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Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

New Jersey
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Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Need help "fleshing out" our itinerary.

We include my husband and myself, daughter age 21, son age 18. I have general ideas of what we would like to see and do but most important in our approach is to be where we are, when we are there. Instead of "must see" we all have "would like to's". Our son will have just graduated from high school on the 19th & daughter has a full time internship this summer, commuting in NJ traffic over an hour each way. Our first 2 nights will be spent in Anchorage to allow us time to catch our breath and "settle in" before moving on.

Basic plan (questions at end)

Thurs June 21st arrive Anchorage @ 11:50 am.

Stay Susitna Place

Fri. June 22nd Anchorage

Stay Susitna Place

While in Anchorage we would like to:

bike Coastal Trail, Native Heritage Center, Aviation Museum, eat @ Moose’s Tooth (Thursday)

Sat. June 23rd to Seward

Stay bear Paw Lodge

Sun. June 24th Seward

Stay Bear Paw Lodge

While on the way to, in or leaving from Seward we would like to:

Enjoy the drive, take our time, Wildlife Conservation Center, Exit Glacier, Sealife Center, evening kayak trip (read about this somewhere –can’t remember who offers this), halibut fishing (a strong “would like to” for husband, son & daughter), day cruise, stroll Seward

Mon. June 25th leave Seward for Denali

stay ???

Tues. June 26th arrive Denali, self drive into Park

Stay Healy > Dome Home

Weds June 27th shuttle bus to Eielson

Stay Healy > Dome Home

Thurs. June 28th Denali

stay Healy> Dome Home

While in/near Denali we would like to:

Shuttle bus into park, entrance area activities, dog sledding demo and, believe it or not, golf Black Diamond (not top on the list but something we like to do)

Fri. June 29th to Anchorage to return car rental by 6 pm

stay ????

Sat. June 30th flight departs @5:44 a.m.

My questions are:

1. When do cruise ships arrive/depart from Seward on weekends? Should we plan our Seward “would like to’s” accordingly? In other words, if the ships depart Saturday evening I am not so sure we would want to be in or near the harbor while the masses board the ship or out on the water when the ships leave.

2. The sunset or evening kayak trip – who offers this?

3. Day cruise vs. fishing – as mentioned above, 3 of us have fishing high on priority list. I am okay with this – I just want to be out on the water with hopes of seeing orcas, seals, otters. Would love to see puffins in the wild but might have to enjoy seeing them up close at the Sealife Center. My question is whether or not fishing trips get one out far enough to perhaps come across some of the same wildlife as the day cruises do.

4. Where to stay on the way to Denali? Talkeetna seems the most popular choice but how far we want to drive that day will also depend on when we leave Seward and whether or not we visit Exit Glacier or the Wildlife Conservation Center on our way to or from Seward. And that depends on what we do on that Saturday when we leave Anchorage for Seward. Plus, I am running out of time to book accommodations in Talkeetna.

5. Our last night > with our flight leaving at 5:44 a.m. (thanks Delta for the change from a reasonable 9:00 am) and needing to be at airport 2 hours ahead of time (3:44) … almost wish we could camp out at airport but realize that a bed, even if for a short time would be wise. Suggestions?

New England
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1. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

I see that you are staying at Bear Paw Lodge. Why not book your kayak trip with their company, Kayak Adventures Worldwide? They offer a discount on your lodging if you book a trip with them prior to your arrival. Great folks to kayak with and a great place to stay!

When we were in Seward we did a fishing trip and an all day kayak trip to Aialik Glacier. The water taxi portion of that trip covers the same ground as the day cruises. I bring it up because we saw orcas, sea lions and otters (not always guaranteed of course) on that trip but not on our fishing trip, especially because on the fishing trip the captain's focus was on finding fish.

New York
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2. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Out of Seward a fishing trip, in no way is going see wildlife by any means except pure chance on where they are. Priority is fishing. IF you want to see orcas, puffins sea lions etc, then take a Kenai Fjords boat tour.

Palmer or Anchorage could be an overnight stop, same as Talkeetna. Denali/Anchorage allow 6 hours. From Talkeetna it's 3.5 hours. Allow time for construction. You have a lot more time at Denali then you have activities to fill it.

