Denali National Park
is a nice little town. The hike at Hardings ice field is a damn good day hike. Reasonably strenuous and we saw a bear and 2 cubs. We had a great lunch at Harbour Dinner Club. Surprisingly, sea food is expensive in Alaska. Expect to pay $20 per head. Another thing to do in Seward is the resurrection Bay Cruise. We went all the up to the Aialik Glacier. Lots of wildlife enroute... bald eagles, puffins, killer whales (we saw about 20!), humpback, lots of other birds, and also sea lions... many :).
The new dock and harbor is much safer than the old, mess of a dock that used to be in place. The drunks that make downtown
so charming are still here, and the locally owned businesses that were able to roll with the changes are still in business and are doing better than ever.
From all I have learned about
, Alaska, it appears to be a great place to visit and possibly live. It has the best of two worlds -- one, it can be reached by road and then it in nestled in a remote part of Alaska. It is the farthest south that an Alaska town can be reached by highway!
itself is a real gem, if only because it has not been ruined by the hordes of suspicious day trippers that the cruise ships disgorge, ruining Juneau, Sitka, and other places. Petersburg retains its isolated, small town feel and is surprisingly Scandinavian, even today.
hotels tend to double in price on June 1; however the off-season before then and after the US Labor Day weekend can be cold and many attractions don't gear up until June. Fun bike paths and moose in town. B&Bs can be a happy medium between the $$$ hotels and some of the less attractive hostels (~$80 in '05), For rest of state, Denali fills up early so plan ahead for that park if you can. Backcountry camping is usually available. If you bus to Denali, the train back is fun. McCarthy/St. Elias is uncrowded; more difficult to get to w/o a car. Small boat day tour to glaciers in Seward is recommended and easy to get too and a night there is fun.
The harbor in
has the feel of a movie set -- it has been ruined by the big cruise ships.
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