Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Alaska rough itinerary NEED help, never been there.

Alaska rough itinerary NEED help, never been there.

Old Jan 21st, 2010, 07:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alaska rough itinerary NEED help, never been there.

I need your help again, you guys are the best. This year its Alaska late Aug.
We do not like 7 day cruises, helicopter rides, a lot of hiking, or dog sledding.
We love museums, scenery, animals, the unusual found in nature. We are almost 60.
Never been to Alaska, will fly into Anchorage,rent a car stay 15 nights.
Would apreciate ANY suggestions to improve this rough itinerary.

Anchorage 2 nights - Botanical Gardens,
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
North stopping at Wasilla for the Museum of Alaska Transportation

Takeetna 1 night ? Takeetna Historical Society
Museum of Northern Adventure Main Street

Denali 4 nights? Fish
Alaska Cabin Night Dinner Theater
90 mile bus ride to Kantishna with 1 mile hikes along the way.

Fairbanks 3 nights? El Dorado Gold mine
Fairbanks Ice Museum
Fairbanks Community Museum
Riverboat Discovery
Stop at Delta- Big Delta State Historical Park

Valdez 1 night Valdez Museum and Historical Archive
Stop at Palmer- Musk Ox Farm

Seward 2 nights Alaska Sealife Center
Kenai Fjords Tour Salmon Bake cruise
Seward Museum
Stop at Tok -National Wildlife Refuge
Stop at Whittier 26 Glacier Cruise

Last 2 nights back in Anchorage
Alaska zoo

PLEASE let me know what Im leaving out, or should leave out.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Evelyn
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 08:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,271
Received 77 Likes on 7 Posts
Just a couple of qualms -

Are you aware that Tok is around a 12-hour drive from Seward? Or that Valdez is (at least) 7 hours from Palmer?

I might recommend that you consider booking a ferry between Valdez and Whittier (you might need to adjust your itinerary accordingly to fit it in) which will be (a) very scenic and (b) save hours and hours of driving. Turn your itinerary into more of a loop and less of a zigzag.

I'd also drop Tok entirely.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:10 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Gardyloo, I dropped Tok.
Do you think I should drop Valdez.
The ferry (which I didn't know existed) between Valdez and Wittier would cost 300, for 2 people and a car.
Since we were only going to stay one night there, and all
I could see of interest was one museum, we could drive
Fairbanks to Seward (13hours) with Maybe a one night stay
along the way. Highway 2 and 4 do not have scenic dots, only
highway one on the drive. Is it the best route to go to get
from Fairbanks south, should we repeat George Parks highway
or #3?
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,918
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We overnighted in Tok on our way from Skagway to Anchorage. Perhaps there's another wildlife refuge you could visit. I think you might also reconsider the boat trip/salmon bake and go for a longer boat trip. We did the longest day out to the glaciers. Lots of wonderful wildlife, sea mammals, etc.

