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alaska itinerary and lodging advice, please

Old Jul 17th, 2008, 06:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 111
alaska itinerary and lodging advice, please

Hi, thanks for the help from previous posts. I'm finalizing my plans and just want to check that this sounds reasonable in terms of time, travel, etc. I am a single 50ish woman who will now be traveling with two older women 60's-70's.

Aug 27: Fly to Anchorage; stay near the airport--any recommendations for a clean, cheap hotel?

Aug 28, 29, 30: Drive to Homer. Considering getting a cabin here, hopefully with a view. Any recommendations on a place that would sleep 3 in 3 separate beds? Plan is to take a day long kayak trip. Also some hiking. OPen to other suggestions

Aug 31, Sept 1st: Drive to Seward. Take Glacier cruise, see sealife center, Exit Glacier. Am really stumped on finding a place here--see reqs. listed above

Sept 2nd. Drive to Denali. Perhaps stay in the Denali Lakeview Inn Recommended?

Sept 3 and 4: Stay Denali Backcountry Cabins: Thanks for the help on that

Sept 5, 6, 7: Still uncertain. Return to Anchorage via Talkeetna, take Prince William Sound boat trip, see Anchorage museums, etc. Or, perhaps drive the "long way" via Paxson and Glennallen back to Anchorage--Big question, can you do this reasonably in one day?

My questions:
Is this a "doable" itinerary? Does it sound like fun?

Any recommendations on lodging in Seward and Homer? Wanting to spend about $200-$250/nite tops. Need some "elbow room" too.

Is the "long way" back to Anchorage worth the drive--pretty? wildlife? If so, how long does it take--one day? two? more?

thanks much
Libby123 is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
You have disjointed routing, which I suggest you look at carefully and look at changing.

The Homer and Seward section is OK, but you have not allowed a lot of time in Seward, likely for your list of activities. You essentilly have only one day, of which can be filled with the boat tour. You have to allow 4 hours for the Homer/Seward drive and 9 for Denali/Seward segment, which not sure why you are doing this, when you have other time?? Instead, of thte marathon driving trip you have planned with no time for any sightseeing along the way, move your Denali back a few days, and add time in Anchorage, or Talkeetna. THEN do your Denali Park, instead of backtracking back to Whittier, add the time to do that on the way from Seward.

Not sure about your "long way back" to Anchorage?? It appears you are looking at the Denali Highway- sorry, but none of the major car rental companies will allow you to drive this road, and no it isn't reasonable to drive this route, (top speed will be 20mph)Denali Park, and back to Anchorage.

As I already mention, I suggest you rework this, and do your homework and avoid any further "reservations". Get the whole itinerary in place, then reserve. The routing can definately be improved with better use of time.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,343
A cheap hotel in Anchorage? Not likely. Think Hawaii and you will get the idea.

Moderate, Yes.

One recommendation is the Comfort Inn Ship Creek <>. There is also a decent restaurant right next door (The Bridge) with a view of Ship Creek.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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We did nearly the same itinerary last year at the same time of year. I'd tweak your itinerary a bit.

Homer - 3 nites there is fine. We stayed at the The Ocean House Inn in the Sea Breeze suite which will more than meet your needs. Great location (once you find it!), tremendous views, terrific ammenities, including a full kitchen, and reasonably priced:

For activities in Homer, I'd urge you to do a bear viewing trip with Emerald Air. It's a full day. Great people, lots of fun, and very, very educational: If you go, they'll recommend bringing an all rainproof outfit, which is a good idea because it tends to rain during the outing. They're probably cheaper in your home town than they are up there.

We went out to Halibut Cove on our second day via the Danny J, which was OK. The boat ride was the best part of that trip. Not much in the Cove.

Kayaking, like everything else in Alaska, may be weather dependent that time of year.

Seward, I'd do 3 nites here, too. Keep in mind that the Fjord trips are heavily weather dependent and the weather at the time of year is highly variable. So it's good to have an extra built into your schedule. On one day, you can do the Fjord tour. On the other, you can go out to Exit Glacier. There's also hiking in the area.

