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9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Sacramento...
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9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Greetings Tripadvisor members,

 My wife and I are planning a 9 night/9 dayAlaska vacation in June.  For years, we’ve been hearing about how beautiful the state is. I’ve done a lot of research, read a ton of threads, and have developed an itinerary, but am unsure if we’ve got it right.  We’re two people, mid 30s, looking to experience the most we can.  Any suggestions/tips would be much appreciated.  I’ve got the flight and car already booked, but the rest is changeable.

 Wednesday 18th

-Arrive in Anchorage 11:45pm and pick up Rental car

-Overnight at Comfort SuitesAnchorage

 Thursday 19th

-Explore Anchorage and surroundings

-Drive towards Healy and explore on the way

-Talkeetna Flightseeing with landing (~2hr)

-Overnight at Denali Park in Healy

Friday 20th

-Denali Natl Park shuttle to WonderLake with stops along the way

-Overnight at Denali Park in Healy

 Saturday 21th

-Denali Outdoor Center – White water rafting (~4hr)

-Hiking Trails around Denali

-Drive to Fairbanks

-Overnight in Fairbanks

 Sunday 22th

-Explore Fairbanks for a few hours

-Drive to Girdwood/explore on the way

-Overnight in Girdwood

Monday 23rd

-Drive to Seward

-Kenai Fjords Natl Park Cruise (~8.5 hr)

-Overnight at Seward Holiday Inn

Tuesday 24th

-Explore Seward

-Kayaking Tour (~4hr)

-Overnight in Seward Holiday Inn

Wednesday 25th

-Exit Glacier Hike tour (~6hr)

-Drive to Homer

-Overnight at Homer Best Western

Thursday 26th

-Halibut fishing tour half day

-TidePooling and explore Homer

-Sleep in Homer Best Western

Friday 27th

-Explore Homer

-Drive to Anchorage

-Fly home 7:55pm

Saturday 28th

-Arrive home 10am

ACTIVITIES/FUN/EXCURSIONS: $2070

Flightseeing Talkeetna: $530

Denali Shuttle:$115

White Water Raft:$255

Cruise: $300

Exit Glacier Hike: $210

Kayaking: $150

Fishing: $310

Misc. (Museums, Centers, etc): $200

LODGING: $1494

FOOD: $200

GAS: $200

FLIGHT/CAR: $1500

GRAND TOTAL: $5460(9 NIGHTS/9 DAYS)

Seems like I will blow my budget by $1460 (ouch!), especially with the lodging, but the wife would really whine if we had to stay at the very inexpensive places.

I would appreciate any ideas/tips/suggestions/criticisms before I pull the trigger. 

Thanks Tripadvisor members!

 

Wasilla, Alaska
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1. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

I think you might be underestimating your drive times... For example, Fairbanks to Girdwood is 395 miles.

http://goo.gl/maps/gqEMl

Google Maps shows 7 hours and 19 minutes, but in reality with construction and traffic it's going to be closer to 9 hours or more. That doesn't give you much time to explore Fairbanks. Which means you'll drive all that way north to stay the night and then head south. Unless there was something in Fairbanks that you'd really like to see, I'd eliminate it.

And since you are not doing a glacier cruise out of Whittier, I would also recommend doing the 1 hour Portage Lake Cruise. Unless of course you have no interests in glaciers.... Here's pictures from when we did the cruise last year: …blogspot.com/2013/07/portage-glacier-cruise…

Edited: 30 April 2014, 23:11
Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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2. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Where are you staying in Healy and in Fairbanks? You didn't list those lodgings...

Sacramento...
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3. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Thanks for the reply AK Stafford,

Honestly, I'm going to Fairbanks just to say I was there, (not wise, I know), even though there won't be anything to do in the summer besides a reindeer farm and ice museum, or a riverboat.

I've been reading about the Whittier cruise a lot on the forums , but I'm kind of afraid of booking too many water activities (I have kayaking, rafting, fishing, and Kenai fjords cruise already). Would the Kenai National Park cruise and Whittier 26 cruise overlap too much? The Porter Lake cruise definitely fits in my budget though. I'm prepared to drive up to 12 a hours day to see more. I will consider dropping Fairbanks for more Denali though.

Coalminer,

I'm staying at Denali Park hotel in Healy. Everywhere else is booked up :( westmark in Fairbanks

Thanks for the replies, guys

Healy, Alaska
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4. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Fairbanks actually is a great town - tons of history and you will see a real Interior city. Don't miss the museum at the University either. Creamer's field - Hot Licks ice cream. :)

Westmark is a nice hotel - and you are a short walk to some good restaurants downtown - Lavelle's Bistro, Gambardella's Pastabella, The Thai House and Bahn Thai. :)

Edited: 01 May 2014, 00:23
Anchorage, Alaska
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5. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

I think places in AK are far to good to just drive through. You have a great opportunity to do some really awesome stuff, but I think you're driving too many miles. I 'd drop Homer or Fairbanks. Of the two, I 'd drop Fairbanks.

If you're going to explore Girdwood, then look at this post for some great activities:

http://goo.gl/dPvuEJ

Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

When you say that everything is booked up at Denali, have you checked in Healy? It's 10 miles to the north.

http://www.a1cms.com/_dcc/accommodations/

Lake Tahoe...
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7. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

As you live in Sacramento and familiar with I-80 that drive from Fairbanks to Girdwood it is not. And with wanting to explore along the way is rather challenging. When we visited Homer in 1994 we stayed out on the spit at Land's End Resort (never stayed at Bidarka Inn, the Best Western). The best tide water trips are Peterson Bay (and full day) which is kind of hard to include a half-day of Halibut fishing. Warning - a visit to Homer might be life changing. It did for us when we moved here five years ago from the Sacramento area. Excuse my rambling

Sacramento...
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8. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

I'm actually staying in Healy, it's just that the place is named Denali Park hotel.

Hmm, after reading the replies, seems like dropped Fairbanks, since driving wouldn't leave me much time.

Again, thanks

Lake Tahoe...
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9. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Actually Fairbanks will remind you of Sacramento - can be hot in the summer

Edited: 01 May 2014, 02:44
Seward,Alaska
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10. Re: 9 day itinerary in June suggestions?

Exit Glacier Hike: $210 you can go for free to cut costs 4 hours driving to Homer after after hiking for 6 hours is a long day.

Are you doing the 8.5 hr Fox Island dinner cruise? It's better to take a cruise that is on the water the whole time so you can be looking at wildlife, glaciers etc instead of eating on land. And for even better opportunities - my favorite are the more personal small boats of 16 passengers max.