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2 1/2 Days in Alaska: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and Finding Souvenirs

a bear sitting behind a fence

The next morning I decided to skip the Sealife center since I’d been able to see so much the day before on the Alaska Saltwater Lodge whale watching and Harding Glacier Tour and instead spent two pleasant hours on my balcony at the Holiday Inn Express Seward with my coffee and free breakfast.

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One of the first things I noticed was the bald eagle just casually flying around. It was landing on various poles not that far from me and it was pleasantly surreal to have a wild bald eagle hanging out while I ate breakfast. The second thing I noticed what that they have “real†seagulls in Alaska. Anywhere else I’d have been mobbed by curious birds wanting to know what I was having for breakfast, but here they were busy catching their own food in the water!

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I got back on the road around 10:30 and made a stop at the Wildlife Conservation Center near Portage. It was $10 admittance and offered the opportunity to either drive around the small park or walk past all the enclosures to get closer to the animals. Even with my wildlife spotting two days before, it was really cool to get several yards away from musk ox, bears, caribou, and the most adorable, stupid looking buffalo calves.

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The Wildlife Conservation Center had an extensive gift shop but I decided to save money and suitcase space and stop at Walmart on the way back. Walmart doesn’t have artisan gifts, but if you’re looking for tshirts, koozies, smoked salmon, and other typical touristy items, they have some of the best prices.

I killed time there for awhile and then headed back to the airport really early. That’s one of the downsides to an afternoon flight if you’re not coming from that immediate vicinity, it’s tough to gauge how much time you’ll need in case of traffic.

I had some Alaskan King Crab Nuggets at Humpy’s Alehouse near my gate and was sorely disappointed. The beer is decent, just don’t expect good seafood in the airport.

More from this trip:

Cancelled Flights and Driving to Denali in a Rush
Denali National Park Tundra Wilderness Tour Bus
Harding Glacier and Whale Watching in Seward
Best Balcony Ever at the Holiday Inn Express Seward

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