We stayed at the Salt Water Lodge and recommend it. It's about 10 minutes south of Seward. They'll have enough beds for your group if the right rooms are available: We did their combo Fjord trip and enjoyed it, altho the weather was pretty bad and precluded us from going all the way to the glacier. We caught some salmon which we ate over the next several nites. Talk about fresh!!!

Here's where I'd start tweaking your itinerary. I'd suggest driving to Talkeetna and spending the nite there. Catch a flightseeing tour either on the day of your arrival (weather permitting) or the next morning. There's not much to see in this small town. We stayed at the Eye of Denali (in its "upper house") which was very nice and plenty big for your group:

For flightseeing, I'd recommend Talkeetna Aero. We had a great time with them doing the McKinley Summit Tour.

Then I'd head to Denali. We stayed at the Denali Lakeview Inn and recommend it.

The drive from Denali to Anchorage is about 5 hours.

Hope this helps.
dcd is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 06:02 PM
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We stayed at Wild Rose B&B in Homer (above it, actually) with a great view. We had our own cabin and there were at least two beds, perhaps three.
Postal is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 06:13 PM
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In Homer, several years ago we stayed at Victorian Heights B&B <>.
The rooms were large, had great views and the breakfasts were very good. We would definitely stay there again.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Hi, Thanks much for the suggestions, always appreciated. I particularly like the idea of staying in Talkeetna as that'd shave time off of our drive from Seward to Denali. I know that'll be a long day and I'm afraid we can't move the time in Denali back or forward as we all really have our hearts set on staying in the park and the only two nights together I could get that week was Sept 2nd and 3rd. That's the reason for the short time in Seward also--although I guess we could spend three nights in Seward and two in Homer. Thanks also for the recommendations on things to do and places to stay.
Libby123 is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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HI, oops, forgot, I have one more (I think) question. We are still toying with our idea of driving from Healy to Paxson and then back to Anchorage. This would be via Fairbanks not the gravel highway. We'd stay the night in Paxson. My question is regards to safety with three single women, two of whom are older. Is the road relatively well-traveled? Are there any road-side stops--gas stations, etc? I don't scare that easily but realize that if we had car trouble my companions would have trouble helping me in, let's say, changing a tire or something like that. We just had the idea that this would be a way of seeing more of a beautiful state and it seems less toursited from what I've read here. I'm interested in opinions because we are really on the fence with this one. Thanks
Libby123 is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 36
Take a look at the Gigglewood Inn
( which is about a half hour south of Talkeetna. Beautiful place off the highway built on a lake with an outstanding breakfast. Stop in Talkeetna for an air tour on the way to Denali.

We stayed at the Lakeview Inn. Neat little place with privacy. Some 'interesting' decor, but would stay there again. Great photos of a moose grazing below the balcony.

We stayed at the Harborview Inn in Seward. Don't let the name fool you, it's not on the water but a nice place. We stayed in the King Suite (

Our itineray worked pretty well --

Arrived in Anchorage and drove straight to the Gigglewood Inn. Late arrival but saved money not staying in Anchorage.

DAY TWO - Talkeetna walk and Talkeetna Aero tour

DAY THREE - Drove to Denali (3 hrs) Checked into Lakeview Inn and relaxed

DAY FOUR - Tundra Wilderness Bus Tour

DAY FIVE - Drove to Seward, beautiful stretch from Anchorage to Seward. Checked into Harborview Inn

DAY SIX - Walked Seward, Exit Glacier and relaxed

DAY SEVEN - Renown Tours six hour glacier tour

DAY EIGHT - Drove to Anchorage for evening flight. Spent time seeing a few sights in town prior to flight.

This worked pretty well for us.

trg is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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The best part of the Richardson, is Glenallen to Valdez with a couple days, which you don't have. Fairbanks offers plenty, and really is best with at least an overnight, do you have time for that?? The drive is so so in my opinion for most of the way. Some scenery, but overall, nothing great.

I suggest you look at the overall you want to do with activities and route there. You could do two days in Fairbanks with plenty to keep you occupied, then return to Anchorage over 2 days.

As for driving, yep it can get very remote, it's up to you your comfort and independence level. There are no guarantees who you will meet or run into.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
great place to stay in Seward is B&B called Soo's bed and breakfast cloe to town and wonderful hostess.we stayed here 3 nites in June and she is great
JoAnnee is offline  
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