Driving itinerary suggestions

Old Apr 30th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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Driving itinerary suggestions

Family of 4 (2 teenagers)on a limited budget renting a car in Anchorage, touring for 12 days in Jun/Jul. We want a combination of activities to truly experience Alaska. Any ideas?
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Old May 1st, 2005, 03:41 AM
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up to denali of course, i would also look into hiking on the matanuska glacier, you can book guided tour -this relatively inexpensive compared to some alaska activities.

the teens will like it , they give you the equipment you need to do it, you MUST bring sturdy shoes on your trip. sneakers wouldn't cut it for this adventure. (sturdy hikers, not expensive hiking shoes go to target or walmart)

Other things to see and do:

Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords NP easy access.

Watch folks fish at the russian river, outrageous.

Halibut fishing out of homer.

Daytime glacier cruise out of seward.

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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:03 AM
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You need to get to your library and take out Alaska tour books. Purchase a couple www.toursaver.com coupon books. Make a big loop Anchorage, Fairbanks, Glenallen, Valdez- ferry- Whittier, Seward- as a suggestion. Or skip Valdez and do Homer and Seward. I recommend guided hiking with MICA on Matanuska glacier- it's touch going on your own if you have no experience. On a guided tour, hiking books and crampons included. As for activities- consider the coupons for - McKinley flightseeing, Arctic Circle flight/shuttle, Northwestern Fjords boat trip out of Seward, Stan Stephen's out of Valdez, plus plenty else. Involve the kids in the planning. You need to be booking NOW, for peak season, I suggest some B&B's for a real Alaska experience.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for the advice, it helped me to come up with a preliminar itinerary before I make lodging reservations(many are already booked). I still need to plan what I'm going to do in each place... I guess that should be easier to figure out. I haven't paid for any reservations yet so I am open to any suggestion. What do you think?
1-arrive at Anchorage 6p.m. rent a car
2-Talkeetna
3,4-Fairbanks
5,6-Denali (Mountain Morning Hostel)
7-Glennallen
8-Valdez-ferry
9,10-Seward (Kenai Fjords)
11-Homer
12-Soldotna
13-Anchorage
14-leave


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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:57 AM
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Independence Mine is free and there are hiking trails in the area but you would have to approach from the Palmer side of Hatcher Pass because the Pass doesn't open until July 4 or later. I think you need a full day in Homer, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Seward. You might need most of the day to travel from Soldotna to Anchorage if you stop at places like Portage Glacier Visitors Center. Admission to the short film is inexpensive. If you are in Alaska for 4th of July, some towns have big parades. The Forest Fair in Girdwood is over 4th of July weekend as well. I think admission was free. There are two music stages, lots of craft sellers and food vendors. We saw lots of teenagers. We saw mother moose and baby in the Kenai/Soldotna area. I enjoyed the visitors center in Kenai. In late June there will be net fishing on the beach in the Kenai/Soldotna area. There is a big marathon race in Seward around 4th of July. Have fun!
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 04:03 AM
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If you haven't paid for reservations yet, you might want to consider an RV. The cost seems high at first, but if you rent one that comes with all linens/kitchen equipment, you can calculate it against the cost of rental car + hotels. And with 2 teenagers, the cost of food alone in restaurants can break the bank! If you stock up on food in Anchorage before you leave (it's cheaper there), then you won't have to worry too much about restaurants and hotels/B&Bs. Once you get out of Anchorage, the hotel options diminsh and you'll end up at B&Bs. Some are very nice but others are former hunting lodges with minimal accommodations except a place to sleep.

In Alaska you can park your RV in campgrounds for about $10-12/night (check these prices, I was there in '01). But I recall you can park in the state parks for even less, but you should get to the popular ones (ie. Denali) early enough to mark your spot.

Caution: if the RV says it sleeps 4, go for the larger one that sleeps 6-8. You'll appreciate the space and have teens that won't complain about being on top of each other. We used http://www.greatalaskanholidays.com/. They include lawn chairs/BBQ and other stuff in the rental where you would pay extra elsewhere.

If nothing else, be sure to pick up The Milepost, a guidebook to Alaska. You can get it at any bookstore in the US and it's a very useful tool for touring. Read it before you go and you'll get an idea of travel times/distances. Alaska is a huge state and the scenery is very beautiful. Enjoy your trip.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 09:15 AM
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Skip Fairbanks. Add it to Homer with a night in Seldovia.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:11 AM
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This itinerary has too much time in transit. Especially going from Denali Park to Glenallen in a day- nothing there- Copper Center and Kennicott areas are the forte and you have no time for them. And then to Valdez with leaving early morning on the ferry isn't good either. Homer is definately a 2 night- min. place. Skip Fairbanks as suggested. And consider straight to Denali Park on day two and Talkeetna on the way back- then it is more reasonable to head to Glenallen/Copper Center.
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