Sitka - 2 full days or 3?

Old Jan 14th, 2020, 07:40 AM
  #1  
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Sitka - 2 full days or 3?

I'm wrapping up the final details of our July trip to Alaska. Sitka is our last stop, and I'm trying to decide if it is worth a 3rd full day before heading home. DH is thinking maybe not, I'm leaning toward yes - but the fares are somewhat higher if I add in the extra day. We arrive from Glacier Bay around 10p or so and will have 3 nights, 2 full days, with a flight leaving in the morning back towards Seattle. Or 4 nights, 3 full days, whichever. Can you help mediate a family dispute? It's going to be our 40th wedding anniversary, so want it to be special. But Alaska is expensive.

Itinerary:
  • Looong day flight from Orlando to Kotzebue, arr 6p-ish
  • 2 nights in Kotzebue, sacrificing day 1 to jet lag
  • Fly to Nome, arrive 730p for 4 nights/3 full days
  • Fly to Juneau, arrive 9p-ish, 1 night/partial day only
  • Fly to Glacier Bay, 3 nights, leave Juneau 5p-ish
  • Fly to Sitka, arrive 10p
  • Stay in Sitka 3-4 nights
  • Fly Sitka to Orlando with an overnight at Seattle airport
If you vote for the extra day in Sitka, can you sketch out 3 days worth of activities for me to lure DH with? He loves seafood, history, seafood, nature but no strenuous hikes, seafood, native culture, and bears. And seafood (especially halibut).

sludick is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2020, 09:06 AM
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It'd help to know what you're already planning to do in Sitka. Presumably the Raptor Center and Fortress of the Bear at least, but what else? There are certainly options like whale watching and other wildlife tours available. I'd definitely include the Historical Park with its totem poles and insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Tlingits and other Native Americans, and of course the various Russian artifacts like the Orthodox church. But a lot will have to do with your energy levels after what will probably have been a pretty intensive time up to that point.

If you're flying on Alaska Airlines for the whole thing (I assume you are) then I believe Alaska still allows a free stopover in Seattle on any lower 48 - Alaska itinerary. What if the extra night was spent decompressing in Seattle? Just thinking out loud.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:53 AM
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Thanks, Gardyloo. Yes, Alaska Airlines for the whole thing. I couldn't bring up a free stopover by choosing multicity, but the flight I'm looking at does get into Seattle about 1:30p and doesn't leave Seattle until 7:40am. The price for that is pretty good - $410 from Sitka to Orlando, if we leave Sitka on Friday and get into Orlando on Saturday afternoon; $499 for leaving on Saturday and getting home on Sunday afternoon. So I guess that counts, although we'd certainly stay at an airport property, possibly take the light rail on into the city, or visit with friends who live in Tumwater.

As for plans in Sitka - no whale watching, but everything else you mentioned. I could talk DH into staying another day easily if there were roads that would let him drive around, but in the absence of that.. Russian history and associated sites most certainly. I saw mention of dance performances by Tlingit dancers and also Russian dancers but still researching to see if that is a possibility. Would you have any recommendations as to lodging or restaurants?

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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:42 AM
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Dispute resolved. DH found more things he wanted to do/see in Sitka and agreed to the extra day. By using multi-city routing on Alaska Air, we ended up with great flight schedules, with a MCO-SEA r/t routing that is better than I could get at Southwest. Thinking of getting their credit card before I go, haven't decided tho.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sludick View Post
Dispute resolved. DH found more things he wanted to do/see in Sitka and agreed to the extra day. By using multi-city routing on Alaska Air, we ended up with great flight schedules, with a MCO-SEA r/t routing that is better than I could get at Southwest. Thinking of getting their credit card before I go, haven't decided tho.

Thanks.
Sounds great.

The credit card is a pretty good deal as airline-branded cards go. The 40K miles at signup are excellent value (Alaska's is one of the best frequent flyer programs out there, with many partners) but the real deal is the annual companion certificate - one passenger pays the going price, the second pays $99 plus taxes (usually $122 all in) for the same itinerary, which can be one-way, round trip, open-jaw, whatever, as long as all segments are on AS metal. Remember too that since Alaska bought Virgin America, its route system is enormous, so this perk can be used over many routes.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 01:42 PM
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Took my daughter's family to Alaska June 2019. We spent two days in Sitka before our cruise. One day Fortress of the Bear, totem Pole Park. For Fortress, we took the city bus ($2.00 per person each way) and walked a further 200 yards. Admission $5 kids - instead of the canned bus/Fortress tour at $50+ per person. (See their website) Bus stop is next to the Reindeer Sausage hot dog stand. Second day - Bishops House, St. Michael's Cathedral, Baranof Castle and other walking-distance locations like Totem Park and Raptor Center. Check out this map: Visit-Sitka-WalkingMap.pdf and stop at Visitors Center. You may find that the bus will cut down your walking travel to Raptor and totems.
Had dinner at Mean Queen pizza and Bayview Pub.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:19 PM
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Appreciate that advice and the map, we'll make good use of it. Also hoping to get some good halibut, if anybody has any favorites. We're staying at the Sitka Hotel, so should be pretty much in the middle of things.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:52 PM
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We had a nice meal at Beak last year https://www.facebook.com/Beak-Restau...25364665/menu/
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