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Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

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California
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Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

We (6 adults) arrive in Whittier on a Saturday and plan to do the Major Marine Blackstone Glacier tour after leaving the Sapphire Princess. We fly out of Anchorage Sunday afternoon at 3pm. So, what should we do with those 24 hours in between. I am hearing that the town of Anchorage isn't worth seeing. I'm considering renting a car in Whittier and driving to Seward for Saturday night and then to the Anchorage airport Sunday afternoon?? Any suggestions for activities and hotels??

Bristol, Connecticut
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1. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

You would have to leave Seward around 10am to be certain of getting into Anchorage in time for your flight. You won't get to Anchorage on Saturday until early evening so I don't think you have enough time to see Seward. I would see some of the sights around Anchorage. You could rent a car and drive up to Flattop or stay downtown with no car and visit the museum, do a walk on the Coastal Trail, check out Ship Creek. You really won't have a lot of time.

USA
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2. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

What time is your glacier tour over with Major Marine?

If you rent a car in Whittier, you have one of the most beautiful drives in Alaska along the Turnagain Arm as you drive north with all sorts of potential stops:

Portage glacier with a walk out to Byron glacier

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Beluga Point

McHugh Picnic Area

Potter's Marsh

You could spend the night in Girdwood, lots of B&Bs, guest houses or Alyeska Hotel.. I would never recommend Seward as you just don't have the time & the Seward Hwy is notorious for construction delays, accidents, etc.

There is a lot to do around Anchorage:

drive up to Glen Alps ($5 parking) & walk to the overlook- views of mountain if out, moose potentially below

It would help to know your group's interests!

Are you hikers? Photographers?

Anchorage, Alaska
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3. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

You are completely wrong about Anchorage not worth seeing. Do those that have told you that say why they feel that way?l

Anchorage is an incredible city with more things to do/see then most can do in several days.

haines, alaska
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4. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

Now, now Scott......don't take it personally......While there are many things that I enjoy about Anchorage, most people don't come to Alaska for a big city experience.......

Bagladee, there is an open air weekend market in downtown Anchorage during the summer months that you might enjoy also.....and a zoo....and a nice botanical garden.......Alaska Native Heritage Center......more than enough to occupy one day......

Stay in a hotel in Anchorage, rent a car......make sure you get a street map with the rental car.....Anchorage traffic patterns are confusing and there are many one way streets downtown......trust me, I have circled round and round many times trying to get from point A to B........

Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

For me personally I would go directly to Anchorage after the glacier cruise at Whittier. Have a nice dinner and prepare for you trip home the next afternoon. You will only have a few hours that Sunday morning.

Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

If it was me... I'd rent the car in Whittier. After the tunnel, you could do the walk up to Byron Glacier at Portage and stop at the salmon viewing area at the Williwaw campground. Then when you hit the Seward Highway go straight to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. http://www.alaskawildlife.org/

From there, I'd head south on the Seward Highway as far as Canyon Creek. For me the drive through Turnagain Pass is just very scenic. If you don't go as far as Canyon Creek, at least go to the top of the pass.

Then head back north as far as Girdwood. Stay the night there. Then the next day you can make your way up to Anchorage.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

AVIS is the only rental company in Whittier, so before get too involved in plans .... do they have even a car available that will fit 6 adults and all their luggage? Minivans go quickly and you're rather late in making a car reservation.

Instead of assuming that Anchorage isn't worthwhile, you might want to do a little research to see what's available. Any city's web site is a good place to start:

http://www.anchorage.net/ak/summer-activities

Edited: 1:24 pm, February 01, 2013
Bridgewater
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8. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

I guess it's all relative to where you are from. With all due respect, Mombear, I consider Anchorage a podunk town, with downtown Anchorage more like in the Andy of Mayberry series. I LOVE Anchorage more than New York City, but that is just my taste. I found driving in Anchorage very easy with very curteous drivers and found the one way streets very easy to navigate. Study a map for a few minutes and it's easy with all the streets going north to south with letter names and east to west with numbers. Outside of the downtown area uses names for streeets, but there aren't very many main streets so it's easy to remember. I have spent over a month in Anchorage alone and never ran out of things to do or places to go. What it lacks in Architecture it more than makes up in history, sites, and it's people. Gee, even what we call street people here (bums), have some fabulous stories to tell and adventures they've been on. You don't find that in Paris, nor Rome nor Venice, nor New York City! Ha! I even flew in a week early one year (actually I did this 2 years in a row) to see a special performance by the Anchorage symphony with named performers. Tickets in NYC would have been easily $150+ whereas I paid $40 for best seats. You don't realize what you have in that great town!

California
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9. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

Ok, we got a minivan from Avis in Whittier. Our glacier tour returns at 5:15pm. How much daylight do we have in the evening? So I like the idea of driving part way Saturday evening and seeing some sights on the Turnagain Pass and Byron Glacier. Then where to stay Saturday night?? Then up again in the morning to see sights til we need to head to airport. Details on how long we can "see" the sights Saturday night and what to see the next morning is much appreciated. We are more about the "views and photos", not big hikers, but definitely can to get some great views. Thanks for all the suggestions so far!!

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: Post Cruise Anchorage Activity/Hotel

turu- I can understand mombear and her driving in Anchorage. An Alaskan living in Haines can get overwhelmed arriving in Anchorage. Driving habits of the locals are different from the rest of the state, although not as aggressive as some of our other lower 48 destinations.

BTW I didn't have any problems driving in NJ (only getting lost depending on google maps in the rural areas)

Edited: 12:17 pm, February 02, 2013