17 In Alaska/ Animals + Wildlife/ Culture/ Hiking + The Outdoors/ Travel

Road Trip to Alaska Part Four

The next day we drove from Denali, through Wasilla (my dad may be a little Sarah Palin crazed) and on to Anchorage where we just roamed around downtown.  The next morning, however, we got up at 4:30 in the morning and made our way to Seward.

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 Seward was one of my favorite places.  We went on a 10-hour whale-watching and glacier-view cruise through the Kenai Fjords.  We went through Alaska Saltwater Lodge, and they come highly recommended by both my father and me.  The boat was small and there weren’t a ton of people, there was a naturalist there who stayed with us and explained what we were seeing, since our boat was small we could get up close to waterfalls, glaciers and wildlife.  The experience on that boat was one of those experiences that will always stick with me.

My dad and me on our boat in Seward to go out into the Kenai Fjords

My dad and me on our boat in Seward to go out into the Kenai Fjords

Sea Otter- Kenai Fjords

Sea Otter- Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fjords

Kenai Fjords

Horned Puffin- Kenai Fjords

Horned Puffin- Kenai Fjords

Dall Porpoise- Kenai Fjords

Dall Porpoise- Kenai Fjords

We saw a ton of glaciers, especially Northwestern Glacier, we got to watch the glacier calving.  The noise that comes off of that when it breaks off was so mesmerizing.  I could have sat there for hours in the freezing cold just watching that vivid blue ice falling into chunks and hearing the glacier crack and roar.  Besides the glaciers and waterfalls we saw bald eagles, sea otters, stellar sea lions, orcas, dall porpoises, humpback whales, and horned and tufted puffins.

Dall porpoise- Kenai Fjords

Dall porpoise- Kenai Fjords

Nests in the Cliffs- Kenai Fjords

Nests in the Cliffs- Kenai Fjords

Cataract Cove- Kenai Fjords

Cataract Cove- Kenai Fjords

Waterfalls in Cataract Cove- Kenai Fjords

Waterfalls in Cataract Cove- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier from a distance- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier from a distance- Kenai Fjords

A pro of the smaller boat is this close-up of Northwestern Glacier- Kenai Fjords

A pro of the smaller boat is this close-up of Northwestern Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier Calving- Kenai Fjords

Northwestern Glacier Calving- Kenai Fjords

Orca- Kenai Fjords

Orca- Kenai Fjords

  After the tour we walked around downtown, and then we made our way back to our lodge, which was indeed the Alaska Saltwater Lodge.  It was the greatest place I’ve ever stayed.  There was something about it that felt like home.  There was real hospitality, no TV, a spectacular view of the mountains over the bay, and I saw a bald eagle catch a seagull in its talons from the window!  Then in the morning the lady who owns the lodge was fixing the breakfast and talked with us like she had known us all her life.  She was so genuine and gave us advice for the last few days of our journey.

Hike to Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Hike to Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

That day we went to Exit Glacier.  It was a pretty and easy hike.  However, I wish we had seen that glacier first because after The Northwestern Glacier blew Exit Glacier out of the water!  However, as a person who loves to hike, I liked getting to actually get out and explore a bit on foot.

My Dad and me in front of Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

My Dad and me in front of Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

Exit Glacier- Kenai Fjords

The Road to Homer

The Road to Homer

After exploring Exit Glacier a bit, we headed off toward Homer!  Holy cow, there were some of the most amazing views!  There were these beautiful snow-capped mountains behind this amazing little artsy town.  We saw a lot of amazing little art galleries, my dad went to the Time Bandit Shop from The Deadliest Catch, we went to the Salty Dawg Saloon and I pinned my dollar to the wall to prepare for the next time that I am there, we wandered around the Homer Harbor, and went to the Seafarers memorial.

A Day's Catch in Homer

A Day’s Catch in Homer

My dad by a crab pot in front of the Time Bandit Store

My dad by a crab pot in front of the Time Bandit Store

Me Leaving a Dollar at the Salty Dawg

Me Leaving a Dollar at the Salty Dawg

Salty Dawg Saloon

Salty Dawg Saloon

Homer Harbor

Homer Harbor

Homer Harbor

Homer Harbor

Homer Harbor and Mountains

Homer Harbor and Mountains

Mountains in Homer

Mountains in Homer

Homer Seafarer's Memorial

Homer Seafarer’s Memorial

The next day we headed back towards home.  Our last major stop was the Native American Heritage Center, and it was very interesting and I really learned a lot about the different native cultures.

