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Sightseeing Seward to Anchorage


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Are there any good things to see and do between Seward and Anchorage? We rented a car to drive from Seward to Anchorage after getting off the ship. Our flight doesn't leave until 11:30 that night. So we want to do something to fill the day. But we're not quite sure what there is to do on the drive from Seward to Anchorage. The rental car in Seward was very expensive. So we're debating about whether to take the cruiseship shuttle to Anchorage instead and either rent a car there for a lot cheaper or take a taxi to something near the airport if there's nothing to do between the two cities to justify the $200+ cost of the rental car. If anyone has any helpful information, we'd sure appreciate it.

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On our last Alaskan cruise, we did the trip in the opposite direction. It is a beautiful drive with lots to do.

 

Coming out of Seward, you can go to Exit Glacier and take a hike to it. We made a slight detour along the Sterling Highway to Cooper's Landing and had lunch out on the deck of the Kenai Princess overlooking the river. Spectacular area and scenery. We also went to Portage Glacier visitor center for a while.

 

We made many scenic stops along Turnagain Arm.

 

Budget Queen has also recommended visiting the city of Hope. You would have time for all these things.

 

We are going to repeat the drive this cruise (this time Seward to Anchorage) if our plans for a National Park tour in Resurrection Bay don't turn out. I agree with you that the rental car is outrageous (especially since they have just as many people needing to go each direction), but I do think it is worth it to have the luxury of making so many great stops.

 

HAL's Ryndam - Northbound Alaska - May 28, 2004

 

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My opinion only. Seward offers supurb touring opportunities- consider a Kenai Fjords boat trip instead of a bay trip. You need at least 6 hours on the water. icon_smile.gif As mentioned, Exit Glacier is worth a stop. As for the drive- scenery is the key- I almost always pull off every stop on the Arm. icon_smile.gif If you do the boat trip- then the regular run of the Alaska RR fits in nicely for the ride back to Anchorage- bargain at $59pp. So you need to look at your priorities, if you want to enjoy the Seward Highway driving then see some of Anchorage- plan carefully to make the most out of your time. Seward offers early disembarkment- take advantage of it and get an early start with only one extra day.

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I used the wrong terminology - we are trying to arrange for the longer Kenai Fjords boat trip and then a ship transfer to Anchorage in time to make a 10:30 pm flight. There should be enough time, but HAL says the excursion office can't book it - that it has to be done on the ship. I don't like leaving things open ended, but don't have a choice.

 

HAL's Ryndam - Northbound Alaska - May 28, 2004

 

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We are probably leaning toward making scenic stops during the drive on the way back to Anchorage. We will be spending a lot of time either on or near the water during the 5 excursions we're taking at the ports of call. We want to be able to see some of the other parts of the state as well. Unless of course, there's a "can't miss" opportunity that we hear about from this post that includes being on the water. Don't get me wrong, I just love the water.

 

We want to make sure that we find out as much info as possible so we can plan ahead and get the most out of our last day in Alaska.

 

At exit glacier, how long of a hike is it to the glacier and how long does it take round trip? How close do you actually get to the glacier?

 

Travalot, you mentioned having lunch on a deck at the Kenai Princess? Are you outdoors? What is the Kenai Princess? Was the food good? Wbat type of scenery are you overlooking on the deck? You also mentioned Portage Glacier visitor center. What do they have there to do or see? And lastly, what is the National Park tour in Resurrection Bay? Is that an option for us to look into also?

 

What all is involved in the Kenai Fjords boat trip? I don't want to automatically dismiss it because it's on the water? Because I love the water. And being 6 hours, I'm sure it could include a lot of other interesting things as well. If you could give me a little info on this, that would be great. Especially if you know the price and if it includes lunch or if not, where does it stop and are there good dining options there? We were hoping to have a seafood opportunity at some point that day for either lunch or dinner.

 

Also, does anyone know of anything fun and exciting to do in Anchorage? Anything to do within a reasonable distance from the airport? Like the zoo or other tourist opportunities that we could get to from the airport for a reasonable price by taxi? Also, are there any good seafood restuarants close to the airport? Thanks for all the help.

