Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: First time to Alaska!

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default First time to Alaska!

    Wish I would have found this site sooner! We are coming to enjoy the beautiful Alaska on Friday, from Minnesota. I have a couple of questions. Where can I get a rental car cheaper than at the airport in Anchorage? Where are the best, cheapest places to stay? We don't need the ammenities, just a clean bed and shower. We will be traveling from Anchorage to Homer to Seward and back to Anchorage. What are some "out of the way" things to do/see? I would like to try panning for Gold. Not for the gold, but the experience. Where would we go? We have a halibut charter with D & M Charters out of Soldotna. Any news on them? Also have a Kenai Fjords tour booked with Renown Tours. We only have 8 short days. What would you recommend is a "must see"? Thanks in advance for all the info!

  2. #2

    Default

    A lot of people rent RVs... that may be the way to go. Gas is comparable to the lower 48, and it will be cheaper then renting a car and finding a place to stay this late in the game.

    If you want to pan for gold, and and have time. Head up to Independence Mine. Its a state park now (costs $5 to get in) but they give you the pan to pan for gold if you want for free at the visitor's center. They mined 150,000 out of that mine before it was closed. Plus the views are great. Its between Wasilla and Palmer.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Valley
    Posts
    116

    Default Airport fees and taxes

    Find a car rental place not based at the airport and you'll avoid the large airport concession fee (11.11%) that i think they all charge. But i think you'll be stuck with the city and state taxes.


    {Rates do not include 11.11% airport concession fee recovery (when renting from airport location or if Thrifty transports you from the airport), Consolidated Facility Charge $ 4.30 when renting at airport or if Thrifty picks you up at the airport
    Rates do not include 8% Municipality of Anchorage car rental sales tax, 10% State of Alaska Car Rental tax, $2.00 daily vehicle licensing fee, gasoline, extra hours }

    An RV is a good way to go but that'll run about $200 a day. I'd rent a minivan and bring a tent. You can always sleep in the van if it is pouring rain. Also, there are places around where you can get a shower/ do laundry for a fee.

    I think Girdwood has a place that does a gold mine tour and gold panning. And Girdwood is on your route.

    Have a good trip,
    jeff

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Hartford Michigan
    Posts
    440

    Default

    I would put Hope Alaska on the must see list.....I would be there are still 1 or 10,000 pinks still swimming around......and it's a nest town with some great views.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,393

    Default

    Check out Eagle River Car Rental or Denali Rent-A-Car. Someone on here said that Eagle River gave them the best deal on a 3-week rental recently, and you don't have to pay the airport fee with either of them. Not so sure about a shuttle to get there, though.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    summer WI-winter TX
    Posts
    105

    Default

    We used Eagle River Car Rental (907-696-7270) We flew in from MPLS.
    One problem is they do not pick up from airport. There is Eagle River Shuttle that will pick you up. 30.00 I think. (907-338-8888) There is another car rental we used last yr, nothing available when we called this yr for July. A small outfit called Cheapwheels Rent-a-Car.(907-561-8627) Very nice people. www.cheapwheelsrentacar.com I checked many places last yr & this. Most big names are very expensive and at the airport they charge at least 400.00 more then their off airport sights.
    Have fun and you WILL come back again.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    summer WI-winter TX
    Posts
    105

    Default

    The trip from Whittier To Valdez is great. Take the ferry and not the tour boat,much cheaper, and the drive from Valdez back to Anchorage is beautiful. The ferry also has a narrator. Don't forget to check out Ninilchik on your way by to Homer. Salty Dawg in Homer is a must.

  8. #8

    Default Hey, Fellow Minnesotan

    I moved up from Minnesota (they say we are to dumb to move south), anyways here are a few highlights my visitors enjoy...

    Eklutna Lake: hour north of Anchorage, rent a bike or kayak to go around lake, there is a campground there as well

    Bird Creek: if fishing is good also campground there

    Whittier to Valdez to Anchorage via fast ferry, as mentioned is a great trip but plan at least three days for that

    When in Homer: camp on the spit (salty dog is a favorite of some)

    For the absolute cheapest way to stay, sleep in tent or vehicle and pay for showers when needed (a SUV that folds flat in back would be good). This is how we stay on weekend trips. A simple tent and sleeping bags will pay for itself.

    Anyways, enjoy and be very careful driving the seward highway (pull over and let poeple pass if your going to be driving slow)

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    My first trip up here was on my honeymoon, and we were traveling on the cheap. Renting a car and camping is by far the most economical and IMHO the best way to go. Lodging falls into expensive and not so nice, or really expensive and nice.

    Anchorage, Homer, Seward and back is a beuatiful drive. As was mentioend, be careful. There are folks that will stop in the middle of the road to look at the scenary and wildlife, illegal and stupid, and worse yet hot heads passing at 100 mph. Keep your eyes on the road and on oncoming traffic. I've almost been hit several times by folks hell bent on passing whether there is room or not. It's a long drive, so stop frequently, stretch your legs, enjoy the view. I used to always be in a rush to return from somewhere no matter how tired I was. I've finally wised up to the fact that pulling over for a 15-30 minute nap works wonders. You're going to be worn out from fishing and enjoying the state.

    I'd suggest the gold mining concession in Girdwood as previously mentioned. Hope is out of the way and one of those small old time former mining towns. If you have your own pan, you can hike up the Ressurection Pass trail to an area open to panning.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Hartford Michigan
    Posts
    440

    Default

    No one has mentioned the place for Fishermen between Sterling and Soldotna where they showcase some of the um, local talent............and we of course did not go there...................................for more then 3 or 4 hours.

  11. #11
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default When you get here

    Go to Wal-Mart (There's one on Diamond and Old Seward) and pick up a copy of the "Milepost." It has a lot of good information and points of interest.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    summer WI-winter TX
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Being here only 8 days the Mile Post is quite expensive. I would read over the info in this forum. Lots of good advice. This is our 4th trip & still learning. MilePost was good when we drove up from WI. a couple times.

  13. #13
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishergirl View Post
    Being here only 8 days the Mile Post is quite expensive. I would read over the info in this forum. Lots of good advice. This is our 4th trip & still learning. MilePost was good when we drove up from WI. a couple times.
    It's only about $19 or so??

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •