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Starting from Scratch in Alaska

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San Francisco
posts: 6
reviews: 17
Starting from Scratch in Alaska

Hi Alaska Community,

Here is everything I can give you and I hope you have a moment to help us out...

My husband and I want to travel to Alaska in April or May. We have nothing booked yet as we are having trouble knowing where to begin. We are both 32, adventurous, love the outdoors and the kicker is that I will be between 25-29 weeks pregnant. I am still able to do almost everything and get around just fine but I'd say no rafting or too highly dangerous sports.

We would like to spend 5 nights/6 days on this trip and we would love to be able to:



see wildlife

be outdoors and enjoy alaska

husband to raft or something extra adventurous while wife takes a spa day :-)

We'd stay in a hotel, lodge, B&B but we want it to have a spa (or ability to get massages) and around $150-$250 per night or less. We like to travel by train or car so we'd like to possibly see 2-4 different places on our trip but max out our sleeping accommodations to 2 max, since we only have 5 nights.

We prefer the country-side over city-side as we've visited a lot of cities and would rather be outdoors. I love quaint towns, friendly locals, and great food! We love food. We also don't need a travel guide 100% of the time but if there was a wildlife viewing company, etc. that we should get in touch with in a certain city, we'd love to know who. We're willing to spend the money if it's a great tour company.

As I mentioned above, any help as to where to start or trip ideas would be hugely helpful! What month is better? What areas of Alaska sound like us or what we're looking for? Any hotel or accommodation recommendations? Any trip companies to travel with? We'd be coming from San Jose, CA.

We have thought about a cruise but my husband worries he wont be able to get off the cruise enough to truly enjoy the experience of Alaska.

Thank you for your time to help us!

I can't wait to plan our last non-baby trip with your help.


Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
posts: 3,630
1. Re: Starting from Scratch in Alaska

Well, the reality is that April is not the best month to travel to Alaska, and May is also iffy in some respects. If you travel in May, the conditions are far better at the end of the month than the beginning, but even then, areas like Denali National Park will be largely off-limits.

You might have a look at the Alyeska resort near Anchorage. It's a well equipped resort (mainly skiing, but plenty of non-snow season activities) that's also well placed for day trip excursions to other scenic areas, for example glacier cruises on Prince William Sound, or trips to Seward (more options for excursions, e.g. Kenai Fjords National Park cruises.) http://www.alyeskaresort.com/

A car will be needed for much of any tourism at that time of year in Southcentral Alaska.

Happy baby!

Issaquah, Washington
posts: 3,722
reviews: 10
2. Re: Starting from Scratch in Alaska

Can you delay until the end of May? The tourist season doesn't really kick into high gear until after Memorial Day, so you're very early. You may find that many B&B's, hotels, activities and vendors won't be open yet. The bus trips into Denali don't start until around May 20th and don't go to wonder lake until after the first week in June. Snow and slush may limit access to hikes and trails.

If you're interested in boat tours of Kenai Fjords or Prince William Sound, I think they start towards the end of May. So a visit to locations on the Kenai Peninsula might be a good idea.

Since you're starting from scratch, I suggest you borrow a few Alaska travel books from your library ... learn about the various destinations and the sights and activities available at each. You need to do some research to figure out what you want to do and see, and where to go. Alaska is huge. 5 nights is not a lot of time when you consider the distances involved. Another reason to carefully plan.

I'd also suggest that you read some of the 2012 Trip Reports. A link to them is located under Top Questions. The first few are winter reports but then there are several from May ; those will provide you with ideas for activities, lodging, sights, etc. You'll also see what problems they experienced travelling so early in the season.

Don't rule out a one-way cruise from Vancouver to Whittier or Seward. If your husband is concerned about having time for activities, look carefully at each itinerary for the port times; how long the ship is docked and at a reasonable time of day.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 26,427
reviews: 31
3. Re: Starting from Scratch in Alaska

Sadly, April is still winter in much of Alaska . . . maybe go to Hawaii? That would be perfect before baby - you could hike and do all kinds of things. :)

Edited: 5:56 pm, January 29, 2013
4. Re: Starting from Scratch in Alaska

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