Southcentral Alaska, renowned for its awe-inspiring landscapes, friendly locals, and delectable cuisine, is a destination worthy of any traveler’s bucket list. Despite the distance, once you set foot in this picturesque region, you’ll be captivated. If you have a long weekend to spare, here’s a comprehensive guide to exploring the best parts of Southcentral Alaska in four days.
Navigating South Central Alaska
Southcentral Alaska, the most accessible part of the state, offers well-maintained roads and highways. To make the most of your trip, consider renting a car, as it’s the most convenient way to explore Alaska. But keep in mind that gas prices are similar to those in Los Angeles or Hawaii. If car rental is not to your liking, you can always opt for coach services or the Alaska Railroad. While this option may be more costly and less flexible, it offers an exceptional experience. Uber and Lyft are also available in Anchorage, but you may need to arrange for a taxi or coach pickup outside the city.
Day One: Seward, Exit Glacier, and Kenai Fjords National Park
Start your journey with a drive to the quaint fishing village of Seward, situated about 2.5 – 3 hours away from Anchorage. Seward, nestled on Resurrection Bay, serves as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Embark on a 4.5-hour boat tour of Resurrection Bay, where you’ll spot wildlife and experience the surreal beauty of teal blue water and untouched islands. Later, take a quick trip to Exit Glacier, the only glacier in Alaska easily accessible by car, before returning to Anchorage for dinner.
Day Two: Whittier and Prince William Sound
On the second day, take a train to Whittier, a historically significant town dating back to WWII. Once there, board the 26 Glacier Cruise for a 5-hour journey through Prince William Sound, home to the highest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world. End the day with a tram ride up to the top of Mount Alyeska for a breathtaking view of the surrounding glaciers and Girdwood.
Day Three: Spencer Glacier
Day three calls for some adventure! After a relaxing morning, head out for a day trip to Spencer Glacier. This excursion involves 3 miles of kayaking past icebergs and 1.5 miles of hiking on the face of the glacier. The experience of standing amidst the vast ice field is both serene and humbling.
Day Four: Relaxation in Girdwood
On your last day, take it easy. After a few days of adventure, enjoy some downtime in Girdwood. If the weather permits, try dog sledding. You could also take a short hike to Virgin Creek Falls or try to spot a beluga whale. Make sure to enjoy some local ice cream before heading back to Anchorage.
This exciting 4-day itinerary in Southcentral Alaska promises an unforgettable experience. From the alluring landscapes of Kenai Fjords National Park to the tranquil serenity of Spencer Glacier, this journey is a real treat for the senses. Remember, whether you decide to travel by car, coach, or train, each mode of transport offers its own unique perspective on the majestic beauty of Alaska.