Don't miss Independence Mine. We were there in mid-June so the wildflowers were wonderful. The state has done a great job turning some of the old buildings into museums. It's just incredible to imagine building a town so far away from anyplace else.
We thought the Museum of Transportation was interesting. There's a lot of info on early bush pilots. If you like to read all the small tags and signs, I think you would like it. We also wandered around outside to see some of the vehicles that hadn't been restored yet. DH loves that sort of thing.
I would check to see what kind of events are going on. You didn't mention stopping at Alyeska. The tram ride offers some great scenery and maybe some snow at the top, yes, even in August. We went to the July Forest Fair at the base of Alyeska. There was a nice craft selling everything from beautiful prints to easy crafts. I treasure a picture frame made from twisted willow and copper nails. It was a good opportunity to chat with some people about their work, where they lived, where they used to live. But the museum I liked the best was the Pratt in Homer. They had some short videos which included interviews with someone whose parents had homesteaded in the 50s. Homer is big on fishing but also artsy. There's an incredible view at the rest area on the hwy overlooking the Homer Spit and across the bay. You can also take a drive to the road that looks out over town from a different angle, up above the airport. Some good restaurants which we thought were sort of scarce outside of Anchorage.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:52 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you SO MUCH dfostnh,
Everything you mentioned seems on our route, We are going
to love Independence Mine, and the Alyeska Tram in Girdwood,
and The Transportation and Industry museum in Wassilla.
Can you suggest a town to stay in around these 3 so we
can take our time to enjoy them...maybe Palmer, or Wassilla
or Sutton?
You mentioned Homer, we never mind driving if its worth
seeing, and since we eliminated Valdez, is Homer worth the drive?
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 09:57 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have 3 day cruises, 1)Kenai Fjords, which I've change to the longest of their cruises, 2)The Riverboat Discovery in
Fairbanks, and 3) The 26 Glacier Cruise from Whittier.
Are they different enough, and beautiful enough to do all 3?
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:20 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd do all 3 day cruises. The highlight of our Alaska trip (we drove from Anchorage around the Kenai peninsula- Seward, Whittier, Girdwood, Homer, and up to Fairbanks through Denali and then back around the other highway down to Anchorage) was a flight seeing trip out of Homer to see bears. We saw more wildlife close up on the Kenai peninsula than we did taking the bus tour to the very end of the road in Denali (and our bus drivers said we had had a very good day for wildlife viewing).
padams421 is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:30 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for sharing padams,
That sounds soooo good, however, we are already totaling around 6500 for this trip, and that would add another 1100,
which is more than we budgeted.
Your route sound like ours. If you hadn't done the Bear
flightseeing tour, would you have felt the drive to Homer
worth it? Is the drive scenic to Homer?
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 03:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,918
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Palmer we stayed at Alaska Garden Gate B&B. Karen has a great video on her website showing the first floor. Breakfasts are wonderful and her house husky is beautiful and friendly. Definitely the nicest b&b we stayed in. I prefer b&b's where you can visit with the hosts and other guests but you will find some that are simply a room over the garage with a simple bagel breakfast and little contact with the host.
The drive between Anchorage and Seward is the most beautiful. From the split where you drive thru Soldotna to Seward is very nice, just not incredible until you get to Homer. You get some views of the volcanos across the bay. Soldotna is a good stopping place for lunch. Our visit to Homer included an overnight in Seldovia with a short flightsee back (boat over). We much preferred the cruise out of Seward because of more varied wildlife. What may be surprising to a visitor is how each of the towns are so different from each other, most with a distinct personality. If you nose around a little there is more to learn i.e. the canvas and clothing store in Homer that started out in a school bus. (check out http://nomaralaska.com/about.htm ) You are guaranteed to see eagles (read about Eagle lady of Homer). If you're there on the right day, the farmers market is good. We were staying in Kenai and the weekend trip to Seldovia didn't give us enough time in Homer so we went back for a day trip (about 1 1/2 hours from Kenai).
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 11:54 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
THANK you so much. We cut the days in Fairbanks to 2 nights,
and Denali to 2 and omitted Valdez,
to stay 3 in Seward, and 2 in Homer since all your suggestions
seem to be so awesome to stay in the Kenai area.
I can't thank you enough for taking the time to help me.
It just shows how kind people are.
I'm going to look into EVERYTHING you mentioned as soon as the
grandkids all go home, you give advice I can't find in any book.
THANK YOU
ehovis is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 01:44 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Kenai peninsula was our favorite part of Alaska. Homer is worth visiting even if you don't visit the bears.

I can't believe I forgot to suggest earlier that you must buy a Milepost guide for Alaska. The Milepost covers the Alaskan roads mile by mile. It not only covers the towns but what is between the towns including gas stations, restaurants, and even places where you are likely to see wildlife. It is THE guidebook for driving around Alaska. It has a website which I think is milepost.com. You can buy the book there or on Amazon.

Your trip sounds great. You will love it.
padams421 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 04:42 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You have some great advice. I would strongly suggest that you include a visit to the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The museum of the North is wonderful and the Botanical Gardens are very special. Also, as you drive from Anchorage to Seward I think you will enjoy, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center it is just off Alaska Route 1 near Portage Glacier. They have animals saved from the wild and even a moose so tame you can pet his antlers.
stpetereb is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 05:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,346
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding the 26 Glacier Cruise from Whittier, be sure to ask them about available discounts. They have several (military, Alaska Airlines employees, AAA, I think and possibly others). They don't volunteer this information so you must ask!

While you are at it, ask the same question for the Kenai Fjords trip.


