Category 4 hotels in Alaska - Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seward site seeing

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by kayjay, Mar 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. kayjay
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    kayjay Silver Member

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    I have 2 free nights & my wife has 2 free nights from the current promotion. Planning to use it at Alaska for our July vacation. Our first time in Alaska!
    I am not a downtown person, but more into nature photography.
    Which Marriott category 4 is the best hotel accessible to nature sites, and attractions?
    your thoughts and suggestions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Colonel G
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    Colonel G Silver Member

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    Well, I'm an Anchorage resident and have to tell you that all of the Marriott properties are all in town AFAIK. However, that really should not be a problem since 15 minutes in any direction will get you out of downtown and into nature's wilderness. In fact, with 17 miles of trail wandering through Anchorage, you can easily access mother nature from in town. Just be careful if you run into a moose, or less likely, a bear. That's not a joke.

    Suggest you stay in any of the Anchorage properties and head south when you ant to take some pics. First stop on the Seward Hwy. is Girdwood which is a populated valley about 45 minutes south of Anchorage and home to our only real ski resort. You can ride the ski resort tram during the summer and take awesome pics from teh top of the mountain.

    Next stop going south is Whittier/ Portage Glacier/ the Animal Farm. Whittier is a small town on the other side of the Chugach Mountains from Anchorage that was established because it is an ice-free port all year. They blasted a railway tunnel through the mountains and ran the railway to Anchorage. A few years ago, they paved the tunnel and you can now drive to Whittier between train runs. Whittier is my preferred place to get on a glacier cruise (the other choice is Seward) and you can spend an entire day seeing the town, glaciers, and about every kind of beast Alaska has to offer - even a whale if you are lucky.

    Either before or after Whittier, you can visit the Portage Glacier, but it is nothing much to see since it has retreated so far. You will probably enjoy what I call the Animal Farm. This is on the Seward highway directly across from where you turn off to go to Whittier. It is a home for recovered animals from the wilderness. You can see just about everything but a polar bear there up close and personal. Pleanty of photo ops in a safe environment!

    Continuing south, you can go to Seward which has a great aquarium and glacier or bay cruises. Alternately, you can branch off before Seward and head to Kenai and on to Homer. It is a four hour trip, but Homer is home to a large artist's colony and you can find a bunch of really cool art. Homer is also probably the best place to catch a fishing charter if that is your thing. Be prepared to bring back 30 pounds of halibut!

    I could go on and on, but let me know if you want more info on Anchorage.
     
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  3. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    This is a great use for Cat 4 certificates, but no location is particularly better than the others. I think Anchorage is a rather unattractive city, and prefer the Kenai Peninsula to the interior.
     
  4. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    See the whales out of Whittier via a small boat.

    I grew up in SE AK commercial fishing from small trollers ~25 ft, to larger 58 ft salmon seiners - all summer I was able to watch the wales from the boats, so when I took my wife to AK and was looking for whale watching out of Whittier I found a small outfit to use. I highly recommend Sound Eco Adventures (http://www.soundecoadventure.com/), here are two reviews (not mine): http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...ews-Sound_Eco_Adventures-Whittier_Alaska.html

    The small boat gives you great opportunities to find the whales across hundreds of miles of Puget Sound. In our case a whale floated around under the boat looking at the boat, so we were able to watch the outline move around under the boat.

    When in Whittier we camped outside the tunnel so I don't have any hotel suggestions.
     

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