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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:40 AM
catcrazy1 catcrazy1 is offline
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Default Possible itinerary for DIY Alaska land tour

My family will be ending a 7 day cruise in Whittier this summer. I've been trying to plan our 4 days afterward. Here's what I've come up with. I hope someone can advise as to whether this sounds good.

Monday: disembark ship and take shuttle to anchorage, stopping at the wildlife center included in shuttle ride. Pick up rental car and drive to Talkeetna to spend the day and night.
Tuesday: make our way down to Girdwood and spend the night
Wednesday : drive to Seward to explore and spend the night
Thursday: explore and head back to anchorage where we depart around 10:00 pm.

It seems like the distances aren't too far from each other and will allow us to see several places. Any feedback is more than welcome!

Also, I'm looking for reasonable places to stay in each city. We have our two 12 year olds so we're on a budget. Thanks in advance.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:04 AM
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WalleyeLJ WalleyeLJ is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catcrazy1 View Post
My family will be ending a 7 day cruise in Whittier this summer. I've been trying to plan our 4 days afterward. Here's what I've come up with. I hope someone can advise as to whether this sounds good.

Monday: disembark ship and take shuttle to anchorage, stopping at the wildlife center included in shuttle ride. Pick up rental car and drive to Talkeetna to spend the day and night.
Tuesday: make our way down to Girdwood and spend the night
Wednesday : drive to Seward to explore and spend the night
Thursday: explore and head back to anchorage where we depart around 10:00 pm.

It seems like the distances aren't too far from each other and will allow us to see several places. Any feedback is more than welcome!

Also, I'm looking for reasonable places to stay in each city. We have our two 12 year olds so we're on a budget. Thanks in advance.
It depends on what you're planning to do while in Talkeetna, but it is a very small town that won't take more than an hour or two to explore with a couple of 12 year olds. Please don't get me wrong, my wife and I loved visiting there, but was just a short stop along the way on our ride to Denali. It certainly doesn't warrent a full day and overnight just for itself. If you're going there to flightsee Denali, I think it would be worth checking on option directly out of Anchorage.

Just my thoughts, but I think your time would be better spent traveling to and from Seward. In addition to the drive itself, there are more than enough things to try inn see in the time you've got. In addition to the stop in Girdwood and Mt. Alyeska, you've got Portage Glacier and Exit Glacier, one with a small boat tour, one you can walk up to. In Seward you've got the Sea Life Center (which you can tie in with Exit Glacier for a fun, realxing day), plus the other full day in Seward you can take one of the boat trips into Kenai Fjords Park, which can run from 6-9.5 hours depending on whcih option you choose.

If you really wanted to go to Talkeetna, I'd just plan on continuing onto Denali and spend the rest of your time there rather than trying to head back down to Seward. That's not a bad plan either.

Hope that helps!

L.J.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:30 AM
catcrazy1 catcrazy1 is offline
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Default itinerary

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. I have heard from many people that Talkeetna and the surrounding area is worth seeing. We decided not to do Denali but I think there are some other parks and wildlife areas nearby?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:15 AM
mapleleaves mapleleaves is offline
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I agree with Wally ... Talkeetna is ok as a stop on the way to Denali but it's not a destination in itself. I wouldn't go there again unless it was for a flightseeing trip. If you're going to head north, you might as well drive to Denali on Monday ; it's only 5 hrs north of Anchorage.
What are your family's interests ..... ice trek, dog carting, white water rafting, hiking, wildlife, fishing ???
Without that information, I'd suggest you focus on Seward and Girdwood, especially with kids. Lots to do to keep them entertained without spending a fortune. Around Girdwood there is gold panning, the wildlife center, Alyeska tram, trails at Beggich Boggs Visitor Center, Portage Lake, etc: http://alaska.org/driving/portage-va...spur-drive.htm
Maybe concentrate on Girdwood activities on Monday and overnight at Summit Lake Lodge about an hr south.
Just outside Seward stop at Exit Glacier. There are established trails to follow. There are ranger led hikes too. Google Exit Glacier to get the times. For info on Seward activities and lodging www.seward.com Send for the free visitor guide. I think the only hotel with a pool is the Holiday Inn Express. There are cabins at Seavey's Racing Kennels. www.ididaride.com
p.s. Whittier is only an hr from Anchorage. Perhaps send one driver to pick up the car, while the others hang out in Whittier for a couple of hours. Saves you the transfer $$ and you'll be driving that area yourselves anyway so you don't need a tour.

Last edited by mapleleaves; February 2nd, 2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:25 PM
Northern Aurora Northern Aurora is offline
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Given the time constraints I also would not suggest first heading north to Talkeetna, and then heading south to Seward.

Girdwood is lovely, and so spending a night there is an excellent idea. We've stayed at the Alyeska Resort and loved it.

As others have already mentioned there is much to do with kids in Seward. In 2011 we stayed at the Edgewater Hotel and would stay there again.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:31 PM
catcrazy1 catcrazy1 is offline
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I really appreciate all of your input! After much research today, we've booked 2 nights at the Summit Lake Lodge and 1 night in Seward at the Best Western. The links you sent were so helpful and have put my mind at ease that we now have a plan!! Thank you so much!
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:41 PM
mapleleaves mapleleaves is offline
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Speaking of Summit Lake Lodge ... I linked poolwife's trip report onto the thread called Favorite Alaska Picture Reviews. They stayed at the Lodge and included several photos from their stay.
There's a waterfront gazebo and park by the BW in Seward, and a footpath that follows the waterfront all the way to the harbor, about 1 1/2 miles. Wonderful views the entire way (or just from the park ) ... looking across the Bay to mountains & glaciers, lots of fishing boats coming & going, otters playing off shore, and watch for eagles. We bought fish & chips from Thorn's downtown and ate at the gazebo. 4 people can share 3 orders! Drive out to Lowell Point for some great views too.
Have a great trip!

Last edited by mapleleaves; February 2nd, 2013 at 09:42 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:55 PM
genealogyfan genealogyfan is offline
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Default Sounds like a good plan

Very gorgeous in that area. I've been to Exit Glacier, and the Sealife Center in Seward - both recommend. If you are interested in a local boat ride/fishing or sightseeing in Seward I recommend Gone Again Charters, run by locals

It's about 2.5-3 hours from Seward to Anchorage so your originally plan was going to be alot of driving if you were heading North and then back down to Seward

http://www.goneagaincharters.com/
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 11:01 PM
catcrazy1 catcrazy1 is offline
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This forum is amazing. Thanks again for all your info. I agree with what all of you have said and look forward to visiting many of the places you suggested. June can't come soon enough for me!
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