_______________________________________________
Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2010, 03:37 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are short on time, from Fairbanks to Valdez, and are underestimating the drive, in my opinion. I would not stay the extra night in Talkeetna, with you being in Palmer the night before, so push everything back. I also doubt you really want Kantishna, unless you are going to stay in one of the lodges? There is no fishing at Denali park. I would also cut one of those days, to free up the time for later (now have two days).

What is Fairbanks Community Museum?? If it's what I'm recalling, it will take about an hour to see. There is plenty more to also consider here, figure out more detail to your time here, and see if you need all of it?

I would split the Richardson, and stop at Glennallen/Copper Center. Take your time along the way and not "marathon" drive it. The scenery is Glenallen/Valdez. A highlight, IS getting to Kennicott/McCarthy, and you are driving right by it.

Valdez also has excellent boat tours. What you are missing, is so much of Alaska is the sea. ALL the boat tours are vastly different and certainly extremely worthwhile.

I definately suggest the ferry Valdez/Whittier. Yes it costs $300. Otherwise, the Glennallen drive is scenic.

Skip Tok as already mentioned.

In Seward, I don't recommend the Kenai Fjords tour you are considering. Superior are the regular 6 hour boat tours. Fox Island is OK, but you are limiting your boat time, since it is more tightly timed and less available for route changes by the cpt. The salmon is OK, better is the Exit Glacier Salmon Bake.

Are you purchasing toursaver/northern lights coupon books? Can offer some savings.

There are touring options, that it is foolish to skimp on. You need to take a hard look, at the overall. HOW often are you going to get to Alaska? It may be worthwhile to take advantage of the "now" and see and do what you have the opportunity to do.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2010, 08:38 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good information posted, but some conflicting. The value of a stop to you depends on what you want out of your trip.
A few comments: 1). Tok, for instance, is a small place, but a community of hardy residents 1 of whom was featured in Peter Jenkins' excellent book, Looking for Alaska. Valdez and Talkeetna are similarly interesting communities, with colorful histories and both especially scenic. 2). The Milepost will add considerably to any road trip. 3). The native Alaskan history and lands along the way are worth exploring along the way. 4). While it's tempting to hurry; fill a limited itinerary during a 1-2 week stay here, distances on Alaska's limited road system can be underestimated by: construction, weather, traffic (picture 3 RVs ahead of you on a narrow, twisting 2-lane road. There are many places along roads here where you may not want to hurry due to the scenery. Some roads hazards if you hurry too much - and help will often be far away. 5). What you see...anywhere...will be limited by weather/visibility. If you can linger, you might improve chances. The view of Denali (Mt McKinley) from Talkeetna for instance - on a cloudy/partly cloudy day, you'll never see, but on a clear day, maybe the next day, can be one of the very best views in Alaska. 6). Get off the road system if you can: in a riverboat (several tours available from Talkeetna) or train (which passes through undeveloped lands) to see wilder, undeveloped parts. 7). You may find Alaska warmer and rougher than expected. Consider shorts in July (zip-off legs often ideal), but keep fleece and light raingear handy. Favor sturdier shoes.
Very good tips in the replies here though.
diveslot100 is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2010, 09:00 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everybody!!!!!!!
I think I've come up with a plan
with all your suggestions.
To get the most of what I will be seeing,
I am not going to go as far as Valdez or Kennicott/McCarthy
this trip as great as it sounds.
If you have any improvements on this itinerary, I would
LOVE to hear it, as I'm basing all my decisions on your advise


Anchorage 2nights
Alaska Frontier Gardens B & B (bed and breakfast)
1 Botanical Gardens
2 Alaska Native Heritage Center
3 Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

DRIVE 113 MILES TO TALKEETNA 2 HOURS 15 MINUTES

See...Eklutna Russian town and Cemetery

See....Palmer Reindeer Farm

See...Wasilla Museum of Alaska Transportation and industry

Talkeetna 1 night
Meandering Moose Lodging, Talkeetna

1. Talkeetna Historical Society museum
2 Museum of Northern Adventure


DRIVE 151 MILES TO Denali 2 hours 45 minutes

Denali 2 nights
Touch Of Wilderness Bed and Breakfast Inn

Alaska Cabin night dinner Theater ??
Bus ride into the park The Longest one
Some short hikes.

