Featuring: Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor, Anchorage, Seward, Homer, Kodiak and Anchorage
Remnants of World War II are scattered throughout coastal communities in Southcentral and Southwest Alaska. In the twin communities of Unalaska and the Port of Dutch Harbor, WWII forts and outposts still stand as reminders of the successful US campaign to retake the Aleutian Islands in 1942. Experience this incredible history in person on a five-day excursion through Unalaska, Port of Dutch Harbor, Anchorage, Seward and Kodiak.
Day 1 – Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor
Travel by jet to the twin communities of Unalaska and the Port of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Chain via Anchorage. Take a tour of local World War II sites with a local guide to get your bearings, which will include a visit to Fort Schwatka on Mount Ballyhoo.
Day 2 – Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor
Round out your exploration of local WWII history by visiting the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area visitor center and museum. Consider adding a fishing charter to your day to take advantage of the excellent sport fishing in the area. There’s a reason the Port of Dutch Harbor is the No. 1 commercial fishing port in the United States, and visitors are often eager to bring home giant halibut, black cod and other species of wild Alaska seafood during a visit to the area.
Day 3 – Anchorage/Seward
Fly back to Anchorage and rent a car. Before hitting the road to Seward, stop by the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center to learn more about Alaska history and World War II and enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the shops and other visitor amenities in downtown Anchorage. The drive to Seward is 120 miles and will take 2-3 hours. With plenty of summer daylight, don’t rush – the Seward Highway is one of the most scenic highways in the country and you’ll want to stop frequently for photos. Spend the night in Seward.
Day 4 – Seward
Hike to Fort McGilvray in Caines Head State Recreation Area via the North Beach Trailhead. An easy and scenic five-mile round-trip hike follows old road beds where military vehicles once rumbled back and forth from the fort and garrison. Guides are available to lead the hike or you can go on your own into the 6,000-acre state recreation area. Once you return to town, consider a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center, an animal rehabilitation facility that features seals, a sea lion, sea birds, otters and other critters native to Kenai Fjords National Park, which is adjacent to Seward. Additional time in Seward would be well spent on a day cruise into the park and a visit to nearby Exit Glacier.
Day 6 – Kodiak
From Seward, drive approximately 4-5 hours to Homer to board an Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Kodiak Island. Alaska’s ferry system accommodates cars (along with bikes, kayaks and RVs). The trip to Kodiak takes approximately 12 hours.
Day 7 – Kodiak
Round out your Kodiak visit by following the recommendations of local commercial fisherman Toby Sullivan found in TravelAlaska.com’s “Local’s Tour” section or with a fly-in trip to Katmai National Park and Preserve to view legendary coastal brown bears feasting on salmon in local rivers.
Day 8 – Kodiak/Anchorage
Return to Homer via ferry and drive back to Anchorage.