Below we have listed our day-to-day schedule of some awesome activities. We have tried to give an indication of the price where known. Of course, participation in these activities is optional, but we'd love to see you and play tour guides! We've also added a list of additional activities to choose from while you're in Alaska. We would really appreciate it if you let us know for which parts of the schedule you would like to join so we can make sure everyone fits!
We suggest teaming up for rental of a house / RV / car or the like for more affordable accommodation and traveling. Camping is a good alternative to keep the cost low as well, but keep in mind many Alaskans love camping too so be sure to reserve a spot ahead of time or plan to stay at a site without amenities.
Schedule (subject to change)
Monday July 27th - Zoo, Flattop & dinner Day
Today we are taking it 'easy' by staying in the Anchorage area. We will start off with a visit to the Alaska Zoo. This is a great opportunity to see some of the animals you might see in the wild in Alaska (moose, bears, bobcats) up close, as well as see some of the animals you must likely will not see (musk oxen [Joost's favorite], polar bears, wolves [Kelsey's favorite]). This should be a fun activity for everyone (including young children) so we expect to go with a large group of family and friends. We meet at 9 AM in the parking lot in front of the zoo!
Driving directions to the zoo [link]: On the Seward Highway (Hwy 1), take the O'Malley exit. Turn towards the mountains, stay on this road until you see the zoo on your left.
In the afternoon, you could choose to do the moderately strenuous hike to Flattop, one of the mountains overlooking Anchorage. It is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) round trip, but is an out-and-back hike, not a loop. 1300 ft (400 m) elevation gain. More details here. The hike starts at the Glen Alps trailhead, which also has a nice viewpoint for those not interested in the full hike. We may or may not be able to go ourselves due to barbecue preparations, but feel free to ask us about it.
Driving directions to the Glen Alps trailhead [link]: On the Seward Highway (Hwy 1), take the O'Malley exit. Turn towards the mountains, and follow the road until turning right onto Hillside Drive. Turn left onto Upper Huffman Rd, then follow Toilsome Hill Dr and Glen Alps Rd to the trailhead.
In the evening at 5 PM all of our wedding guests are invited to a barbecue / dinner hosted by the Burlingames. A great opportunity to meet your soon-to-be relatives and our very best friends. Address: 14195 Old Rabbit Cr Rd, Anchorage at the southern end of town. From Highway 1, take the Old Seward Highway exit toward Rabbit Creek Road, and keep driving up until the left turn to Old Rabbit Creek Road.
Hike - approx. 1000 kilocalories.
Alaska Zoo - Adults $15, Children 2-17 $7, <2 $0.
Tuesday July 28th - Rafting Day
Please check here if we got you signed up!
On this day we will be rafting the Kenai River, located on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage. Rafts will launch at Cooper Landing, where we will meet. Stay tuned for the departure time. Depending on interest in this activity, we may have two separate launch times.
We have spotted bears swimming across the river before (see picture), and you might also see the salmon swimming under you. Chances are you will encounter many (fly)fishermen as well, trying to catch the famous Alaskan salmon.
If you are going rafting with us, be prepared to get wet. You will get splashed occasionally. Water shoes / waders are a good idea. A (floating) dry-bag is recommended for sensitive equipment such as cameras, we will bring a few bags but you might want to bring your own if you have one. Also, come prepared for rain and mosquitoes.
Drive time to/from Anchorage is approximately 2 hours, from Girdwood this is half an hour less.
Cost indication: With many thanks to David (Kelsey's dad), this activity is provided at no cost to you! Bring snacks to share :-)
Wednesday July 29th - Whale watching and Seward Day!
Please check here if we got you signed up!
Today we are going whale watching, a must on your Alaska trip! Humpback whales, killer whales and grey whales congregate in summer in the chilly Alaskan waters to enjoy the krill blooming in it the nutrient-rich waters and the fish that attracts. The boat will also take us through the fjords where you can see the glaciers calving and have the possibility of seeing bears. Otters, sea lions and puffins guaranteed!
We will take the 6-hour long 11:30 AM trip with Kenai Fjords, lunch is included. The trip departs from Seward. Please let us know you want to join ahead of time! We are making a deal with the company so we can get a discounted group rate, but for the best deal we need an accurate head count. They recommend arriving an hour in advance, you can be sure to find us at the bakery at the harbor during that time!
After returning from this trip around 5:30 PM, you can visit Seward (that should not take long, haha!) and nearby Exit Glacier. If you are driving back north after this, keep an eye out for the beautiful Summit Lake area. Kelsey recommends the pie at Summit Lake Lodge.
Cost indication: Whale watching - $130 adults, $65 children age 2-11
Thursday July 30th - Pre-wedding Day
On Thursday, we will go to Talkeetna and stay at the lodge. We will take our time, enjoying the fun 3 hour drive. In the evening we will have a private dinner with our parents and siblings.
Traveling to Talkeetna can be done by train or by vehicle. A 40 minute one-way drive north from the Talkeetna 'exit' is the Denali Viewpoint South, which has - as the name suggests - great views of Mount McKinley and the rest of the Alaska range on clear days. Be on the look-out for bears and moose!
Cost indication: Half a tank of gasoline.
Friday July 31st - Wedding Day
This is the day we are getting married! We will be tied up most of the day doing wedding stuff and will see you all in the afternoon at the ceremony. Then prepare to party!
Cost indication: $0.
Saturday August 1st - TBA