Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Single-Hotel Stay in Anchorage, Iditarod Festivities, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 3
Experience the “Last Great Race” – the world famous, Iditarod Sled Dog Race, while enjoying a five-night, single-hotel stay in Anchorage with extensive sightseeing and a number of Iditarod festivities. Led by a local Alaskan guide, this is a true Alaska winter wonderland experience.
Optional transfers from home or one of our departure points this morning will have you at Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to Anchorage, Alaska. Those guests making their own flight arrangements may arrive in Anchorage at any time. Upon arrival in Anchorage, you’ll board a deluxe vehicle (motorcoach or van depending on the size of the group) and continue to your deluxe Anchorage hotel where you’ll begin a five-night, single-hotel stay with the balance of the evening at leisure. Alaska’s largest city and among the northernmost cities on Earth, Anchorage is more urban than any other place in Alaska, but it’s also just as wild. This urban enclave that lies between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet combines wild Alaska beauty, convenient urban comforts, mesmerizing outdoor spaces, and captivating arts and culture.
After an included breakfast, embark on a guided tour of Anchorage with your Alaskan tour director/guide. Visit Anchorage’s historic downtown district and Lake Hood where float planes take off and land. Visit Earthquake Park, where in 1964, an entire neighborhood slid into the ocean during last century’s most powerful earthquake. The large, wooded park sits on the coast along the Knik Arm, providing dramatic views across the Knik Arm and Chugach Mountains. Travel south this afternoon along the scenic Seward Highway and Alaska’s spectacular Turnagain Arm framed by the Chugach Mountains and ocean vistas. Considered to be one of America’s most beautiful and scenic roads, you’ll cross mountain passes and majestic valleys while trying to spot moose, eagles and other wildlife. At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center you’ll see some of Alaska’s largest wildlife like moose, bison, elk, deer, caribou, musk ox, fox and birds of prey. This animal sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife takes in orphaned and injured animals and provides them a forever home. The sanctuary maintains over 200 acres of spacious habitats for resident animals to feel at home displaying their natural wild behavior as education ambassadors for their species. Tonight, take part in official Iditarod festivities with an included dinner at the official Musher’s Banquet at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Mushers will draw their starting order at the gala, which features a plated dinner, an opportunity to meet the mushers who will compete in this year’s Iditarod, collect autographs and participate in the auction. Attendance at the banquet is only guaranteed for guests paid by January 1, 2023. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast, travel north to Happy Trails Kennel to meet Martin Buser, four-time Iditarod Champion at his home, training facility and kennel. The visitor center provides a virtual trip along the Iditarod trail, from Anchorage to Nome. A presentation includes an in-depth look at how the athletes – the dogs – are cared for and outfitted for the elements along with Martin’s narration that includes anecdotal stories from his thirty-five years of racing, as well as a great deal of Iditarod history. This afternoon you’ll visit The Iditarod Headquartersto see a replica Iditarod Trail station, watch race footage and view trophies, displays, and photos in the Iditarod Museum. Browse the Iditarod store and pick up a souvenir and race memorabilia. (Breakfast)
The big day has arrived! Following an included breakfast, head to 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage for a great viewing location of the official Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, known as the “Last Great Race” (weather and snow conditions permitting). Cheer on mushers and dogs from all over the world as they burst through the Iditarod start line every two minutes. Enjoy time at leisure to take part in other Iditarod festivities in downtown Anchorage. This afternoon, visit the Anchorage Museum – an impressive art, history, ethnography, ecology, and science museum in the heart of downtown Anchorage that is dedicated to studying and exploring the land, peoples, art and history of Alaska. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, travel north to the quaint community of Willow, Alaska to witness the official Restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Prepare for a bit of a walk to find the perfect spot along the race fence line. Cheer on the mushers and dogs as they take off every two minutes across Willow Lake on their 1,049 mile journey into the Alaska Wilderness for Nome. The Willow Community Center is open and offers a break from the cold with vendors selling food and drinks as well as local crafts. Return to Anchorage this evening. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, an included transfer to the Anchorage International Airport for a return flight to Los Angeles. Those guests making their own flight arrangements can depart Anchorage at any time today. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, those guests with pre-arranged transfers will be returned to their respective drop-off points. Return home with many fond memories of the incredible scenery in and around Anchorage and the excitement of the Iditarod on this unique winter adventure.
In the rare event the Iditarod Restart is relocated north beyond Willow due to weather and trail conditions, a full day of activities in Anchorage will be substituted and will include a visit to the Alaska Aviation Museum, an opportunity to meet an Alaskan bush pilot, an included lunch at a locals’ favorite and visit to the E. Street Theater to see an interactive movie about the Iditarod.
This tour may be different from other tours offered by Good Times Travel due to the cold temperatures, snow and ice underfoot. Guests should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances over slippery surfaces. Comfortable, waterproof shoes or boots as well as winter clothing are required for this tour.
The land portion of this unique tour is operated by a local tour operator partner of ours that specializes in this region and provides a professional, Alaskan tour director to lead the group upon arrival in Anchorage. Our group will be joined by guests from other parts of the U.S. A Good Times Travel tour director will accompany our group only with a minimum number of Good Times Travel guests.
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