DRIVE 100 MILES OR 2 HOURS 30 MIN

Fairbanks 2 nights
Dale and Joe View Suites B & B
1. University Museum
2. Riverboat Discovery
3 El Dorado Gold mine
4. Alaskaland Pioneer Park ??
5. Fairbanks ice museum

DRIVE 310 MILES OR 7-8 HOURS TO PALMER

Stop for pictures at North Pole
Big Delta State Historical Park and Rikas Roadhouse and Landing
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Palmer 1 night ????Where to stay????

1. Musk Ox Farm Milepost 50 10-6
2. Independence Mine
3. Girdwood Alyeska Tram
10 miles south is a wildlife center

DRIVE 170 MILES OR 3 ½ HOURS TO SEWARD

Seward 3 nights ???Bears Den Bed and Breakfast???
Alaska Sealife Center Mile
Kenai Fjords Tour (I'm looking into Superior instead)
Seward Museum
Hiking

Drive 167 miles or 3 ½ hours to Homer


Homer 2 night
On the Water's Edge B & B - Compass Rose Quarters B & B
Pratt Museum 10-6

Drive 221 miles, stopping at Whitter for the 26 Glacier Cruise

Anchorage 1 nights then fly home. No reservations yet, want near airport
ehovis is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2010, 09:11 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Just thought I'd throw my two cents in here.
There is no part of Alaska that you will be unhappy with visiting, but I especially love the Kenai Peninsula. The drive from Anchorage to Seward is truly breathtaking! Unfortunately, if you're driving, you won't be able to enjoy in nearly as much as you would on, say, the train.
The 26 Glacier cruise out of Whittier is nice, but there are some very nice glacier tours out of Seward as well. You could cut that out of your trip entirely. Honestly, once you've seen one glacier from a ship, you've seen them all.
If I were you, I would go from Anchorage to Homer first and end your time in Seward, return your rental in Seward if you're using Hertz? and take the train back to Anchorage. It is well worth the money!
While in Seward, I recommend Kenai Fjords Tours. You probably won't want a trip much longer than their 6 hour that goes to Holgate Glacier. I've found that their captains and crews are the most knowledgeable in the area. Make sure you make it to Exit Glacier. It's a relatively easy hike, and you'll be so close you can feel the cold off of the glacier. Also, look in to Ididaride while you're there. It's a dog sledding experience without the expensive trip to a glacier. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this tour and it is very educational. Don't waste you're money eating at the fancy dockside restaurants. There are SO many great local places that don't charge for the view (which you can see for free with a nice stroll along the harbor). Here are a few of my favorites, and why..
Apollo's-great Greek fare, locally owned and open year round
Thorn's Showcase- Try the "Bucket of But", a bucket of halibut at an awesome price
The Breeze-Local, good breakfast, diner feel
Resurrection Roadhouse-right on Resurrection River, outside of town, largest selection of draft beers on the Kenai, on the way to Exit Glacier, great Chef-created dinner menu, fantastic pizza, friendly staff (I'm a bit biased because I worked there)
The Creperie-owned by this crazy Belgian guy, never busy but always entertaining, amazing crepes but don't go if you're in a hurry or mind the owner, Ivan, flirting shamelessly, one of my favorite experiences!
I hope you have a great trip! You'll wish you'd done it years ago..
hmariesones is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 04:31 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,918
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you go to Whittier, don't forget you have to go thru a one-way toll tunnel. Check the schedule for when it is open going in your direction. I liked Looking for Alaska, good read and will give you a preview of some of the towns. Also recommend the Milepost.
On our 2004 trip I had to hear Hobo Jim sing. DH won't do smoky bars but he was scheduled to play in a small dinner theater in Soldotna near the end of our visit. He's quite a character. The food was half decent, most of the other folks were local. We shared a table with another tourist couple. I like his ballards. When we arrived we just missed a kids concert he gave at the library in Kenai.
Looks like some great restaurant advice from hmariesones.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 05:12 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a 1,000-mile circle tour from Anchorage that takes about 10 days, but can be easily stretched to 15 days by adding side trips and leaving a few days on either end to explore Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. (For side trips and the Kenai, add another 600 or so miles.) The basic route takes you from Anchorage to Whittier; by ferry from Whittier to Valdez; up the Richardson Highway (with a side trip out the McCarthy Road) to Fairbanks; and return to Anchorage via the Parks Highway.
Days 1 & 2: Whittier to Valdez
Before or during you stay in Anchorage, check current Alaska State Ferry schedules for the Chenega and Aurora sailing to Valdez that fits your schedule. (For example, this summer the Chenega departs Whittier on Mondays, Thursday and Saturdays at 12:45 PM for a 4:30 PM arrival in Valdez.) Reserve and pay for passenger and vehicle space on the ferry online before driving the Seward Highway south to Whittier, 59 miles from Anchorage. To reach Whittier you must drive through the 2.5-mile-long Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. Built in 1942-43, this modified railroad tunnel accommodates only single-lane traffic and is also used by the Alaska Railroad. Vehicle traffic is controlled from vehicle holding lanes at either end of the tunnel, on the Whittier side and at Bear Valley on the west side. Eastbound and westbound traffic moves through the tunnel on an alternating schedule throughout the day, with certain time periods for use by the railroad. It is critical to time your drive to the tunnel schedule (available online).

