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Woman on the ferry to Seldovia
Ferry to Seldovia. Photo Credit: @athabascan.adventures
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Best of Alaska: Two Week Itinerary from Anchorage to Kodiak by Road & Ferry

Best of Alaska: Two Week Itinerary from Anchorage to Kodiak by Road & Ferry

Alaska is worth the time for a longer visit, and we recommend ten days to two weeks as a good length of stay. With an area more than double the size of Texas, fewer than a million residents, eight national parks, and rich and varied Indigenous cultures, you could spend months exploring its peaks, valleys, towns, and cities. We’ve compiled some “Best of Alaska” itineraries, each taking about two weeks and covering a couple of regions. You can add on or mix and match to your delight; they’re meant to be flexible.

Combining road and ferry, this tour takes you from the state’s largest city out to Kodiak Island in Alaska’s Southwest region.

Day 1: Anchorage

Fly into Anchorage and pick up your rental car. Spend a full day in town to get your bearings and learn about the state before you embark on your epic road and ferry trip. Visit the Anchorage Museum and the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn about state history, art, and Alaska Native culture. Enjoy the extensive trail system in Anchorage: walk or bike the paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or head up to the mountains for a hike in Chugach State Park. Or, soar over nearby mountains and glaciers on a flightseeing trip. Enjoy some local Alaska seafood at one of Anchorage’s many restaurants and partake in some craft beer and cocktails at a wide variety of breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Overnight in Anchorage.

A float plane takes off at Lake Hood in Anchorage
A float plane takes off at Lake Hood in Anchorage.

Days 2 & 3: Seward

Take your time driving the stunning Seward Highway to Seward. You’ll drive alongside beautiful Turnagain Arm and through the Chugach and Kenai Mountains with plenty of pull-off opportunities to take in the scenery and look for wildlife like Dall sheep, belugas, eagles, and moose. Break up the 2.5-hour drive with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you can get up-close views of Alaska’s wildlife. Once you arrive in Seward, continue your wildlife experiences at the Alaska SeaLife Center, then browse the shops in the Small Boat Harbor and downtown areas set against the backdrop of Resurrection Bay. Overnight in Seward for two nights.

On your full day in Seward, explore Kenai Fjords National Park by water, air, or foot. Take a glacier and wildlife cruise, kayaking tour, or flightseeing tour, or head to the Exit Glacier area for some hiking. Hike to the toe of the glacier, or if you’re feeling more ambitions, you can climb alongside the icefield above.

Aerial view of Seward
Views of Seward on the shores of Resurrection Bay.

Days 4 & 5: Homer

Now it’s time to drive to another quaint coastal town on the Kenai Peninsula: Homer. The 3.5 hour drive will take you along the Kenai River’s glacial blue waters and through the fishing and rafting hub of Cooper Landing. You’ll continue east and then south to artsy Homer, with stunning views of the mountains and volcanoes across the waters of Cook Inlet. Once in Homer, sweeping views of Kachemak Bay and the glaciers and mountains beyond can keep you entertained all day, but be sure to peruse the Homer Spit for handmade crafts and fresh-caught seafood. The town has numerous galleries showcasing local artists’ fine work. Spend two nights in Homer.

On your full day in Homer, take the ferry across the bay to Seldovia for a day, where you can forage for berries, wander the small boardwalk of streets, or take a hike on the mellow Otterbahn Trail. Or, hire a water taxi to spend the day hiking or kayaking in beautiful Kachemak Bay State Park.

Seldovia boardwalk
Sights in the small town of Seldovia, a great day trip from Homer. Photo Credit: @athabascan.adventures

Days 6 - 9: Kodiak

Board the Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Kodiak Island. Depending on your departure day, this will either be a full-day or an overnight trip. You can drive your car onboard the ferry or walk on, but for this itinerary we recommend bringing your car so you have your own transportation in Kodiak. Note that the ferry runs between Homer and Kodiak a few times a week, so make sure to book your ferry reservation in advance so you can plan your itinerary around the ferry schedule. Spend 3 - 4 nights in Kodiak.

Home to the largest brown bears in the world, Kodiak Island is the nation’s second largest island. You’ll be based in the island’s largest town, also called Kodiak. Given the full day of ferry travel on either end, we recommend spending three full days in Kodiak so you can explore the sights and culture of Southwest Alaska. Book a bear viewing tour to look for the massive Kodiak brown bears – a unique subspecies of bears found only on the island – in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Or, fly off-island to nearby Katmai National Park.

You’ll also have time for outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and hiking. Since you’ll have your own car, spend some time driving the 100 miles of road system that head out from town for a scenic sightseeing drive. You can learn about Kodiak’s culture and history at several museums, including the Alutiiq Museum (highlighting the Sugpiaq people who’ve lived here for over 7000 years), the Kodiak History Museum, and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Stop in the Discover Kodiak Visitor Center to pick up area maps and get additional activity recommendations for your three days in Kodiak.

Three women hiking in Kodiak
Hiking on Kodiak Island.

Day 10: Back to Homer

Today, you’ll take the ferry back to Homer. Depending on the Ferry schedule, you’ll either take an overnight ferry or a full-day ferry and then overnight in Homer.

Day 11: Girdwood

Drive 3.5 hours back towards Anchorage to the town of Girdwood. This small mountain town offers plenty to do, including hiking trails for all skill levels, riding the Alyeska Aerial Tram, biking, gold panning, flightseeing, and more. Or, if you’d rather get some R&R after a fun-filled itinerary, spend a day at the Alyeska Nordic Spa, an indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy spa experience. Overnight in Girdwood.

Alyeska Nordic Spa in Girdwood
Get some R&R at the Alyeska Nordic Spa in Girdwood.

Day 12: Anchorage

Enjoy the sights on the final 45-minute drive back to Anchorage before you fly home.

Want more trip ideas? Check out our Two Week Itinerary from the Inside Passage to the Arctic by Plane and Two Week Southcentral & Interior Road Trip.

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