Anchorage, Girdwood, Seward, Homer, Talkeetna
Outdoor adventure meets wildlife viewing and winter fishing on Alaska’s famed Kenai Peninsula.
Day 1 – Anchorage
Anchorage features hundreds of miles of groomed ski trails and sits at the edge of Chugach State Park and the Chugach National Forest, all of which provide near-limitless options for outdoor exploration. From Nordic skiing to guided snowshoeing or snowmobiling, get out and explore the wilderness, look for moose and other wildlife and enjoy the stunning sunset over Cook Inlet.
Day 2 – Girdwood
Head 35 miles south to Girdwood, the state’s premier alpine ski town. Girdwood offers a lot more than the resort, including snowcat and heli-skiing, a local network of groomed Nordic ski trails, snowmobile adventures and snowshoeing. Take the enclosed, high-speed tram to the top of Mount Alyeska for dinner and an unbeatable view of surrounding mountains, glaciers and the ocean far below.
Day 3 – Girdwood
Rest up and recover with a soak in the resort’s heated pool, a yoga class or a day at the spa for a massage or “glacial facial” featuring mud made of finely ground glacial silt. Girdwood is home to several excellent restaurants, so enjoy a relaxed evening dining and sampling local beers.
Day 4 – Girdwood-Seward
Today is dedicated to wildlife. On your way south from Girdwood to Seward, be sure to stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (open daily beginning late February). Here you’ll see bears, musk oxen, moose, coyotes, wood bison, eagles and more. When you arrive in Seward, head to the Alaska SeaLife Center to check out sea birds, harbor seals, a giant octopus and touch tanks with starfish and other sea life.
Day 5 – Seward-Homer
From Seward, you’ll head west toward the arts-oriented community of Homer. Spend the afternoon sipping tea and munching cookies in one of several excellent local bakeries in between visiting the art galleries clustered along Homer’s main drag.
Day 6 – Homer
Today, hire a guide and head out on the water to fish for Kachemak Bay’s famous “winter kings,” the king salmon that swim in the cold ocean waters before returning to local streams to spawn in summer months. Have your catch flash-frozen and shipped home to feed to your jealous friends.
Day 7 – Homer-Anchorage
Drive back to Anchorage. In the evening, take a northern lights viewing tour with a local tour operator.
From Anchorage, drive or (Saturdays only) take the train north to Talkeetna and spend a quiet couple of days northern lights viewing, skiing on frozen rivers and cozying up by the fire at one of several historic lodges. Talkeetna offers winter flightseeing tours of Denali, an option not to be missed.