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3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Central Coast...
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3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

We are a fit 50+ couple who will vacation the last two weeks of August and the first week of September 2014 in Alaska. Wife will be in Valdez for work September 3-7, with evenings free.

It will probably be our only trip, no children along. Interests are: wildlife and landscape photography, hiking, nature/parks, good food, historic native culture and local culture and art (ranging from eating at local diners to music to museum visits), quilting/textiles, and bicycle riding (husband, ideally around Valdez Sept 4-7).

We are not hunters/fishers, nor cruise ship travelers (though whale-watching and other boat trips would be welcome). Can hike 4-5 hours in easy/medium terrain.

Prefer local lodging to chains (mid to upscale, not necessarily luxury). We'd like to take at least one scenic train ride of one or more days. Can fly into anywhere, will fly out of Valdez. Prefer to stay at least 2 nights in each place if it makes sense to do so.

We know we cannot see everything - what SHOULD we see, in your opinion? Thank you so much for your advice!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

What is the $$ amount for that nightly lodging - that would be really helpful Are you flying in/out of Anchorage? :)

fti
MN
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2. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

How are you flying out of Valdez? Will you fly ERA Air from Valdez to Anchorage?

The best way to see Alaska in your time frame will generally be to rent a car. I would start with the train to Seward for at least 2 nights, then train or bus back to Anchorage from Seward. Then pick up a rental car and head north toward Denali (maybe take a couple of nights in Anchorage first and drive the middle day along Turnagain Arm - it is backtracking along the same route you took with the train to Seward, but you can stop to do/see a lot in this area).

Maybe Anchorage to Talkeetna to Denali to Fairbanks to Wrangell/St. Elias NP and back to Anchorage before either flying from Anchorage to Valdez or making your way from Anchorage to Whittier for a ferry to Valdez. Also, from Fairbanks if you are interested you can do a visit to the Arctic Circle. The fly-drive tours get the best reviews.

There is no car rental company I am aware of that allows pick up in Anchorage and drop off in Valdez. In fact, I can't even find a car rental company in Valdez, but there might be one. Perhaps you can keep the car in Valdez for Sep 3-7 so you can take day trips as you wish. Then you can drive back from Valdez to Anchorage and fly out of there rather than out of Valdez.

Edited: 31 October 2013, 04:09
Central Coast...
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3. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Hmm, I would guess we could spend an average of $200 per night for lodging - less would be preferable -what's the range?

Central Coast...
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4. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Hmm, I would guess we could spend an average of $200 per night for lodging - less would be preferable -what's the range?

And we could fly into Fairbanks and out of Valdez via Anchorage, if that would make the trip easier.

fti
MN
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5. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

A one-way car rental would be quite expensive. Plus, flying into Fairbanks limits your options vs. flying into Anchorage. So most likely a car rental from Anchorage and returning to Anchorage would be best.

Most likely your lodging will cost $150-$200/night and that will be mid-scale lodging, B&B's, cabins, etc. There are very few "luxury" lodging establishments in Alaska and almost all the chain hotels are in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Aventura, Florida
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6. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Hi every one i am new in this forum i want to make friends i don't understand your post i want to that .

7. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

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Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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8. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

It would be very helpful if you could figure out your itinerary first, and then we can help you with your lodging and activities. :)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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9. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Even chains like Super 8 will run you over $150 in the summer. As you will see, lodging in Alaska can be expensive.

>>>And we could fly into Fairbanks and out of Valdez via Anchorage, if that would make the trip easier.<<<

Not easier, and probably very expensive.

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: 3 weeks in Alaska, details in msg, thanks for all advice!

Distance from Valdez to Anchorage is 305 miles; and to Fairbanks it is 362 miles. As for things to do in Valdez while your wife is working, I don't think there is much. You could do one of the glacier tours (Columbia or Meares) offered by Stan Stephens, but then your wife would miss it