Anchorage, Alaska – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Of course there are other ways to arrive if not by air, If arriving by cruise ship at Whittier or Seward then there are good connections to Anchorage, including via the iconic Alaska Railroad. The train station is located on 1st Street which is is walkable from many of downtown hotels. You can just grab a taxi but here it is often best to pre-arrange this option.
The population of the city is a bit over 300, 000 with the main language being English. However, it is possible to still find people who speak some of the native languages. It is -9 hours different in time from the UK. UK nationals who are eligible to travel under the VISA Waiver Program require an ESTA before entering the USA. ESTAs cost $14 and are valid for two years and you should apply at the official U. S. government web site which is: - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta.
If you want to take a look at the overall area then the best viewpoint with good views of the city and Mt McKinley can be had from the summit of Flattop Mountain. This is reached via a 2. 4km hike from the Glen Alps Trailhead. However. do keep an eye out for moose and bears on the trails. Generally, it is recommended that you make some noise as you move about the trails that way the animals can move on before you reach them.
A good guidebooks for the area is Anchorage, Denali & the Kenai Peninsula by Moon Handbooks. The city does has its own web site but I would also recommend the free Alaska App for your phone. The climate controls much of what happens here. The peak tourist season is July to mid-August, this is when temperatures peak but this is also the wettest time. May, June and September are warm but not so busy, while winters, December to March are cold, but you do then have snow activities that are available.
A good tip is that peak season prices usually operate from June to at least Labor Day, which is early September. May and mid/late September are shoulder season and can be good value if you are lucky with the weather. Also. remember that there is a bed tax here of 12% which applies to all hotel prices.
A good top end place to stay is the Historic Anchorage Hotel, it was established in1916, when it was the new city’s central gathering place. It has an excellent location in the heart of downtown with high season doubles starting at $250 plus tax. If you do not this level then the Copper Whale Inn is a comfy and characterful B& B. It is well placed in downtown yet close to the Coastal Trail; plus bikes can be hired from just outside the door. The living room has a large stone fireplace and some of the 15 bedrooms have lovely views across the Cook Inlet to the Alaska Range. High season doubles start from $200 plus tax. At the budget end of the market, the Arctic Adventure Hostel is fantastic value for the city, a bed in a shared dorm costs $30 plus tax and a private room that sleeps two is $60 plus tax. If you don’t have a hire car, you can easily take the buses to downtown.
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