Alaska Road Trip - Denali National Park

Visiting Denali National Park was a must do on our list of things to visit in Alaska.  We drove from Fairbanks (roughly 3 hours) and stayed at the Denali Park Village in a cabin.  We loved the cabin - a small intimate space, nicely appointed.  But the village itself wasn't our favorite because it had that 'serving a million people' feel.  This is a personal preference rather than an indictment of the hotel itself.  The grounds were beautiful.  

By this time we had been on the road for 10 days, we felt tired and in need of some vegging - we spent the afternoon hanging out in the lodge, people watching, and reading books - it was a great space to have some refreshments and relax.   To explore Denali, we took a Kantishna Wilderness Trail Tour - a full day tour departing from the hotel into Denali National Park.   The tour was great - we had a knowledgeable tour guide/bus driver who was informative and interesting.   

Alaska Road Trip - Valdez

From Seward, we traveled to Valdez.  We allotted eight hours driving time for this trip.  In hindsight, rather than drive from Seward to Valdez - I wish we had taken the ferry from Whittier.  But it was fully booked by the time I realized this was an option.  Our favorite part of the drive was the last hour into Valdez during the approach to Worthington Glacier and Thompson Pass.  One tip:  Fuel up and grab snacks in GlenAllen before heading down into Valdez. 

Artist:  Peter Wolf Toth 

Artist:  Peter Wolf Toth 

In Valdez, we stayed at the Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn.  This was a perfect hotel for exploring the city.  We parked the car and walked everywhere - plenty of restaurant and coffee options to choose from.  

Alaska Road Trip - Seward

We left Homer on our way to Seward.  We allotted around 5 hours for the drive.  It was one of those sunny, good driving days!  

Something I liked about driving in Alaska:  road side coffee shops!!!  My love of caffeine was well satiated.  

On the way into Seward, stop at the Trail Lakes Fish Hatchery - we were greeted by a knowledgeable guide who upon learning of my husband's experience in the water sector spent time describing how they treat the water and the challenges of doing so.  

Seward was a fun place to visit - cute shops, scenery, and the Alaska SeaLife Center. 

For my husband's birthday, he wanted to go salmon fishing.  I booked us a room at the Harbor 360 and a charter fishing day trip with ProFish.  The hotel, served a continental breakfast, was clean and perfectly located within walking distance to the marina where we caught the boat.  After fishing, we enjoyed a birthday meal at The Cookery.  An incredible locally owned place that provided a wonderful experience and exquisite food.  

When driving through town, check out the library - beautiful iridescent exterior. 

Alaska Road Trip - Homer and Homer Spit

To celebrate my husband's birthday, we decided to do a driving trip of Alaska.  We flew into Anchorage, rented a car, and spent the next two weeks driving.  It was an amazing trip.  We allotted around 6 hours to drive from Anchorage to Homer.  

Drive from Anchorage to Homer

The good thing about traveling to Alaska in June is you have a lot of daylight to explore.  We arrived into Anchorage early afternoon, rented a car, and started driving.  Coming from Phoenix - our sight was immediately assaulted with a beauty unlike anything we see in our daily life.  Every turn yielded mountains and stunning views.  

Tip:  Stop at the viewing area going into Homer.  We were treated to beautiful flowers and views.  A local gardener working the flower beds gave excellent advice as to things to see and do in Homer and the Homer Spit.

Homer Spit & Homer

What a wonderful place to visit - art galleries, seafood, street art, and incredible views.  We stayed at the White House Inn at the Waterfront, a perfect place for us to explore Homer and the Homer Spit.  This was the scene near our Inn, taken at 1130 PM in June.  Wow!  I heard about the days that never end but didn't realize what it would be like - beautiful hues!  

The Homer Spit is around 4.5 miles long and is a narrow strip of land filled with art galleries, shops, restaurants, and views of Kachemak Bay.

Stop for refreshments at the local Salty Dawg Saloon!

Our favorite locally owned place:  The Bagel Shop.  This was a highlight of our trip!  Serving up bagels with wonderful flavor combined with a divine chew factor...yummy before the fixings were added.  Bagel & Lox with a cup of coffee.  Yummm, wish I had one right now!    A rainy day was perfect for exploring the Pratt Museum, local art galleries, and NOMAR, a local manufacturing company.