Itinerary and accommodations

Jan 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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Itinerary and accommodations

We're three adults traveling together. My parents and I. Please, many decisions. Need some help with our itinerary.
Day 1 come in mid PM into Anchorage, rest
Day 2 (What to see in Anchorage...we won't have a car). Thinking about the Alaskan Heritage Museum definitely, anything else?Places to eat?
Day 3 train to Seward. Read this was another must do. True? Staying at Van Gilder Hotel (looks good on paper...haven't seen anyone comment on it???)
Day 4 One of Kenai Fjords day cruises. Prefer small and intimate vs. hundreds of people. Any suggestions?
Day 5 Get a rental car in Sewardc but still undecided where to go. Drive to Homer? Everyone says don't miss this. Thinking we could either stay an extra night in Seward or drive to Girdwood and stay there... Where to stay the night? We're three adults and prefer suites with at least 1 bedroom. I can do a pullout.
Day 6 Day at Homer or Girdwood? The bears sound great but the budget?
Day 7 Leisurely drive to Talkeetna...(too long?)Thinking of staying at the Talkeetna Lodge
Day 8 Talkeetna flightseeing to summit of McKinley AND Rafting in Talkeetna (or would the rafting/kayaking be better in Seward? We're not experienced at either.)
Day 9 Drive to Anchorage, something relaxing to do.
Day 10 Fly home.

Open to any suggestions! Please!
doritas is offline  
Jan 10th, 2009, 06:07 PM
  #2  
 
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doritas,

Welcome to Fodor's! Since this is your very first post here (and you have a very complex itinerary,) let me suggest that a more descriptive title such as "Alaska: Itinerary and accommodations" will probably draw more responses from people familiar with Alaska. Also, you might want to have several posts with fewer questions on each.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center <http://www.alaskanative.net/> is a good idea. Yes, you can use their shuttle service <http://www.alaskanative.net/data/ALA...8%20final.pdf> from the downtown area to get there without a car. I also like the Anchorage Museum <http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/> on 7th Ave.

If you are planning on a Kenai Fjords trip (and hopefully some more time in Seward,) get your rental car in Anchorage, particularly if you want to visit Homer on the way back. The rail trip to Seward is spectacular, but then, again, so is the drive by car, and you can stop alongside the road if you want to take pictures.
In Seward, be sure to visit the Alaska SeaLife Center <http://www.alaskasealife.org/>
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 02:50 AM
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I would suggest renting a car in Anchorage and leaving Anchorage explorations for your last day assuming you have a late in the day flight home. You can make stops on your way to Seward, including Girdwood. The tram ride is fun place the views from the top where there will probably be snow even in August. You can probably visit the Sea Life Center late in the day or early evening. It's small but wonderful. Check hours it is open. The Kenai Fjords boat wasn't that big, not hundreds of people, but some people do opt for smaller boats. We were lucky with calm seas, the boat wasn't full and the captain did great narration. We chose the 9 hour trip but expect the last hour on way back to be quiet. DH napped.
Seward to Homer is about 3 hours. The Pratt Museum was great. Also Skyline drive views. The drive doesn't have spectacular scenery until just before you get to Homer. There's a pull out viewing area that overlooks the Spit. Beautiful. Expect to see lots of eagles.
If you choose Homer, then it's about a 5 hour drive back to Anchorage and then a couple more hours to Talkeetna so this would be a good time to overnight in Anchorage to break up the trip if you don't like long drives. You really need to pay attention to miles and where you can make stops. Get a copy of the Milepost. There are not a lot of restaurants and gas stations between Anchorage and Seward or between Wasilla (north of Anchorage) and Talkeetna. On your return from Talkeetna don't miss Independence Mine. There's uphill walking but nothing strenuous. Also the Iditarod Museum in Wasilla where you might be able to visit with puppies and take a short ride.
We did a trolley tour of Anchorage. It gives the driver a break. I also liked the Public Market on Sat. If you enjoy reading, the Title Wave bookstore in Anchorage has a great selection of books about Alaska including some out-of-print titles.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 03:36 PM
  #4  
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Thank you Orlando Vic and dfrostnh. Your suggestions have been very helpful!
doritas is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 03:54 PM
  #5  
 
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If cost isn't a factor do take the train one way and then rent a car. While the scenary from the road is fantastic, it is even better from the train. I would stay at Alyeska while in Girdwood. We stayed at Van Gilder summer07 and it wasn't much. Very old and musty. But it was a place to sleep. Not dirty, but didn't seem that clean either.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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If you stop in Girdwood, as dfrostnh suggests, you can also pay a short visit to the nearby Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center <http://www.awcc.org/home.html> just off the main highway from Seward to Anchorage.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
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