This ten-day itinerary takes you from Anchorage along the Kenai Peninsula, known as "Alaska's Playground," to Kodiak Island where you will find "Alaska Untamed." Travel along two National Scenic Byways, the Alaska Marine Highway and Seward Highway, as well as three Alaska Scenic Byways, the Sterling Highway, Kachemak Bay Route, and the Alaska Railroad. If you're short on time, this itinerary can be shortened to five days; just spend one less day in each community.
Explore Anchorage and Drive to Girdwood (+)
Explore Anchorage and Drive to Girdwood (-)
Arrive in Anchorage and spend the day exploring before heading out to the Kenai Peninsula. Activities abound in the area - go flightseeing, golfing, hiking, biking, or birding. Visit one of the local Farmer's Markets, museums or cultural centers. Then, drive 38 miles to Girdwood. From jagged peaks and alpine meadows to breathtaking fjords and crystal lakes, find a concentrated series of diverse landscapes and experiences along the way. In Girdwood, set up camp for the night or rent a room at one of the many B&Bs, hostels or hotels. Enjoy the afternoon and evening in Alaska's only year-round resort community. This unique destination is close to three national parks, world-class fishing, kayaking and sightseeing, as well as home to Alaska's largest ski resort.
Alaska Railroad or Drive from Girdwood to Seward and Back (+)
Alaska Railroad or Drive from Girdwood to Seward and Back (-)
Depart on the Alaska Railroad in the morning and arrive in Seward before lunch time; or if you prefer you can drive 89 miles along the Seward Highway. Then, spend some time exploring Seward. If you want to play on the water, opt for a kayaking tour, a sailing adventure or some world-class fishing for halibut, salmon, or other local species. Kenai Fjords National Park is a Seward treasure; experience the park on a day cruise or by foot at Exit Glacier. Hikers come to the Seward area for the myriad of trails, which offer something for all abilities and interests. For in-town explorations, see if you can find all of the hand-painted murals - Seward was named the Mural Capital of Alaska in 2009. In the evening depart on the Alaska Railroad's Coastal Classic Route back to Girdwood, or you can drive.
Drive from Girdwood to Kenai and Homer (+)
Drive from Girdwood to Kenai and Homer (-)
Drive 121 miles from Girdwood to Kenai. Follow the ice blue-green Kenai Lake until you get to Cooper Landing. Allow yourself some time to view the Dall sheep and the mountain goats along the hillside. Arrive in Kenai and go sightseeing, golfing, wildlife viewing, or fishing. Then, follow the Sterling Highway as it plays tag with the Kenai River for 82 miles to Homer. Visit the Homer Spit, the second largest natural spit in the world. Go fishing for halibut, salmon, lingcod and rockfish for an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. There's no better way to get to know Kachemak Bay than by sea kayaking; riding low on the water, you can quietly paddle alongside otters and seals.
Homer to Seldovia and Kodiak by Ferry (+)
Homer to Seldovia and Kodiak by Ferry (-)
If you wish to explore a bit more of Kachemak Bay, board the ferry from Homer to Seldovia. The trip is an hour-and-a-half each direction plus a short stop in Seldovia to embark and disembark passengers and vehicles. The Kachemak Bay Route is bounded to the south by precipitous snow-capped mountains and glaciers. Thick, verdant Sitka Spruce forests drape these mountains, growing right to the beach along the many miles of shoreline. The ferry will return to Homer before continuing on to Kodiak. Look for whales, sea otters, seals and other sea life on your journey. Upon arrival in Kodiak, visit the Kodiak Visitor Information Center at the ferry terminal to discover how to make the best of your time on Alaska's Emerald Isle.
Kodiak — Alaska Untamed (+)
Kodiak — Alaska Untamed (-)
Spend some time exploring Kodiak. Bear-viewing is one of the most popular activities on Kodiak Island, and the best way to do so is in the company of a knowledgeable outfitter. Dedicated and casual anglers, as well as beginners, will find fishing rewarding and memorable here. You can also go whale watching for the chance to see humpback, fin, minke, sei and gray whales. Tour the downtown area on a walking tour of 26 visitor destinations or drive the 100 miles of road on Kodiak Island to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Rich in history, Kodiak is home to four museums that celebrate the island's heritage. Or for the more adventurous, go hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing, beach combing, tide pooling, surfing, or visit the backcountry on an ATV. Return to Homer via the ferry and drive back to Anchorage to continue on your next adventure. Ten days exploring the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island will leave you with a lifetime of memories.