Day trip from Anchorage?

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Destinations' started by mhnadel, Apr 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    I'm leveraging off a business trip in early June and I have a couple of days before my meetings and a day after to fill.

    I'm figuring one day for an excursion to Juneau (because of my obsession with visiting all the state capitals) and one day for Anchorage itself. I could rent a car or do an excursion by train or plane. I've already got a day trip to Kodiak as part of my business activities. I've been to Fairbanks previously (and took the train through Denali), plus I don't really think there is enough time for Denali this time out, so that seems like an unlikely direction.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I'd just get a car and drive down to Seward, with a stop at Exit Glacier. It makes for a leisurely stress-free day, except the billions of cruiseship passenger buses along the highway that you will want to pass. If you really want to waste a bit of extra time and $ you can drive through the tunnel to Whittier. Whittier is so much fun that you'll want to walk around for a few minutes and make sure you go back the other way while the tunnel is still open in the reverse direction.

    While in Seward, if it is a clear day, you might consider a short flightseeing trip.
     
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  3. superscot
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    superscot Gold Member

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    An alternative would be to take the train from Anchorage to Whittier and then doing a glacier cruise. The train connects well with the start and end of the cruise and goes through some interesting countryside with an onboard commentary from the conductor.

    You will also have enough time to wander around Whittier before getting the train back. I actually found the town itself quite interesting in an eerie, sci-fi type way.
     
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  4. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    Thanks. Is there any reason to book that with anybody other than the railroad company? (I realize someone else runs the cruises themselves, but the Alaska Railroad offers tour packages.)
     
  5. superscot
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    superscot Gold Member

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    I can't say for sure - I booked mine with the railway company and everything worked well. Perhaps our resident ANC experts can help?
     
  6. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    No longer an ANC expert per se, as it's been 20 :eek: years since I've lived there, but still go back often and send clients most summer weeks.

    I'd book through AKRR for simplicity.

    Also know there is train service to Seward as well as Whittier, and then you're not dealing with the traffic on Turnagain Arm. However, with a car, you can also stop in Girdwood/Alyeska on the way back for some amazing late afternoon views of the Arm. From there, easy drive back to Anchorage in the late evening, with a final stop at Potter's Marsh for amazing evening bird watching (also good early morning on the way out if you wish).
     
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  7. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    To follow up, I ended up doing the train to Seward and cruise to Kenai Fjords on Major Marine, all booked through the railroad. The cruise was excellent - saw a lot of wildlife (dall's porpoise, orca, humpback whale, sea otter, plus various birds including puffins).

    Train was more relaxing than driving would have been, since I was exhausted from my work week (and the poor soundproofing at the Anchorage Hilton).
     
  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    just the trip I took a few Aprils ago. It was too early in the year for the glaciers to be seen.
     
  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Just took another side trip to ANC, got out a bit & drove south on 1.
    ANC Bay.jpg ANC Moose.jpg
     

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