I got back from Anchorage, Alaska last week, I went just for fun (and for the miles). I was actually on American’s first flight of the season to Alaska. At the airport they were hardly prepared for our flight, they had someone new who couldn’t even open the planes door and the baggage carousel they directed us to was wrong, so was the app and carousel screen. However, it was a nice flight from Dallas to Anchorage with minimal turbulence.
I booked the flight in March for $411.90 from JFK international airport. It was quite a steal and it got me 8,868 (17,736 with elite bonus). The flight was operated and marketed by American, so I was able to get upgraded to first class, which was worth it despite it being on an old B757.
I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska but the cheap flights always seemed to be in the winter when the weather is terrible. I’ve never seen it for the price I paid though so I instantly booked it and requested my upgrade. Anchorage is nice, its a small town with a big city feel, most of the nearby activities are within a 1-2 hour drive. I rented a car from Hertz, my “brother” works for them and so I paid about $45 for 3 nights, it was a Chevrolet with only 1,890 miles on it. Hertz upgraded me for free at the airport, it was very nice of them. I stayed in Anchorage for a total of 4 nights and 4 days, I didn’t get a rental car on the first day because I landed at around 7pm and the hotel had a shuttle to the airport so I saved some money by just getting the car the next day.
Any who, below is a list of things to do, eat and stay while in Anchorage Alaska and the estimated price of each activity. Images are below.
What To Do:
1. Portage Glacier Tour ($34)
2. Alaska Aviation Museum ($10)
3. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center ($12.50/person)
4. Alaska Wild Berry Products
5. Drive through the scenic Seward Highway
6. Plane spotting near Anchorage International Airport
Where To Eat:
1. Piper’s Restaurant & Lounge $10-15
2. Doriola’s (good for lunch) $10-$15
3. Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Beauty Breweing Company – $15-20
We stayed in a hotel called the Coast International Inn near the airport, it was very inexpensive and had free parking and WiFi. The hotel was clean and had a lodge-cabin feel to it. Even though our room didn’t seem to have working A/C or heating I would definitely stay there again because it is cheap and in a good location – very safe as well and the staff were friendly, especially at check-out when they hand you feedback cards.
The Portage Glacier Tour was expensive but definitely worth it if you’ve never seen a glacier. The tour lasts about 1 hour and is done via a boat. The glacier is smaller than their website makes it out to be. I was disappointed by it but I guess I still got to see a glacier, even for the price tag of $34.
The Alaska Aviation Museum was very neat, especially if you like planes and aviation. Alaska Airlines donated a Boeing 737 to the museum which you can walk around and take pictures of, they also have a cockpit simulator that you can mess with. For $10 you really do learn a lot of aviation history in Alaska through the World Wars and onward.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has a bunch of bison, moose and bears. You pay $12.50 per person (up to a certain amount per car) and you get to drive around the center and visit the different animals they have. Yes, you get to drive around! The center plans to reintroduce a bunch of Bison into the wild in 2015, their efforts are amongst one of the top Bison recovery efforts in the nation. The center has many other animals as well, check out their website for a full list.
Overall, paying $411.90 for a roundtrip ticket to Anchorage, Alaska was worth it. I am glad I went and would definitely go again if I had the opportunity. The weather wasn’t the best, hopefully next time I go I can get a bit more sun and clear skies to enjoy the great outdoors that Alaska is known for.
Until my return to Alaska (one day), I have a trip to Barcelona, Marrakesh, Casablanca and Cairo coming up in the next 2 weeks. I will post those trip reviews as soon as I finish them.
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