24 Hours in Anchorage

Old Oct 3, 13, 10:27 am
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24 Hours in Anchorage

Hi All,
I have 24 hours in Anchorage (Arrive 12:45 A.M Saturday leave 1 A.M Sunday).
I will have a car, What are some spots you recommend. (Kenai is out of the question since the national parks are closed?) I saw the 3 day trip but wasn't sure that what stood out from those 3 days. I feel like id have to choose between Whittier and Seward (and not do both, can someone confirm this for me). Also for food what are your recommendations?
Thanks
Ryan
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Old Oct 4, 13, 11:52 am
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Welcome to FT. When are you going? That will make a huge difference. My guess is that the trip is coming up soon since you mentioned the national park shutdown.

Actually the Kenai PENINSULA is not out of the question. The national parks are closed but lots to do/see besides that. You really don't want to be spending 6+ hours driving to Seward round trip with such a short time. The main reason to go to Whittier is to do a Prince William Sound glacier tour but those are no longer operating (ended Sep 30).

I would get a hotel for your first night, then get a start in the morning along Turnagain Arm toward Girdwood. Lots of stops you can make. Not everything will be open, but here is a link to some great activities:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic....html#47298453

I would stop at Potter Marsh (look for wildlife), Girdwood (tram if good weather, maybe the Winner Creek Trail and hand tram best hiked from the Crow Creek Mine side of the trail), Wildlife Conservation Center, then maybe driving south along the Seward Highway to the Hope Junction. Drive into Hope. Maybe have lunch here. Great views all along Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to the Wildlife Conservation Center then again from Hope.

If the weather is nice, you can consider some activities in Anchorage too - bicycling on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or driving up to Glen Alps or going to Lake Hood to watch floatplanes take off/land (great activity after you check in but before you return the rental car).

But I would spend most of my day along Turnagain Arm as mentioned above.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 12:07 pm
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Thanks for the speedy response!
I will be getting in tonight! So yes quite soon. I have my car (its a ford focus) what are road conditions like? would you recommend something else?
Thanks
Ryan
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Old Oct 5, 13, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by risemeyer View Post
Thanks for the speedy response!
I will be getting in tonight! So yes quite soon. I have my car (its a ford focus) what are road conditions like? would you recommend something else?
Thanks
Ryan
They keep that road pretty clear in case of snow. You should be fine. Hope your flight went well and you are enjoying Alaska now.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 3:42 am
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30 hrs in June in ANC

We have a layover in ANC before continuing back to Europe, arriving 5 am and leavin 2 pm-ish the next day. (this being the end point of a 3 weeks US tour)

I have the option of either the Hilton or the Crowne Plaza (free night) - which is preferable? I have status with both.

More to the point, what is easily doable in such a short time? I gather that ANC doesn't offer much of a city experience and anyway we will have had it in the previous three weeks - a glacier or sound tour/cruise would be lovely. What is easily doable ex-ANC?

We come from the same latitudes, so the long summer nights are a given
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Old Feb 18, 14, 8:16 am
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Do this the first day because you won't have time on the second.

1. Get a car
2. Drive to Whittier via the Seward Highway (around 90 min.) on one of the most scenic highways in North America. Stop for breakfast en route at the Bake Shop at the Alyeska ski resort in Girdwood. Recommend the cinnamon rolls.
3. Go through the Whittier tunnel and take a "26 Glacier" cruise.
4. Return to Anchorage and stay at the Hilton downtown. Dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse or Simon and Seafort's where in June you can watch the sun try to set (not until almost midnight) over Cook Inlet.
5. The next morning, before the airport visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to get a sense of the many cultures present in Alaska. It's much more than moose and mountains.

http://goo.gl/maps/x6YC1
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Old Feb 18, 14, 1:18 pm
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I would second most of what Gardyloo said except the 26 Glaciers tour. I would do one by Major Marine for a few reasons:

They spend more time at a glacier waiting hopefully for it to calve (26 Glaciers is more concerned with pointing out - in a distance - 26 glaciers)

They are usually less crowded than 26 Glaciers' boats (at least in my multiple trips and seeing the crowds on the Phillips/26 Glaciers boat

There is a Groupon-like 50% discount through the KTUU Anchorage website for the Major Marine trip.

