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Anchorage Alaska: The Start of a Beautiful Vacation

Our trip to Alaska has been one of my favorite vacation trips ever. We knew it was going to be beautiful, but the vivid colors were simply breath-taking. The 360-degree scenic views brought instant energy!

The topic of Alaska came up when we were postponing big trips and paying off some unexpected debt. Alaska was our reward trip and paid for in advance of the journey. Every month, we saved and planned and read books about the history and cultural traditions of Alaska.

This was the trip that turned us into travel planning experts instead of roaming tourists.

Before leaving, John and I agreed to wind down from the rigors of our jobs and live in the moment, experiencing each port fully and giving ourselves the mental freedom to dream again.

Our Alaska vacation was refreshing, inspiring and kind of put things into perspective – especially from the standpoint of triggering us to become more involved in photography, travel writing, and even starting and online journal – which became an addiction to blogging!

Getting Started

Every trip begins somewhere. Day 1 was our flight day to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a long flight day, but we were so happy to start our vacation, that the time passed quickly. When we got to Anchorage, we realized that one large suitcase arrived minus a wheel. This proved to be a challenge until the last day of our travel when John's friend offered a luggage cart which was SO much appreciated on the final legs of the trip.

The Anchorage Airport has displays about the area and some preserved animals. These displays set the mood for a wonderland adventure with a nature connection.

Hotel: Ramada by Wyndham Anchorage 

After collecting our limping luggage, the courtesy shuttle from airport to hotel arrived quickly. I especially enjoyed that the shuttle driver pointed out some of the local attractions and made some restaurant recommendations as we moved through the city center towards the hotel. 

We spent two nights at the Ramada by Wyndham Anchorage. The hotel has been recently updated with spa-style shower and decorator touches in the rooms but maintains a historical feel with the many framed photos from early years of the city. The lobby was cozy with a feature fireplace and plenty of seating.

Our room was on the second level and overlooked a scenic mountain view and an outdoor patio area for guests to enjoy the views. The sun never completely set, so the evening had a soft golden glow that was mesmerizing.

We didn't spend much time in the room but were impressed that they offer free internet connectivity and an in-room refrigerator. We did sample the free breakfast buffet which was standard fare for this type of hotel, but delicious and filling all the same. As mentioned above, we took advantage of the free shuttle service but want to mention the free parking close to the entry for guests with vehicles.  

Restaurant: Slippery Salmon Bar & Grill

We had dinner at the Slippery Salmon Bar & Grill next door to the hotel. John enjoyed a Reindeer Hot Dog for dinner and I had salmon chowder. The atmosphere was casual and most of the patrons were local residents or staying at a nearby hotel while on vacation. 

We visited with another traveler over dinner. She was wrapping up a week of independent solo travel and shared stories of the many locations she had visited. She was eager to tell us about her trip and we had so many questions. This wonderful conversation only caused us to be more excited about the week ahead!

Touring: Alaska Statehood Monument

We took a short walk to stretch after the day of travel. We found this small park and statue on a hill overlooking the train depot. The status honors President Dwight Eisenhower for his role in helping secure statehood status for Alaska as the 49th state. John has a lot of interest in United States history, presidential accomplishments, and military events, so he enjoyed making this quick stop for a few photos.

Day 1: Sweet Endings

Our first day in Alaska reached an end, and we settled into the hotel for the night. We had scheduled for the following day to include a train ride on the Alaska Railroad, a visit to Talkeetna, Alaska, and our much-anticipated flight-seeing excursion over Denali National Park.

 

If You Go to Anchorage Alaska

Dining:

Slippery Salmon Bar & Grill – 115 E 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 334-8410

Hotel:

Ramada by Wyndham Anchorage – 115 E 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501  (907) 272-7561

Things to Do:

The Ramada by Wyndham Anchorage hotel is within walking distance to the 5th Avenue Mall, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, and the Alaska Center for Performing Arts. Along the streets you may discover local attractions such as the Alaska Statehood Monument or the statue of Balto which celebrates the annual 1,161-mile Iditarod race.  Need more ideas? Check out How to Spend 3 Days in Anchorage with Viator tours!

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