After a relaxing day at sea, we disembarked the cruise portion of our adventure in port in Seward. We took a train to Anchorage and explored there for the rest of the day.
Visiting Vancouver & A 49th State Alaska Adventure
- Vancouver: Rosewood Hotel Georgia
- Vancouver: Excursions & Dining, including Grand City Tour, Salmon Hatchery, Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Alaska: Holland America Line and the Noordam Ship
- Alaska: Ketchikan Excursions & Dining
- Alaska: Juneau Excursions & Dining
- Alaska: Skagway Excursions & Dining
- Alaska: Glacier Bay Experience
- Alaska: Anchorage Glass Dome Train, Accommodations, Excursions & Dining
- Alaska: Denali McKinley Explorer, Accommodations, Excursions & Dining
- Alaska: Fairbanks Accommodations, Excursions & Dining
The McKinley Explorer: Seward to Anchorage
The cruise group headed from the ship to Denali were all escorted off the ship together just after 6AM. We were to take a wonderful glass dome train, the McKinley Explorer, from the port of Seward to Anchorage.
We dressed for a comfortable day of travel and all giddy with excitement as we boarded the train and saw how we’d be traveling!
Since we did not wake up early enough for breakfast on the ship – although that was an option – we were ravenous. Our first order of business was breakfast! John and I both particularly liked the bagel with salmon spread. Snacks, beverages and cocktails were available throughout the ride.
The train ride was about five hours long and a guide narrated parts along the way. She explained towns, traditions and the Alaskan way of life and we were all fascinated. She also pointed out wildlife and natural points of interest – glaciers, mud flats, bridges, forests, etc – throughout the beautiful journey.
Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria
We arrived in Anchorage with a couple of hours to spare before our rooms would be ready. They had a very well run operation of storing bags for guests during the wait, which we greatly appreciated. I had done a little research and we decided to head to Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria for lunch. It is about 11 miles from the convention center and hotels so we took taxis. Let me tell you – well worth it! In fact, when we were picked up the driver seemed surprised at where we were headed and said it was the best place to eat in Anchorage! We had a delicious meal and were SO glad that we went. I’d highly recommend it if you find yourself in Anchorage.
Anchorage Westmark Hotel
Holland America Line owns the hotel where were stayed in Anchorage. To set realistic expectations, it was fine but a bit of a let down coming off of the cruise. I’d liken it in quality to a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn. (I think the pictures make it look nicer than it is.) We were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived and we decided to all take a little nap before dinner. Our room smelled terrible – maybe a mix of old smoke and mildew – and the bathroom had cracks in the floor and a gap between the shower head and wall. When I woke up with an awful headache, which is unusual, I was pretty put out by the whole thing. I happened to go in my parent’s room and it was completely different from ours – no smell, new carpets, much brighter. So, I checked Sisters and hers was too. We requested to be moved, which they accommodated without issue. (pic below of our new room)
Anchorage Trolley Tour
We regrouped after our naps to see the city via the Anchorage Trolley Tour. It departs frequently from the Visitor Center, which is just darling! I should note that the flowers in Alaska – everywhere in Alaska – are absolutely gorgeous. The climate and 20+ hours of daylight in the summer are a gardeners dream! We marveled at them every place we went.
We hopped aboard the red trolley for our one hour tour. It as a wonderful, relatively inexpensive way to see Anchorage. We passed through historic neighborhoods, learned about Anchorage’s residents and life in the city, saw Lake Hood and Lake Spenard, drove through Earthquake Park and more. I’d definitely recommend it!
Read more about Anchorage City Tour 2019 – https://travelagents.viator.com/tours/Anchorage/Anchorage-City-Tour/d4152-7146P1?mcid=56757
After the trolley tour we went back to the hotel for a bit. My parents decided to just eat there and hit the hay. Honey and Sister’s Mister chose Glacier Brewhouse for our dinner. It right across the street from the Westmark and was very good. The beer cheese and pretzels was so good we ordered a second round! Like everywhere else we at on this trip, they had their own brews as well. We lost track of time nearly every night in Alaska since it stays light so late. We looked down at our watches at dinner and realized it was 11:30 PM and Anchorage was still hopping!
Side Street Espresso
The next morning Honey woke up and went for a run and then we went in search of a local breakfast and good coffee before our long train ride to Denali. We picked Side Street Espresso but it is one place on our list I wouldn’t give rave reviews. My parents went to a little french place right across the street and loved it. Both are in walking distance from the Westmark.
I can’t wait to share our train ride with y’all tomorrow!
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