Alaska driving trip

Old May 10th, 2013, 04:30 AM
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Alaska driving trip

DH and I are thinking of taking a week long trip to Alaska in July. We would fly to Anchorage and rent a car and drive to Homer, Seward, Kenai.

We are in our mid 60s. We "walk" but don't "hike". We like seeing beautiful scenery and wildlife. We also enjoy art, culture, crafts (particularly locally made crafts). We are not interested in camping or roughing it in any way. We like luxury accommodations. A great day for us is walking a nature trail, having a nice lunch, visiting some interesting local attraction (a historic village, for example), then going back to our hotel and enjoying a spa or a movie in our room and a drink and dinner.

Any suggestions? Can we have this type of vacation in Alaska?
sussexred is offline  
Old May 10th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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The area you selected works very well for your stated interest with the exception of luxury accomodations. There are some nice hotels in both Seward and Homer but none I would consider luxury.

However, the Kenai Peninsula is, I think, the most scenic available on the Alaska road system. There are many places to take nature walks and you have a fair chance of seeing wildlife of varying kinds. Not far outside Homer, there are several Russian villages you may enjoy visiting for the architecture and curios.

Since I am not of the spa and drinks before dinner mind set, I can't advise you on where you might find that except in Anchorage. There are a number of bars in both Seward and Anchorage but I don't know if any of the hotels have spas.
dwooddon is offline  
Old May 10th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Car rentals are very expensive. If you are a AAA member there are some discounts. They have never given me the cheapest option but they were the cheapest in Anchorage. for a better price, you might also consider renting downtown and returning your car to the airport.

There are not a lot of luxury hotels in Alaska, but if money were no object, I would sure consider staying at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge--you take a boat out from Seward and spend at least one night. Then you also get the wonderful boat ride through Kenai Fjords National Park.

There are some pretty luxurious cabins in Homer where we would have liked to have stayed but they were in the $300/nt category and we are only looking at places that are around $150/nt. Alaskan Suites and Lands End Resort are 2 that I can think of.

We are staying at the Good Karma Inn. This is a B&B--with a make-it-your self breakfast, which I don't think is what you are looking for. It's not what we were looking for either, but the owner seems very charming and interesting--and his home looks lovely. If you look at the website, Michael, the owner has an amazing collection of native art. The rooms are lovely with large picture windows that look out toward the water and mountains. It is a located a bit outside of Homer.

With just a week, you might want to spend 2 nts Seward, 2nts Homer and maybe 2 nts Girddwood where you could stay at the Alyeska Resort. From Girdwood you could drive to Whittier to do the Prince William Sound cruise, you could take the lift at the resort up for great views and hikes. The Winner Creek Trail, where they have a hand tram is nearby. Look at the Bore Tide schedule. There are some high tides in July and good viewing at the Bird overlook. There is a paved bike trail--the Gird to Bird trail.

There ar coupon books with buy1/get 1 offers. See Northern Lights or Toursaver websites
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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you can definitely have that kind of vacation, as long as you are a little flexible about the "luxury" part. For example, we stayed in a lovely b&b in Homer, called the Beach House. After a day of sightseeing, we picked up a bottle of wine, or some of the local Homer Brewing Company beer, brought it back to our inn, and enjoyed a drink while sitting in the wood fired hot tub, looking out over the Homer Spit, and watching the bald eagles fly around over head. Is it a spa? no. but it was still luxurious. (although, as with Linda's inn above, this one had a serve-yourself breakfast. I think that is very common in Alaska).

On the other hand, if money was really no object, and small plane flights not a problem, there are a couple of really gorgeous looking, remote lodges you could look at. Like these (I have no knowledge about those lodges specifically, just something I found when planning my trip 2 years ago).
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Alyeska is about as close to Lux in Alaska you will find, IMOP. You might enjoy a night or two there. We rented a car one way and took the train back from Seward to Anchorage.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 07:37 PM
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Keep checking on car rentals. We flew to Anchorage last August and rented a car at the airport for 8 days. The rate I first booked in January was about $600. I kept checking and rebooked a couple of times. Our final rate was a little over $300.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Re historic village: The Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum, a short drive from Anchorage, is a place we found interesting. There's a replica of a native village, staffed by locals who will answer questions. And there's a center where they put on events and entertainment -- we saw some of the competitions staged for the Native American Olympics.

I also liked the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Some interesting displays about the history of Alaska.

Someone mentioned Aleyeska/Girdwood. You can take the tram there to the top of the mountain that's part of a ski resort in winter.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 12:24 AM
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We traveled to Alaska 2 years ago, starting in Anchorage as well. We visited Cordova, which was very nice, and took a not-so-difficult hike to Root Glacier. This is a link to our trip report, with some tips about hikes and local attractions. hope it will be useful...
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Old May 15th, 2013, 12:25 AM
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oh, and I wouldn't miss a drive down on the Cooper River Highway to Child’s Glacier. The route is very scenery, and the glacier is absolutely amazing. cheers
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Old May 15th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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We stayed at the Alaskan Suites in Homer- nice cabins overlooking the bay. Enjoyed our stay there- not in an area where you can walk anywhere from the motel though.

From Homer we visited Halibut Cove - you go by boat- the Danny G- beautiful little cove with boardwalk around to several artist studios. Had dinner at the Saltry- has outside deck with with fireplace built into the rocks, live music the night we were there. I loved that spot. You should make reservations in advance if you plan to go.
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Old Aug 6th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Yair Kaldor,
I just looked at your trip report. Your photos are amazing!
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Old Aug 7th, 2013, 06:10 AM
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Nice pics yair_kaldor
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