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Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Coffs Harbour...
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Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Comments welcome please.( I feel as if I know the regulars here.)My husband and I are heading your way next Aug. We have reserved a car in Anchorage and are going to brave driving on the other side of the road. We arrive in Anchorage at 5:14 am from Hawaii (where we will stop for one night but more on the way back.). I am almost ready to book accomm. How does this sound? Two nights Anchorage, drive to Seward 2 nights, then to Valdez on ferry (can I have more info on this please), then on to Fairbanks with a night at Paxson or Delta Junction. Then 3 nights Fairbanks with either a flight to Barrow or bus to Arctic Circle. Think maybe Barrow for the day as suggested by someone here. Then on to Denali for 2 nights and then Anchorage again where we will drop car and take train to Whittier to catch Princess Cruise. We have 12 nights in AK. We like a balance between relaxation and busy so hope to have a bit of down time between busy days.

Would I need to book accomm or could we take a chance on some of it. I have the dates organised but hope the org translates into reality with distances etc. Comments welcome.

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Florida
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1. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Personally since you are going to cruise from Whittier I would skip Valdez, just do one night in Anchorage and plan on one night in either Homer, Girdwood or Hatcher Pass. You could spend all of your time in the Kenai area and still wish for more. I certainly would book all accommodations now as you would be taking a big chance. The decent places will be booked well in advance and, as a matter of fact, I have all of our accommodations booked for our month's visit next July. Research where you want to stay ! B&B's, cabins, hotels, etc. and then commit.

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fti
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2. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Welcome to the forum. When in August are you going? By late August, the fall colors are already coming to Denali and north.

From what you wrote, I see your itinerary as something like this:

Day 1 arrive Anchorage 5.14am, in Anchorage

Day 2 in Anchorage

Day 3 to Seward

Day 4 in Seward

Day 5 to Whittier, ferry to Valdez, drive to Paxson

Day 6 Fairbanks (one of these 3 nights to Arctic Circle)

Day 7 Fairbanks

Day 8 Fairbanks

Day 9 Denali

Day 10 Denali

Day 11 to Anchorage

Day 12 to Whittier

Not sure if that is correct, since that is only 11 nights (you said you had 12 nights) and it sounded like you were planning on driving from Denali to Anchorage and getting to Whittier the same day so that would have only been 11 nights. I am sure I missed something somewhere.

Anyway, you need to add activities to your days. Why are you staying in Anchorage for two nights? Do you have things you want to do that take that long to see? Most people don't spend nearly that long in Anchorage. And with your so early arrival, I could see you hitting it hard that first day (partly to use your time wisely, partly to stay active until evening to combat jet lag) and really only needing one night in Anchorage.

I strongly suggest you have your itinerary and activities in place, THEN book lodging. Many people book lodging then refine their itinerary, then realize it costs money to change or cancel their lodging reservations. Please don't do that. You have plenty of time to book lodging. If you get the lodging booked by early 2011, you are way ahead of 90% of the crowd.

So if you give us more idea of what your interests are, what you want dto do (and where, if you know that too), then we can help you better.

John

Edited: 30 October 2010, 23:00
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Coffs Harbour...
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3. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Thanks John. I have posted here a few times and have had a lot of help from people to get a sense of where to go. I initially thought that we would have 2 nights in Anchorage and even pay for a room the night before we arrive so that we can go straight to a motel when we arrive and have breakfast, a shower and a couple of hours sleep before we head out to explore. We did this when we flew to London and found it worked well. I know it seems a waste of money but I don't sleep well on planes and tend to need a rest to revive myself. I do think that we will then stay only one night in Anchorage and then head out the next day. I am going a bit crazy looking at everything and need to come up with decisions, put AK to rest and move my research into Canada and America.

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4. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

>>I initially thought that we would have 2 nights in Anchorage and even pay for a room the night before we arrive so that we can go straight to a motel when we arrive and have breakfast, a shower and a couple of hours sleep before we head out to explore. We did this when we flew to London and found it worked well. I know it seems a waste of money but I don't sleep well on planes and tend to need a rest to revive myself.

