Q&A: Planning a vacation to Alaska; What are the places to visit?

Question by DragonHeart: Planning a vacation to Alaska; What are the places to visit?
I am planning to fly to Alaska, and rent an RV. I would rather visit in a leisurely manner the beautiful sceneries of alaska, and attractions. INSTEAD of regimented visits done during the Cruises(I feel they are expensive).

Any suggestions of what places to visit? What scenic routes to visit? and Glaciers, etc? Thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by karen h
Got to see the Kenai Peninsula, check out Girdwood and the “Chicken House” on your way down south. Outside of Anchorage going north is Eagle River, the visitors center is nice as in very close Mirror Lake.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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3 Responses to Q&A: Planning a vacation to Alaska; What are the places to visit?

  1. Waymon F says:

    Canada or THE NORTH POLE! Thats where Santa’s Workshop at. Nice Giftshop a plus!!

  2. Arthur R says:

    Prior to your trip, pick up a copy of the MilePost. This is the RVer’s bible for traveling the Alaskan Highway and touring Alaska. It will detail all the sites and what milemarker, on what highway everything is on. Find it at http://www.milepost.com. We got ours at amazon.com for half price. You could opt for last years edition since you won’t be traveling the entire Alaskan Highway. Also pick up a copy of Frommers Alaska travel guide. it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

    A lot depends on where you will rent the RV. Anchorage would be my guess and that’s good, although Fairbanks could be better. As soon as possible go to a Safeway store and pick up a Tour Saver coupon book. It’s $99 and it will pay for it’s self in Fairbanks alone. This book is full of 2 for 1 savings. In Anchorage is an Indian visitors center North of the Glenn Highway and right off Muldoon Rd. For the life of me I can’t think of it’s name. It’s in the Milepost.

    You will definatly want to stay at Denali National Park. The campground of choice is Teklinika, which is 29 miles into the park. You must have a generator as there is no electric at any campgrounds in the park. Second choice would be Savage River. Purchase a bus ticket for the number of days you stay there. One purchase price and you get to ride the bus into the park as many times as you want. Reservations must be made in advance. Again refer to the Milepost for web sites and phone #’s. Just out of Anchorage is Palmer and home of a Musk Ox and Reindeer farm. These are also a must visit if you have kids or a wife.

    North to Fairbanks, stay at either Pioneer Park in Fairbanks or Santaland Campground in North Pole. Next to Santaland RV Park is the best Christmas gift shop you have ever seen. Don’t miss the museum at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks this is a must. North of Fairbanks is the oil pipeline visitors center and Gold Dredge #8. Also in Fairbanks is the Riverboat Discovery and the El Dorado Gold mine. Coupons in the Toursaver book.

    South of Anchorage is Seward and the Kenai Peninsula with so many communities I can’t name them all. Think of Homer, Ninilchik, Russian River, Soldota, Kenai and many more. At Seward you will want to stay at the city campground right on Resurrection Bay. You will have your choice of electric or non-electric. We choose the latter as that was only $12 per night. You will want to take a glacier cruise, opt for the longest cruise, around 12 hours. Don’t miss the Sea Life Center or the Exit Glacier. Use your coupons for the best glacier cruise. I can’t comment to much on the Kenai Peninsula since we didn’t do any of it except for Seward. Don’t waste your time driving through the tunnel to WhittIer from Portage. Whittier is a small town that has seen better days. It will cost you $35+ to drive your RV through the tunnel. The Portage Glacier cruise is good, again coupons.

    You must drive to Valdez for the sites along the road. You will have 2 glaciers you can walk to and a couple of waterfalls. Again the longer glacier cruise will be the best. Tour the museum as it’s interesting and full of earthquake facts. If you are limited in time this is a trip you could skip since it’s a full days drive each way. Campgrounds, take your pick out of the Milepost. We stayed in at the Best Western for $189 per night, 2 nights for the price of 1 with the coupons. Our motorhome was being repaired in Anchorage is why we stayed there.

    You really don’t need to use all that many campgrounds, use the rest stops and pullouts when available and when you are allowed.

    You would be wasting your time going to Tok and Chicken. They are just way points for travelers of the Alaskan and Top of the World Highways when entering Alaska. Chicken isn’t even where it was originaly and it consists of a bar, liquor store, cafe and mercantile store. It’s a 150 mile round trip from Tok.

    If I was renting in Anchorage, I would travel to Denali, then Fairbanks on the Parks Highway, South on the Richardson Highway to Delta Junction, the Northern end of the Alaskan Highway, continue on the Richardson Highway to Valdez. Then travel North on the Richardson Highway to Glennallen, turn West on the Parks Highway to Anchorage. You will have made a big loop and done very little back tracking. Now you will need to travel out and around the Turnagain Arm to take in the sights of the Kenai Peninsula. This will require back tracking to Anchorage. With your Milepost, Frommers Alaskan Guide Book and a map of Alaska you can plan your stops.

    My wife and I are in our mid 60’s, drive a diesel powered motorhome, tow a Saturn and we made this trip alone. We just planned our trip for better than a year and did it.

    I could write a book on our travels to Alaska. With the two books I have mentioned, you will be able to plan your trip. Also get on every e-mail list you can for special deals. Once you go to Alaska you will want to return.

    Happy Trails

  3. Klondike John says:

    You have chosen a prefect destination! Of course I tend to be biased as I live here, and have for nearly 40 years.

    Alaska is vast and open, most of Alaska is virtually inaccessible, except by air. You will be able to access many different sights by road, and of course with an RV, you are self contained.

    Start by ourchasing The Great Alaska Tour Saver! Great bargains, and a load of two for ones!

    My family formerly owned the largest RV dealership in Alaska (A&M RV Center), my brother, (the real owner; talked all of his family into working for him) decided to sell the dealership to his employees, we know RV’s and we know Alaska.

    For seeing Alaska, start with the links listed below… I know, there are a few…

    The listed map, has an index of mileage between destinations, from there you can begin your own route. As Arthur mentioned pick up a Milepost, no self respecting Alaskan travels without one. you can also order a Bells’ Guide (see links below).

    Highlights:
    Anchorage (the “Big Apple”). Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Wrangell/St. Elias National Park (Kennicott Copper Minning District), Seward, Homer, Valdez, and my favorite town of all Chicken! The list could easily grow to include our neighbors in the Yukon Territory.

    The Yukon:
    Dawson City (the Klondike Gold Rush), Whitehorse, Kluane Wilderness Area (a United Nations UNESCO park).

    And then there is the other Alaska, Southeast Alaska. Accesible by water, or by air only. Home to the largest National Forest in the United States, the Tongass, Southeast, is a beautiful area filled with mountains, glaciers, whales… the list just never ends (probably why I live here).

    I am a tour director for a small company based in Minnesota, and they have been coming to Alaska for a long time. I have included our web site, as well as a customers tour photo journey for you to look through.

    Cruise packages are actuallly fairly well priced. By the time you add up all your costs you will find they offer a decent product for a resonable price. Our tours are very inclusive. Hotels, meals, attractions, and of course being fully escorted.

    We tour directors act as driver/guide and everything inbetween. We spend vast amounts of time preparing our tour material for presentation to our guests. Something you won’t find doing the self contained tour.

    You will need to cruise or take the Alaska State Ferry (the Blue Canoe) to access Southeast Alaska. Either way you are in for a gem of a time. Between Glacier Bay, Twin Sawyer Glaciers, or Hubbard glacier, the vistas just keep coming.

    Whichever way you choose to see Alaska, make sure you bring along binoculars, cameras (digital or 35mm) with plenty of batteries, and film or memory cards.

    Camai!

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