Anchorage in February?

Old Aug 15th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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Anchorage in February?

I get my winter break in February and want to go to Anchorage for the week, making a few day trips but mostly just kicking around the city, maybe renting a car. Everyone here tells me I'm crazy to go in winter and that even Grayline buses have no tours in February, so driving a car would be nuts. What do you think? Should I go or would it be really stupid in February and maybe do it another year in summer. HELP!!!
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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If it were me, I'd love a trip to Alaska in February. However, I would go to Fairbanks rather than Anchorage.

That's just the opposite advice I'd have in summer but there's method to my madness. As others have said, many of the visitor-oriented activites are closed during that period in either place. For me, the tipping point is the availability of the Northern Lights and the further north you travel, the more likely you are to see them.

There are also a number of winter festivals in both areas and, with luck, your visit will coincide with one of them.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 12:44 AM
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See what activities are available in Alaska during your projected timeframe and decide from there. Personally I try to GET OUT of Alaska in February, brrgh! If you don't mind darkness, cold, and icy roads - and are up for a unique adventure you may have fun. Northern Lights can be beautiful, skiing is good at Alyeska, and there are winter festivals (check dates). Summer is a much nicer time to visit but if you enjoy winter activities - it may be fun too.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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I was in Alaska in July, and I wouldn't even want to spend my one-week of time in Alaska in Anchorage -- there's not that much to see, and the rest of Alaska is absolutely stunning. To me at least, it would be a shame to travel that far only to spend time in Anchorage. If I had the option, I would delay the visit to the Summer and add a national park or two.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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My opinion depends on whether you have winter driving skills. Anchorage is a big city with lots of commuters. The highways can be treacherous in certain conditions. I've been told that city lights sometime make it difficult to see the Northern lights. You should see if you can still take a sightseeing flight which would be a lot more fun than a bus. Keep in mind the much shorter daylight hours. If you like winter activities, you could have a great time. (We have friends who moved to AK precisely for the longer winters.)
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Winter can be a ton of fun but I'd still favor Anchorage over Fairbanks because -- other than the northern lights -- which can be spectacular there -- you have many more options.

You do increase your odds for the northern lights but it's still a matter of timing. Plus the Fairbanks winter activities can't match the full sked of the Fur Rondy.

Plus, once you've spend a couple of minutes at 40 below the novelty wears off and you learn you can do a lot more at zero. Plus your scenery and wildlife options are better out of Anchorage.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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IF Anchorage has a festival etc going on, then is should be great going in February. You are correct, there are no "tours" and all the seasonal stuff is long closed.

I have gone twice in March with the Ice Sculpting Championships out of Fairbanks going on. From what I was told, the weather is significantly better in that timeframe, warmer and 12 hours of daylight.

Do your homework, I packed a heavy duty snowmobile suit and did use it. Bunny boots are superior to anything else for foot warmth. Be prepared with going in Feb.
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