Often I’m asked what I think would be the perfect tour if I was visiting Alaska. Fortunately, I’ve found that each client I work with has different interests and we’re able to customize each trip to meet their unique interests in travel and adventure. But since I’m asked so often, its easy to imagine the tour I would customize for myself if I was taking an Alaska trip – based on my experience living in Alaska, and working in tourism here. All our packages can be modified to either travel by rail, motorcoach or rental car. I think the best of option would be to travel in combination of all three modes.
My perfect tour would start out with a visit to Anchorage and then the Kenai Peninsula.
Day 1, Arrival Day! Pick up a rental car in Anchorage and check into the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa. What better way to adjust to a long day of travel then to take in a spa treatment before enjoying dinner in downtown Anchorage. My favorite for dinner is the Glacier BrewHouse in downtown Anchorage just up the street from the Sheraton. They have great food and plenty of fresh Alaskan seafood options.
Day 2, Travel to Girdwood, Alaska. Drive south along the scenic Seward Highway, so make sure you take plenty of stops for pictures and to look for Dall Sheep and Beluga Whales along the way. Once you arrive in Girdwood, a great local lunch place is The Bake Shop. Later take the Alyeska Resort Tram up the mountain to get great views of Turnagain Arm, glaciers and the Chugach Mountain Range. Then check in at beautiful Hotel Alyeska, one of Alaska’s best resorts. One of my favorite hiking trails is walking distance to the hotel – called the Winner Creek Gorge Trail. It’s a beautiful hike into the rain forest and there is even a hand tram over the gorge.
If you are in Girdwood, you must take the time to have dinner at the Doubly Musky Restaurant, my absolute favorite restaurant in Alaska! Then take a relaxing soak in the hot tub or a cool swim in the pool at the Hotel Alyeska before calling it a night.
Day 3, Travel to Seward, Alaska. Continue by car south to Seward. Enjoy another beautiful drive on the Seward Highway, mostly through the Kenai Mountain Range. Upon arrival in Seward stop at Safeway Grocery and get lunch supplies for your next hike. Then drive through Seward past Lowell Point to the Caines Head trail head. Make sure to check the tide levels as this hike travels a good part along the coast of Resurrection Bay. The hike is 8 miles round trip, but can be cut shorter if desired, and is a beautiful way to see the area around Seward. A great hotel in a beautiful setting is the Seward Windsong Lodge. After hiking check into the lodge and enjoy dinner at their Resurrection Roadhouse. Great food in a nice setting.
Day 4, explore Kenai Fjords National Park. After breakfast, take the Seward Windsong Lodge’s shuttle down to the Seward’s Small Boat Harbor then check in with Kenai Fjords Tours for their 10:00am Kenai Fjords Cruise with Kayaking from Fox Island. The trip is eight-and one-half-hours long and is great for wildlife and glacier viewing, mixed with the adventure of doing a kayak trip. Lunch is on board the vessel and dinner is a grilled salmon dinner on shore at Fox Island. Overnight again at the Seward Windsong Lodge.
Day 5, return to Anchorage. Check out of Seward Windsong Lodge and drive back to Anchorage to return the rental car. You’ll need to take a quick taxi ride from the rental car office to the Anchorage Museum to check in with the Park Connection Motorcoach. Be sure to arrive around Noon so you can have lunch and explore the Anchorage Museum before catching the motorcoach for the ride north of Anchorage to Talkeetna. Remember, you can check your bags in with the Park Connection staff and use the complimentary Museum pass to explore the Anchorage Museum. Upon arrival in Talkeetna, check into a Mountain View Room at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge has some of the best views of Mt.McKinley and the Alaska Range, so it is definitely worth it to get a view room at this property.
After settling in take the hotel’s shuttle to downtown Talkeetna to get dinner at Talkeetna’s West Rib Pub & Grill. This quirky Alaskan restaurant has great food and a real Alaskan atmosphere that reflects the personality of the small climbing town of Talkeetna. Then overnight Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.
Coming soon, Part 2 of My Perfect Alaska Tour – Explore Talkeetna and travel onward to Denali National Park