The Wrangell Mountains

The Wrangell Mountains

 

Traditional Carving at the Native American Heritage Center in Anchorage

Traditional Carving at the Native American Heritage Center in Anchorage

Me Playing a Native Game with a boy at the Native American Heritage Center

Me Playing a Native Game with a boy at the Native American Heritage Center

Traditional Net and Canoe at the Native American Heritage Center

Traditional Net and Canoe at the Native American Heritage Center

This really was an amazing trip full of loads of new experiences and I got to take in so many amazing new sites! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to take this trip with my dad. I highly recommend to anyone thinking about going to Alaska and has a good amount of time to spend, drive! It’s worth every single mile.

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I was in Homer, Alaska last year (as well as lots of other places around there, and I too LOVED it!) I’ve been to lots of beautiful places, but as far as pure natural beauty, Alaska definitely ranks among the top prettiest places I’ve been to so far! I’d love to go back someday. Alaska is an amazing place!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      June 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I also think Alaska is (so far) the most beautiful place I’ve ever been too! The landscape is so raw and wild! What was your favorite thing you saw in Alaska?

  • Reply
    Jen
    June 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Wow, I don’t know…it was all so great. There is a spot right by the “Homer – Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” sign that was just mesmerizing. You are looking out over the ocean and idk it’s just amazing and peaceful. I loved seeing bald eagles flying overhead and seeing the mother eagles on their huge nests. I loved seeing glaciers lit up by the sun and the fact that there is so much natural beauty all around you, everywhere you go!

    • Reply
      ashleypaige4
      June 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      I know exactly where you’re talking about. We stood there for about 5 minutes just taking it in. Homer was just such a unique landscape, looking out over the ocean with those amazingly gorgeous snow-capped mountains! It’s really amazing!

  • Reply
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    July 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    […] inspired me to travel to Alaska (which you can read about my journey up there here, here, here, and here).  It was a really great film about a boy who went all over the US in search of getting back to […]

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    Wanderlust Wednesday- Photo Wanderlust « fortheloveofwanderlust
    August 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    […] is a photo of my dad and me on our three-week-road trip to Alaska.  This photo is in front of Northwestern Glacier in the Kenai Fjords.  The Seward area was my […]

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    […] glacier viewing/whale-watching tour in Kenai Fjords National Park, and on that tour we pulled in to Cataract Cove which was covered in small but beautiful […]

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    Somewhere Saturday- Northwestern Glacier - Kenai Fjords National Park Alaska - For the Love of Wanderlust
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    […] Seward, Alaska was one of those destinations, for me, that just won me over immediately! We stayed in a gorgeous lodge with this huge window overlooking Resurrection Bay and we took an amazing whale watching/glacier viewing tour. We ended up at this bright blue beauty before turning around. We stayed here for quite a while watching the seals laying on the chunks of ice, listening to the roar of the glacier calving and loving life. Of course, we also had the opportunity to see humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, puffins and so much more. The Kenai Fjords are a truly magical place. […]

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    Wanderlust Wednesday- Photo Wanderlust - For the Love of Wanderlust
    December 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    […] is a photo of my dad and me on our three-week-road trip to Alaska.  This photo is in front of Northwestern Glacier in the Kenai Fjords.  The Seward area was my […]

  • Reply
    Julie Cao
    January 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I have traveled to Alaska five times in three years during my duration of my stay in Hawaii, and it was by far the most beautiful state in the US in terms of the wilderness, landscapes and local hospitality. The road trip from Anchorage to Seward is so stunning and that I would just want to camp on the road. I wish I would visit there again sometime, especially Homer, Thanks for the photo essay, bring me back so many good memories.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 21, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Thank you Julie! That’s a lot of trips to Alaska! What part of Hawaii were you in? I’m planning a trip there for my honeymoon in June. You’re absolutely right about that drive from Anchorage to Seward being so stunning. Seward and Homer were my two favorite cities in Alaska. I loved my time there! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    Julie Cao
    January 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Paige, I was in Oahu. Which island will you be visiting in Hawaii?

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