Ok. Here's where I went:ThursdayThunderbird Falls
Not worth making a trip for this, but if it happens to be on the way to somewhere, as it was for me, then well worth it.Talkkeetna Air Taxi
- Plane ride into the mountains with glacier landing. - http://www.talkeetnaair.com/
Very expensive, though the memories / experience will last a lifetime. If you can figure it into your budget, do it. Of all the private flights to the mountains with glacier landings, this one is the most affordable.FridayHatcher Pass - http://www.alaska.org/detail/hatcher-pass
Absolutely awesome! maybe the best thing I did in Alaska.
It's free.Raindeer Farm in Palmerhttp://www.reindeerfarm.com/Pages/default.aspx
Great fun for the kids.
Genuinely unique to Alaska
Total cost was about $45Shabbos
Shabbos at the Residence Inn (Marriott)
next door to the Chabad House.
They have a 2 bedroom room, with a "full" kitchen.
May be pricey.
Paid for Shabbos lunch at the Chabad House. Considered it Tzedaka. Was well worth getting fed and not having to make my own meal.SundayBeluga Pointhttp://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=viewinglocations.belugapoint
Great to climb the rocks and hope to see beluga whales, and depending on the time of month, a bore tide.
Great place to watch fishermen do their thing
If you can or want to, i believe you can rent fishing equipment and join the fun.
Hike up Mount Alyeskahttp://www.alyeskaresort.com/events-activities/summer-hiking-trekking.aspx
For adults and children, who can make it up the 2.5 mile hike, with 2,300 ft elevation.
For those who cannot make it, there is a cable car that takes you to the top.
The cable car cost money to go up, free on the way down.
Warning! you may encounter a bear. make sure you have either, bear spray, a gun, or someone accompanying you who has bear spray or a gun.
Approximate cost is $45.
Drive down the Seward Higway to Seward. One of the most scenic rides you will ever do.Monday
Wildlife Boat Cruisehttps://www.majormarine.com/kf/kenai-fjords-halfday-wildlife-cruise/
MAKE SURE YOU TAKE YOUR DRAMAMINE BEFORE GETTING ON THIS BOAT.
Wildlife varies. We saW seals and whales up close. Bald eagles, porpoises and mountain goats from a distance.
Seavey's Dog Sledhttp://www.ididaride.com/
Great fun for the kids and genuinely something you will only do in Alaska.
Yes. SF, will tell you that there are better. But if you do not want to spend the whole day in the car driving, and / or your 5 year is not up for a crazy hike, this will do just fine. We were able to go to the bottom of the glacier and climb on the ice. Graet hike.
Not worth it to hike to the top of the mountain to see the glacier from a distance. Hike to the "toe" and feel and climb on the glacier from the bottom up.
This company has lots of negative reviews online and they may be deserved. They had a groupon running and I took advantage of it.
If you are an experienced fisherman and are looking to catch a ton of fish, this may not be the charter you should choose. But if you have no experience fishing and just want to have a good time, and maybe catch a few fish, this is a great choice. The crew was excellent with my kids. We caught 7 fish, sent 5 back and kept the two salmon.
Drove slowly back to Anchorage to catch out evening flight. Stopped at some lakes / small hikes, that we missed on the way down.
Stopped at portage lake for lunch. Happened to be, there were a few SMALL icebergs floating around.
Me personally, I would not waste my time and money on the portage glacier cruise. It's proibably very similar to going on the Maid of The Mist. You go out there, take a few pictures and come back. <Much better idea, if you can, is to rent a kayak and / or stand up paddle-board and go out to the glacier yourself. That's a whole day activity in itself.
Free, unless you rent the board / kayak.
A drive to Whittier, through the one way tunnel is a awesome drive, so I was told by the locals, but did not have time.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centerhttp://www.alaskawildlife.org/
Great fun for the kids and if you have not yet seen a moose or a bear, you will see one here.
$35 max per car.A few things to note:
Alaska is expensive. I had free airfare, but paid for rental car, hotels, food and entertainment.
My guess, is that for one week, you need to budget $3,500 for the 1st person and then $500 for each additional person. This doe NOT include airfare.
There are few national chain hotels outside of Anchorage. Don't expect to be able to get hotels with points. Joe's Cabins does not take points.
Use public restrooms when you find them. Most parks have outhouses. Ok for the boys. Not much fun for the girls. When you find a real bathroom, use it!
Fill up with gas, whenever you can. Gas is expensive in Alsaka and not always readily available. There will be multiple stretches of 40, 50 or even 90 miles, where you will not find gas.
I prepared lots of meat and chicken in advance. Made hamburger patties, bought think sliced chicken breasts, cold cuts and steaks. Marinated the meat and chicken, made the hamburger patties in advance, vacuum packed them in meal portions.
Here's the vacuum that I bought. worked just fine. http://www.walmart.com/ip/FoodSaver-FreshSaver-Handheld-Vacuum-System/15777783
Here is the grill that I used:http://www.amazon.com/Fuego-Element-Portable-Gas-Grill/dp/B004PZN2SS
I bought it on woot for $58. If you can have it shipped directly to Alaska, that's probably a good idea.
Any cooler can be used to transport your fish back to the mainland. Alternatively, every supermarket in Alaska sells cardboard boxes with Styrofoam inserts which fit perfectly with airplane luggage regulations.
There's no perfect time to go to Alaska, each month seems to have it's pro's and cons. I went in August, just returned. My guess is that July is best. by the time I got there, the berries had all been picked, the salmon had already done their upstream swimming, which means that the bears were not readily available.
I loved the long days, Shabbos was a challenge, though the Chabad House starts Shachris at 10:30, followed by a kiddush and then mincha, which goes on until about 3PM. Shabbos ended at 11:30, the week I was there. In July, you might find it ending at 1am.