It depends too who "we" is, but you have plenty of time that first morning to explore more things in the Portage Valley area near Girdwood. The Winner Creek Trail/hand tram, especially from the Crow Creek Mine side, is easy to reach. The Wildlife Conservation Center, the Portage Glacier visitor center, maybe the Byron Glacier trail in that area and much more.

Be sure to understand that you can only get to Whittier once an hour on the half hour when the tunnel is open in that direction.
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Old Feb 18, 14, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
I would second most of what Gardyloo said except the 26 Glaciers tour. I would do one by Major Marine for a few reasons:

They spend more time at a glacier waiting hopefully for it to calve (26 Glaciers is more concerned with pointing out - in a distance - 26 glaciers)

They are usually less crowded than 26 Glaciers' boats (at least in my multiple trips and seeing the crowds on the Phillips/26 Glaciers boat

There is a Groupon-like 50% discount through the KTUU Anchorage website for the Major Marine trip.
No problem on the Major Marine front. Cheaper is better, too.
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Old Feb 19, 14, 6:39 am
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Thanks guys, this sounds/looks good! - with the only issue of how "alive" we are after flying in from HNL and arriving at 5 am
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Old Feb 19, 14, 6:53 am
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There are a couple of places you can get a shower in Anchorage, though maybe not quite that early. The Spenard Hostel offers showers for non-guests in private bathrooms for just a few dollars. The Rec Centers in Anchorage also offer cheap showers, though they don't have towels (bring your own). One of the rec centers is really close to the airport.
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Old Feb 19, 14, 8:28 am
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Anchorage is blessed with many coffee places, most of which are open by 6 AM. Stop at the Kaladi Coffee stand at New Sagaya Market in midtown on your way south.

Another option - maybe worth exploring - would be to stay at the Alyeska Resort hotel instead of downtown. It's a lovely property set in magnificent scenery, but only 45 min. from the airport. You could stop there on the way down (same place as the bakery) and after the glacier cruise just return to Girdwood for the night. There are good restaurants in Girdwood, you could take the aerial tram up into the mountains, then explore Anchorage the next morning before heading to the airport.

http://www.alyeskaresort.com/
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Old Feb 19, 14, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
There are good restaurants in Girdwood,
Who cares about a measly restaurant in Girdwood!

Go to the laundromat for a meal. I guess you could wash your clothes while you eat...But absolutely you want to use the "facilities". Wash your hands perhaps, but taking a seat and relaxing is, errrr, well, an experience.

Sounds a bit crazy. You've never been in a laudromat like that and the bathroom is simply astounding. But that's Girdwood.
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Old Jun 18, 14, 8:27 am
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Just returning with an update - what a wonderful 30 hours we had in Alaska!

Landing at 5 am, driving out of the parking lot at 6. The better half suggested to drive north a while. We tried to view the musk oxen at Palmer, but were way too early there. Breakfast at a local sandwich shop with amazing views. Continued via Wasilla to Denali State Park South viewing point (some interesting stops both on the way there and back) - Mt McKinley hid majestically in massive clouds...

Driving back south to Girdwood, stopping along the Seward hwy for photo ops. Staying at the Alyeska hotel and dinner at the Seven Glaciers. Wow! Next morning more photo ops round the Alyeska, then sadly driving back to ANC to check in.

Thank you guys for your tips that made this very short trip in AK memorable!
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Old Jun 22, 14, 12:41 am
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Thanks for the report. Glad that you had such a good time!
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Old Jul 22, 14, 3:23 am
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i wish I had the 24 hours too
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