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I'm thinking about taking vacation to Alaska.

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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:14 PM
Original message
I'm thinking about taking vacation to Alaska.
I live in Orlando and have never been there. I want to take my girlfriend. We are most interested in seeing the northern lights and hiking. Does anyone have any information that could be useful. Where is the best place to go and what are some areas of interest that you would recommend? Should we just plan everything ourselves and go on our own or would it be a good idea to find some kind of vacation package from a travel agent?
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. how long can you stay?
what do you like to do/see? Camp? Luxury?

these have bearing on possible answers. Do you like to explore on your own or do you prefer guidance?
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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. A week or two.
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 07:30 PM by Incitatus
I would rather going out on my own and explore, but I am sure there are dangers in that. I don't mind taking little risks, but I want to be smart about it. I'm just interested in whatever natural beauty the state has to offer. Perhaps also some skiing and rafting. Luxury is not a concern. A cabin with a bed would be sufficient.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Anchorage or Fairbanks can be a good base for day trips.
Have you looked on-line for much info? There are several Alaskans on DU - maybe check them out in the state forum or post in GD. I like the Lonely Planet's user forums - called the Thorntree, lots of good practical info for all kinds of travel - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa
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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm just starting to research it.
There are a lot sites online, mostly selling packages. I'm looking for people with experience that could point me in the right direction instead of just picking out a travel agent and trusting them. I'll check out the other forums and the site you referenced. Thank You
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Sannum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Be sure to visit Sarah Palin's porch.
You have a great view of Russia from there ;)
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. alaska
alaska really doesnt have any 'packages' per say
there are fishing trips
go before the end of september, that is the season
the train runs between anchorage and fairbanks and is nice
goes to denali park
there is a tram at the westin hotel, near anchorage
about 20miles south?
good food
hiking all around there


i sent a group up there once on a fishing trip near anchorage,(kenai)
they loved it
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. you might try
sending Denbot a message. He is in Alaska and I know he and his wife really enjoy the types of things you would like to do so I'm sure could give you some helpful pointers. Perhaps steer you in the right direction.

aA
kesha
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I think he is in California or do you mean he is visiting?
There was somebody else here that posted some pix a little while back. Blue in AK is a regular Anchorage poster but I'm not sure that is the exact spelling.
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. You're right. My mistake. He is in CA.. Don't know what I was thinking
:)

sorry.

aA
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. some info on Aurora Borialis
Edited on Tue Jul-21-09 08:58 PM by Kali
and I have to say they are one of the coolest natural phenomenon I have EVER experienced. That comes from both a natural history freak and an old 70's era freak :hippie:
winter is the best time to view and the sun just became active again after a quiet period so things should be getting active again

from http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/ak/a/nlights.htm

Where to See the Northern Lights in Alaska

The Northern Lights can be seen to some extent anywhere above 60 degrees north latitude. At 65 degrees, Fairbanks is within the so-called "aurora oval," the area where Northern Lights occur most often and are brightest. In fact, the Fairbanks Visitors Bureau says you have an 80 percent chance of seeing them if you stay there for three nights.

<snip>

When to See the Northern Lights in Alaska

By the time you get far enough north to see the Northern Lights more reliably, you've entered the area of perpetual twilight from late April through September. Seasonal cloudiness is also worst in August.

What's the best time to see the Northern Lights? September 22 or March 22, on a new moon night, very late at night or early in the morning, a "perfect storm" that may not occur very often nor match your travel plans. These characteristics may help you decide when to make your trip to see the Northern Lights. They are:

* Most frequent around the spring and fall equinoxes (September 22 and March 22)
* Most active late at night or early in the morning
* Most intense from December to March when nights are longer, the sky clearer and darker. This is also the coldest part of the year, reaching as low as -40 F.
* Brighter during the new moon.

<snip>

Viewing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks

Hotels and lodges near Fairbanks offer winter Northern Lights packages, and at most of them you can ask the front desk to call and wake you up if the aurora appears.

**************************

More links:

http://fairbanks-alaska.com/northern-lights-alaska.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/askjack/2003-...

http://www.northern-lights-lodge.com/northernlights.htm <<<=== MN, not AK


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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-21-09 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. It Is My Lifelong Dream To Go There
As a kid, I loved to read about the northwest, Alaska in particular. I read all of Jack London's books. It's expensive, but I hope to get there before it's too late.
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