Alaska Lodgings and Restaurants June 2021

Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 05:13 PM
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Alaska Lodgings and Restaurants June 2021

Recently returned from a birding tour in Alaska (Anchorage, Denali, Seward, Nome). For the most part, I liked all of the lodgings used by the tour agency (Partnership for International Birding).
Note: All hotels had functional Wifi in the rooms (except McLaren River Lodge), and I'd certainly consider using them all again.

Anchorage: Coast International Inn, Lake Spenard (multiple nights). Has a free 24-hour airport shuttle. However, the shuttle took over 20 minutes (if it ever did show up) for my arrival night, so another driver took pity on me and dropped me off. The restaurant (Piper's) has a good-value happy hour (ending at 7pm) with a selection of half-off appetizers. Continental breakfast is included in the price (options include two hard-boiled eggs and a yogurt parfait). Older hotel, somewhat remodeled. Keurig machines in the rooms.

Denali: Denali Perch Resort (2 nights) Has a restaurant uphill which due to staffing issues we only used for breakfast, which was very good. The dinner menu looks promising. Little cabins, some by a stream. Our room heater didn't work the first night, but was repaired when we were out. A few rooms use a shared shower block. I believe they also run the Panorama Pizza Pub nearby, excellent. Be sure to check the specials board (we enjoyed the "Berry White" pizza for dinner and leftovers at breakfast). The resort made our sack lunches for two days, Vegetarian sandwich was more like a salad with a cup of hummus, but I liked it.
The second night outside Denali we ate at Prey Pub and Eatery at Denali Cabins, which I didn't like as much. The menu was pretty limited, not sure if that was pandemic-related We shared a "Beast Burger" which was a mix of bison and a few other things. Enjoyed the Chuli Stout however.

McLaren River Lodge: Probably my favorite lodging, we had nearly new "Alpine Glow Cabins' overlooking a small lake. Wifi only in the restaurant. They have a full-service restaurant and bar/ounge area. Breakfast is included. Small onsite shop as well. The dinner was a bit disappointing, although what do you want out in the middle of nowhere.

Seward: Northern Nights BnB. Great location in downtown Seward, easy walk to the boat tours, SeaLife Center and restaurants. Cooked to order breakfast included (eggs/waffles/fruit). We were disappointed that a couple from another hotel finished off Sarah's homemade rhubarb bread so there was none the second morning, All day tea and coffee available, and the kitchen is open for guest use outside of breakfast hours. Definitely recommended. Dinner was at Seward Brewing Company. They were very busy..go early or go home! Hours were not updated on the website, so it's worth stopping by earlier than posted. The first night we enjoyed two salads with added proteins (the Green Queen salad in particular). There is a bar area which has some seats set aside for drinking only, other with food availabler. Theyt ake your name and then text when your spot opens, no reservations. The beers on offer change, and 3-ounce tasters are available. I had the Imperial Milk Stout as a dessert beer. There is a gelato and chocolate store another half block north on Fourth Avenue, recommended.

Nome: We stayed about a mile or two outside of town at the Dredge No. 7 Inn. No breakfast is included, but the rooms have coffee makers and full kitchens. The majority of birders apparently stay at the Aurora Inn in town (which is less expensive, I think). We ate both nights at Milano's, recommended for excellentTempura at reasonable prices.

Shopping: I'm not a big shopper but two in or group wanted to go to the Alaska Fur Exchange in Anchoragewhich has a pretty interesting back room with pelts,etc. There was also a small gift store at the McLaren Lodge, and we stopped at the Alaska Birch Syrup /Wild Harvest store on the way to Denali for a tour, tasting and ice cream.

Last edited by mlgb; Jun 22nd, 2021 at 05:16 PM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2021, 07:05 PM
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Thank you for taking the time. A fully satisfying report. Makes me want to go as it' been on the list but alluded us.
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Old Jun 24th, 2021, 07:09 AM
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I think this would be a good year since no cruises are coming in to Anchorage. COVID testing is no longer required in Anchorage. Some of the smaller communities such as Nome want to see proof of VAX. Fortunately we didn't also need to test or quarantine.

Car rentals are a big issue and then for Denali bus tickets. Met a couple who had booked the car in Fairbanks, which is closer to Denali.

Staff shortages were affecting the restaurants in Seward.
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