• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 2s

Travel Tuesday: Summer sightseeing

By Daybreak Staff 10:22 AM July 1, 2014

Face it: If you live in Alaska, all of your friends and relatives think you are an Alaska expert. Don’t disappoint them.

Here are a few tips for showing visitors the sights this summer.

Day 1. Chances are better-than-even that your guests are arriving late at night, so you can go easy on the first day. Get them up early and take them to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. It’s an awesome setup and your visitors will learn a lot about Alaska’s indigenous people. Plan for 2-3 hours.

Next, take them downtown to the Anchorage Museum and Town Square Park. Remind them that the Museum includes a Smithsonian exhibit on Arctic Studies, as well as a planetarium and a great cafe, Muse. Oh — that’s a great place for lunch!

Take the rest of the day off to get bug dope and sunscreen and decide on one of several itineraries:

Tour A — The Kenai Peninsula:  Start early and take the beautiful drive along Turnagain Arm. Make plans to go on the National Park Tour from Seward with Kenai Fjords Tours or Major Marine. Spend the night. Get up early and have breakfast at the Smoke Shack, aka “The Train Wreck.” It’s awesome. Go see Woody, the giant sea lion at the Alaska Sealife Center. Check out all the exhibits: see puffins, seals, king crab — the works. Then drive over for a scenic float or fishing trip on the upper Kenai River. It’s beautiful. Continue to Homer and spend the night. The next day, have breakfast at Two Sisters. It’s a glorious bakery with the world’s best cinnamon buns. I am not making this up. Catch a ride with Mako’s Water Taxi for a glacier hike across Kachemak Bay. Bring your camera — it’s awesome. Spend another night before driving back to Anchorage. Eat at Fat Olive’s.

Tour B — Denali: Take the Alaska Railroad north from Anchorage to Denali. You’ll get to the park in time to go for a raft trip on the Nenana River. But get to bed early so you can catch the early bus for the 6-hour wilderness tour, which leaves at 6 a.m. You’ll see critters — bear, moose and caribou — and if you’re lucky, Denali will poke her head out of the clouds.

Tour C — Kennicott and Valdez: I call this the Golden Circle route. Get an early start to drive from Anchorage up the Matanuska Valley to Glennallen, then south on the Richardson Highway. Stop at the Copper River Princess for lunch—and to use the free wi-fi! Then, head to the Chitina Airport and catch a ride with Wrangell Mountain Air back to McCarthy. Stay at the Kennicott Glacier Lodge for two nights. You can walk on a glacier, take a history walk through the old mining town of Kennicott and climb up to the old mining sites overlooking the glacial valley. It’s truly spectacular, deep in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Then, fly back to Chitina and drive south to Valdez. Take a Columbia Glacier cruise with Stan Stephens Cruises. Spend the night. Have dinner at the Fat Mermaid. The next morning drive your car on the Alaska Ferry for a trip across Prince William Sound. You’ll end up in Whittier, just 60 miles from Anchorage. Drive through the tunnel. Stop in Girdwood and eat dinner at Chair 5.

You will be famous with your friends, leaving them begging for more awesome adventures, and cement your worldwide reputation as an Alaska travel expert.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Anchorage man hopes to revitalize Ahtna language with new children’s book

    by Heather Hintze on Dec 17, 21:32

    It all starts with a story. “Ndoxe Tiziyaas?” asked Grant Rebne. That’s half of the title of his new children’s book, with the other half translating to English as “Where are you going?” Rebne hopes the book will inspire people to learn and preserve his native language, Ahtna. “Our language shows our culture,” Rebne said. “It’s who […]

  • News

    Alaska Zoo takes in orphaned bear cubs

    by Bonney Bowman on Dec 17, 21:21

    Two orphaned black bear cubs will have a second shot at life thanks to some TLC at the Alaska Zoo. One of the cubs, a 29-pound male, was found living under a porch in Eagle with an infected bite wound. The other, a 15-pound female, is from Kasilof. She was very underweight, according to zoo executives. […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Dec. 17

    by KTVA Weather on Dec 17, 19:34

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Sun starts to peek through towards Homer. Southeast Expect rain towards the south and mostly cloudy skies towards the north. Interior and North Slope In the Interior, skies will be mostly cloudy. On the North Slope, skies will be cloudy with early fog. Mat-Su Valley Sun makes a come […]

  • News

    2 Alaskan women receive Congressional Gold Medal for WWII service

    by Lauren Maxwell on Dec 17, 19:26

    Two Alaskan women share a special honor. Jean White and Jane Soeten were recently awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C. for their volunteer service in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. White is 93 years old and has lived in Anchorage for over 50 years. Soeten, 87, moved to Wasilla two years ago. […]

  • News

    200 baby turtles rescued at Anchorage airport

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 17, 18:24

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized more than 200 live, baby turtles that were being smuggled to China for the food and pet trade in September. As the turtles made their way through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in September, officials discovered them packed inside boots, according to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. As […]

  • News

    Sony cancels Christmas release of ‘The Interview’

    by CNN / AP on Dec 17, 15:59

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should “go to the movies.” Sony said Wednesday it was canceling the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” after many theaters said they would hold off on screening the film. Threats have been made against theaters […]

  • DayBreak

    On the couch with vlogger Cory Williams, Dec. 17

    by Daybreak Staff on Dec 17, 15:04

    Video blogger Cory Williams, better known as DudeLikeHELLA, returned to the original frozen lake that made the “coolest sound ever” when he skipped rocks on it. This time, however, he was welcomed by the scariest sounds ever, he says. “I start walking out and then all of a sudden these crazy noises, like the Loch […]

  • News

    Anchorage police seek help finding 13-year-old runaway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 17, 15:03

    Anchorage police are seeking the public’s help finding a 13-year-old runaway. Kayleas Gray was last seen at her Chugach Way residence Tuesday night. She was reported missing Wednesday morning around 8 a.m., according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. Neither friends nor family have seen or heard from Kayleas since, police say. Kayleas is […]