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Alaska trip need advice

South Carolina
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Alaska trip need advice

Planning one week trip May/June

1) Arive Anchorage. Need advice on hotel.

2) Leisurely drive to Seward, stopping at the tram, possible AK Wildliffe Center, and Portage Glacier. Do we really need to see the tidal bore? Spend night in Seward at either Windsong Lodge or Harborview Inn (advice please)

3) Kena Fjords Northwestern Cruise

4) Visit Iditarod dogs, possible AK Sealife Center, Exit glacier. Then drive to Girdwood, spend night in chalet/condo.

5) Drive to Whittier for 11:00 PWS cruise. We have the tunnel sked. After the cruise, we plan to drive all the way to Wasilla to spend night at the Alaska Grand View Inn.

6) Drive to Palmer, visit reindeer, possibly musk ox farm, then drive on to see Matunaska Glacier. Return to ALaska Grand.

7) Any final things to visit, drive to, then to Anchorage to spend night.

8) Maybe visit AK Heritage Center, shop for souvenirs, catch flight.

Any advise on hotels, schedule, good places to eat and have a drink, would be greatly appreciated.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Alaska trip need advice

1) The hotel you choose in Anchorage kinda depends on your budget. The Millenium hotel is supposed to be nice, but as an Alaskan I've (for whatever reason) always thought of the Captain Cook as the "best" Anchorage hotel. It'd prob be the best if you said which hotels you're looking at so that I (or whoever else) can comment on the hotel and the area.

2) What tram on the way to Seward are you talking about? The one at Alyeska that goes up the mountain to a restaurant? If so, that is in Girdwood and would best be saved for when you actually visit the town.

On the way to Seward (about 45 minutes from Anchorage), Portage Glacier is nice to stop at. I haven't personally been there in years, but it's neat and at least back then they had a nice video and some cool displays (which I really liked when I was a kid).

Okay, my brother says he's seen the tidal bore and it's "cool." I've only seen it on tv, and it's not much. You'd have to plan your day exactly right, because it only happens once a day and it's over really quick (my brother says he watched it for about 30 seconds and then it was almost totally dissipated).

3) You'll really like the Kenai Fjords cruise. It'll probably be one of the highlights of your trip.

4) What Iditarod dogs are you talking about? Those a privately-owned dogs, so unless you know someone who has a kennel, I don't really know how you'd see them.

My brother also says that the Sealife Center in Seward is really nice. He also says that Exit Glacier is alright.

Girdwood is a pretty town - you might want to consider going gold panning there (Crow Creek Mine: www.crowcreekgoldmine.com). If you really want luxury, stay at the Princess Hotel. This is also when you should go on the tram (although I think it's kinda pricey, unless you're going to eat at the restaurant).

5) The Prince William Sound cruise will also be very nice.

May I ask what you're doing in Wasilla? Just staying at the inn? I don't think there's really much to do there, honestly. It's a small town, and you'd be better off spending more time in Seward (you could go on a charter fishing trip there).

6) The reindeer farm and musk ox farm should be pretty neat. Not much to do in Palmer (also a very small town with not many people and not much going on). Matanuska Glacier is also nice.

7) My brother is suggesting that you might want to go up Flattop mountain in Anchorage. It's not a hard hike, and it's got a nice view of the city and inlet.

8) Go downtown to shop for souvenirs (although WalMart has cheap souvenirs - usually the same stuff as downtown but half the price, especially for things like Wild Berry Products chocolates). Oh, you might actually want to visit Alaska Wild Berry Products in midtown - it's got the largest chocolate waterfall in the world.

I personally like the Glacier Brewhouse and Orso in Anchorage. They've both got a nice atmosphere. Just be aware that Alaskans don't really dress up (you would not feel out of place in jeans, hiking boots, and a Northface jacket in even the fanciest restaurant).

The Moose's Tooth has really good pizza, and the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub is also fun. They're owned by the same people. The Moose's Tooth is a regular restaurant, but the Bear Tooth is both a restaurant (in one area) and a theatre that shows just-ran (not quite out on video) movies. There are tables inside the theatre, so you can order food and if you sit downstairs (21+) you can get a drink at the bar.

You might also want to try Simon and Seafort's or the Snowgoose (both downtown) for a nice dinner.

For drinks, go to Chilkoot Charlies if you want a place to listen to loud (but good) music, drink and dance (with several different genres and I think about 7 bars). There are also some more toned-down bars downtown. Also try Humpy's (it's a pub/restaurant - again, downtown).

As a side note, I don't think that a week is anywhere near enough time. You'll probably be tired driving around everywhere, and the cruises will take a better part of a day. You can see the reindeer farm, musk ox farm and Matanuska all in one day, but you would't have a lot of time to go "explore" what little there is in Palmer and Wasilla.

