In August, my 16yr old daughter and I visited my 26yr old daughter who is working near Denali National Park. The 3 of us began our trek in Anchorage, staying overnight in the downtown area before heading south to Seward. Anchorage seemed "small town", which suited us just right. We didn't come to Alaska for glamour. We then headed south to Seward, an INCREDIBLE drive (the scenery is gorgeous), and spent 3 days exploring that region. After hiking the Harding Icefield trail and spotting 8 black bears, I KNEW I was in Alaska! We didn't have time to do everything on our list, but we did manage a "whale cruise" (complete with humpback whales) and a sea-kayaking trip (even tho' I thought I was too "old", it was a very easy and INCREDIBLE adventure). We also managed a trail ride with Bardy's and rode thru a part of Seward that has almost disappeared due to the 1964 earthquake - what an eerie feeling!
We then headed north to the Denali area, and gained even longer days (dark around 11:30pm, light beginning around 4:30am). Our 4 days in this area consisted mostly of hiking in Denali (don't forget your binoculars!) and a flight-seeing tour of Mt McKinley. We even managed to capture The Mountain on film, which is apparently hard to do since it is often clothed in clouds.
Even though we hit the rainy season, we just wore raingear and decided it wasn't going to stop us from enjoying our 1st adventure tour of Alaska. There were several nearly sunny days mixed in during our week there, but there were so many things to see and do the rain didn't really slow us down.
And there are so many things we DIDN'T see that I hope to be able to return to explore the other regions. It did truly feel like the "last frontier", where the people we encountered were very friendly and the vast open spaces and incredible vistas made the entire trip so memorable.