali National Park in the interior and the Kenai peninsula region would be your best bets given the amount of time that you are planning to spend.

You could do the arctic trip out of Fairbanks but then you would have to drop either Denali or Kenai.

For your first trip of 8 days i would recommend doing denali and the kenai area.

Check out the visitor section of the Anchorage Daily News http://adn.com
world_traveler is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 03:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,294
We went to Alaska last May. We stayed the first night in Anchorage and then went to Copper River, which is half way between Anchorage and Valdez, and stayed at the Copper River Princess Lodge. It was georgous and is owned by Princess Cruise Lines. We then drove to Valdez--oh, was the drive beautiful. One warning, there are NO gas stations until you hit Valdez, so gas up well before you leave Copper Center. Went back and stayed again in Anchorage. Then we went to Homer. Homer was great. Beautiful scenery on the bay, on the waterfront, lots of great shops and restaurants. You can even take a fishing excursion if you'd like.The next day, it was off to Seward. Spent two days there. Went on a glacier cruise, there are several to choose from lasting in length from 2.5 to 8 hours. This was a highlight. Also went to the SeaLife Center. On our way back to Anchorage, went to Exit Glacier. If you get the chance, don't miss this. Its a very easy-to-do 1/2 mile walk and the glacier is awesome.
All and all we enjoyed our trip and would do it again. Do yourself a HUGE favor, and get the book, THE MILEPOST.
It's a thick book, and is the best 25.00 you'll ever spend on anything for Alaska. This book was extremly helpful to us and I'd recommend it to anyone. It can be found or ordered in most big bookstore chains and you can also order it online.
Another thing, especially for August, I'd book your lodging now, it's not too late. Lodging books up quickly, even 7 to 8 months out and beyond.
Whatever you do or decide on, have a great trip.
tcapp is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 07:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 30
Susan,

We went to AK this Aug-Sept. I have pasted my trip report from an old post. It is pretty long. Take a look.

Day 0: Landed in Anchorage late evening. Night stay in Anchorage.

Day 1: Started driving from Anchorage to Denali National Park in the morning. Drove to PALMER enroute. Spent a couple of hours in the Alaska State fair. Giant sized vegetables, Made-in-Alaska shopping and great vegetarian food later we started back to Denali. The weather was great and the fall colors were breathtaking. We stopped quite a few times for photographs and scenic points. We used The Milepost a lot on this drive. Night stay at Earthsong Lodge in Healy.

Day 2: Denali National Park. 11 hour Park Shuttle to Wonder Lake. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. We were first in the line and hence got the first seat which allowed us to get some great pics. Saw lots of wildlife (bears, caribou, moose, dall sheep and many birds). It was raining of and on but that did not affect opportunities for wildlife watching. We had a garrulous field guide who talked a lot about the flora and fauna of Denali NP. We did not regret this long trip even one-bit. And no mosquitoes in Wonder Lake. Night stay at Earthsong Lodge in Healy.

Day 3: Spent some time in Healy and near Denali NP, and then drive back to Anchorage. Stopped by Talkeetna. Had a wonderful time in Talkeetna. (Great pizza place and even better coffee and ice cream). We could not go flight seeing because it was sold out. Night stay in Anchorage.

Day 4: Drove from Anchorage to Seward. A very scenic, beautiful drive. We stopped a lot along the way. On one of our stops to see Salmon run, my husband conveniently picked up a huge juicy Salmon bare handed! Night stay at Kim's Forest Bed and Breakfast (see notes below)

We took the 8-hour cruise with Major Marine. Saw plenty of sea-life, birds and calving glaciers. If we do the cruise all over again, we will definitely pick Major Marine, because there is no way we could have learnt what we learnt without the Park Ranger on board. Being a third generation Alaskan, she knew so much about not only the animals and birds and glaciers but a whole lot about Alaskana culture and history. We cannot speak for the Smoked Salmon and Ribs, but the food was not too bad for vegetarians. Dessert was great.

Day 5: Drove back to Anchorage. On the way back, we went to Exit Glacier, Portage Glacier, and stopped by on many places enroute. Watched Sunset along the highway.