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2. Re: Alaska trip need advice

Chevron:

One of my favorite hotels in Anchorage is the Captain Cook

http://www.captaincook.com/, of course Marriott has arrived with their offerings:

1 Fairfield Inn & Suites Anchorage Midtown >> Anchorage

5060 A Street Anchorage, AK 99503

Distance to city center: 0.6 Miles E

2 Anchorage Marriott Downtown >> Anchorage

820 W. 7th Ave Anchorage, AK 99501

Distance to city center: 1.0 Miles E

3 Residence Inn Anchorage Midtown >> Anchorage

1025 35th Avenue Anchorage, AK 99508

Distance to city center: 1.9 Miles N

4 SpringHill Suites Anchorage Midtown >> Anchorage

3401 A Street Anchorage, AK 99503

Distance to city center: 1.9 Miles NE

Courtyard Anchorage Airport >> Anchorage

4901 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99517-3295

Distance to city center: 3.5 Miles E

Airport >> Anchorage

4901 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99517-3295

Distance to city center: 3.5 Miles E

One of my ideas however for you was the Alaska Princess Lodges:

Each of the bungalow-style rooms at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge has been designed for the utmost in comfort, relaxation and romance. Vaulted ceilings made of naturally finished wood, cozy sitting areas with wood-burning stoves and private porches help make any occasion memorable. Indulge in a soothing soak and enjoy the serenity of this special part of Alaska from one of our indoor or outdoor hot tubs.

A FEAST FOR THE EYES

The main lodge is as inviting as the guest rooms. The lobby has vaulted ceilings and a fireplace surrounded by chairs for relaxing and visiting with friends. Just beyond the lobby is an expansive deck, optimal for viewing the Kenai River valley and nearby mountains. Enjoy spirits, appetizers and casual fare outdoors or inside at Rafter's Lounge. Continue to the Eagle's Crest Restaurant where the magnificent views, stone fireplace and tempting cuisine make dining an unforgettable event.

It seems you are cruising and will not need the above!

South Carolina
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3. Re: Alaska trip need advice

piercec

Thanks for your info, I have obviously made further plans:

Arive ANC,Stay at Hawthorn Suites - Will go to see the tidal bore that day. Even if it lasts only a few seconds, it's worth it to me. This thing only happens in a handful of places in the world.

Drive to Seward, stopping at all the scenic pullouts, go into Girdwood and ride the tram, and paraglide down!! I have never done that and think it will be worth the money. Go to Portage Glacier, possible AK Wildlife Center, then on to Seward and the Harborview Inn.

NW Fjords cruise.

Visit Exit Glacier, the iditarod dogs, it's the Seavey family, check out their website: www.idiaride.com I think that will be really cool, I love dogs. Then we are driving to Russian RIver and will hike up to see the falls and stuff. Then on to Whittier.

PWS Cruise. Then drive to Wasilla to spend night.

We picked Wasilla for several reasons: We want to do the stuff at Palmer, we want to drive on up the hwy and see the Matanuska Glacier. We got a good deal on Alaska Grand View Suites.

Then our last whole day, we got some great advice and will probably check out Eklutna, Eagle RIver, Thunderbird Falls. Flattop Mountain sounds good, And anything else in ANC that we wanted to do, including shopping, and YES! the chocolate waterfall sounds cool, gotta see that!

I Totally agree with you that a week isn't enough time, but it's all we got! We will just have to vacation there again! Thanks for your help and let me know if there is something else!

South Carolina
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4. Re: Alaska trip need advice

Oh yeah, we won't get tired of driving, we have driven all over the country, even all the way across once, and love it! The drive on Seward Highway is one of the best, most scenic in USA!

Fort Lauderdale...
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5. Re: Alaska trip need advice

Where is this Tidal Bore and how can I find out when it happens?

South Carolina
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6. Re: Alaska trip need advice

The tidal bore is when the tide comes in and it forms a wave, sort of like a tidal wave, you should look it up in wikipedia, it can explain better, also there are photos of the one in Alaska. ALso this site, www.tidal-bore.tripod.com. The first time I ever heard of this was on www.frommers.com/destinations - Anchorage Driving Tours. You should read that, too, it will make you interested! It is in Turnagain Arm. There are scenic pullouts with signs that explain it and how to figure out when it will be at what spot. But approximately 1 hour 12 min after Anchorage low tide, or at low tide at Sunrise, Ak. You can check tides in the paper or a tide book, but this site works better http://co-ops..nos.noaa.gov (click Prediction, then Alaska, then Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet for Sunrise.

Hope this helps.

Anchorage, AK
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7. Re: Alaska trip need advice

There Tidal Bore is a wave that comes in when the tide rolls into Turnagain Arm. Turnagain Arm has the second biggest tidal change on earth so at low tide much of the sea bottom is exposed, then when the tide comes back in, it creates this small wave as it comes back in. SO.....you need to either find the tides guide online or once you are here, just about any place that sells fishing gear, including Walmart will have a pile of Alaska tide timetables sitting on the counter and you look for the high tide for the day you need to see it for Turnagain Arm. Just a note to all, never ever walk out on the tidal flats anywhere in Cook Inlet, the sand is like quick sand and many have died because once you're stuck it is nearly impossible to get out.

South Carolina
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8. Re: Alaska trip need advice

Hey alaskaman, it is really cool to see right? Worth the extra effort to get there?

Fort Lauderdale...
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9. Re: Alaska trip need advice

oK so once I get the tide information, where exactly do I have to be standing to see this? I read somewhere that there is a bridge or overpass you can see it from. On the way to Seward, but I don't remember exactly where.

Alaska, USA
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10. Re: Alaska trip need advice

Your best bet is Beluga Point. You can't miss it, its marked on the highway signs and it has a large parking lot, kiosk and bathrooms. basically a highway rest stop along the road that is adjacent the water on a bluff so you can see out across the water. it is a few miles from Girdwood coming from Anchorage.