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3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Miami Beach, Florida
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3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

G'day fellow travelers!

I need your help planning an awesome itinerary in Anchorage. Travel details: Flying in on Thursday at 1:00am, leaving on Saturday around 10:00pm the beginning of May. That's 3 full days in ANC.. I need your help with planning great things to do in, out and around ANC. I will have my own car and will try to use ANC as a base. I am an avid photographer, foodie, hiker, animal lover! I have been looking for suggestions in the forum, but there is so much, I am overwhelmed with reading! I'd appreciate all your ideas, suggestions and imput! Some of the things I really woud love to do, glaciers, animals, views, etc... Are there any great scenic drives?

Cheers,

Luigi

Healy, Alaska
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1. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

You are flying all the way to Alaska for 3 full days?? That is a long ways to go for a very short time. Anchorage doesn't make a good base - distances are great, and staying in Anchorage will really limit your exploration. When are you arriving?

Miami Beach, Florida
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2. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Hi, there, yes, It is a mini getaway... Where would you recommend I stay? I can always change my reservation. It will be this week. I would appreciate your ideas and suggestions!!

Luigi!

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

My frequent-flyer-spidey sense is whispering "mileage run" to me, but no idea.

Given the short period of time and the fact that early May isn't optimal for many activities, the list isn't terribly long.

Glaciers/scenic drive - this is a "twofer" - drive down Turnagain Arm (one of America's most scenic drives) to the turnoff for Portage Valey and Whittier. Travel through the one-way tunnel to Whittier and take a glacier cruise using Phillips - http://www.phillipscruises.com/index.htm (the other operator, Major Marine, doesn't start until mid/late May.) The cruise plus the drive is stunning.

For a second amazing experience, go on a flightseeing tour. Here you have a couple of options. From Anchorage, a few operators, most famously Rust's - http://www.flyrusts.com/ - have various flightseeing options from Lake Hood (all on floatplanes, another great experience) including flights to Denali, over Prince William Sound, various glaciers and icefields, or across Cook Inlet to various volcanoes. If Mt. McKinley (Denali) is visible, this is a flight you really want to take, even if it's a budget-buster. For photographers it's a stunning experience. The other flights are pretty amazing, too, but nothing compares to Denali. (However Denali is often obscured by weather, so more of a catch-me-if-you-can deal.)

The second flightseeing option is also Denali, but using the little railroad village of Talkeetna as your base. Flights to and around Denali are somewhat cheaper than from Anchorage (you're much closer) but they entail a 3-hour drive in each direction through okay-but-not-great scenery, and again, if Denali is socked in, sort of a pointless exercise.

There are many other wonderfully scenic drives or experiences, but with your time limitations, and the season, these are more difficult to accomplish, if not impossible.

If you want a maximum "Alaska" view/environment experience, but still very comfortable, stay at Alyeska - http://www.alyeskaresort.com/ - in the little town of Girdwood, around 45 min. from Anchorage airport. I don't know if I'd stay there if you're arriving at 1 AM (5 AM your time) but the next night, for sure.

Edited: 28 April 2014, 18:14
Miami Beach, Florida
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4. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

haha. Ibgardyloo, your sense is right on track, but I also have been screaming Alaska for the longest already, and I am planning a trip in July as well... that time with friends.. I think I would like to check it first and see.. I love the idea of driving along Turnagain Arm! Once I reach Portage Glacier, can I walk around and mybe hike,, I read somewhere that you could, but want to double check. Also, what is your take on Seward...? I know it's about 3 hrs away.. but I dont mind the drive.. I would loev to see nature and more views?? Any other vantage points? Viewing decks? I am inclining on taking the tram to Alayeska!

Luigi!

Wasilla, Alaska
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5. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Here's what I would do:

Land at 1am. Grab a hotel in Anchorage.

Thursday: Use the rental car and explore the Turnagain Arm (Alyeska, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center) on your way to Seward. Overnight Seward.

Friday: Whale cruise in Resurrection Bay. Overnight in Seward.

Saturday: Drive to Whittier and do the Phillips Glacier Cruise. Back to Anchorage for your flight.

I love being on the water, so that's why my suggestion has two boat rides.

Edited: 28 April 2014, 18:55
Healy, Alaska
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6. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Do you have things booked for July? If you don't, you should - it is a very busy time. :)

Miami Beach, Florida
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7. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Thanks for your reply Akstafford! It is a very good idea to stay in Seward for the night! I will def look into that! Is the highway scenic all the way from ANC to Seward? More less how, much are the cruises?

Miami Beach, Florida
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8. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Thanks for your reply coalminer.. More less on that! Still waiting on some of my friends to confirm! Let see!! I am looking forward to my Alaskan getaway!

Healy, Alaska
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9. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

The drive from Anchorage to Seward is considered to be one of the most scenic roads in the state. :)

July is busy and if you don't have a car rental booked, you will find it to be very expensive . . . and the more affordable/nice lodging will be booked up. Just thought you should know. :)

Seward,Alaska
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10. Re: 3 Full days in Anchorage! I need an AWESOME itinerary, Pls!

Seward--- https:/…gray-whale-watch-cruise Sealife Center Exit Glacier Must eat halibut at Thorn's Showcase Lounge Lots of places to stay...let me know if you need ideas.