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Quick trip to ANC Late Sept What to do what is open

Quick trip to ANC Late Sept What to do what is open

Old Apr 24, 18, 6:53 am
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Quick trip to ANC Late Sept What to do what is open

Have on hold a quick 3 day trip to ANC. Part mileage run part birthday present. Looking Sep 18-21. I quickly learning things will be closed by then. For example the Portage Glacier boat, I'm confused on Denali. Last day for the road lottery is the 18th. Then what the road is open weather permitting? Seems though there's very few places to stay up there that time of year. Kenai fjords maybe?
Any suggestions on sights to see for 2-3 days (19th-21)
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Old Apr 24, 18, 7:54 am
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Major Marine offers 6-hour Kenai Fjords trips up to Sept. 23, and Phillips offers glacier cruises out of Whittier until the 30th.

https://majormarine.com/tour/6-hour-...l-park-cruise/
https://www.phillipscruises.com/crui...ier-cruise.php

I doubt you'll encounter any overbooking problems with either, so if it was me I'd wait until you can see a fairly reliable weather forecast (probably the week you're flying) and choose accordingly. If it's windy or wet, the Kenai Fjords trip might be fairly uncomfortable as you're on open ocean for part of the trip, and seasickness is common. The glacier cruises will be on much calmer water, although the chances of seeing a lot of marine wildlife will be less on the glacier cruise than on the Fjords one.

If fall color is about (it can be, or can just be starting) then there are some good photo ops in various places - in the Portage flats, for example, or, heading the other way from Anchorage, around Mirror Lake near the Native village of Eklutna, 40 min. or so north of town. Eklutna is an interesting stop; the cemetery near the old Orthodox church features "spirit houses" that are quite photogenic as well as interesting.

Mirror Lake -






Eklutna -



Denali is too far and conditions too uncertain for such a short time. If you're desperate to see Denali (and if the weather's flyable) then I'd splurge on a flightseeing trip out of Lake Hood using Rust's - Alaska Flightseeing Tours & Air Taxi Services | Rust's Flying Service - which is worth every penny.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 1:47 am
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I'm a huge fan of September in Alaska and will be going there again this year. Thanks to climate change it seems the fall colors arrive later in ANC and points south, so it might be really beautiful then. The car trip down Turnagain Arm (Potter Marsh, Portage Glacier) is hard to go wrong with, and you can go all the way out to Homer, even. In the other direction (Denali) you're getting into higher elevations that can be iffier...I had a year with a best-laid plan for a bus trip around Sept. 7 that had to turn back due to weather, but another where I could get in free even after the car lottery and drive the first 30 miles or so (though not all the way to Wonder Lake). The mountain is out only maybe one day in 3, and on a clear day you might be able to see it from the edge of Earthquake Park.

If pressed for time and looking for maximum oomph without budget limitations like I'll have, the cruise and flightseeing are well worth looking into. I dunno if Anchorage has aurora tours but I saw some people at my hotel in Fairbanks going on one for one of my trips. You have some chance of it in September.

Intown, I always hit the Club Paris steakhouse for the Paris special burger for lunch or the big filet mignon at dinner. It's one of the few places downtown predating the 1964 earthquake, and they've owned the best-steakhouse award. A halibut sandwich and blackberry shake at the Arctic Roadrunner is also nice. On a really bad-weather day the museum is worth seeing. There's also the last remaining Blockbuster Video in Alaska that John Oliver is trying to help out, and some really keen competition among the coffee shacks (I like one on Northern Lights Blvd. in front of the Savers shopping center near UAA).
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Old Apr 25, 18, 3:06 am
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Soma good options mentioned above.

Actually there is more than one Blockbuster still left in Alaska/Anchorage.

One beautiful drive and unique opportunity is to do a guided walk on Matanuska Glacier which is a 2 hour drive north and east of Anchorage.

Driving to Talkeetna is a nice drive for a day. Great views of Denali from there of it is visible and more options/less expensive flights over Denali and the Alaska range from there vs. from Anchorage. Funky town and some good food there.

Hanging said all that, Seward and the Kenai Fjords boat tour would be my first preference.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
and some really keen competition among the coffee shacks (I like one on Northern Lights Blvd. in front of the Savers shopping center near UAA).
I had to chuckle at this. Coffee shacks are definitely a thing in Alaska. There are a few here and there in the Lower 48 (a few more in the Pacific Northwest, but they thin out the further south/east you get), but in Alaska, and ANC especially, they seem to be on every corner. For a while we held the record for "most coffee shops per capita" (beating out even SEA), but I think SEA reclaimed that title more recently.

As fun as they are, they're usually all very decidedly second-wave-quality coffee (i.e. tend to focus more on froo-froo flavors, and the underlying coffee tends to be bitter). I'm nowadays a fan much more of Black Cup (Benson Blvd behind the Barnes and Noble/Chuck-E-Cheese) and Steam Dot (three locations around town), which are the first true third-wave-quality options in ANC. That said, there's something intrinsically Alaskan about driving up to a drive-through shack and getting your quad-shot caramel mocha from a window without ever getting out to brave the elements.

As for things to see/do aside from what is mentioned above (good advice so far, BTW), I still reference @fti's list in post #2 at Things to do in Anchorage even all these years later for inspiration.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
...That said, there's something intrinsically Alaskan about driving up to a drive-through shack and getting your quad-shot caramel mocha from a window without ever getting out to brave the elements.
That's almost as bad as a flat white vanille mocha latté with added froth, extra shot but half the caffeine
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Old Sep 4, 18, 3:06 pm
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Thanks all for the feedback. My mileage run trips are set. Doing one in Mid Sept and one the end of Sept.
Given my flight times and the fact I'll need some sleep, I'll basically have ~9-10 hours to kill each trip. Based on your good feedback, and the fact I've already done the Portage Glacier and Mt Alyeska trip my last visit, I see three possible day trips that are all about the same 2 hours from ANC
- Drive to Seward checking out the town and the sights
- Drive to Matanuska Glacier and get in as much of it as I can
- Drive to Talkeenta to hopefully get a good view of Denali

These all seem like they can be game time decisions based on the weather. With any luck, I'll get good weather both trip an be able to do 2 of these 3.

.
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Old Sep 5, 18, 7:38 am
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Phillips is running the Glacier Quest cruise until early October. The Whittier cruises into Prince William Sound are fab. https://www.phillipscruises.com/crui...est-cruise.php

The village of Hope on the south side of Turnagain Arm is very historic and interesting.

Splurge on a flightseeing trip in a float plane from Lake Hood - Alaska Flightseeing Tours & Air Taxi Services | Rust's Flying Service
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Old Sep 5, 18, 11:59 am
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Thanks. I looked at the Phillips cruises I don't have enough time to get there, do the cruise and get back for an 8 pm flight.
Or at least I don't want to cut that close.
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