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Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

Grand Rapids...
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Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

We just found out this week that we'll be visiting our daughter in Anchorage for a week in mid-August. She has lived there for two years but is basically a city girl and takes all the natural beauty of the area for granted. So I'm not sure she is our best source for trip planning.

That said, what are the absolute don't miss items? We should be able to get in one overnight trip to drive somewhere but other than that just day trips, or things around the city. After all a good part of this is a social visit. We would enjoy hiking, sightseeing, especially wildlife, love anything to do with the water. How about gold mining, is there anyplace to check that out in the area?

Sorry for the vague post, we knew we'd get a chance to visit sometime but were not quite ready and want to make the most of the opportunity.

Anchorage Alaska
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1. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60880-i350-k52545…

Anchorage Alaska
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2. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

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Edited: 11:37 pm, July 31, 2012
Grand Rapids...
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3. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

Thank you for the great links, your blog posts are exactly what I was hoping for.

Alaska
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4. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

Hi......I loved the link in post #1 for an overwhelming amount of ideas to do! Just to add my thoughts.....for an overnighter, Seward would be fun. It's an easy day trip but even more fun if you don 't have to hurry back. Visit the Seward Sealife Center, hike Exit Glacier, take a fishing trip, get goodies from the awesome bakeries in town and simply wander the beach looking for treasure and taking photos. They have a fun thrift store that's huge...not for everyone but I have found terrific souvenirs that I could never buy in a store. I don't know the names of hotels, but a quick google search would give you the info.

For in town fun, we love to hike Flattop, bike the coastal trail, check out Earthquake Park after dinner and walk the beach for a simple activity that's outdoors and great photos. Kayak Eklutna Lake or even one of our in town lakes. Get the kayaks from REI in the morning and use it for a 24 hour period....just $25.

Head towards the interior for Wasilla, Palmer and wander through Hatchers Pass. You drive as far as Talkeetna and check out that cool, funky town. The mountain climbing season is over but I'm sure there's a cool place to eat and Alaskan fun to be found!

Your daughter might be caught up in the problem we sometimes have....we simply work too much in the summer! It's a busy time and we work extra covering for vacations. :-) Grab some free publications from the airport by the baggage area to give you more ideas and plenty of info for free. I'm terrible at providing links....

I'm so glad you're visiting your daughter and we may still have some sunshine left for your visit. Often times when we have a less than warm summer, our fall season is gorgeous. That's my hope for this year! If you've never been to Alaska, you're in for a real treat. Just the beauty of our mountains surrounding Anchorage is unreal. The other morning we had a sunrise so beautiful, I pulled the car over driving to work and took photos for 15 minutes.

Enjoy your visit and be sure to take massive photos cause they will be priceless memories for later. Deb

P.S. Bike rentals available downtown on 6th Ave. for riding the coastal trail if your daughter diesn't have bikes for everyone. Super fun! Dinner at Simon and Seaforts overlooking the water is unbelievable seafood and a dinner to remember....not cheap but worth the money!

Edited: 12:57 am, August 01, 2012
Grand Rapids...
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5. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

I know this won't be our last visit so I can stockpile ideas for future trips. We definitely plan on taking lots of photos.

The overnight trip to Seward sounds good and all the activities you mentioned sound right up our alley. My wife & I would do that on our own.

Kayaking might be a good activity to do with my daughter and son-in-law.

Great ideas so far, thanks.

Rusty...

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6. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

Go r to Seward for a night or 2. The drive down along the Turnagain is one of the most beautiful in the world. In Seward take a 6 hour or more glacier & sealife cruise out.

Also, Whittier is an easy day trip for a glacier cruise on Prince Wm Sound.

Go to Girdwood one night for dinner at the Double Musky. Ride the tram to the top of the mountain if it is clear. Or take a beautiful hike on an old growth rainforest trail out behind Alyeska hotel to a hand tram over the creek. The trail is Winner Creek.

Go downtown then walk the coastal trail. Go to Pt Worenzof if it is clear to see the mountain, Mt McKinley.

Have fun!

Edited: 8:40 am, August 01, 2012
Adirondack, New York
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7. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

If you decide go kayaking on the beautiful Eklutna Lake you should know that Sunday to Wednesday ATVs are allowed on the road along the lake so it could get a little noisy and busy. I enjoy hiking there during those quiet days between Thursday and Saturday. There is a kayak and bike rental. You could see rental kayaks on Eklutna Lake in one of my photos here …tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-05cf-1268-d262

Wasilla, Alaska
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8. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

My top recommendations:

A day trip or overnight trip to Seward.

A glacier cruise out of Whittier

The Portage area, including the one hour glacier cruise on Portage Lake & a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

The State Fair in Palmer if you are here on the right dates

Hatcher's Pass

Matanuska Glacier

Eklutna Lake

Dining in Talkeetna

Saturday Market in Anchorage

Hike the Butte in Palmer

Walk the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from Earthquake Park to Point Worzoff.

Glenn Alps & Flattop

Chugiak, Alaska
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9. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

For ideas on some great hikes, look at the Top Questions on the right-hand side under the Anchorage forum. There's a question with three topics in it on different hikes in the area.

Cypress, Texas
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10. Re: Short notice trip to Anchorage, what to do?

Without question...

http://www.phillipscruises.com/

http://www.alaskawildlife.org/

And my favorite town, Talkeetna! If Denali is "out" you will have a great view from there.

http://www.talkeetnachamber.org/welcome/