Alaska vacation planning

Ocnandmtns

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Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Cape Cod, South FL, and NYC
I'm heading to AK for a Kotz caribou hunt at the end of August and my wife's schedule just opened up so that we can do a vacation up there before the hunt. We'll have 10-14 days available from approx Aug 14-28. I was up there with friends once 15 years ago before we were married and saw Seward to Denali area. I loved it and have been telling her I want to take her back, so it's finally happening.

We would like to see some different areas driving a rental vehicle, stay in cabins and airbnbs. Hike, fish from shore and maybe get out on a boat, etc. We like experiencing it all from wilderness, to dive bars in a tiny town to a good meal in a bigger city. Could go back to areas I've been but open to new too.

At the moment, have zero things planned. So I welcome any and all suggestions for cool towns, places to stay, routes to drive, places to eat/drink, things to see/do, etc.

One idea is to explore the Juneau area for the first half then fly up to Anchorage area for the second half- any thoughts on that or any preference over either area?

Thanks!
 

22lr

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
609
Location
AK
I recommend 49th State Brewing Company for a classier meal in Anchorage. Good food, good views. Tons of good food here in Anchorage, hard to go wrong with any of the brew houses/companies.

Girdwood is local is to Anchorage, definitely touristy but still cool. On the way there the tunagain-arm-pit BBQ place is a good stop for food with a view of the bay.
 

Mighty Mouse

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Jun 21, 2019
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795
Location
Oklahoma
You might find some good ideas in these two threads:
 

KBC

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Mar 8, 2017
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469
Location
BC
We did a 4 week road trip from south western BC to Alaska and back in 2019. It was my wife and I and two kids (almost 8 and 1.5 year old) with a 23' travel trailer. We didn't get too far off the beaten path but still saw plenty.

One thing we learned was try not to see everything. There's too much to see and do. Pick a couple things and go back again for the things you don't do. No matter how much time you have it isn't enough, there's just too much out there.

49th state did have some great beer and great food. If you make it to the Yukon bring beer, I thought BC was expensive...
 

Slugz

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Dec 31, 2020
Messages
160

If you want to fish a day or two and keep the wife happy I recommend the above. Clean, world class food, organized in detail like a military operation. They offer every option you could ask for and I'm sure even tailor something to what you want. I've been twice and done upper river trips right from the lodge for rainbows/dollys/silvers. Middle and lower for silvers. Seward mooching for silvers and Seward for halibut.

They have first class commercial processing right on site to vacuum pack, freeze and even ship out via Fed Ex if you desire. Of course there are cheaper ways to do this but worth it when you have the significant other with you and want things to go smoothly and maximize your time. I've brought home a metric boat load of razor clams also every time.

They also do many other types of sightseeing trips, raft trips etc etc. Over all company is Alaska Wildland Adventures.

Feel free to PM if you want some more info.
 

wildwilderness

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
996
Location
Eagle River, AK
Here is a place you can fish or rent a Airbnb in Willow-

www.Deshka.com

Talkeetna is near by and many will stop there for a day or two.

girdwood is a local favorite, easy shore fishing at Bird creek

I haven’t spent time in Juneau but it seems pretty small to spend a week? Maybe fish a day or two but the weather is usually worse, more rain
 
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Wapiti1

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Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,559
Location
Indiana
I'd avoid downtown Anchorage with the wife. Last fall it had gone from normal to downright strange with homeless folks. Covid didn't help, but the homeless population had at least quadrupled from 2017 to 2020. And they were entertaining to say the least.

There wasn't anything unsafe, at least I didn't feel unsafe, just people and situations that I would not knowingly put my family through. Maybe it's better now, but I suspect it is not.

Which was really sad because I have always enjoyed downtown Anchorage in the past. That said, there is some great food outside of the downtown, and there are a lot of other options.

Jeremy
 

fatbacks

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
708
Location
Interior AK
Talkeetna is a good time if you’re into fishing. You can do the whistle stop train, jet boat or fish road accessed streams. Silvers should be showing up that time of year.

A trip across the Denali highway is another good option. Both the lodges out there are awesome and if you can do it before moose hunting opens up it will be less crowded


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Salmonchaser

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Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
563
Location
Pendleton, Or
Get going on your planning! Ive been guiding up here for the last 20 years, this is the busiest summer ever for us and for every other operator I know. I’d call and secure a car today!
Mid August is my favorite time of year. I love fishing for Silvers and the bows, grayling, char and dollies are following the spawning reds and Kings. You can quite literally lift your fly away from a charging fish because you’re trying to catch the bigger one behind him. Lots of good water on the road system don’t procrastinate getting booked. Have fun!
 

keller

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Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
428
Location
wi
Hatcher pass is an awesome drive. Glacier cruise. A lot of good hikes. Flattop in anc. Homer. Seward so much to see so little time everything is a drive . St Elias park.dont try to see everything. I spent a month there and barely scratched the surface
 
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Ocnandmtns

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Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Cape Cod, South FL, and NYC
With everyones advice now narrowing down an itinerary in the Kenai and up to Denali.

I heard rental car prices were up everywhere. Just reserved one for... [drumroll]... $4500 for 12 days! 😳😳 I’m all for supply and demand, but!?

anyone in the Anchorage area have an extra vehicle they want to rent for a nice price that’s a win win for both of us?
 

String&stick

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Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
558
With everyones advice now narrowing down an itinerary in the Kenai and up to Denali.

I heard rental car prices were up everywhere. Just reserved one for... [drumroll]... $4500 for 12 days! 😳😳 I’m all for supply and demand, but!?

anyone in the Anchorage area have an extra vehicle they want to rent for a nice price that’s a win win for both of us?

Did you call u-haul? $20 per day and $.99/mile will come out quite a bit cheaper if they will let you do it, they have pickups and cargo Vans. . . That is a solution many are discussing.
 
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Ocnandmtns

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Cape Cod, South FL, and NYC
Found a site called Turo where you rent cars from the owner(kinda like Airbnb for cars). Was able to reserve a nicely set up Tacoma for half the price of the econo car from a rental agency.

Next up is narrowing down the itinerary. Having second thoughts about going to Denali during prime tourist season. Thinking about doing Kenai and then maybe Valdez/Chugach area instead of Denali. Anyone have any experience with Valdez area and recommend exploring over that way?
 
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