Alaska Help, please!

Old Aug 24th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Alaska Help, please!

Hi
We have 4 days in Alaska before a Southbound cruise out of Whittier. Trying to decide whether to fly into Fairbanks for a couple of days in Denali, then drive down to Kenai Peninsula area for 2 days, or whether to just fly into Anchorage and stay around the Kenai Peninsula area the whole time. Advice? Looking for beautiful scenery. Thanks!
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Not enough time to do both - the drive from Denali to Kenai Peninsula takes most of a day. There was a similar post some time back - consensus was Kenai Peninsula.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 02:15 AM
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It's a tough choice but there is more to see and do on the Kenai Peninsula in less miles. The drive between Denali and Anchorage will be kind of boring compared to Anchorage to Seward where the scenery is spectacular almost every mile. Your adventure can begin almost immediately in Anchorage and heading south.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:50 AM
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So we're not missing the "big attraction" in Denali?
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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Alaska is so huge - you can not see even the highlights in the amount of time you have (we only had a week, so I know). So I would concentrate on quality rather than quantity - what good is your trip if everything is just a fast drive-by. It takes a day each way to drive to Denali. That is a wasted day. Even if you fly into Fairbanks.

We took a 13-hour RT bus ride thru Denali. We saw 13 grizzly bears, a bunch of moose, fox, and assorted other animals - enjoyed it, although the road was terrifying. But Kenai was better.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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Thanks everyone!!!!
Kenai Peninsula it is!
Actually, that's a bit of a relief.
Makes it more simple!!!
Hooray!
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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We really enjoyed Kenai Pn. last summer. Alyeska resort area, dog sledding/glacier/helicopter tour, Kenai Fjords all day tour, kayaking, fly-out salmon fishing were the highlights of our trip.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Hi Linda,

We just spent a week doing both, and as much as I loved the Denali experience, I have to agree with the others.

We only got to see Mt. McKinley because we waited it out through 2 days of rain/fog/cold weather (and we were camping in out tent!). The odds are not good for seeing the mountain unless you can spend a while there.

My aunt and uncle were around Denali a few days ahead of us (they left the day we got there, on a cruisetour), and they never saw the mountain.

There is a lot to do around Girdwood/Seward/Homer - plenty to fill up 4 days.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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Thanks everyone!
Trying to figure out what towns to stay in. Seward obviously, but how many nights? Should we also stay in other towns in the Kenai Peninsula? We have 4 nights / 4 full days. Thanks!!!
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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I would stay 2 nights in each of Seward and Homer. Allow 4 hours to drive between the two.

To make the BEST use of your time, rent a one way Avis car, Anchorage/Whittier, although a costly drop off charge, I do not recommend you think about "saving money" and wasting your valuable time backtracking Anchorage.

Prior to your getting on your cruise ship, definately consider a PWS boat tour, excellent scenery and close up glacier viewing, FAR superior to anything you'll see from your cruiseship.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Seward and Homer would be a good combination. Girdwood is close to Anchorage so you wouldn't need to stay there. On the way to Homer you will go thru Soldotna which to me was very suburban feeling without the fantastic scenery of Seward and Homer. Kenai is next to Soldotna and is also similar. There are interesting things to see and do in those towns but I wouldn't recommend a night. On one trip we used Kenai as a base for awhile but it was still 1 1/2 hours in one direction to Seward and similar distance to Homer. The other small towns on the way to Homer are very very small. You will find little in the way of gas stations and restaurants except near the larger towns. You may be surprised at how far it is between things.
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