We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Just returned also!!

South Carolina
Level Contributor
179 posts
Save Topic
Just returned also!!

We just got back late last night, and agree that it was a most awesome trip and loved every bit of it!! Out travels were more down south of Anchorage although we did drive as far north as Taleetna, to take a flightseeing tour of Denali. The weather caused that to be cancelled, but we still enjoyed the drive up. We went to Hatcher Pass to see Independence Mine, the visitor center was still closed, but it was fantastic anyway. The scenery was not to be missed! Also drove up to Matanuska Glacier. That was another beatiful scenic drive, on the way back we saw the dall sheep up on the hills, and right next to the highway, a mama moose was having dinner. I could have stayed and watched her eat for hours! We went to Eklutna cemetery, it was closed when we were there, but was still nice, the graves and churches were interesting, and we enjoyed it. That is one place that the mosquitos were really bad! Also at the same exit, other side of highway, was Thunderbird Falls, we hiked up to see it. It was very nice, only about a mile or so, but the beginning was very steep!! On the way back down, some people wondered if it was worth it, we had already seen numerous falls which were better, but still it was a very nice walk. The mosquitos were bad there too. But our favorites were hiking up to Exit Glacier, it was beautiful, so neat to be so close to it, and you were up high enough and it was clear so you had a great scenic view all around. We loved it and highly recommend it. Also, we did the Iditaride dog visit, was okay, but not great like I expected. The ALaska Sealife center in Seward was great, should definitely go there. We took the NW cruise, was supposed to be 9 hours, got cut to about 5 because of the weather. We didn't go out to see the glaciers, but saw plenty of wildlife and it was excellent. Also we ate at Ray's and the food was perfect! We ate at Resurrection Roadhouse one night, and should have eaten at Ray's again instead! But it was okay. We drove to Whittier, took a glacier cruise and it was fab, the greatest thing ever!! It was very cold and rainy, so make sure you take a raincoat and hat, and dress in layers in case you get too warm, we didn't but we were there end of May. Anyway, we got right up close to this glacier and sat there for a good 30-45 minutes. We got to watch it calve and it was so amazing!! The noise it makes is also unbelievable, it was the best thing!! And we also saw wildlife on the cruise. Almost everywhere we went we saw eagles in the tops of the trees. We saw the bore tide also, it wasn't huge, but very interesting, it was neat to sit and watch the water swirling out beforehand. The views all along Seward highway were unbelievable. We had a lunch at Chair 5 in Girdwood and it was excellent. We stayed at Hawthorne Suites in Anchorage and it was nice, with wireless connection. You should know Minnesota turns into L street. We stayed at Harborview in Seward, nice also, but you can't use the phone for long distance, and no computer service and no fridge. We stayed at Grand View in Wasilla and it was nice, with connection.

Everyone we met in Alaska was friendly and helpful, and everything we did was great, everything we saw was great, loved it all!!! Thanks to all you posters who helped us plan!! There is so much more, we are going to put our pics on a website and will post that here. If anyone has a question, ask away!!

Missouri
Level Contributor
85 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Just returned also!!

Welcome back Chevron,

Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. I am getting very anxious to go. We fly out June 9th. You saw bore tide at a minus tide right? So what do you think our chance at seeing something with a +1.5 tide. We are difinatly going to exit glacier and doing the glacier tour in Seward. Did you go to Homer? Was Ray's in Seward and what kind of food was it? Did you see any whales? Man I can't wait to go all you guys coming back with all this awesome news I can't wait. oh Did you guys walk to the falls and russian river campground? If so did you see bears or salmon. We are going to walk that for sure just wondered how it was. I think it was you that said you were going there am I correct? Gald you had fun. can't wait to see your pics.

South Carolina
Level Contributor
179 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Just returned also!!

