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Old 09-05-2017, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
1,941 posts, read 1,690,985 times
Reputation: 1426

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Kantishna Roadhouse and then maybe up to Fairbanks or down to Homer. Are you the type who likes to constantly move around while on vacation, or do you prefer to spend a little time in each place?

My personal vacation preference would be to fly to Anchorage, rent a car and go up to Kantishna for a few days, and then down to Homer and spend a few days in an Air B and B.
^this seems like a good plan to me. We stayed at the Denali Backcountry Lodge for a few days last summer, but we went to the Kantishna Roadhouse, and if I were to go again that's where I'd stay. Way more character, and there's a neat old man that works there that will tell you the history of the whole place, which is pretty cool. If you can afford it, do a flightseeing trip.

Around Fairbanks I'd consider Chena Hot Springs, Museum of the North at the university, Gold Dredge 8,... do you like birding? Go to Creamer's Field. Do you like good beer? Go to HooDoo or Silver Gulch. Prime rib? The Turtle Club. Something cool to take home? Go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday or Sunday... lots of local artists, jewelers, etc.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,401,335 times
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Homer is beautiful and scenic and all that, but Valdez blows it out of the water when it comes to the wow factor. No road system vacation is complete without going to Valdez and preferably the entire Richardson highway from Fairbanks.

National parks are overrated in Alaska. The entire state is basically the equivalent of a national park give or take a few geological features. There's arguably more scenic features in places that aren't inside national parks.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
279 posts, read 121,353 times
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You guys are leaving out the biggest National Park in the US - Wrangell St. Elias. McCarthy and Kennicott have a ton of history. The whole area is scenic and interesting. Plus, it does not see nearly the tourist traffic that Denali NP does.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Bernalillo, NM
1,003 posts, read 1,746,883 times
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If you do spend any time in Fairbanks and are fans at all of old time cars, definitely include the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum (Fairbanks Antique Car Museums | Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, Alaska) on your list of places to see. I know - its not a type of place unique to Alaska. But there is some Alaska history there (about the first old autos brought up) and some restored autos and motorcycles that are incredibly rare. Definitely worth a stop.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:16 PM
 
7,664 posts, read 5,414,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Kantishna Roadhouse and then maybe up to Fairbanks or down to Homer. Are you the type who likes to constantly move around while on vacation, or do you prefer to spend a little time in each place?

My personal vacation preference would be to fly to Anchorage, rent a car and go up to Kantishna for a few days, and then down to Homer and spend a few days in an Air B and B.
We actually do both. We did AZ, UT and NV in 3 weeks. Only stayed 2 nights in same hotel 3 times.

Last month we flew into Portland, drove to Bandon Beach for a night, Arcada. CA one night, back to Portland as a base for 4 nights. Then a cruise up the Columbia and Snake Rivers for 8 nights and then down tp Boise for the eclipse and a base for 5=5 nights.

For AK, I'm thinking of flying into Anchorage for a week (either stay or roam), then fly to Juneau for the 8 day small ship cruise. Then Fly to Fairbank before flying home. Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks, our rooms will be covered by either Hilton or Marriott points.

But we want to get to see some of the state.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:53 PM
 
20,433 posts, read 26,564,266 times
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Well, I don't think you can lose no matter what you decide to do. Valdez was a good suggestion, and so was Wrangell/Elias. Personally, I've always wanted to go kayaking in Kenai Fjords.

You also might want to rent a car, drive up to Talkeetna, and spend a night or two. The flightseeing tour up to Denali is incredible.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:09 PM
 
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Hi! I worked for one summer on a small cruising vessel in southeast and four summers on the Alaska Railroad. I'm biased, but I think you should take the train! Especially the one between Anchorage and Seward--The drive is beautiful but the train ride is way more beautiful. I highly recommend one of the boat trips out of Seward to Kenai Fjords. I wouldn't really recommend spending a ton of time in Anchorage (you're not going to Alaska to see a city) but you can spend nights there (since your room is covered by points) and do day trips to other places if you rent a car. Girdwood/Alyeska is a cool place. I've heard good things about Matanuska Glacier but have never been there. I've heard such great things about Homer that I think you should go there, but it's further so you'd want to spend the night there.