Don't be at all concerned about a cruise ship in Seward. Most of those people leave very early morning, and the embarking one, are on the ship "exploring". :)

An alternative suggestion is to include a Prince William Sound boat tour out of Whittier, Being you aren't on a cruise, the glacier viewings are spectacular.

Seward,Alaska
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for Seward
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3. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Don't worry about cruise ships being in Seward. Most of the passengers are on buses in transit to/from Anc and their dock isn't the same one used for the smaller boats such as the wildlife cruises.

www.alaskasaltwaterlodge.com does a great combo of fishing and a wildlife cruise.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Thanks for the suggestion about combination fishing/wildlife trip using Saltwater Lodge. I have sent an email inquiry. Kayaking in Seward - have emailed Kayak Adventure.

After talking things over with family, we decided to stay only our first night in Anchorage. I know Anchorage has lots to offer but if we want to have time to fish, kayak, enjoy the harbor, visit SeaLife center, etc, we really need the full weekend in Seward. I have revised our itinerary as follows:

Thurs June 21st: arrive Anchorage @ 11:50 am.

Stay Susitna Place. Explore area – hopefully on foot as we aren’t picking up car till Friday at 6:00 pm

Fri. June 22nd: Relax a bit in the morning. Bike Coastal Trail. Pick up rental car at 6:00pm for drive to Seward, realizing we will probably encounter traffic but will enjoy the drive and late day lighting could be great for photos. Would love to see the bore tide at Turnagain Arm if timing of tide coincides.

Stay Seward

Sat. June 23rd: Seward – walk the town, harbor, visit SeaLife center, maybe evening kayak paddle

Stay Bear Paw Lodge

Sun. June 24th: Seward – Combo fishing/wildlife cruise, maybe Exit Glacier

Stay Bear Paw Lodge

Mon. June 25th: leave Seward for Denali. Stop at Wildlife Conservation Center on the way north.

stay Talkeetna – not sure where yet – waiting on replies to email inquiries.

Tues. June 26th: maybe flight seeing, depending on weather. Drive to Denali, if time then self- drive into park.

Stay Healy > Dome Home

Weds June 27th reserved 9:30 shuttle bus to Eielson – hike?

Stay Healy > Dome Home

Thurs. June 28th Denali entrance area activities – dog sled demo. Later afternoon golf at Black Diamond

stay Healy> Dome Home

Friday June 29th check out of Dome Home drive to Anchorage. If weather forced cancellation of flightsee on Tuesday, perhaps reschedule for this day. If not then we will have time to visit the Native Heritage Center on our way to drop the car off by 6:00 pm.

Stay Anchorage close to airport.

Sat. June 30th flight departs @5:44 a.m.

Florida
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5. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Talkeetna is a bit of a drive to the park entrance. You may want to stop in Talkeetna on your way to or from Anchorage and stay around Healy. Last time we stayed at McKinley Creekside Cabins. They're cafe was outstanding. We never expected gourmet meals at reasonable prices. This year we're staying in cabins at Grizzly Bear Resort. And be sure to make your bus reservations for Denali. Reserve seats on an early AM bus. The return time is listed when you make the reservation, but you can take any bus back that you want.

Florida
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6. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

Oh, I see you're already staying in Healy - enjoy!

Estero, Florida
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7. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

I would get the car early and get out of Anchorage in the am and spend that time on your stops heading south. Much better/safer to do stops on the way south as most turnouts are on your right hand side.

In transition from Seward to Denali, I would detour out to Matanuska glacier and go for a hike with MICA and stay in the area. You could thend rive from there to Denali with a stop in talkeetna for flightseeing if weather is cooperating.

We have used SUnny Cove kayaking in Seward with good success. If the water taxi trip out to the glacier is in your budget, it is a great day on the water to complement your fishing trip.

Nothing against saltawter lodge because I have fished with them often but imho, the 9 hour national parks tour will offer a much better sightseeing and wildlife experience and it looks like you have time to do that and a fishing trip on a separate day.

8. Re: Family of 4 Anchorage-Seward-Denali June 21st-June 30th

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