Arrive in Valdez and find accommodations at local motels or campgrounds. There are several activities to recommend in Valdez, including sea kayaking (we’ve taken the beginner’s guided kayak tour of the harbor) and glacier wildlife cruises. Prince William Sound Community College has the Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum collection and also shows films on the pipeline and earthquake. The Valdez Historical Museum downtown has excellent exhibits as well, including the original Cape Hinchinbrook lighthouse lens. And don't let the warehouse exterior of the Valdez Museum Annex fool you. This facility has a wonderful scale model of Valdez as it existed prior to the 1964 l.

Drive out the Richardson 2.8 miles to the Dayville Road turnoff. This 5-mile side road leads to Allison Point, a popular destination for pink and silver salmon fishing in season, and offers great scenic views of Port Valdez, the 13-mile-long estuary at the head of Valdez Arm.

Day 3 to 5 Valdez to Fairbanks
If you are lucky with the weather, you will have fabulous views leaving Valdez as the Richardson Highway winds through Keystone Canyon and up over Thompson Pass.

Thompson Pass is more than 2,000 feet lower than Alaska's highest highway pass--4,800-foot Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway--but since you begin the drive at sea level, it seems higher than its 2,678 feet. The real climb begins about 20 miles outside of Valdez and lasts 7.5 miles. Stop at the pass for photos and then again a few miles farther on at Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site. This day-use only park, the most visited site in the Copper River Basin, showcases Worthington Glacier with interpretive displays, paved paths and glacier viewpoints. Well worth pulling off the road to see the glacier from this site.

At Milepost V 82.5, the Richardson Highway junctions with Alaska Route 10, the Edgerton Highway. Drive 33 miles east to Chitina and the start of the McCarthy Road. Consider a side trip out the McCarthy Road if your vehicle rental agreement does not preclude this option. The McCarthy Road deserves all the press it gets, both as a wonderful destination and as a memorable driving experience. It begins at Chitina and ends 59.5 miles later at the Kennicott River pedestrian bridge; McCarthy is less than a mile away on foot. Take a shuttle van from McCarthy out to Kennicott and touring the mill complex with one of the local guide services. Another popular activity in Kennicott is to hike out to Root Glacier, a 3-mile round trip. (See The MILEPOST for a detailed description of the Edgerton Highway/McCarthy Road.)

At Milepost V 100.2 on the Richardson Highway, take an easy side trip through the historic community of Copper Center. The historic Copper Center Lodge/Roadhouse is a favorite stop here. Across the highway, the newer Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge offers fine views of the Wrangell Mountains on a clear day. Cross the Klutina River (a popular salmon fishing spot) and drive north a few miles on the Richardson Highway to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Visitor Center, which makes a great rest stop and introduces you to this area of Alaska.

From Glennallen, 115 miles north of Valdez, it is 247 miles to Fairbanks via the Richardson. There are plenty of places to stop and we recommend over-nighting along the way for first-time visitors. This stretch of the Richardson Highway offers public fishing access to the Gulkana River, Paxson Lake (also a launch site for floating the Gulkana River to Sourdough), Quartz Lake, Birch Lake, Chena Lakes, and dozens of smaller stocked lakes. At Paxson, take a raft trip on the Gulkana River with Denali Highway Cabins.

This is also a very scenic drive, with views of Mount Sanford, Mount Wrangell and Mount Drum in the rearview mirror and the Alaska Range in the front window. There are also good views of the Trans-Alaska pipeline along the Richardson Highway.

