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simple week-long trip

Costa Mesa...
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simple week-long trip

Hello! We're a 40 yr old California couple who loved our one visit to Alaska (a cruise tour in '06). We want to get back and see the natural beauty. We like day-hiking a few miles, but need a place to sleep with indoor plumbing.

This year, my husband wants to do an "easy" vacation, so he's thinking Sandals in the Bahamas. However, I'd much rather go to Alaska this fall or next spring if I can find a simple way to do it. Is it even possible? I'd like to hear about small town or rural areas that:

- are relatively accessible (near an airport we can get to direct from Ca)

- aren't likely to have heavy snow/ice in October

- have lots of natural beauty and hiking available.

I'm thinking of renting a place with a kitchen and a view. Picture us sitting on a patio / balcony with coffee and a book for a few days, followed by day hiking with plenty of sunset-watching.

For restaurants, we enjoy pubs or mom & pop shops. Also, a nearby health food store or farmer's market / non-chain grocery is a plus. Or a bunch of smaller stores. Basically, I have a food allergy and can usually do OK for food if I'm not limited to Vons, Ralphs, Safeway, etc.

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: simple week-long trip

For your food needs you are going to have to be near Anchorage. Add your "fun /travel" requirements in and I think you should consider the Girdwood area (check VRBO - Girdwood).

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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2. Re: simple week-long trip

I think September would be better . . . and I would consider Homer for a great to do a stay kind of vacation. You can always pick up groceries in Anchorage. :)

Costa Mesa...
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3. Re: simple week-long trip

Thank you both! We actually spent a night in Alyeska, which is believe is very near Girdwood - it was lovely! And I've heard good things about Homer. I'll check into both!

And thank you, coalminer, for commenting on shopping before heading out. That made me realize we shouldn't necessarily be tied to nearby grocery stores. I can always bring food from home to supplement what works at the store.

Any other suggestions would be welcomed, too.

Wasilla, Alaska
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4. Re: simple week-long trip

October is not a great time to visit. All of the summer visitor activities are done, and it's too soon for any winter stuff. And you have a very good chance of being in winter weather...

Costa Mesa...
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5. Re: simple week-long trip

Bummer! Weather Underground said the average is in the 50's in October, so I wasn't too worried. We're not really great with crowds, either, and I don't know that we need much in the way of visitor activities. I'm looking at September now, too, as suggested above. But I'm not sure we'll be able to get our act together in time.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: simple week-long trip

I have been to Homer in the winter and enjoyed it immensely, though I am not sure someone from southern CA would. What I liked is that many of the restaurants and stores were still open - doesn't shut down like the Denali area does. Maybe you could consider later September. You would beat the main tourist season and most places would be significantly cheaper after the 15th. :)

Costa Mesa...
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7. Re: simple week-long trip

Work situation's changed, so I think we'll have to hold off until next year. But we'll keep the ideas in mind. Thank you!

Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: simple week-long trip

For Homer check www.homeralaska.org

For food we have Carrs/Safeway and Save u More

Would not recommend Spring in Alaska. California is best in Spring while it is still green!

Anchorage, Alaska
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9. Re: simple week-long trip

"average is in the 50's in October"

- You can't look at an average temperature regrading the state of Alaska; it's too big and has way too much climate difference. You can have a year round arctic climate (e.g. Barrow) and a rainforest (e.g. Sitka).

- If you look just at a city (e.g. Anchorage), you still have to consider that our weather can change dramatically from the beginning of the month compared to the end of the month.

- I'd love to see the link to this temperature (above mentioned average), this is more inaccurate than Google Maps' time projections for driving our roads.

- I just searched Yahoo weather (see: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USAK0012) and for the month of October it shows an average high of 40F and average low of 28F.

Costa Mesa...
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10. Re: simple week-long trip

I'd just been trying to get a feel for possibilities, so I went to wunderground.com and searched for Anchorage and it looked like it was about 50s average, but I just tried it again and must've been looking at September last time. It's lower in October. Of course, we'd prep for all kinds of weather during the packing process.