Ever since I first had a taste of traveling, I’ve had wanderlust. My parents and I have been lucky enough to explore many states on vacations; this summer I had the privilege to discover the majestic sights in Alaska.
We stayed in Dimond Center Hotel in Anchorage our first night. This hotel was fantastic. The rooms were large with (my favorite part) a deep, big bathtub. The Dimond Center Hotel provides a complimentary delicious breakfast and computers for guests to use in the lobby. We returned to this same hotel on our last night in Alaska because we were so pleased with the amenities.
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The two hour drive from Anchorage to Seward was more enjoyable due to plenty of stops for wildlife sightings, scenic views and hiking trails. We stayed just outside of Seward in a vacation rental house called A Home Away From Home Lodging. We were pleasantly surprised by how well stocked and clean the home was; it truly felt like home. I would highly recommend staying in here because it is in a quiet neighborhood, and only a 5-10 minute drive into the town of Seward.
On our first day in Seward we took a fairly easy hike to the bottom of nearby Exit Glacier. Walking right up next to the glacier was breathtaking and it was interesting to learn about and see up close what a blue ice glacier looks like.
We were fortunate enough to take a boat tour with Kenai Fjords tours, which is located right in Seward’s marina. Our tour guide and his delightful crew made the trip fun and eventful. We saw orca whales breaching, humpback whales, and porpoises swimming right alongside the bow of the boat, sea otters, sea lions, puffins, mountain goats and a bear. This trip was definitely a highlight of the vacation. We even got to see a glacier calving and were impressed by the force of a glacier.
Although it would be hard to pick a favorite part of this trip, the activity that impressed me the most was taking my first helicopter ride with Seward Helicopter Tours. After only being up in the air for about five minutes, my dad spotted a black bear and our pilot took us in closer to get a better look and to get some pictures. We also saw mountain goats and got pretty close to them too. The pilot landed us on an island near Bear Glacier where we got to take lots of amazing pictures and marvel at the tranquility of Alaska.
While my dad went fishing with Aurora Fishing Charters and caught a 90 pound halibut, my mom and I went to take a dog sled tour with Seavey’s Ididaride. We decided to do the summer dog sled ride where the dogs pull a cart on a trail in the woods. It was better than I was expecting! Our tour guide, Spencer, was very knowledgeable about dog sledding and answered all of our questions. We also got to pet husky puppies and I fell in love with them.
I feel very blessed to be able to travel to such a stunning place and go on such exciting excursions. My only tips for taking a similar trip would be to know ahead of time that prices in Alaska are higher than in the lower 48. Also, the mosquitoes get very bad near the end of summer and were already starting to come out in June, so bring lots of bug spray. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience!
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