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  • khdeutmeyer

Finally...Back to Alaska !

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

We had he opportunity to return to Alaska for a week in Anchorage and the surrounding area. It was fall, late September, and the leaves were turning and it was a quiet time to visit.

The beauty of Seward from a Kenai Fjords boat tour.

We flew into Anchorage and stayed a week touring some of our favorite locations in the vicinity. We did several day trips including a trip to Seward, Whittier, Alyeska Resort, and Wasilla. We stayed at the Hilton in downtown Anchorage, which is very centrally located and is close to restaurants, shopping and sightseeing.


During our day trip to Seward we did the Kenai Fjords boat tour and were fortunate enough to see a a whale breaching!! It seems surreal when you see a whale breaching in Alaska with the mountains as the backdrop!


We have done all of our day trip destinations in previous trips but for some reason, every time you go, it looks different and just as beautiful if not more beautiful! This time on our way to Seward, we stopped at the Exit Glacier. It is one of the most visited glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park. You can drive to the parking lot near the glacier, park for free, and walk the trails to the glacier. This glacier has been receding over the years and there are

Exit Glacier

dates along the route making it visible as to where the glacier was in years past. The hike is fairly easy and is about 2 miles long to the glacier. There are other trails for those more experienced hikers but I prefer the easier route! You will see people of all ages hiking the trails and there are photo ops along the way. I would definitely recommend the trip to see Exit Glacier! The drive from Anchorage is about three hours on the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm waterway. It is one of the most scenic drives in Alaska with mountains on both sides and at different times of the day the Alaska Railroad will pass by and you may even spot Beluga whales in the fall months.


We found our way back to Powerline Pass but didn't have near the success seeing moose as we did back in 2008. The area had become more civilized and a regular hiking location and a park. It no longer was a remote wilderness. We only saw a couple of moose, nothing like before, and we were somewhat disappointed. There is a beautiful view of Anchorage from the mountain side of Powerline Pass. On a clear day, the view and fall colors are amazing.

To see more moose, we visited Kincaid Park at dusk and it didn't disappoint, we saw moose upon moose upon moose! Many of the photos below are moose at Kincaid Park. We also visited Earthquake Park and had luck seeing a moose with two calves. Seeing moose at Earthquake Park can be a rare event but at dusk it is worth the trip to try and spot them. We have had luck seeing moose in the neighborhoods among the houses near the park. The moose seem to wonder the street and the yards!


On the way to Whittier, we stopped at the Portage Glacier. It can be seen from the road and the glacier sits in the mountains on the edge of a lake. There are trails and paths to hike near the glacier and a cruise on the lake in the summer months. We have not taken the cruise on the lake since the glacier is easy to see from the parking lot and the trails but on a clear day, I am sure it is beautiful.


The photos below are from Kincaid Park with the moose; our travels north and south of Anchorage with the mountains; the eagles, sea lions, and mountain goats are from the cruise from Seward; the Alaska skyline is from Earthquake Park; and the view from the mountain tops looking down is from Powerline Pass.

Unfortunately, I do not have a written itinerary for this trip to Alaska. We stayed at the same Hilton in Anchorage for the entire 7 nights and used that as our base for day trips. We rented a vehicle from the Anchorage airport and were able to use our cell phones to navigate the trip. We have come along way since our trips in 2006 and 2008 where cell service was very intermittent back then! Future Alaska trips and posts will have the itineraries with lodging information and tour information for reference.


TIPS TO TRAVEL ECONOMICALLY AND GET THE MOST FOR YOUR TIME AND MONEY


I also get asked many times, "How do you travel so often and keep it affordable?" A few tips are below:

  • For me, planning and researching is part of the excitement of the trip! Visioning is so much fun!!!

  • I plan all of my own trips and research, research, research on the internet. I utilize TripAdvisor, Frommer's, and blogs from other travelers to find the information I need hefor my trip. I do ALOT of reading and researching. It takes patience to plan a good aff+ordable trip!

  • I have a budget in mind for each trip and challenge myself to stay in the budget. Depending on the location, I typically start planning and booking hotels, cars, etc., approximately 9 months out. Hotel prices usually get more expensive the closer to the trip unless you are willing to do a last minute internet deal. Car rental and airline prices also go up the closer it is to your trip. Occasionally you can get a last minute deal but something else may be more expensive and you are really not saving. I like to plan!

  • For hotels, I use Booking.com, or Priceline.com. I look for hotels with good reviews, pay when you stay, and free cancellation in advance.

  • We have done all-inclusive in a couple of tropical locations years and years ago but found that we do not eat and drink enough to make it worth the extra expense. We like to go off site from the hotel and experience the local cuisine and traditions. We have not done all-inclusive in the last 15 years. However, all-inclusive is wonderful if you want to stay at the resort for all meals, not rent a car, and have the hotel shuttle you to your destinations. That has worked for us in Jamaica and it was very relaxing! But I would not drive in Jamaica so all-inclusive was the smartest option! If you enjoy all-in

  • clusive, the earlier you book the trip the lower the price. Unless you are game and are not a planner, and are willing to travel where the last minute deal is advertised. Then you could get a great all-inclusive deal!

  • If we are flying, I use the Skyscanner app to check airfare prices and I try not to buy until about 60 to 75 days out. There are times where I will by earlier if the price is super reasonable. I usually do not book on Skyscanner. It will tell me the site that is the most affordable to purchase the tickets and if it is a more well known trust site, I go directly to the site to purchase the tickets. Many times Skyscanner will take you right to the airline website. Skyscanner will search all airlines and will sort by price, times, shortest trip, etc.

  • Have a credit card that gives you miles or hotel points. We will use points for many of our trips. We are American Advantage members and have an Advantage credit card. We try to fly American as often as we can to earn points and then use those points for future airline tickets. Our credit card is tied to our Advantage numbers and awards points as well.

  • We drive if the location is in the United States and we can drive and sightsee along the way. If we need to rent a car, we reserve online using Booking.com, Orbitz.com, or Priceline.com. They are usually the most reasonable. I watch for specials and never book a luxury vehicle! We also have a credit card with a low limit that we use for vehicle rentals that provides insurance as a credit card benefit. We always decline the insurance when we are in the United States. If we are traveling out of the United States, we check with the credit card if the insurance is valid internationally. We have found it is valid in Europe, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, but in other locations, we are forced to purchase the liability insurance from the rental car company.

  • While there are free maps online for most destinations, I always go onto Amazon and buy a map of my destination, especially if it is international. I do not buy maps for tropical Caribbean islands. I just get one when we arrive. But for countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, England, Canada, Germany, France, etc., I always purchase a good map. As you do you research, you can use the map to highlight the places you want to visit and the sites you want to see. I have it as a reference later for putting my memories and photos into a photobook!

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