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Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

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cumberland, rhode...
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Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Following a northbound cruise, my husband, 2 children (7 & 10) & I are driving to Denali for a couple days then returning to Anchorage for a late night flight home. At this point, I was thinking of driving Denali to Anchorage in one day, staying over night & spending the following day touring Anchorage before our 11pm flight. Can anyone make any recommendations for things to do that would appeal to the kids? Also, any recommendations for a reasonable hotel in Anchorage with a swimming pool? Thanks!

Adirondack, New York
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1. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Please explain " a reasonable hotel."

cumberland, rhode...
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2. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Hoping for something less than $200 per night.

USA
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3. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

. How many total days do you have for this land portion?

Are you looking for ideas for children in Denali or Anchorage or both?

fti
MN
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4. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Having a better picture of your entire itinerary once you land in Seward or Whittier would be helpful. In any case, there is an indoor water park in Anchorage that might be of interest.

If you are already spending 2 nights in Denali, then the last night in Anchorage could be good. If you only have one night in Denali, I suggest the extra night in Denali. If you are planning on getting from Seward to Denali all on the same day, then I would use the extra night there.

I am planning on leaving Denali the morning of my 6.30pm departure from Anchorage. It is only a +-5 hour drive and we are considering a flightseeing tour in Talkeetna at 11am that morning, so we should only be about 2 hours from Anchorage after the flight.

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5. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

H2Oasis Anchorage's indoor water park is a brilliant idea. Kids love it:

http://www.h2oasiswaterpark.com/

Chugiak, Alaska
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6. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Yeah, H2Oasis is the only indoor pool I know of other than those that are part of gyms. I don't think any of the hotels in town have pools (since indoor would be the only ones they could use really- most people don't want to swim outdoors when it is only in the 60s even if the pool was heated).

The Alaska Zoo is a good choice, though it doesn't really rival the big ones, so managing expectations is a good thing. There are some museums in town that I think even the 7 year old would enjoy. I like the Anchorage Museum the best myself. Biking up and down the Coastal Trail is always fun and gets rid of some pent up energy. :)

Edited: 15 January 2012, 06:12
cumberland, rhode...
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7. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Sorry, I should have supplied more info. After disembarking in Seward, we will spend 1 night in Seward and 2 nights in Denali. I was planning to do the final night in Anchorage prior to flying home. I love the idea of the water park as I think it would be perfect for the kids to release a lot of energy before the long flight home. Thanks for the great idea!

Manitoba, Canada
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8. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

Are you planning to drive from Seward to Denali in a single day? We strongly discourage that. You won't have time for stops--don't forget you are in 2-way traffic--and your kids will hate it.

Give us your full land itinerary, maybe we can figure something out.

As far as the water park is concerned, I have to put in a dissenting voice. You can see a water park anywhere. IMO the kids would have lots of fun at Eagle River Nature Center, biking Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, hiking Winner Creek Trail (Girdwood) to the neat hand tram over the gorge. I suggest you save the water park as a back-up in case of bad weather.

Healy, Alaska
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9. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

I am not good with itineraries, so I will let those better than me help you with that planning.

However, having traveled lots of kids, I know what a great break having a pool is. There are several hotels in Anchorage with pools - I would use expedia or hotels.com to help your search with that and do one that fits your budget. Some hotels, like Holiday Inn Express also have good complimentary breakfasts, so keep that in mind when you make your plans, as having that in your hotel will have you about $35-40+ for your family. See about late check out too.

Have fun! :)

Bristol, Connecticut
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10. Re: Denali to Anchorage - July 2012

The SpringHill Suites at University Lake has a pool. It is near the Alaska Native Hospital, not far from the Alaska Zoo and the Botanical Gardens and easy to access if you are coming from north of Anchorage.

I agree with MM that your kids would enjoy The Eagle River Nature Center, The Zoo, bicycling the coastal trail and if you have a bit of time Independence Mine. Kids your age seem to love the mine and all the places to climb around and hike and the views are really nice when you are above the treeline.

Edited: 16 January 2012, 13:34