What to do in Anchorage

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Seniorfire
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What to do in Anchorage

Post by Seniorfire »

My wife and I are going on a fishing trip in Alaska July 17-24th(celebrate retirement!!) We will have 1 full day before and after in Anchorage.
What are some great site seeing ideas to fill our two free days?

Thanks
WhiteMaxima
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by WhiteMaxima »

rent a car and drive to Homer.
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Seniorfire
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Seniorfire »

What do you recommend doing in Homer?
LuckyGuy
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by LuckyGuy »

Next week my wife and I are going to Anchorage for the first time. We are taking a guided trip to see moose and other wildlife. In a few weeks, I can comment on that if you are interested. We also have plans to bike to and walk around Kincaid park.
WhiteMaxima
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:23 pm What do you recommend doing in Homer?
That's the Alaska PCH. You will see.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by ApeAttack »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:14 pm rent a car and drive to Homer.
I would recommend driving to Seward and getting a cruise to a glacier.
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ScubaHogg
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by ScubaHogg »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:14 pm rent a car and drive to Homer.
They have one day available at a time.

It’s over a 4 hour drive to Homer, one way.
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gtrplayer
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by gtrplayer »

I rented a car and drove to Denali and back in one day. Of course you don’t see much of the park but the drive is amazing. Stop at Talkeetna, the town they based Northern Exposure on.

Or you could drive south to Seward and the fjords. Though honestly any direction you go will be amazing.

If you don’t want to leave Anchorage, the Smithsonian has an Alaska native exhibit that I enjoyed. There are a lot of parks around the city that are nice and some are mountainous. You don’t have to go far to see things. Anchorage has some nice restaurants and things, too. Overall, Anchorage reminded me a Midwest city. I’m sure there was more to explore but I had limited time.
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AerialP
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by AerialP »

Cheek-by-jowl to Ted Stevens Int'l Airport is the infinitesimally interesting Lake Hood Seaplane Base and Lake Hood Strip gravel runway. Lots of hangars/cottages, and vintage-yet-serviceable planes. Dedicate 20 minutes to slowly drive around it (Aircraft Drive, Aviation Avenue, & Lakeshore Drive) and take in a slice of Alaskan life: private pilotage. A huge percentage of Alaskans have their pilot's license and it is absolutely integral to sustaining the contemporary way of life up there. Floatplanes are fascinating beasts.
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Nver2Late
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Nver2Late »

Are you looking to rest in Anchorage or something more adventurous/outdoorsy activities or hiking?

Homer is about 4 to 4.5 hour drive one way from Anchorage, so we rarely do it as a daytrip. We will daytrip Seward on occasion (2.5 hours one way). Both are very scenic locations with lots of touristy shops and eateries to enjoy the views. The big draw for both is the bays, getting out on the water, fishing, cruises, or in Homer, hiking or kayaking across the bay.

In town Anchorage, attractions include the museum and Native Heritage Center. Chugach State Park has great hiking trails, and Kincaid Park can be nice for a walk along the beach. The Coastal Trail and the Glen Alps Trailhead have some nice views of Denali on a clear day.

The drive from Anchorage south is one of the most scenic drives you'll encounter. Its also a very dangerous mix of sight seers, RVs, fisherman trying to get to the hole, and sleepy drivers. Just be careful. Girdwood is a nice little community with a ski hill tram that can get you to elevation if hiking is not your thing. Many take the tram up and walk down to enjoy the views.

If you're a little more adventurous, I'd recommend the following day trips:
1. Alaska Backcountry Adventures: Side by Side or ATV to the Knik Glacier lake. Awesome full day trip if you want to see lots of ice. (approx 20 miles each way)
2. Jet Ski from Whittier to Blackstone Glacier: 60 mile trip - Blackstone is just starting to recede out of the water and won't be a tidal glacier much longer.
3. If you're up for a "remote" hike, my favorite hike is Crow Pass to Raven Glacier. Its a hike in an old mining valley up to a pretty glacier. The breeze at the pass off the glacier is always a little chilly, so bring a layer.
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WhiteMaxima
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by WhiteMaxima »

ApeAttack wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:14 pm rent a car and drive to Homer.
I would recommend driving to Seward and getting a cruise to a glacier.
I did once through the tunnel to Seward. Rent a kayak and watch the sea bird.
MrNarwhal
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by MrNarwhal »

1. When will you be visiting?
2. Please clarify the timing and logistics.

The comments about Seward and Homer would be great if you were planning a multi-day trip. If I understand correctly that you have just one full day before and one full day after your fishing trip (presumably fly-in from Anchorage), then Homer is definitely out. I wouldn't recommend Seward as a day trip either but it could be possible if you drove down in the evening after returning from the fishing trip, stayed overnight in Seward, boat tour in the morning, drive back and stay in Anchorage that night.