At Delta Junction Visitor Information Center, Milepost V 266 on the Richardson Highway, there's an outdoor pipeline display. There's also an “End of the Alaska Highway” monument here, because Delta Junction--not Fairbanks--is the official end of the Alaska Highway. Take time to stop at Rika’s Roadhouse, located a few miles outside Delta Junction, where you can experience what an early Alaska roadhouse was like.

Day 6 to 8 Fairbanks
There’s a lot to do in Fairbanks and a wide range of accommodations. For families with kids, Pioneer Park is a good choice: it has a playground, a train ride, miniature golf and lots of fun small shops and places to eat, as well as the popular Pioneer Air Museum and Tanana Valley Railroad Museum. Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on College Road and Alaska Bird Observatory (at Wedgewood Resort) are favorites with bird watchers: Taking a scenic cruise on the Chena River with one of the local tour boats is a popular choice. And no one should miss the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Georgeson Botanical Gardens, the Large Animal Research Station or the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.

And just a short drive from Fairbanks are the following: the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline viewpoint; Gold Dredge No. 8; El Dorado Gold Mine; and Chena Hot Springs Resort. Fairbanks is also the jump-off point for various Interior and Arctic adventures, from fly-in fishing to sightseeing trips to Barrow and Prudhoe Bay.


Days 9 & 10 Parks Highway
It is a 362-mile drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage via the Parks Highway. Certainly, you can do it in a day, but if you’ve come to see Alaska, plan to take your time traveling between these 2 cities: there are many places to stay, sights to see and streams to fish. It is also on this leg of the journey that most visitors pencil in a stay at Denali National Park.

The entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve is just 125 miles south of Fairbanks and 237 miles north of Anchorage, but businesses serving Park visitors stretch from Healy to Cantwell. These include RV parks, campgrounds, lodges, trail rides, rafting, Mt. McKinley flights and other adventure tours. The log of the Parks Highway in The MILEPOST® details all these stops. If you decide to camp inside Denali Park, you can reserve a campsite. (Riley Creek is the most accessible of the park’s campgrounds.)

The Nenana Canyon area near the park entrance is where most of the big hotels serving Denali Park visitors are located, as well as a gas station/convenience store, rafting outfitters, restaurants and other businesses. The Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theatre at McKinley Chalet Resort offers an all-you-can-eat family-style meal and an entertaining live show.

While visiting Denali Park, take the free shuttle bus from the park visitor center to the sled dog demonstration at the Park Kennels. This is an easy and entertaining activity in the park, suitable for all ages. The park’s shuttle bus system operates daily from about mid-May to mid-September. Check out the options for Bus Services—How to Explore Denali online at www.nps.gov/dena.

If it’s a clear day you will have views of Mt. McKinley/Denali from Broad Pass all the way back to Anchorage. Stops of interest between Denali Park and Anchorage include the Alaska Veterans Memorial/POW-MIA Rest Area; Petersville Road; Talkeetna; Nancy Lake State Recreation Area; sled dog kennel tours (Vern Halter at Mile 64.5 and Martin Buser at Big Lake); the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry at Mile 47; and Iditarod Headquarters on Knik Road in Wasilla.

Days 11 to 15
In Anchorage, visit Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center; hike Flattop; go to the Saturday Market; visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center; rent bikes and do the Coastal Trail; drive out to Eagle River Nature Center; drive Hatcher Pass Road to Independence Mine; drive out the Glenn Highway to the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site for a great view of that glacier, then stop at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer.
On the Kenai, take the tram up Mount Alyeska; get up-close and personal with animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center; take a Kenai Fjords cruise out of Seward; raft the Kenai River at Cooper Landing; see Russian churches in Kenai and Ninilchik; go halibut fishing in Cook Inlet; fly out of Soldotna or Homer for bear viewing; explore Homer Spit, stop at the Pratt Museum and the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer; ferry over to Seldovia or Halibut Cove.

If you have questions, contact me at [email protected]




















.
Kristine_Valencia is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2010, 08:12 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
YOU GUYS ARE SO GREAT!!!!
I can't wait for a day off, to work on researching all these
suggestions, and making lists of restaurants under the towns we're visiting. Wish we had twice the amount of time, it all
sounds like so much fun.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.
ehovis is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:54 PM.