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A week in Anchorage area

Galway Ireland
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A week in Anchorage area

We are in Anchorage 27 February to March 4 . I need help in planning our itinerary, please.

We would love to try cross country skiing or snow shoeing ???

Feeling anxious about it all. Would also appreciate advice on clothing! Thank you

fti
MN
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1. Re: A week in Anchorage area

Welcome to the Alaska forum.

Generally a week in Anchorage is way too long. But if you are involving the Fur Rondy and/or the Iditarod in your plans, then I can definitely see it.

There is a Top Question about Alaska topic on clothing, so you can read that to get a good idea.

You can check out the Fur Rondy site for their activities. For the Iditarod, the ceremonial start in Anchorage is Saturday March 1st and the official "restart" is 70 miles north of Anchorage in Willow on Sunday afternoon March 2nd. Both are really fun to be a part of. There is a shuttle from Anchorage to Willow, but I prefer to drive my own car for the flexibility it affords.

There is cross country skiing in Anchorage, but I am not sure where to rent equipment. I am sure others will chime in, but I would assume REI has such rentals.

Will you have a car? Driving south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm is really nice. Plus, the Wildlife Conservation Center is a nice place to visit.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: A week in Anchorage area

<<<We would love to try cross country skiing or snow shoeing ???>>>

I responded to your other post on Fairbanks but now seeing this, wanted to mention you can ski in Fairbanks too. Not sure about snow shoeing but if you are driving from Anchorage TO Fairbanks, you could snow shoe in Denali NP along the way.

Galway Ireland
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3. Re: A week in Anchorage area

Thank you, I did wonder about it being a bit long...we are due to go to Fairbanks on the 4 March...we do not intend to rent a car as we have no experience of driving in snow! Is there any other place to visit r tour? given our time frame?

Maugie

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: A week in Anchorage area

You could venture down to Seward. There is one boat tour available at this time. (I tried to find who offers the Grey Whale tours during the Iditarod week, but didn't find it. Maybe they've discontinued it?)

While in Anchorage, you could also do a flightseeing trip either to Denali NP or the Chugach/Knik area: www.flyrusts.com/flightseeing/index.html .

I did the Denali tour in March 2011 and really enjoyed it.

I just caught that you will not be renting a car. You may need to connect with a company like this one for your touring beyond the city itself: http://www.salmonberrytours.com/ .

Edited: 9:23 am, January 11, 2014
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5. Re: A week in Anchorage area

That's a wonderful week to be in Anchorage with Fur Rondy & the start of the Iditarod. Here's the Fur Rondy schedule (click under official events) which is full of fun events:

http://www.furrondy.net

Don't miss the ice sculptures down in the port, the blanket toss on Friday, the running of the reindeer in the afternoon after the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on Saturday.

I highly recommend the shuttle from the Millenium hotel up to the official start of the race in Willow on Sunday.You need to go by or call the Millenium to get reservations on the shuttle.

For winter clothing, bring your warmest irish sweaters to layer & a warm coat, warm boots, warm hats & gloves. Longjohns, snow pants. Wool socks.

You can rent snow shoes at REI sporting goods store & then try them out in any of the city parks.

You could contact the parks & recreation for a cross country ski lesson at Kincaid park. You would need to rent skis & boots from REI:

muni.org/Departments/…SkiLessons.aspx

Salmonberry tours was a good recommendation for a tour down along the Turnagain arm.

Do you have lodging reserved & if so where? Lodging is of utmost concern this time of year since it is a busy week in Anchorage with lots of visitors.

Edited: 10:14 am, January 11, 2014
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6. Re: A week in Anchorage area

I see on another thread that you already know how to cross country ski. In that case, let us know where your lodging is & we can help you find a nearby rental & ski trail. There are cross country & track ski trails traversing the entire city, groomed & some of the best anywhere!

Edited: 10:56 am, January 11, 2014
Wasilla, Alaska
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7. Re: A week in Anchorage area

I was going to suggest Alyeska Resort for renting cross country skis but without a car that require hiring transportation. Alyeska has some suggestions for that: alyeskaresort.com/resort/getting-here-ground…

Anchorage, Alaska
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8. Re: A week in Anchorage area

You can have a great week in Anchorage (&/or surrounding area). Everyone previously has given really good advice.ideas already.

Iditarod...

fti, below, mentioned the ceremonial start to the Iditarod (see: http://iditarod.com/ ). I highly recommend this.

Here's a google map link with a couple of suggestions: http://goo.gl/maps/IdKHQ

Point A is the Snow City Cafe (a great place for breakfast (either make a reservation or get there at/before opening - it'll be busy) which is near where the dogs/racers are at and the starting area of the race.

Point B is a nice place (there's an over pass that goes over Tudor Rd here that the racers cross) to watch dogs/racer (use the area to the north-east of the over-pass/bridge)

Point C is another nice (but busy) spot. It's in Far North Bicentennial Park (cross the bridge near the parking lot and follow people). You likely won't get to stop/park in the actual parking lot. Look for where others are parking at on Basher Rd &/or look for the local police man/car & ask them where it's ok to park.

skiing snowshoing...

Go to our local REI (see: http://www.rei.com/stores/anchorage.html ). It's a great, local outdoors activity store. They rent ski & snowshoing gear. Employees there will also be able to inform you about good places to ski/shoe within Anchorage. There are miles & miles & miles of trails within the city. Many of these trail are lit for use in the dark. You can also search for cross country skiing and or trails in Anchorage to get more information.

rental car...

I understand that you don't winter drive; but if you stay within the city I think you'll find, for the most part, winter driving to be relatively easy. I'd still recommend a car for getting around town. Do a search for "how to drive in the winter" and also, if there is current bad weather just don't drive then (for about 12 hours) until our well maintained streets/roads get plowed.

great AK Native arts/crafts...

Point C on above map is really at the Alaska Native Medical Center. It has an amazing display of native arts & crafts. It's free to view during normal hospital visiting hours. Take the lobby elevator to the 5th floor and view the displays on each floor. Take the stairs down as there are displays in the stair wells too. If it's a nice day, the view from the 5th floor is fantastic. There's also coffee/snack shops and free wifi in the lounges of the hospital.

Dining...

Avoid the national "chains" and/or dining in your hotel while in Anchorage as we have way too many good, local restaurants; e,g, Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth, Saks, Snow City, Middle Way, Glacier Brew House, Humpy's, and too many more to mention.

Good luck & enjoy AK,

Scott

fti
MN
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9. Re: A week in Anchorage area

Great advice from Scott, but just to make one slight correction:

>>Point C on above map is really at the Alaska Native Medical Center.

Actually the Medical Center is Point B on his map and there is plenty of parking there for watching the Iditarod (though you said you won't have a car). You might be able to get there on public transit - I am pretty sure you can. But it depends on where you are staying to know how convoluted it might be. I was at this spot last year for the Iditarod ceremonial start and really liked it. Even saw a couple of moose on the trail and in the parking lot!

Galway Ireland
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10. Re: A week in Anchorage area

Thanks again. We have not decided how to get to Fairbanks yet. Am nervous about driving but would love the opportunity of seeing more of the countryside?

We have accommodation booked for the first 3nights of our stay...so need to make some definite plans.

Maugie