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Where to go next May??

Maryland
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100 posts
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Where to go next May??

I was in Alaska for the first time this past May and loved it. I really want to go back again next May, but I'd like to see new things. My previous trip report is at: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28923-i349-k20200…

Last time, I was in the Anchorage area, Kenai Peninsula (Seward & Homer), up to Talkeetna, and as far east as the Matanuska Glacier.

Everyone here was so helpful in planning my last trip, so I'll trust you all on guiding me on places to start for my next one!

Thank you!

Sarah

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Where to go next May??

When in May are you planning on going? I went to Seward, Homer and Cordova in early May 2008 and though it was great, not all the tourist things are open yet.

If you go in early May, there is the shorebird festival in Homer May 7-10 and also one in Cordova about the same time.

Denali NP never closes but the shuttle buses don't start operating until about May 20 and even then not too far into the park (June 1 is the first day to Eielson which is ideal). Or if you go in mid May (before May 20) perhaps the road is open to mile 30 and you can drive yourself, subject to the conditions of your rental car company.

Or another option is to not fly into that part of the state but go to Juneau and that area. Maybe include Haines and/or Skagway or maybe Glacier Bay. Since cruise ships start by early May, many of the tourist things are starting to operate here, for example like whale watching. You can easily spend a week or two in this part of the state. How long are you planning on going for?

John

Maryland
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2. Re: Where to go next May??

My schedule is pretty fluid at this point, but I'm leaning to the end of May so things are somewhat warmer and more things are open. I was thinking maybe 10 days-2 weeks, but the exact dates and timing will depend on which days are available for me to cash in my miles (that's what determined this past May's trip, and it all worked out well).

I had been considering Southern Alaska, but my concern is that I really don't want to go on a cruise (my issues are the expense as well as the fact that I may want to spend more time in places than they allow, and that I'm going in May because there are fewer people, but cruise ships brings tons of people to small towns). But my understanding is that cruises or flights are really the only way to travel that area. Is that true?

North Bend, Oregon
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3. Re: Where to go next May??

3rd weekend in May is Petersburg's "Little Norway Festival"... great fun whether you're a family person or a hard core party-er. There's also great access to Tracy Arm, Misty Fjords, and - if the weather is warm enough - 5-Finger Light.

Just a few personal favorite suggestions before the big cruise ship season gets into full swing...

Happy Alaska Travels!

-Case

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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4. Re: Where to go next May??

Which airline do you have miles with? If Delta or American, you can make a stop for free.

No need at all to go on a cruise when visiting SE Alaska. I spent 10 days there last July and flew/took boats. Cruise, flights or Alaska ferry are the main transportation options in SE Alaska. Maybe something like this:

Fly to Juneau, spend 3-4 nights (lots to do in Juneau - whale watch, Tracy Arm, hike, Mendenhall Glacier, drive up the road past Auke Bay for example), museums, etc.

Then take a ferry to Haines. Much less touristy than some of the other towns in SE Alaska. Neat town, easy to spend a day or two in. Maybe rent a car for 3 days and drive through the Yukon to Skagway, take the ferry back to Haines, drop the car off and take the ferry back to Juneau. Just an idea (something I am considering for 2010). You can also do this in reverse and start/end in Skagway.

Or you can just take the ferry to Haines, spend a couple of days there, then take a ferry to Skagway, spend a couple of days there, and take a ferry back to Juneau.

Another town to consider is Sitka. Perhaps fly to Sitka and back out of Juneau and buy a separate ticket between the two (either by plane or ferry). I could not get Delta to let me stop in Sitka en route to Juneau using my frequent flyer miles (I am going there in November). So I used separate miles for a separate one-way ticket between Sitka and Juneau.

You could include Ketchikan in the mix too though it is a bit further south. Misty Fjords flights originate here.

If you do have Delta or American miles, you can consider flying to Juneau then to Glacier Bay (Gustavus) and spend a couple of days there. But this would have to be very late May since the highlight of Glacier Bay is the all-day boat tour that I don't think starts until Memorial Day. Well worth at least 2 nights, plus excellent whale watching out of Gustavus.

John

5. Re: Where to go next May??

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