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Old 04-12-2010, 12:46 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,415,221 times
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So we decided to go to Alaska in August. We will have 9 full days there. Is August a good time to go? We are flying out of San Diego and there are many options of where to fly into. Can anyone recommend a city we can fly into? What are some must sees/dos there? We'll be renting a car and driving after we land but really know nothing about the state to even begin choosing an itinerary. Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm somewhat puzzled - why are you going to Alaska when you don't know what to see or do, or even where to fly into? You must have had a reason for chosing to go to Alaska, and thus an idea of what you want to see or do.

But you are in luck - there is an Alaska forum on this site. I would do some minor research first on what you want to see - Denali? Glaciers? Wildlife? The Arctic Circle? and then go to that site. But "what to see and do" may confuse them, Alaska is just to huge (although access is limited by lack of roads), give them an idea, let them fill in the blanks.

That all being said, I've been to Alaska twice , and I commend you on not taking simply a cruise, which in my opinion is NOT seeing Alaska at all. Things to do there, for the most part, revolve around the outdoors. You don't go there to visit museaum, tacky tourist shops, citylife, bungee jumping, or to party. You go there to fly fish, hike, camp, and view wildlife. Expect mosquitos and flys in August, lots of them. Expect almost constant daylight. Expect lots of glorious wildlife sightings. Expect fun and wonder if you come with the right attitude and expectations.

I think about your ONLY choices for flying into Alasks (besides the panhandle of AK, which you probably want to avoid because it really doesn't get you into the heart of Alaska) is Anchorage or Faribanks.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:26 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Honestly, the main reason is because AK and HI are the last 2 states we have left to visit. We are not cruise people and definitely won't go that route! I will check out the Alaska forum, thanks!
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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You also might want to check out the cruise critic boards for Alaska. Although it is a cruise site, most of the info on Alaska is land based and will help. I also find it much more detailed than the city-data info.

May is one of the driest months in Alaska. August can be a bit rainy. Here's a site that will give you historical temps and precip for various communities.

National Weather Service, Alaska Region Headquarters, AK
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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So after researching a bit more, what Chilkoot said about the weather seems to be true. We have instead just booked our flights to Costa Rica. While it rains, it rarely ruins trips. My friend who is from there goes every August and highly recommended CR. We'll save Alaska for some other time!
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:55 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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For a memorable trip to Alaska, do something unique and to your liking. Weather is very iffy, I would forget the tourist stuff, and avoid the popular (expensive) spots.

August is perfect for salmon runs,
One trip I took was commercial Air to Ketchikan > Float plane to Prince of Wales @ Coffman Cove. (center of this map) Prince of Wales Island Alaska Map
My kids and I rented a private cabin for $25 / night and the owner (a Logger, they're off in August due to Forest fire danger) took us fishing everyday for $40/day!!! for all of us (he furnished the gear). We did 2 different Salmon runs, Halibut, Crab, Cod... when we left he said our coolers were not full enough, so he topped them all off with many different types of catch.
Saw bear, moose, elk and lots of other stuff. Fresh crab omelets were a good way to start the morning. ONe stream we stopped to fish, the salmon were so thick the water 'boiled' with them
We did stay one night in an 'Outfitter's Lodge' to catch the plane the next day. That was the WORST part of the trip and by far the most expensive. They were total jerks. (full of themselves... many outfitters are NOT from AK)

Another option is to get a small charter on a commercial fishing boat. They have some 'downtime' between catches and they offer charters. This boat used to do them based out of Petersburg, AK About Aimee O
Petersburg, AK - Google Search
(new owner now, not sure of availability of this particular vessel, it was a SUPERB offering !!!, skipper knew all the great spots (animals, waterfalls, swimming, sights). Food beyond spectacular (and plenty fresh)

There are more that plenty places to 'get lost' and have a true Alaska adventure. You can rent forest service cabins on back country lakes and get flown in, You can be 'dropped' in the wilderness for multi-day raft trips. (My 5 friends age 70's (w/ no guide) got thrown out and lost their raft, found it a few days later by hiking down the river).

I would definately do a 'backcountry' trip of some kind. There are abundant air trips, as airplanes are the SUVs of Alaska, most folks seem to have them. Everyone has a boat that they often lend to you. Get some DVD's of AK history and adventure before planning trip. One of the most interesting things I've done to learn about AK was the Klondike NPS Museum in Seattle.

Have a blast, do something unique and challenging. Stretch yourself.

Quote:
So after researching a bit more, what Chilkoot said about the weather seems to be true. We have instead just booked our flights to Costa Rica.
in August ?? !! CR is very neat too and worth an extended trip.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,415,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

in August ?? !! CR is very neat too and worth an extended trip.
Yup. Our friend has a house there and goes every July/August and loves it. I went on TripAdvisor forums and August seems to be a very popular time, with many of the posters on there going year after year. It's no different than any other place. Might rain, might not. When my friend was there last August, it rained for one day. My other friend went in December and had 4 days of rain, all while paying a premium for high season. You can't predict the weather! We'll be there for 11 days, so some are bound to be nice!

Thanks for the AK tips. We'll save that for a future trip!
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