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ANC area mid December recommendations?

ANC area mid December recommendations?

Old Aug 29, 15, 11:09 am
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ANC area mid December recommendations?

Hi everyone!

I've been reading many of the threads about AK but still would like some inputs.
It will be my first time in Alaska. I wish I could travel in the summer, but my break is during winter time and I found good deals flying in to Anchorage in december. I will spend 5 nights/ 4 days altogether. I know it is pretty tight, so I will limit my area to Anchorage and surroundings, preferably without drive. That's why I'm thinking of staying in downtown and choose some day trips to cover the basics. I was wondering if you had any other recommendations of things to do in and around town. Thanks!
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Old Sep 1, 15, 3:57 pm
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What are your interests? Alaska is gorgeous in winter. If you ski there are many heli-skiing opportunities as well as Alyeska Ski Resort. There are also many companies that do snowmobile tours across frozen lakes and right up to the bases of glaciers. I don't know of any in particular but I imagine there's probably some dog-sledding in the area. If you're comfortable in the backcountry there is some amazing places for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
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Old Sep 1, 15, 11:20 pm
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I have done a snowmachine tour a few years ago. Would have been better if we went to a glacier, but due to lack of snow we went somewhere else.

Dogsledding would be great. I think north of Anchorage - Willow, Knik, etc - have several dog mushing opportunities. I did that once near Denali and it was great.
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Old Sep 4, 15, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
What are your interests? Alaska is gorgeous in winter. If you ski there are many heli-skiing opportunities as well as Alyeska Ski Resort. There are also many companies that do snowmobile tours across frozen lakes and right up to the bases of glaciers. I don't know of any in particular but I imagine there's probably some dog-sledding in the area. If you're comfortable in the backcountry there is some amazing places for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
No ski experience here, which doesnt mean Im not interested in learning/trying. But I have read so many bad reviews on Alyeska Resort that I will probably just visit for the day. Those options that you mentioned are the ones I've been reading about...dogsledding, snowmobile, etc. Im just a little concerned it will get too dark too early and I will find myself stranded in my hotel room.
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Old Sep 4, 15, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
I have done a snowmachine tour a few years ago. Would have been better if we went to a glacier, but due to lack of snow we went somewhere else.

Dogsledding would be great. I think north of Anchorage - Willow, Knik, etc - have several dog mushing opportunities. I did that once near Denali and it was great.
Sounds fun. Although Im a bit concerned about what to do after 4pm...
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Old Sep 20, 15, 1:30 pm
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Is renting a car an option? I can't imagine spending more than a day or two in Anchorage without one. I think that you're going to tire of downtown Anchorage fairly quickly...
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Old Oct 11, 15, 3:15 pm
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No definitely not a whole lot to do in Anchorage.
I would recommend trying to get up toward Fairbanks and see the Northern lights.
We have been flying into ANC every summer for 10 years and fishing in the Kenai. Am trying to get up there in the fall/winter for the northern lights
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Old Oct 28, 15, 12:27 pm
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I am assuming you mean that you will have a car but don't want to spend too much time in it? Anchorage is not a very nice walking city, especially in the winter. It will get dark, but everything is lit and life goes on as usual so there is no need to stay in your hotel room.

Lake Eklutna is a nice winter time hike. It is about 25 minutes north of downtown. In downtown Anchorage the lagoon is hot mopped for ice skating if you want some free Alaskan entertainment. The Crow's Nest has a nice view of the city (for the cost of overpriced drinks) and Glacier Brewhouse and Snow City cafe won't be crowded in December. Moose's tooth is a good local pizzeria and microbrewery and they sometimes have events. You could check the schedule for the PAC to see if any interesting events line up with your trip. There are sometimes Native music and dance performances. You will probably want to drive at least to Girdwood to drive down what might be the most scenic road in the country. Just remember it is illegal to hold up more than 5 cars-- you must pull over and let others pass. I am not sure what your heard about Alyeska exactly but it is not a beginner mountain . You can pay and take a ride up in the gondola (packed with sweaty skiers) but you may or may not find that worthwhile. There is some decent food and live music in the area. Chair 6 is popular.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!
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Old Nov 8, 15, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Someuser View Post
I am assuming you mean that you will have a car but don't want to spend too much time in it? Anchorage is not a very nice walking city, especially in the winter. It will get dark, but everything is lit and life goes on as usual so there is no need to stay in your hotel room.

