On our way back to Napaskiak this year, my husband and I decided to spend a few days in Anchorage before heading out to the Bush. I had to visit the OBGYN who would be taking over my maternity care in September, so we figured it would be nice to spend a few days shopping and exploring some more of Alaska.
On one free afternoon we were talking and decided that we should take the Seward highway out of town and visit the Kenai Peninsula. I was excited to see some glaciers in the fjords. Despite having lived in state for a year, we have not traveled outside of Anchorage or Bethel. Alaska is a huge state with really diverse populations and geography, so we had only had a small taste of what the state has to offer.
People are always remarking about how it must be nice to live in such a beautiful place, and while I love living in Napaskiak, it looks nothing like the ‘postcard Alaska’ that most tourists experience when they come here. We don’t have any mountains nearby, and because it is so flat and near the river, you can’t really appreciate the beauty unless you are flying in a plane above.
Our drive down the highway was accompanied by fantastic views, and I tried to catch what I could with my camera phone. We didn’t have time to stop at the many roadside photo pull offs if we wanted to make it in time for our dinner cruise, so we lived in the moment and tried to preserve what we could.
The highway hugged the water the whole way to Seward. It was beautiful!
Road signs at one of the very few gas stations along the way.
The nice thing about this trip was that it was very easy to get there. We hopped on the Seward highway, and drove essentially to the end of it. Alaska’s road system is pretty straightforward. We had to be careful about gas though, as there were long stretches with no amenities. It’s important to plan ahead in that respect.
Hugging the rocks on one side, and water on the other.
More beautiful landscape.
Finally we arrived in Seward about two and a half hours later. We parked in the lot designated for our tour and caught a bus into town. Seward had that seaside charm that reminded me of Maine… if Maine had mountains that is.
The view of the downtown from the port.
I was in love. Immediately I was dreaming with my husband about opening a bed and breakfast in the town and living there after we decided to leave the bush. It’s just a pipe dream for now, and one of many for sure, but I love to dream and plan for the future. If I’ve learned anything it’s that life can take some pretty crazy turns when you least expect it, so just go with the flow. If you decided to be happy in your life it doesn’t really matter where you land on the map.
The boat for our dinner cruise.
Our cruise was scheduled for three and a half hours, including a dinner on Fox Island. We would not get far enough out of the bay to see the larger glaciers, but they did say we would see all sorts of wildlife, and the views were amazing. On the trip we saw Eagles, puffins, seals, and even a lone humpback whale surfacing. I was giddy with delight. To see these animals in their natural, unspoiled habitat was simply breathtaking.
View from the boat.
Bowl glaciers up on the mountain.
Arriving at Fox Island for dinner.
Walking on the stone beach of Fox Island after dinner.
After dinner and some time exploring on the shore, we were back on the boat. Some more wildlife sightseeing, and then warm chocolate chip cookies served by the crew capped an unforgettable trip.
The wake off the boat.
Cold, but loving every moment!
Hopefully in the future we will be able to plan a little better and take one of the longer day cruises and get out into the fjords and glaciers. If you are planning a trip and wanted to check them out, I would highly recommend Kenai Fjords Tours as they have an amazing variety of options. (I’m not being paid, just passing along some advice- I really had a great time!)
Thanks for reading! Any advice on other day trips out of Anchorage we should try in the future? Let me know in the comments!