Trip to Anchorage

Old Aug 15th, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Trip to Anchorage

Hi. I am traveling to Anchorage from Chicago for work at the end of Aug/early Sept. I would like to stay a couple days after the work trip to explore. My husband is interested in Glacier Bay National Park and Denali. Would a Sat at one and Sun at the other work? Glacier Bay seems to be difficult to get to - should we stick with Anchorage and Denali? I also heard Seward might be a cool place to visit.
This would be for a Sat, Sun, and maybe part of Monday - we would likely head back to Chicago Monday night - no preference from where.
Thanks!
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 08:59 AM
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You really don't have time for either. Denali takes the better part of three days to visit - one to get there, one in the park, and the third to get back. Glacier Bay is very far from Anchorage, in Southeast Alaska, and is extremely difficult to get to in a short time period from Anchorage.

If you want to see glaciers or marine wildlife, you have a couple of fairly easy options from Anchorage.

1. Get a car and drive an hour down the Seward Highway (south/east) to the Whittier tunnel (a one-way tunnel separating the main highway from the curious town of Whittier.) In Whittier you can take a half-day glacier sightseeing cruise; the most popular is Phillips' 26 Glacier cruise - https://www.phillipscruises.com/ - which will give you terrific scenery.

2. Same road, but continue to Seward, around 2 1/2 hours from Anchorage. Spend the night there and the next day take a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park. You'll also see tidewater glaciers on this cruise, but you'll see much more wildlife than on the Whittier trip - whales, seals, otters, lots of birds, maybe some animals on the shoreline... Major Marine is one of several operators of these tours, https://majormarine.com/ Note the Kenai Fjords cruises are partly on open ocean, so if seasickness is a concern, be sure to take preventative measures. Note too that lodging in Seward can be hard to obtain due to pressures from arriving or departing cruise passengers, so advance booking is very important.

If the weather's decent and you can afford it, a terrific way to experience Alaska is on a flightseeing ride on a floatplane out of Anchorage. If Denali is visible, a flightseeing trip up to and around the mountain is a stunning experience, worth every penny. Seeing the vastness of Alaska from the air is like nothing else. Rust's is the go-to operator at Lake Hood in Anchorage, the world's largest floatplane base. http://www.flyrusts.com/
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Old Aug 15th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Thank you so much! This is really helpful!
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