Q: Peter, My wife and I will be flying to Anchorage, Alaska, this fall. Do you have some suggestions as to what we might do or see while we are there? I know it is the off-season, but anything you might suggest would be helpful.
—John Badzinski, Coon Rapids, Minn.
A: It is almost better that you planned your trip during the off-season, John, since this will cut down on the tourist crowds as well as prices. But traveling during the off-season also means that it can be harder to sightsee, so call or book your tours ahead of time to ensure a great vacation.
ShoreTrips.com or Viator.com are both good options for online booking.
Alaska is often associated with outdoor activities, so why not take advantage of this? One great option that gives the most bang for your buck is called the Grand Highlights and Glacier Cruise Plus Tour. Priced at $119 per person, this includes a full day of activities and sightseeing. The day starts with a scenic drive along Seward Highway to Seward’s Begich, Boggs Visitor Center, where you can explore exhibits on how glaciers are formed. After a tour of the Visitors Center, you’ll get an up-close view of the Portage Glacier from the decks of a cruise ship. Then, the tour stops at the Alyeska Ski Resort, with an optional lunch and a tram ride to the top of Mount Alyeska. The package wraps up with a tour of Anchorage and a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, well known for its life-size recreations of the villages of Alaska’s indigenous population.
Another good site for planning is Alaska.org. It has information on popular Anchorage attractions, such as the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the Musk Ox Farm and even a salmon viewing at the Elmendorf State Hatchery — just to name a few. The great thing about this site is that it’s very organized, giving the hours of operation and the cost and directions for each attraction.
Whatever attractions you plan to see, just keep in mind some places are open only seasonally. But with a little research, I am sure you will be able to customize an ideal Anchorage vacation.