If you take the train from Anchorage to Denali you can stop in Talkeetna for a couple nights; it's a fun little town. When you get to the Denali area, I second that flying to Kantishna and taking the bus back is a good option. To be honest, I think you should skip Fairbanks.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:09 AM
 
3,636 posts, read 9,240,010 times
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I lived in Alaska for decades and we went back this summer.

1. Seward. Plan on climbing the Exit Glacier right there. DO NOT MISS The Cookery restaurant. I think it is one of the best in the whole country. The Best Western has rooms looking right over the water and is downtown. Did enjoy the Sealife Center which was a block away. Take a boat trip!!! even if raining.

2. I would not spend much time in Anchorage. Get out of town on the train anywhere. Walk or bike the extensive trails. There is a book there that has all kinds of walking trails in Anchorage. Title Wave Books is a huge used book store in Anchorage and has huge long rows of books on Alaska. We went to Denali and back and enjoyed every minute. Princess had a 50% off deal. Make sure you leave 2-3 days to explore Denali. It is very hard to get train tickets because the tours buy them up.

3. I enjoyed the drive to and from Homer and we stayed at a B&B that overlooked the bay and the glaciers on the other side. Gorgeous country. Homer not so much. The big pizza joint in town was great for eating. There is a small museum in Homer that we enjoyed. Has a video showing on bears while we were there.

The drives anywhere are stunning. When were were at the Princess Lodge on the Hiway at Denali, the coffee shop and the pizza rest. (the prospector?) were terrific. We did not bother to eat at the lodge since it is pretty standard stuff.

Yelp.com gave us good info to help in picking restaurants. Fire Island bakery is lovely and a great place for a filled scone and coffee in the morning. They have a variety of sites. One was 2 blocks from my brother so we ate there every morning. :-)
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:19 PM
 
7,664 posts, read 5,414,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
I lived in Alaska for decades and we went back this summer.

1. Seward. Plan on climbing the Exit Glacier right there. DO NOT MISS The Cookery restaurant. I think it is one of the best in the whole country. The Best Western has rooms looking right over the water and is downtown. Did enjoy the Sealife Center which was a block away. Take a boat trip!!! even if raining.

2. I would not spend much time in Anchorage. Get out of town on the train anywhere. Walk or bike the extensive trails. There is a book there that has all kinds of walking trails in Anchorage. Title Wave Books is a huge used book store in Anchorage and has huge long rows of books on Alaska. We went to Denali and back and enjoyed every minute. Princess had a 50% off deal. Make sure you leave 2-3 days to explore Denali. It is very hard to get train tickets because the tours buy them up.

3. I enjoyed the drive to and from Homer and we stayed at a B&B that overlooked the bay and the glaciers on the other side. Gorgeous country. Homer not so much. The big pizza joint in town was great for eating. There is a small museum in Homer that we enjoyed. Has a video showing on bears while we were there.

The drives anywhere are stunning. When were were at the Princess Lodge on the Hiway at Denali, the coffee shop and the pizza rest. (the prospector?) were terrific. We did not bother to eat at the lodge since it is pretty standard stuff.

Yelp.com gave us good info to help in picking restaurants. Fire Island bakery is lovely and a great place for a filled scone and coffee in the morning. They have a variety of sites. One was 2 blocks from my brother so we ate there every morning. :-)
Thanks for the great ideas
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:31 AM
 
3,636 posts, read 9,240,010 times
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If you have any specifics about Anchorage, I can ask my brother. He has lived in Anchorage his entire life and will probably never leave unless he cannot get medical care after 65.

We tried to stay away from the "cruise" type experiences. Talkeetna has been pretty much destroyed by the mobs and the cruise lines. Denali park is just as good but the lodges not so much. Pretty Holiday Inn. There are some really choice places if you have a car. Harder if you take the train. Or take the train to Seward and drive to Denali. But you cant get to the accessible glacier in Seward without a car. Seward is very very small. The restaurant I mentioned is only open 5-9 for some nights of the week.

So maybe train to Seward and drive to Denali and maybe Fairbanks.
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