If you are active and interested in hiking then there are many outstanding day hikes in Chugach State Park near Anchorage. I can make recommendations if you specify length, elevation gain, terrain/technicality, etc.

Otherwise, I'd suggest going north one day and south the other.

North: Independence Mine State Historical Park, Reindeer or Musk Ox Farm, Iditarod Museum, Eklutna Lake or Eagle River Nature Center. Or a guided tour/hike on Matanuska Glacier if so inclined.

South: drive along Turnagain Arm to Portage Valley and Whittier. Byron Glacier or Portage Pass hike, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or Alaska Zoo. 26 Glacier Cruise from Whittier if so inclined.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Nver2Late »

LuckyGuy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:36 pm Next week my wife and I are going to Anchorage for the first time. We are taking a guided trip to see moose and other wildlife. In a few weeks, I can comment on that if you are interested. We also have plans to bike to and walk around Kincaid park.
You'll love it. Biking the Coastal Trail from downtown to Kincaid can be really nice and you can access the beach near the end of the trail by the Kincaid Chalet. You'll likely see wildlife but that's always a little hit and miss. We had a nice brisk morning on the beach at Kincaid last weekend.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

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This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (recreational activities).
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by TnGuy »

Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It's a one hour drive south of downtown Anchorage and well worth the visit. Also, as a bonus, you get to enjoy a beautiful drive.

Another spot to visit near Anchorage is Earthquake Park, where you can see and learn about the 9.2 earthquake that took place in 1964.


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Seniorfire
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Seniorfire »

Here are some more details.
We would have a full day to explore on Tuesday July 16th and Thursday July 25th. we would prefer outdoors and a little adventure.

Thanks for all the comments so far.......
avburns
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by avburns »

Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:09 pm My wife and I are going on a fishing trip in Alaska July 17-24th(celebrate retirement!!) We will have 1 full day before and after in Anchorage.
What are some great site seeing ideas to fill our two free days?

Thanks
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Da5id
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Da5id »

The best day trips we did from Anchorage were to Whittier and Seward for glacier cruises. Both were incredible. We saw whales, calving glaciers, etc. Very enjoyable. But pretty long days I guess, especially Seward.

We stayed in Brooks Lodge, but you can take day trips to Brooks Falls at Katmai national park (involves a float plane for the final leg to get there). If the salmon run has started, you can see grizzlies pretty reliably at the falls. There is a webcam there so you can see what is going on https://explore.org/livecams/brown-bear ... ooks-falls We saw 18 grizzlies at once at the falls on our last visit (been twice), including 6 cubs, was mind blowing, but there usually are at least a few.

In Anchorage we did like the town park (saw a large bull moose, which was unexpected to us) and the zoo. But mostly we enjoyed getting out of Anchorage and doing things.
rvlife
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by rvlife »

I would recommend driving to Hatcher Pass area from Anchorage . I spent the summer in Alaska last year and it was one of the most beautiful areas. Lots of hiking, old gold mine and you can watch paragliders jump off the surrounding mountains.

The drive south along the Turnagain arm to Bulga point is amazing.

Portage area is nice. Whittier is nice but weather is unpredictable. The saying is the weather is sh*ttier in Whittier is true.

To the north you could go to Talkeetna, neat little town. You could take a 1000 hp jet boat ride up the Devils canyon. Mahays jet boat adventures.

Too many things to do. I am already planning another trip up there.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by cchrissyy »

i would absolutely not drive more than an hour out of town given you are talking about two single dates. no Denali, no Homer, no Seward.

agree about going south to the wildlife rescue center, and stopping along that beautiful drive at the various wildlife viewing areas. you may see whales, moose, goats, birds, and fish.

a popular hike would be flattop mountain which i believe has trails for a variety of levels, and maybe at that time of year there will be fresh wild blueberries to eat.