Day 6 and 7: In Anchorage.
- Native Medical center [shopping for Made-in-Alaska by Natives (silver-hand) stuff]
- Alaska Native Heritage Center (very nicely run place. This visit put everything in place. We walked out with a better understanding of Alaskan natives, their culture and languages)
- The Sky Song at the Center for performing arts was closed for the season, so we went to ?Alaska- the great land? in the close by Alaska experience theatre (pass this)
- Sunset at the park (I forget the name) near Historic Oscar Anderson?s house? Nice view. Got a good picture with the sunset and Alaska Train..!
- Saturday Market in Anchorage (pass this)
- Got a view of Mt.Denali (Highlight of our trip!!!)
- More shopping ? Ulus, Totem poles, Native masks, Qiviuts and what not!!
- Drove to Beluga Point to watch Bore Tides and Sun sets (awesome sunset)
- Headed back home on the red-eye flight

Day 8: Why are vacations so short?

Dos:
- If you have a car and are planning to drive a lot during your stay, then definitely pick up a copy of The Milepost. (Taking the advice from this forum, we borrowed our copy from the public library)
- Even though your visit is not in winter, get information about chances of seeing the Northern Lights in your area. The day we were in Talkeetna, we were told that there was a 45% chance of seeing the Northern Lights!! You never know when you are lucky.
- Definitely check with the Anchorage Visitor Log cabin for Bore Tide schedule.
- If we did this all over again, we will definitely rent a car?gives you more freedom to plan your own schedule

Don?ts:
- DO NOT go to Alaska with out a good pair of binoculars and a good telephoto lens/es (esp. if you are a pic-freak)
- If you are neither a keen wildlife enthusiast, nor a keen birder nor keen about great sceneries, then you might want to reconsider the 11 hour shuttle to Wonder Lake, and take a shorter trip instead. We noticed some people in the bus, hardly got down except for restroom breaks and were not interested in seeing any wildlife.
- Same with the cruise. If you are not particular about the wildlife, you might want to go on shorter (6hr, 4hr trips).
- DO NOT Stay in Kim?s Forest Bed and Breakfast?...(more below)


Accomodation:

Kim?s Forest bed and breakfast, Seward, Alaska (www.sewardalaskabnb.com)
Be cautioned if you have to stay in this bed and breakfast. Kim has a beautiful house and the breakfast is not bad. We had a bad experience and would probably never go there if we were to go to Seward again. Till we actually booked our stay with her, she was very nice, but after we booked and after the grace period for cancellation had passed (less than 14 days prior to arrival), she turned extremely rude. When I called her to arrange for a time to pick up the keys (since we were going to be on a day-long cruise the day of our check-in) she rudely told me I can come whenever I wanted and that I should not waste her time and money by calling her on the 800 number. During our stay, she told all the other guests about our little telephone tiff, which was very embarrassing and later she told us that her other guests were ?strange?. God knows what she must have told them about us!!

Don?t stay here unless you have to? and be spared of mood-swings on your vacation.
If you have to, don?t call her on her 800 number, she counts every minute!

Marriott Residence Inn, Midtown, Anchorage
- During our Anchorage stay we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn. Comfortable and reasonable continental breakfast (included). Spacious rooms with Kitchen, refrigerator and the works
- Close and Convenient to shopping, Seward Highway etc.

Earthsong Lodge, Healy (www.earthsonglodge.com)
- Rooms are cozy, but well kept.
- Good hosts. Unfortunately we could not spend enough time with our hosts, but they are supposed to be very knowledgeable about Alaskan wildlife.
- They have a good café and slide shows in the evening and dog sleds in winter
Ananya is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 07:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,608
It's called Elderberry Park.
Gardyloo is online now  
Oct 26th, 2003, 09:14 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 774
Northern Lights
Got to see them glowing greenly for an hour or so out the window of the plane from Anchorage to Seattle on the red eye flight on 18th Sept. Don't forget to look! It was the icing on the cake of a terrific two weeks. We did pick a great time, didn't we, BudgetQueen?
Carrabella is offline  
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