-We booked a post-cruise tour with Princess after we disembark in Seward and we’ll be driving for a while on that day. We’ve heard many things about disembarkation day so we are ready AND willing to wait patiently :-) In order to make a realistic schedule, facing the worst case scenario, at what time do you think we can be driving our car?
-We are going to drive from Seward all the way up to Talkeetna on that same day. We don't want to rush things and we want to make some stops, including Exit and Portage glaciers. How long do you think it'll take us to drive from Seward to Anchorage?
How long do you think is reasonable to stay at the glaciers? Any other stops?
-Are there a lot of sights on the way to Talkeetna that are worthwhile stopping for? Can you recommend some stops? How long do you think it will take us to drive from Anchorage if we make the recommended stops?
It's about 2 1/2 hrs. from Seward to Anchorage not counting stops, and around the same from Anchorage to Talkeetna, also not counting stops. There are plenty of opportunities for stops and detours on both legs of the drive - Exit Glacier, Hope cutoff (old mining village on S. shore of Turnagain Arm), Portage Glacier, Girdwood/Alyeska, Beluga Point, just to name a few on the Seward Hwy., Eklutna village cemetery, Knik Glacier, Palmer, various viewpoints, etc. on the Parks Hwy (to Talkeetna.) Not to mention umpteen things to see in and around Anchorage.
Are you certain you don't have time to overnight around Anchorage before heading north? Or do your plans allow for more time in the city later?
Princess has a nasty habit of taking care of their own first. Last year it was about 10 am that we got off to get the rental. The exit glacier is just North of town and is easy to get to, As you travel keep on the lookout for animals as they are everywhere and enjoy.
We stopped at some of the welcome center North of Anchorage and got directions and they also recommended a local resturant, it was very good and reasonable.
A necessary reference is THE MILEPOST, get a copy. I would not plan on getting to Talkeetna with all the stops you mention. If you wish to climb Exit Glacier plan on being there at least 1-2 hours. Same for portage if you are taking the boat tour- less if just stopping at the visitor center. I can spend a considerable amount of time on the Turnagain Arm and always get there a couple times during my trips. Eagle River Nature Center is also a worthwhile visit and totally agree with the Eklutna Spirt hour stop but taking the tour will greatly enhance this visit- (more time). A big cost savings would also be to turn in your costly one way Seward - Anchorage rental and get a cheap rt Anchorage. If you have purchased the cruisetour self drive option- my opinon only, it is a very costly option for how little you get. A main attraction in Talkeetna are the great flight options with a summit flight highly recommended. You are unlikely to see McKinley otherwise.