+1 to earthquake park and watching the float planes take off at the lake by the airport.

if you wanted to give a majority of a day to go on a glacier cruise from Whittier, those are worth it.

going out of town to the north/east is a decent suggestion, and i know we found good places to stop and hike and visit educational nature stuff but i don't remember the particulars.
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Seniorfire
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Seniorfire »

I think all of these comments will give us plenty of research.
Thanks to all for your input!!
MrNarwhal
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by MrNarwhal »

Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:20 pm Here are some more details.
We would have a full day to explore on Tuesday July 16th and Thursday July 25th. we would prefer outdoors and a little adventure.

Thanks for all the comments so far.......
I was looking for more exact detail; does "a full day" mean overnight lodging both before and after, or will arrival and/or departure occur on either or both days?

A rental car would be much preferred. If renting a car is not an option for either or both days, consider bus or train to Whittier for a boat tour or investigate shuttle or rideshare options to Glen Alps trailhead for a hike.
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Gort
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Gort »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:43 pm
Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:23 pm What do you recommend doing in Homer?
That's the Alaska PCH. You will see.
What is a PCH?
Last edited by Gort on Sat May 18, 2024 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
brokendirtdart
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by brokendirtdart »

Rent a bike and ride the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

It's about 22 miles round trip and only takes a few hours.

Try not to run into a moose as they'll run you over.
MrJones
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by MrJones »

gtrplayer wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:50 pm Though honestly any direction you go will be amazing.
This! Seward, Denali, Homer, and anything else you can drive to would all be amazing.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Tundrama »

Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:23 pm What do you recommend doing in Homer?
I live in Homer. You could grab a charter and chase king salmon or halibut. Or simply walk the beach and hang out. It’s perhaps one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see.

The drive to Homer is four hours from Anchorage. It’s a wonderful drive. That said, be on your toes as this can be a dangerous drive. It’s so beautiful that at times, folks who are driving aren’t paying attention to driving.
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Gort
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Gort »

Gort wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 6:25 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:43 pm
Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:23 pm What do you recommend doing in Homer?
That's the Alaska PCH. You will see.
What is a PCH?
PCH????
Big Dog
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Big Dog »

you could drive to Portage Glacier about an hour outside of Anchorage

https://www.anchorage.net/outdoors/glac ... ge-valley/

Stop at the Double Musky for eats.

https://www.doublemuskyinn.com
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by sfolsom76 »

Aerial tour of Denali out of Talkeetna airport. 2hr drive from Anchorage. That was amazing.

As already mentioned in Anchirage the Float planes and air museum at Lake Hood next to Ted Steven's.

Other folks had mentioned a hike to Flattop mountain but we ran out of time to do it.

Portage Glacier near Whittier.

You will be in awe of everything about Alaska. I was. Enjoy!
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by nisiprius »

We're hardly experts but when we were on an Alaskan vacation with a couple of days in Anchorage, we went to the Alaska Botanical Garden and enjoyed it... even though it wasn't a particularly good time of year to visit it.
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Candor
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Candor »

Gort wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 11:51 am
Gort wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 6:25 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:43 pm
Seniorfire wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:23 pm What do you recommend doing in Homer?
That's the Alaska PCH. You will see.
What is a PCH?
PCH????
Likely the Pacific Coast Hwy.
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Sprucebark »

Where are you staying?
Mapmaker
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by Mapmaker »

You can add on the train or bus to the glacier cruise out of Whittier
https://phillipscruises.com/prince-william-sound/
Or do one of the hikes with HikeAlaska if you want to stay closer to Anchorage
https://www.gohikealaska.com/summerhiking
3feetpete
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by 3feetpete »

There is a train that goes from Anchorage to Seward and back in one day. I heard it was scenic.
nptit
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Re: What to do in Anchorage

Post by nptit »

we just came back from a trip in Anchorage. Highly recommend Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It is about 1 hour drive from Anchorage. There is tour bus to go there too. If you have a car, you can stop at a few sight seeing points on the way there. If you drive a bit further, you can see Whittier, there is a portage glacier nearby, not sure if glacier will still exist by July though. There is also Aleska hotel on the way too. Highly recommend to rent a car.

We were there with young kiddos, if you are a museum person, I think you might enjoy Anchorage Museum too, my kids particularly love the museum.
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