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Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> Alaska
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Heading for Alaska summer 2013
Posted January 8th, 2013 - 11:16 pm by from Gothenburg, Sweden (Permalink)
Hello couchsurfers
I'm pretty new to this. Brand new, actually, because I haven't tried CS yet or been to a CS event or anything of the sort. But I like the idea and I hope I find what I am searching for here. Friends from around the globe.

Anyway, I'm going to alaska this summer and I don't know how to plan this trip. I'm from sweden so I'm going a long way from home. There so much I want to do and see when I am there. I would love to explore the state as much as possible but I think I have to choose a city in alaska to focus on experiencing. I have two months, give or take a few days depending on my expenses, so I would like suggestions for what I should see and do when I am there. And where should I go?

I'm into nature and wildlife and that is the main reason of this trip. I am obsessed with orcas and denali national park feels like a place I just have to visit when I am there. I also like what I have read about ketchikan, sitka and homer but at this point I think I would be happy just to be within the state borders because I have wanted to go to alaska for so many years.

So suggestions, advice etc would really help me a lot! I would be so grateful if someone familiar with the areas I mentioned could give their opinion on this. Where should I go?

Posted January 28th, 2013 - 10:05 pm from Anchorage, United States
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Posted February 1st, 2013 - 1:52 pm from Hamburg, South Africa
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Posted February 3rd, 2013 - 9:59 pm by from Anchorage, United States (Permalink)

Micaela has some really good ideas and makes some good points. You are not really going to want to focus on a city if you are going to be here for two months (our cities/towns really just are not large enough), though you might use one or two as a main base. Since the two previous posters already recommended the places I would, I am only going to touch on a couple more things, than focus on travel logistics.

Southcentral and Southeast Alaska are probably your best bets if you are looking to see marine wildlife. The Aleutians are also good for that, but much more difficult to get in and out of.

Anchorage has a fair amount of activites (Claudia mentioned the Anchorage Museum, which is great, but I would also add to that the Alaska Native Museum http://www.alaskanative.net/ ). Hiking the coastal trail, checking out Earthquake Park (gives you an idea of what happened during the quake of '64), and Kincaid Park (old military base during WW2) are all great walking spots.

Travel logistics: Everything is spread out up here. Girdwood is a 45 minute drive from Anchorage, and is the closest town as you head down Southcentral Alaska. Seward is a couple of hours away, while Homer is four or five. If you are heading north towards Fairbanks, the drive is about eight hours. Of course, that is if you have a car that you are renting.

A car is great, for it gives you a lot of freedom to get around. Petrol cost right now is about $3.45 a gallon and up. The price will increase the further away from Anchorage you get, so that is something you would need to take into consideration. If renting a car and planning on doing long drives, make sure you have gear with you (blanket/sleeping bag, fire starter, car jack, food, mobile). There are tours out there (not necessarily recommending them) that can give you an idea of good spots to go that are reachable by car: http://www.alaskatours.com/driving/index.html

You can take a train to a variety of locations, which is slower, but lets you really enjoy the scenery. http://www.alaskarailroad.com/Default.aspx The bad thing about the trains is that they are really rather limited on where they go.

Ferries are also fun (and sometimes one of the two available options for getting around). http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/
Ferries are mainly used in the Southeast (also known as the Panhandle). You can also take day trips to view wildlife and glaciers from a variety of towns. http://www.alaskacruises.com/

Your other option for getting around Alaska is flying. In-state flying will be done on small jets or smaller planes, depending on destination. Alaska Airlines, Era, PenAir, and I think BlueJet (this last is not a usual airline, but I think they are coming up for the summer) will sometimes do some good deals and are worth looking into. Be aware that flying in Alaska can be an adventure, especially in the islands. Winds and fog can cause delays. Be flexible and have fun. :)

Alaska is gorgeous and the people can be incredibly interesting. :) I hope you enjoy your time up here. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Posted March 6th, 2013 - 2:30 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)

I've noticed that there's not a lot of activity or responses in the Alaska group, so I hope you guys don't mind that I ask another question thru this thread... it is related with Summer 2013 tho! :D

I've been fascinated with images from Alaska for years now and so I've decided that I'll head to work there for the summer.

I think that the best place will probably be Anchorage but I'm open for suggestions. I've heard that tourism explodes over there during the summer and that it's quite feasible to get a job, I'm open to serving, tour guiding, or anything cool and semi-well paid.

Can any of you give me tips on how to get job there for the summer from California??

Hope you guys keep enjoying life in your bad ass state!


Posted March 6th, 2013 - 2:36 am from Fairbanks, United States
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Posted March 6th, 2013 - 6:26 am by from Anchorage, United States (Permalink)

You have a variety of options; it depends on what you are willing to do. The best paying jobs in the summer involve tourism, fishing, and canning. Since Anchorage is the big city of Alaska, there are a greater variety of jobs, though mostly in tourism. If you are willing to work out of the smaller towns or villages, the fishing industry has a wider selection, though there are also tourism options. Whittier, Seward, Fairbanks (Denali National Park), and North Pole are options. Construction is also big. It really depends on what you are looking for when you are thinking of working up here.

Some places to look (they should let you know what you need to do as well):

Important information: http://www.labor.state.ak.us/esd_alaska_jobs/ak_over.htm

Good luck.

Posted June 28th, 2013 - 7:04 am from Austin, United States
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