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What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

Cardiff, United...
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What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

We're hoping to visit Alaska for 2-3 weeks in mid to late August 2012. Having trawled through hundreds of articles and reviews on this site, there seem to be more 'unmissable' activities than we could ever fit in (or afford). Although we're not on a tight budget, and are willing to pay for a few amazing experiences, we don't have unlimited funds so want to make sure select the best ways to spend the money.

So, what are the top places to visit and things to do? Thanks for all your ideas!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

What are your interests? For example, I might suggest fishing, and you may hate fish or fishing. Or suggest flight seeing and you might not enjoy flying. :)

For me - I would not miss Denali park or time at the ocean . . . Seward and/or Homer. I would not miss a small boat cruise, such as those in Kenai Fjords National Park out of Seward. If I had the funds, I would like to go either bear viewing or fly into a bush community or park that isn't accessible by the road system. If I had 3 weeks, I would go two full weeks on the main area of the state, and then spend a week in the southeast. All depends on what you would like to see and do. :)

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

What kind of budget? It is pretty hard to go somewhere today and not spend a lot of money, especially two to three weeks. When son relocated to Alaska about two years ago he was on a tight budget, and that I believe included sleeping in his car. I don't think that is the way you want to go.

As for top places to visit that, of course, would be Denali.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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3. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

Welcome to the forum. Where in Alaska are you planning on going for 2-3 weeks? I find the boat tours and Denali NP are extremely high on my list of "must do's" when I am in Alaska. Boat tours = wildlife and scenery ops. Denali = wildlife, scenery and hiking ops. Denali is very inexpensive, especially if you stay inside the park at say Teklanika Campground. It costs you +-$20/night for the campsite and +-$40 for the entire duration of your trip for travel within the park. Even if you stay outside the park, the bus costs +-$40/day into the park and if you book three days in a row you get your third day free.

Also quite high on my list of things to do is flightseeing. I don't always get to do it every trip, but when I can and the price is right, I will take a flightseeing tour.

Cardiff, United...
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4. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

Thanks to everyone for their replies. We're in the first stages of planning at the moment so not definite on where we want to go- everything I read gives me more ideas! Initial ideas are currently to head to Seward, Denali and Fairbanks but these are not set in stone...if other places sound more exciting they'll be added to the list!

We both love the outdoors, but due to health issues I can't guarrantteeI'd be fit to hike for miles and miles- but we do love to get out and do things. We like to get to know a place so holidays tend to be quite varied...the only thing I don't like is flying in small planes so unfortunately flightseeing is out.

Budget wise- travel and accomodation won't be a problem- it's budgeting for the extras. I've noticed a lot of day trips and tours cost a $150-$300 each so we'd want to priorities a few of these things as- as much as I'd love to- we can't afford to do all these things.

Thanks again for all your ideas!

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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5. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

Check the Top Questions about Alaska on the top right corner of the forum and look for the coupon books. Many of your $15-$300 excursions and tours can be cut in half using such coupon books.

Personally, I keep my lodging and food costs down in order to do as many excursions as possible. The day trips are the key to really seeing what Alaska has to offer.

Edited: 29 November 2011, 14:11
Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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6. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

For me:

Denali

- a shuttle bus (combined with self-drive to Savage River morning & evening)... more time in park = more chances of seeing wildlife (& Denali)

Portage Lake/Glacier area (can be done in a few hours while travelling from ANC to Kenai area - also good if mobility is limited)

- Begich-Boggs Visitor Ctr

- a walk into Byron Glacier (this is an easy well kept trail.. more of a nice walk than a hike) and during a sunny day on this trail you'll encounter almost everything AK has to offer in scenery (mountains, creeks, green, blue sky, snow, glacier, etc.)

- AK Wildlife Conservation Ctr

- in season, spawning salmon at the Williwaw Campground

Good luck,

Scott

7. Re: What are the unmissables (on a bit of a budget)?

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