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Help with Alaska

Old Mar 9th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Help with Alaska

Am flying into Anchorage last week of July. Renting a car for 14 days. Don't have any plans on exactly where we're headed. Can anyone suggest an itenerary and hotel stays? This may be too much to ask on this board but I thought I'd give it a try. No particular interest just want to take as much in as possible. Thanks
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Old Mar 9th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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With two weeks in Alaska, you will be able to see a lot. Nevertheless, the number of choices available to you can be overwhelming. If you are looking for a sample itinerary, let me suggest the approach that works well for me in similar circumstances.

First, look at some Alaska package tours that are commercially available and see what kind of itinerary they put together for 10-14 days. Request a free hard copy of their brochure, with full color pictures, and use it as an guide. If this itinerary fits your interests and budget, use their plan and copy it for yourself. You can fill in your transportation and lodging details later.

You can find some package tour brochures here: http://www.alaska.com/brochures/package-tours/
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Old Mar 9th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Vic's suggestion is good. I urge you to do a search of this forum to see what other people have suggested or chosen to do. The itineraries are fairly similar. Two weeks sounds like a lot of time but it really isn't. Travel between Denali and Seward, two of the most popular places requires a full day of travel. You don't want to spend all your time in the car. Also, some things like restaurants and lodging are few and far between in some areas so you will need to study options and make a choice. We carefully researched one area for the perfect b&b and made a terrific choice. I made last minute reservations late June without a good list and ended up with something I wouldn't recommend. Weather may cause you to switch plans. On our last trip our first few days were so hectic that we were rushed but didn't want to miss any of some special events. Get a copy of the Milepost to help guide you. Most places advertise in the Milepost. We always seem to take the Seward Hwy at low tide, next time I'd like to do the drive when there might be the chance of seeing whales.
Good luck in your planning.
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Old Mar 9th, 2009, 08:32 PM
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All the above advice is good. I would add that it depends on what kind of travel you enjoy. If you want to explore an area extensively, one or two stops might be your kind of trip. If you like to see what's around the next bend, maybe driving as much of the territory as you can in the two weeks would be better for you. If you think this may be your only trip to Alaska, then maybe a sampling of highlights would be in order.

I like the Kenai Peninsula a lot and I could easily spend that two weeks and more in the area between Turnagain Arm, Homer, and Seward. Others might split the trip between Denali and the Kenai. Another of my favorite areas is Kodiak Island but that takes more flying and/or the Marine Ferry.

If you like trains, I especially recommend the AKRR trip between Anchorage and Seward. It is one of the 2 or 3 most scenic routes I have ever been on. If you have lots of moola, you can spend a lot doing scenic flights and adventure trips.

Whatever you choose to do, have a great rip. Alaska is my favorite place in the world.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 05:04 AM
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What are your interests? When we went last summer, we camped for 4 days in Denali, whereas most people here stay in Healy while at Denali. We also camped on the beach in Seward, and hiked the Harding Ice Field, but I have no idea if that would interest you.

But, in general, for two weeks, I would go north to Denali and also spend time in both Seward and Homer. You can also look into the marine ferry to see coastal towns like Juneau (to see Glacier Bay) etc. We did that from a cruise ship. But, for my trip, I never researched Kodiak Island or Fairbanks or other areas that may interest you. You can get a free Alaska guide from their tourism website - I would suggest ordering that.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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I'm a travel planner & Alaska is a specialty -

if you are staying in Denali, get a reservation - do not wing it. The cruise lines own the biggest lodges -

try the Crow's Nest - or Windsong Lodge

all the way into Denali - Backcountry Lodge ($350 a night - you must take park bus) or Kantishna Road House...

in Anchorage - anywhere in the hotel district will do -

Seward - the Best Western is in a great location - breakfast included...

Enjoy the state's 50th anniversary -

for a one day maritime trip - do the Resurrection Bay cruise out of Seward - sea lions, puffins, tidewater glaciers -

no rental cars on gravel roads...review your contract carefully...
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 06:14 AM
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A basic route- Anchorage to Talkeetna/Denali needing 2 nights at Denali Park, 2 nights in Fairbanks, 1-2 nights Copper Center, 2 nights Valdez, ferry to Whittier, drive to
Seward, 2 nights, Homer 2 nights. Back to Anchorage.

I definately do not agree with the above post on their "maritime" recommendation. The Resurrection Bay cruises WILL NOT see any tidewater glaciers, and likely very little wildlife. You need to have 6 hours ON the water. The bay cruises are 3. My preference is the Northwestern Fjords trips.

Consider looking at coupon books that are sold. Can yield significant discounts depending on your interests.
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 05:11 AM
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To everyone that replied to my post....Thank You, I am trying to get everything somewhat organized (not my forte') and all your suggestions should really help. This will probably be my only trip to Alaska so I'm hoping to see the highlights, at least as much as possible. Don't mind driving, more concerned about reserving rooms in different areas. Once I get some sort of itinerary it should go a little easier. My husband said something about making a loop from Anchorage to Fairbanks to Valdez and back to Anchorage? Either way Alaska or bust we're going. Thanks!
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Old Mar 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
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I agree with BudgetQueen on using the tour saver books. There are two that I know of - Great Alaskan Tour Saver and Northern Lights Coupon Book. I've already saved approximately $600. with coupons booking hotels and tours from the Northern Lights Coupon Book. I booked the Northwestern Fjords Trip with a coupon from the Northern Lights and received one free with one purchased. This was approximetly $200 savings. You should be able to go onto the web sites and see what each offer. The Northern Lights is cheaper and I preferred it due to having the things I wanted to do.
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Old Mar 16th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the coupon books, will be a big help.
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