Why This Trip?
This itinerary gives you an in-depth look at the beautiful Southcentral region of Alaska. You'll experience the glaciers and willdife of Kenai Fjords National Park, spend time in the quaint town of Homer, and enjoy fishing and rafting in the stunning wilderness around Cooper Landing. Then you'll end with a full day in beautiful Anchorage.
Arrive in Anchorage - Overnight in Girdwood
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Welcome to Alaska! Today you'll make the 40-mile drive from Anchorage to Girdwood; the incredibly scenic route is a great introduction to the beauty of Alaska. Look for Dall sheep and beluga whales along the way. Once there, visit the 1898-era Crow Creek Mine, where you can pan for your own gold; go for a hike; or ride the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway for a spectacular panoramic view!
Drive from Girdwood to Seward
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Drive 90 miles to the quaint seaside town of Seward. Explore the shops and galleries or go for an outing in a kayak. Either way, make time for a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center—an aquarium and research facility where you can get an up-close view of Alaska's unique marine creatures, like Stellar sea lions and harbor seals, as well as birds like puffins. Also, don't miss the unique opportunity of walking right up to the face of a glacier! Exit Glacier is just a 10- to 15-minute drive from town; a 20-minute walk brings you right up to the mountain of blue ice, where you can listen to it crackle.
Day & Overnight in Seward
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Jaw-droppingly beautiful, Kenai Fjords National Park plays host to some of the state's most spectacular fjords and glaciers. And several great tour operators offer half- or full-day cruises that take you out to witness their majesty and experience the thrill of a calving glacier. You'll also be on the lookout for wildife like whales and sea otters. Interested in fishing? Book a charter and head out angling for halibut, salmon, lingcod, and rockfish.
Drive from Seward to Homer
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It will take about 3.5 hours to drive from Seward to Homer; look for volcanoes along the way, and when you reach the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula, take time to soak in the beauty. Homer is Alaska's capital of halibut fishing, but this charming town offers many delights beyond fishing, including art galleries and wildlife. Go for a walk along the Homer Spit, the narrow finger of land that stretches into the bay, and keep an eye out for otters and eagles.
Day & Overnight in Homer
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You'll have all day today to explore this town and try some of its many activities. Fishing here is both a business and a passion, thanks partly to the monster-size halibut in the nearby waters. Take a half- or full-day fishing charter to angle for them, or cast your line for salmon instead. You can also hop a scenic flight to Katmai or Lake Clark national parks, where you can experience the magic of seeing bears in their natural habitat. Love to hike? Katchemak Bay State Park has some of the state's best hiking, just a 20-minute water taxi ride away. Or take a 45-minute fast ferry to the remote and fascinating town of Seldovia.
Day in Kenai/Soldotna or Cooper Landing
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Today you'll drive 2.5 hours to Cooper Landing. Spend the morning experiencing a relaxing rafting trip out on the turquoise Kenai River. Surrounded by lush forests with mountains climbing high in the distance, you'll float down the river, learning about the history of the area and looking out for wildlife. This is also a great place to go angling, so take advantage!
Scenic Drive from Cooper Landing to Anchorage
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Today, you'll drive back to Anchorage, which will take approximately 3 hours direct. If you have time, drop by the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you'll get an up-close view of some of the state's unique creatures. Another option is to visit Portage Glacier, where you'll often see big blue icebergs along the shore of the lake by the parking area. Take the one-hour boat cruise to get right up to the glacier, or spend time at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center to learn more about this special area.
Day in Anchorage
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Take today to explore Alaska's largest city. Walk or bike the dramatic, 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Go on a city tour via trolley or bike to get an overview, or join a brewery tour and sample some of the innovative suds being brewed here. Then get an in-depth picture of the city and state at the Anchorage Museum, or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a dose of history and culture. Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs before you leave!