Hey girl,

It was all that I expected and then some! Ray's is in Seward, I had crab legs, JR had halibut, both were awesome, I think they had lots to choose from though. But the food was great! Do not miss you walk to Exit Glacier, it was our favorite hike, great views, didn't see wildlife while we were walking, but there was moose poop on the path, so they are there! Yes, we did the Russian river hike, it was very scenic, and a very enjoyable hike. No bears or salmon, but the season is just starting, so you should get to see plenty of salmon and maybe bears! Anyway, I don't remember what else you asked and I have company now, so will reply more later. You are going to have the most excellent trip!!!!!!

Missouri
Level Contributor
85 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Just returned also!!

sounds great we will difinatly check out Rays. thanks for all the tips . I will for sure take your advice on things to see. thanks

Missouri
1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: Just returned also!!

Any pointers? we leave on 6/27/05, cruising on Princess

South Carolina
Level Contributor
179 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Just returned also!!

We didn't make it down to Homer, the farthest we went was Soldontna and Kenai. Yes we saw whales on our NW cruise out of Seward, they were in the distance, our captain tried to get us close, we all were watching and waiting to see where they would go so we could get closer, but weren't able to. The captain was excellent about watching for wildlife and also asked for our help, when we would spot something, he would do his best to get us a close-up view. Two extra neat things happened on that cruise. Porpoises joined us and cruised with us for 5-10 minutes, I was right up front hanging off the edge of the boat and it was too cool. And second there was this sea otter eating a crab, we were so close we could hear the shells crack when he bit into it! We also saw lots of stellar sea lions, sea otters, eagles and tons of birds.

The best food we had anywhere in our week there was Ray's. It was great food, and I didn't think it was overly expensive. Also, I know there was discussion about Harborview Inn or Breeze Inn. We stayed at Harborview and was okay, but if you don't have a vehicle, Breeze Inn is right there so you wouldn't have to walk much at all. I personally like to walk a lot, but when we were there it was rainy and windy, so you don't necessarily want to have to walk 4-6 blocks to go eat and get there like a drowned rat. Anothre thing, if you are going on a cruise out of Seward, they have parking areas that are away from their office. You should check with them the day before and find out where you have to park your rental car. Or they have a shuttle to come pick you up.

Alaska was awesome!

South Carolina
Level Contributor
179 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Just returned also!!

thinkingblonde

About the bore tide, we were there with -2.2 or so, 3 days after full moon, should have been a good one, but wasn't. But we did see it, it was like this white line moving up and was cool cause you can't see it in many places, but I enjoyed even more was watching the water go out. In some places it was moving real fast, some places it was like an eddy, just swirling around, but fast, it was neat. The pullout at Bird Point has a chart and our day had four stars, I think the wind probably kept it down cause it was windier than Chicago.

Anyway if you will be there around that time, great, if not then maybe you shouldn't rearrange your whole schedule.

Missouri
Level Contributor
85 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Just returned also!!

Thanks for all the info. We will be driving back to anchorage from seward and we have all day to do it so thought we would try to catch it and then go on in to anchorage and go to the farmer's market before out flight out. I really want to see the whales. I love all wildlife so all of it will be nice. I can't wait . Counting the days down. We will for sure eat at Ray's while in seward. thanks again.

central NY State
3 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Just returned also!!

Hi everyone,

I am a late arrival to this site. We are leaving for Alaska July 26. Thanks for all the great advice. I am making a list of where to go and not. Planning on a cruise from Whittier, going to Denali, the plane ride to see Mt. Mckinley, Seward and the fjords and hopefully Homer. 10 Days in Alaska & I can't wait. What are ulas?

Thanks again all.

U.S.A. ( the land...
Level Contributor
4,163 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Just returned also!!

If you mean Ulus: An Ulu is a small knife with a semi-circular blade and a comfortable handle on top of the blade, traditionally used for years and years by Inuit hunters of the Arctic to skin fish and other sea-life. I think it relieves a lot of the wrist strain which occurs when we use our contemporary kitchen knives. It's uniquely Alaskan (Native) and a good souvenir as well as a very practical gift/tool.

Have a great trip!

Missouri
Level Contributor
85 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Just returned also!!

well chevron we are off tomorrow. thanks again for all your info you brought back. It helped me alot. thanks again. catch up with everyone when I return