I don't think it is a waste of money at all, and that being said from someone who is a very frugal traveler. One of my highest priorities when traveling across multiple time zones is a shower and a change of clothes. I try to avoid the nap though, since it really throws off my body clock. You might check hotwire or priceline. One time I returned from Katmai NP with a 6 hour layover in Anchorage. I got a hotel room through Hotwire for +-$50. Didn't even sleep there but the shower and R&R were worth every penny!

>>I do think that we will then stay only one night in Anchorage and then head out the next day. I am going a bit crazy looking at everything and need to come up with decisions, put AK to rest and move my research into Canada and America.

I think if you list your interests and confirm the number of nights better, we can help you put Alaska to rest quicker.

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New England
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5. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

<Why are you staying in Anchorage for two nights? Do you have things you want to do that take that long to see? Most people don't spend nearly that long in Anchorage. And with your so early arrival, I could see you hitting it hard that first day (partly to use your time wisely, partly to stay active until evening to combat jet lag) and really only needing one night in Anchorage.>

I know that if is often suggested here on TA to head out of Anchorage quickly but I would like to support spending a bit more time there, especially depending on what time you arrive. Last summer we flew from Boston, arrived in ANC at 2am and went to our B&B where we slept for a few hours. We had decided to spend the next night as well so that we could regroup from the trip and explore Anchorage. We regularly fly cross country to CA to visit our daughter and know the wisdom of getting on to local time but also know that we are just a bit too fuzzy to drive in an unfamiliar area so wanted the extra day. Anyway, we loved the time in Anchorage -- we took long walks exploring neighborhoods and downtown, visited the museum at the Rasmussen Center and watched planes take off and land at Lake Hood. The next morning we were up and ready and refreshed and pleased to have explored a lovely city. Just a bit of another perspective.

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6. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Are you going to Barrow just to say you have been above the Arctic Circle? As for my two cents I would include Seward, the ferry from Whittier to Valdez. Drive up through Glenallen towards Fairbanks then down the Parks Hwy through Denali and back to Anchorage. You also should consider Homer and the Kenai Peninsula. You could also do this in reverse.

BTW we too will be driving on the other side of the road this January, but in Tasmania (Tassie to you guys)

John

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Coffs Harbour...
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7. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Yes I think we are going to Barrow to say that we have "been there at the top". Just for the day perhaps and then back to same bed in Fairbanks. Thanks for support of being well rested after flight in and yes I think we will stay in Anchorage for another two nights. As my last name is Palmer then we will definitely have to go there. Will drive out for the morning from Anch as we would miss it with my itinerary.

Our interests are looking at scenery, chatting to locals, eating and drinking (looking forward to local food and beer). Wildlife of course and indigenous culture (particularly art).

It is going to be difficult to fit everything in but we will try to do it.

Day 1,2 Anchorage

3,4 -Seward

5 Valdez

6 -Delta Junction or Paxson

7,8,9 Fairbanks with 8 to Arctic Circle

10,11 Denali

12 Anchorage

We drop car back and get to Whittier for Princess Cruise after that. I think I've got it pretty right.

Now to look at all that accomm again. Want to try for Wild Roses by the Sea in Valdez, I know that much. You all speak so highly of it.

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Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

If you like beer be sure to visit the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage

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Bridgewater
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9. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

If you like art, then you definitely want to visit downtown Achorage. You'll find painted murals on many of the sides of the buildings, including the post office. There are sculptures in front of many of the stores and buildings. And there are several lovely art galleries to browse. Plus there's the museum.

I'm not sure if the "First Friday Art Walk" runs during the summer, but the first Friday of the month, the galleries stay open late and have special showings and refreshments.

Coffs Harbour...
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10. Re: Itinerary for 2 in August 2011

Thanks will definitely check out the murals and the brewery . Keep coming with the great ideas.