Kenai Peninsula 9 days 8 nights

Old May 30th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Kenai Peninsula 9 days 8 nights

We will have a full 9 days to explore the Kenai Peninsula. Would like to hear experienced, been there travelers thoughts on this proposed itinerary or suggestions:
Day 1 Glacier Discovery Train from Anchorage to Grandview and then return to Whittier. Spend night in Whittier at Inn at Whittier and pick up rental car (?suggestions on rental car companies there?) Day 2 Whittier to Seward Spend night or two in Seward and take a boat tour (small boat) to see glaciers, wildlife, puffins, etc Day 3-4 drive to Homer and spend 2 nights there. That still leaves us with time to explore some more. Need suggestions, plan on returning rental car to Anchorage. Do we have time to do Denali at all or how about some of the islands off of the peninsula. We may do some moderate day hikes. Appreciate the help from the experience travelers! Also recommendations for accommodations too please. For some reason planning this trip is harder than planning a trip to Europe for me!
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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When is this trip?

You do have time to include both the Kenai Peninsula and Denali, with some adjustments, and further decisions made by you.

You first need to determine WHAT it is you wish to do in the chosen areas of Seward and Homer? Spending 2 nights in each may be a better choice, rather than an overnight in Whittier. But, you need to first, determine how much time you need in each, for your activities. What I suggest, you plan on going north to Alaska with two nights at Denali, add a night in Talkeetna area perhaps? Spend a night in Anchorage and do a day trip to Whittier, rather than an overnight there.

I suggest you get your entire itinerary down, before you go
any further, especially with tour and lodging reservations.

Depending on when you are going, may also have preferences for which order to tour.
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Old Jun 18th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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I returned last night (June 17, 2011) from Alaska. Altogether, I spent nineteen days, including five nights at Glacier Bay, five nights in Seward, and three nights aboard the Alaska ferry from Juneau to Bellingham, WA. Seward was the highlight. There is the excellent Sealife Center that introduces one to Alaska maritime habitat and inhabitants. If you pay extra, you can go behind the scenes and, with researchers, learn details about such creatures as Puffins (it was called the Puffin Encounter). There are several companies that offer a choice of short or long excurions out on Resurrection Bay and the fjords of the national park. I took the seven and a half hour trip with Major Maritime Tours, but omitted the lunch (I took a sandwich from a bakery across from the harbor). Not only did we see and hear calving glaciers, but we saw orcas (up close), sea lions, Puffins, and lots of other things. Be sure to take very warm clothing. There is a family in Seward prominent in the Ididarod race that, during the summer, offers tourists the chance to ride a two and a half mile trail through the woods behind a pack of fourteen dogs. The musher explains how the race operates and shows visitors the equipment used. The outfit is called the Ididaride and employees will pick you up where you are staying. There is an excellent seafood restaurant, Ray's, at the small boat harbor (there are several other pretty good restaurants, but Ray's had oysters on the half shell) and there are several comfortable accommodations. I stayed at the Hotel Seward and recommend it. If you do not have transportation, there is a free shuttle from one end of town to the other (about a mile). One nice thing about Seward is that, unlike Juneau and Ketchikan, where huge cruise ships, with a total of ten thousand passengers, may congregate in a single day and result in mobs of people milling about the streets, the passengers on what cruise ships do dock are headed to Anchorage or Denali---they are not aimlessly killing time in Seward. In conclusion, I believe that you could easily occupy yourself profitably for three days in Seward. ZZ
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Old Jun 19th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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Nice report from ZZ.
It also depends on what else might be going on. We visited around the 4th of July so we went to the Forest Fair at Girdwood and also the 4th of July parade in Kenai. If the salmon are running, you might want to spend time just watching some fishing. We enjoyed walking the beach and talking with net fishermen near Kenai.

Don't forget tunnel schedule when you leave Whittier. It's the only way in and out since Whittier used to be a secret military base.

You can do a day trip to Seldovia and other places across the bay from Homer but the wildlife cruise isn't as exciting as the one from Seward. Don't miss the Pratt Museum. Small but very interesting. You can also do a flightseeing trip over a glacier.

With 9 days, I would consider skipping Denali because of the long drive from Anchorage. There are other things north of Anchorage that are very interesting esp Independence Mine.
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Old Jun 21st, 2011, 05:51 PM
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take a kayak trip out of homer.....usually one day, no camping.
look into a dog sled ride near seward...exit glacier region ?
look into taking a float plane trip to see bears out of soldotna.
also, do not drive by the moose pass inn without stopping for a hamburger
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Old Jun 21st, 2011, 05:56 PM
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http://www.highadventureair.com/

http://www.millerslandingak.com/tours-dogsledA.htm

http://www.homerkayaking.com/kayak.htm
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Old Jun 21st, 2011, 05:56 PM
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do not drive by the moose pass inn without stopping...you'll be sorry
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:28 AM
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Homer..we took the ferry over to Halibut Cove, a nice experience. A highlight of our AK trip was taking a seaplane from Homer over to Katmai National Park to see the bears catching.salmon in the river
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 09:11 PM
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HappyTrvlr- Which company did you use for bear viewing? I'm trying to decide which one to use.

Last year my friend and I took the trip to Halibut Cove. What a fun trip and such a special place! I highly recommend it!! I would NEVER skip Denali if I could make it part of a trip, but then I'm a fanatic for mountains, views and wildlife spotting. that being said, it's a long trip from Kenai, and the ride in/out of Denali can be all-day. Last year we took the train from Anchorage to Denali==personally I was bored with the ride and found the sights frustratingly limited, but if you're time limited, it might help save some time and keep you moving (avoiding those tempting sidetrips I love). This year we're driving. I'm looking forward to stopping in Talkeetna.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 07:41 AM
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Consider a fishing trip if you are a fisherman. We just did a trip out of Ninilchik for halibut. There is also salmon fishing. The outfitters have all the equipment so you don't need to worry about bringing any.

I don;t know if you have time to go to Denali, but there are places around Anchorage that are interesting (Musk Ox Farm in Palmer is one of my favorites)
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