Lake Eklutna is a nice winter time hike. It is about 25 minutes north of downtown. In downtown Anchorage the lagoon is hot mopped for ice skating if you want some free Alaskan entertainment. The Crow's Nest has a nice view of the city (for the cost of overpriced drinks) and Glacier Brewhouse and Snow City cafe won't be crowded in December. Moose's tooth is a good local pizzeria and microbrewery and they sometimes have events. You could check the schedule for the PAC to see if any interesting events line up with your trip. There are sometimes Native music and dance performances. You will probably want to drive at least to Girdwood to drive down what might be the most scenic road in the country. Just remember it is illegal to hold up more than 5 cars-- you must pull over and let others pass. I am not sure what your heard about Alyeska exactly but it is not a beginner mountain . You can pay and take a ride up in the gondola (packed with sweaty skiers) but you may or may not find that worthwhile. There is some decent food and live music in the area. Chair 6 is popular.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!
I wasnt really thinking of renting a car but now I'm having second thoughts...
And thanks for the advices! Pizza and ice skating are top on my list haha. I just hope I can get skaters for cheap somewhere.
I will def have a look at those places you mentioned.
Cheers!
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Old Nov 8, 15, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by oldtirednbusy View Post
No definitely not a whole lot to do in Anchorage.
I would recommend trying to get up toward Fairbanks and see the Northern lights.
We have been flying into ANC every summer for 10 years and fishing in the Kenai. Am trying to get up there in the fall/winter for the northern lights
Not fairbanks...most likely talkeetna....for the northern lights for sure.
I'll let you know if I find them
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Old Nov 9, 15, 7:43 pm
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Actually we just booked to arrive in Fairbanks Nov 23

Can't wait!
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Old Nov 12, 15, 4:08 pm
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I am planing a weekend trip on 11/20-22. This is my first visit to Alaska and I will complete my 50th state after this trip. I have some questions and hopefully someone can help me out!

1. I read the drive from anchorage to Seward is beautiful. Do I need a 4x4 or a mid-size car will work? OR I should stay on HWY 1 to Homer?

2. What can do you at Seward in winter for 3 -4 hours?

3. What's the best place to view the aurora? Should I try Delani NP? Or Alyeska resort (southwest of Anchorage)?

4. I have time to visit one museum. Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center or Alaska Heritage Center?

Last edited by Bookexp; Nov 12, 15 at 4:14 pm Reason: add content
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Old Nov 13, 15, 10:06 am
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If you can get a 4 wheel drive car or SUV, I would recommend it. From the weather forecast I just checked online, snow is predicted for next weekend. Yes, the drive to Seward is beautiful... but winter weather definitely adds an additional level of difficulty. Not sure if you have experience driving in snow, but winter driving in Alaska can get tricky. Anchorage to Homer is a pretty long drive - approx 4 hrs. For such a short trip, I don't think I would do it.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by willianassu View Post
Hi everyone!

I've been reading many of the threads about AK but still would like some inputs.
It will be my first time in Alaska. I wish I could travel in the summer, but my break is during winter time and I found good deals flying in to Anchorage in december. I will spend 5 nights/ 4 days altogether. I know it is pretty tight, so I will limit my area to Anchorage and surroundings, preferably without drive. That's why I'm thinking of staying in downtown and choose some day trips to cover the basics. I was wondering if you had any other recommendations of things to do in and around town. Thanks!
Depending on your travel dates, you might take advantage of free admission to the Anchorage Museum on December 13th. Anchorage Museum also has fun after-hours events such as the Battle of the Breweries on December 4th and a cosmic light show on December 18th.

If you do decide to visit Girdwood/Alyeska, it's just a 20-minute drive from there to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

As we approach the winter solstice, expect short days: today we had just over 6 hours of daylight, and December 21 will have just under 5.5 hours of daylight.

I'm not sure what your cold weather experiences are, but remember to pack layers as temperatures can vary wildly. Be prepared for snow, wind, ice, and mild-to-moderate cold (call it moderate-to-severe if you're from a southern climate). You'll also need sturdy shoes with rubber soles; leather soles aren't good for ice and snow. Enjoy!
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