 

Budget Queen? What is the city of Hope? What is there to do and see there?

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Some of the ships are now going via Whittier, so double check with your cruiseline. Also, when figuring prices, find out if the transfer is included or not. And if you take a tour and already paid for the transfer to Anchorage, can you get it back?

 

Alaska via Spirit 6/2/04

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The Kenai Princess is one of the Princess lodges (it was also the unnamed location in that bachelor/bachelorette in Alaska reality show). The deck is outside across the back of the property and is perched high above the river with mountain views. We were there in early June, with snow still on the hills, and it was gorgeous. We saw a moose swim across the river. The food was good (I think I had a fish sandwich, my kids had hamburgers.) We hadn't planned to go there but saw a sign. I have seen the other Princess lodges and was curious.

 

The walk to Exit Glacier is about 1/2 mile, then maybe another 1/4-1/2 mile to get alongside it. Some of the websites say the road to the hiking park is gravel, but it is now paved. I would say the entire detour could be one hour if you just walk to glacier views, to two hours or more if you wanted to get more up close and personal.

 

HAL's Ryndam - Northbound Alaska - May 28, 2004

 

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We too are renting a car from Seward to Anc. but are planning on staying for a couple of days for fishing. I've been reading all the tourist guides (how acurate they are, is another story) but they do list several stop off points on the Seward Rd. Depends on if you want to take a mile or so walk...waterfalls, lakes, etc. Its my understanding that the scenery on that road is unbelievable!

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For those who have done the drive from Anchorage to Seward, how long did it take you with all the stops? I plan to stop often for photo ops and am just curious how long that makes the drive.

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Allow 3 hours for Seward - Anchorage. As for Exit Glacier- if you are climbing to the side of the glacier it is not all paved- at least not last year. The bottom viewing was. Allow about an hour. As for the Kenai fjords boat trip- it is a route trip that offers far better and closer scenic cruising compared to any cruise ship. You have the opportunity for extensive VARIED wildlife- again not going to be seen from a cruise ship or inside passage tours. Sea lions, puffins, whales, sea otters, eagles, various sea birds. Very close glacier viewing- again closer than cruise ships. As for Portage- the visitor center is worth a stop if you want more information on glaciers, you can't see Portage glacier except from a boat trip. Hope is via about 16 miles off Seward- historic. The Kenai Princess is on the Kenai River, scenic about 10 miles off Seward Highway. My opinion only there are better places to eat- well more "Alaskan" perhaps? icon_smile.gif

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Well, while I hate to disagree with budgetqueen cuz she is the QUEEN, but last year when we drove from ANC to Seward, it took us 8 or 9 hours....now admittedly, we stopped ALOT....but it was a great day!

 

We left Anchorage around 9, made a quick stop at Walmart for some great storebrand trail mix for the ride and some sodas and the liquor store to...shhh, sneak on the ship...and we were off. We had barely reached Turnagain Arm when we stopped to watch mountain goats and their kid trek up the side of a cliff....a short while later we stopped at an overlook to watch the BORE TIDE...pretty neat. Anyway, we then made it all the way to the Portage Glacier Visitors Center where we probably spent an hour or an hour and a half. It was a good introduction to glaciers which was a good thing to do before getting to EXIT Glacier and the others on the ship. After the center, we headed towards the SKI resort, I forget the name, sorry....and had lunch at this great place that had great bread and cookies and incredible flowers. After lunch, we continued on around Turnagain Arm, then drove into Hope...for a short detour. Then we returned to the main highway and headed again to Seward. We stayed in Moose Pass at a great place right on the lake in a log cabin....after checking in around 5 or 6 we drove into Seward to get our bearings, have dinner, etc. The next day, we waited til the morning train ROARED by our cabin, then raced off to catch the train and take pictures of our friends arriving in Seward. We then visited the Sealife Center and then went to Exit Glacier before turning in the rental car. Have a great trip....but don't rush the drive..tis too beautiful not to enjoy!

 

Clay

 

ps. Hertz will drop you off at the ship afer you turn in your car.

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