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Pula Jun 3rd, 2008 11:01 AM

Alaska: Best way to get from Anchorage to Seward
I have friends who'll be in Seward in early August and I've been invited to join them for a few days -- I'll be traveling solo and will fly into ANC. Is there a train?

Alaska is a long way from Boston so I'd like to tack on a few days and visit Denali . . . Same transportation question applies.

I'd really don't want to drive although it might be preferable to a bus if it came to that.

hpeabody Jun 3rd, 2008 12:20 PM

YES! The Alaska RR is great IMO. It goes to Denali and on to Fairbanks in the other direction. Do try a Kenai Fjords boat trip from Seward. You will need to arrange to get into the actual National Park to view Mt McKinley. There are daily bus trips from the visitor's center.

If you need a place to stay in Anchorage .. I stayed at the Anchorage Grand, right up the grassy hill from the train station and it worked out great

Enjoy Alaska :)

Pula Jun 3rd, 2008 12:37 PM

Thank you! That gets me one step closer to making this happen!

dwooddon Jun 3rd, 2008 02:09 PM

I also recommend the AKRR trip from Anchorage to Seward and back. It is a highly scenic trip that I've nejoyed several times.

Katie_H Jun 3rd, 2008 03:06 PM

Just back from Seward, Anchorage, and Denali.

You can definitely do this trip without renting a car. I drove from Anchorage to Seward but as noted above, the Alaska Railroad does go that way.

I took the railroad from Anchorage to Denali---beautiful and we had a view of McKinley. Unfortunately, that would be the last for our trip---once in the park it was too foggy/overcast (which is the case much of the time in Denali).

I greatly enjoyed Denali. Most lodges/hotels offer shuttle service from the train station. You don't need a car for the park as you'd only be able to drive yours 15 miles in; anything further and you'll need to take a park shuttle or tour bus.

If you do decide to train it to all of these places, just keep in mind that the train is not super speedy. The ride from Anchorage to Denali was about 6.5 hours. I believe it was around $109 (one way).

spirobulldog Jun 3rd, 2008 07:32 PM

I would ride the train one direction and take bus back one direction. Seward HWY is very good, but the train ride is even better. If you choose to ride the train to just Denali or just Seward. I would suggest you pick Seward, shorter and more scenic.

Pula Jun 5th, 2008 09:30 AM

My plans are still up in the air, but <b>eeek</b> I just realized my southern destination is HOMER, not Seward! So I'm thinking I'll take the train to Seward and go from there by bus to Homer (the connections are good) where I'll be spending 3-4 days. Then I'll reverse the trip but overnight in Seward and do a day cruise from there since I don't see anything like that from Homer -- can that be? Then head north to Denali.

This is sounding better and better, if it happens!

Pula Jun 5th, 2008 09:43 AM

Spoke too soon -- I see a whale-watch trip from Homer which might be worthwhile. Still might want to do the day trip from Seward because the two trips sound quite different. Can anyone shed some light on this?

hpeabody Jun 5th, 2008 04:53 PM

I have not been to Homer. I can only speak to the Kenai Fjords boat trip from Seward. It was truly a highlight of my trip. It helped that it was an absolutely gorgeous day. The crew was in awe of how beautiful a day we got !!! We saw otters, lots of birds, eagles, sea lions a whale tail or 2 (I can't remember how many for sure) and mostly beautiful water and glaciers. It was awesome.

Pula Jun 6th, 2008 07:51 AM

It seems there are a number of companies offering a day cruise from Seward -- any idea what the best one is or are they all similar? Is there any aspect to be certain is included, like where they go or who goes farthest?

Postal Jun 6th, 2008 04:22 PM

We loved the Kenai Fjords six hour tour out of Seward. We saw orcas, Dall porpoises, a bear, Stellar sea lions, numerous bald eagles, and a calving glacier. The onboard snack of chicken and fish was adequate and there was room inside for everyone but be sure to grab a table when you get in there! We napped at the table on the way back, exhausted from all the wind out on the deck.

I didn't go out on any boats in Homer but it's very beautiful and I'm glad we spent two nights there. We rented a car and drove everywhere and it worked fine.

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