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Help with August itinerary...please!

La Crosse, Wisconsin
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5 posts
62 reviews
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Help with August itinerary...please!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Alaska the first week of August. We have alot figured out, but could use help with ideas for a few days. We are focusing on the Kenai pennisula area. We enjoy the outdoors but have had a lot of experience seeing wildlife and are not big fans of crowds, so have decided not to do Denali. Seeing glaciers, fishing, and experiencing the beauty of Alaska are important to us. I would appreciate any suggestions for "must see" ideas. Here is what we have so far

Day 1: arrive Anchorage 12:30 pm. Overnight in Anchorage. Day 2: explore Anchorage; overnight in ???. Day 3: ??? Day 4: Travel to Homer. Explore Homer. Overnight in Homer. Day 6: Travel to Seward for early boarding of chartered boat for fishing and sight seeing. Day 7: fishing; Day 8: Seward. Sea Park and ?? Day 9: Whittier. Day 10: return to Anchorage for early afternoon departure.

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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1. Re: Help with August itinerary...please!

Funny that you want to skip Denali due to crowds. One reason I love Denali is because there are so few people there (apart from at the entrance and in "Glitter Gulch").

Before you commit yourself to overnights in each place, you should put more meat on your days. For example, "Explore Anchorage" and "explore Homer" - what in those places interest you? Are you sure that two nights in each place is best or is maybe one night in Anchorage and 3 nights in Homer better? It depends on what there is in each place that interests you. For *me* I would spend more time in Homer and less in Anchorage. I love boats and hiking so I could keep occupied in Homer for days. There is some great hiking in/near Anchorage too and lots of other things to see/do in Anchorage, but for me I like getting outside the city (I grew up in/near New York so larger cities are nice but are not as interesting to me anymore).

What interest you in Seward? Does the fishing charter include getting out of the bay and doing some sightseeing by boat? If not, I strongly encourage you to consider a 6 hour or longer Kenai Fjords tour in Seward.

I assume Day 9 will be a Prince William Sound glacier tour? If not, there are really very few reasons to go to Whittier. Even with the PWS tour, I would suggest perhaps staying in Girdwood. More options for lodging and eating in Girdwood, plus you are not so dependent on the tunnel opening times.

Chugiak, Alaska
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2. Re: Help with August itinerary...please!

Ok, if you want to focus on the Kenai Penisula (I agree with John on Denali not being crowded if you get away from the cruise tour people), then here's what I'd suggest with your interests of:

'Seeing glaciers, fishing, and experiencing the beauty of Alaska are important to us'

Day 1: Arrive Anchorage, noonish, get your car, check into your B&B or hotel, maybe catch a nap. Then go for a walk or bike ride on the Coastal Trail, maybe drive down and check out Potter's Marsh

Day 2: I agree with John here, too (though calling Anchorage a 'larger city' made me chuckle), get out of Anchorage. Head down the Turnagain Arm taking your time to stop at the pull-outs and take pictures. How do you feel about hikes (walks, I think you call them)? If you are interested, it's a great way to really experience the beauty of Alaska. And there are MANY great ones near Girdwood, so I say, stay in Girdwood for your Day 2 overnight.

Day 3: Head to Seward. Take a Kenai Fjords tour- one at least 6 hours long as FTI mentioned. Overnight in Seward.

Day 4: You said fishing is an interest and that should be a good time for salmon fishing. We actually have five salmon species here in the Pacific waters. When I asked a fisherman in the Aran Islands two years ago what kind of salmon he caught, he was a bit confused. I'm not used to there just being one kind. :)

So, if you are salmon fans and want to fish a good bit, I say do a full day salmon trip and a full day halibut trip, but leave the halibut for Homer. Overnight day 4 in Seward.

Day 5: Head in the direction of Homer. Depending on how much fishing you want, you may want to stop in Copper Landing and do some river fishing instead of ocean fishing. If not, you can just stop in Cooper Landing on the way and check out the river, or go on a float trip on the Kenai River there. If you do stop to fish, I think I'd do an overnight there. If not, press on to Homer and stay there.

Day 6: give yourself a lazy day. Check out the spit, get a nice meal at Fat Olives, maybe go on a walk. Overnight Homer.

Day 7: Halibut fishing. Homer is a great place to fish halibut. If you go on a full day trip, you can get to where the bigger fish are. If you aren't interested in that, you could just go on a half day trip with smaller fish. Or you could go on a full day combo trip for halibut and cod or rockfish, etc. One of the other experts loves Big Bear:

http://www.bighalibut.com

Day 8: Get up late and head to the Spit Sister's Cafe for breakfast before heading out of Homer:

http://www.spitsisterscafe.com

Plenty of time to head back to Girdwood for an overnight there

Day 9: Sleep in, maybe go up in the tram at Alyeska and then head over to Whittier for your glacier cruise. Head back up to Anchorage after. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 10: Head to Anchorage as planned for your afternoon flight. Maybe grab a nice brunch at Snow City Cafe downtown before heading to the airport. Plenty of shops nearby to get whatever else you want but don't have yet.

If you are planning on taking your fish home, just understand that it is either going to be very expensive to ship, or you'll have to come up with a way to take it with you on your flights. Not sure how long it'll take you to get home (I had to take two days to travel to Ireland and back from here), but in a fish box with gel freezer packs, your fish will stay frozen for 24 hours. If you are only going half way and then staying the night somewhere (like on the east coast of the US), then you could maybe find a way to start with dry ice, then get more and re-pack your fish box with it that night. Just depends on how and where you are traveling home.

If you get fish in Seward, you can store it in Homer when you get there and you can get a fish box and gel packs to keep it frozen until you arrive in Homer (depending on if you overnight in Cooper Landing or not). I'm pretty sure Coal Point will store it for you for a small fee- if not, someone in town will.There are places in Anchorage that do, too, though in your case, I'd take it to the airport and store it there for convenience sake.

Storing it at Girdwood might be more of a challenge, but maybe a B&B would have somewhere or you could buy extra gel packs and they could freeze those up for you at least.

3. Re: Help with August itinerary...please!

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