The Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage, is a popular excursion and holiday destination. The larger settlements on the peninsula - Homer, Seward and Kenai, the chief town, are easily accessible on Highway 1 or 9; and Seward, a fishing port, is also the terminus of the Alaska Railroad. Seward is an excellent base for excursions into Kenai Fjords National Park. With its glaciers and fjords, the scenery of this National Park, centred on the Harding Icefield, is reminiscent of the west coast of Norway; there is a car accessible road to the Exit Glacier. Here birdwatchers will be able to observe many species of birds. Highway 1 ends in the fishing village of Homer, a popular resort for visitors with its comparatively mild climate and beautiful situation on Kachemak Bay (Pratt Museum, with exhibits illustrating the culture of the Eskimos, Aleuts and early Russian settlers; camping, fishing, boat trips).
Kenai Peninsula Map
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park covers almost 600,000 acres and encompasses coastal mountains, most of Harding Icefield, and the shoreline of the Kenai Fjords. It can be reached by air, boat, or road, either on a tour or independently. Hiring outfitters and guides or joining ranger led programs is often the best way to see and learn about the park.The only area of Kenai Fjords National Park which can actually be reached by road is Exit Glacier. Here visitors can walk on trails near the glacier, or take a guided walk on the glacier, as well as learn about the landscape which has been shaped by the glacier. One of the most popular ways of seeing the park is on either a half day or full day boat trip from Seward. The more adventurous can even kayak Kenai Fjords, although this is generally advisable only for experienced kayakers who take a guided tour.Generally speaking advanced reservations are a good idea for any guided trips. In the winter time, although there are few visitors, the area is popular for skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding.
Address: Box 1727, Seward, AK 99664, United States
Useful tips: No entrance or camping fees. Kenai Fjords National Park is open year-round; however, the Exit Glacier road is closed to cars for the winter months and much of the spring. The Park's coastal backcountry is also inaccessible late fall through early spring due to rough seas.
Kenai (pop. 7,464) is one of the oldest permanent settlements in the state. It was established in 1791 by Russian fur traders under the name Fort St. Nicholas.The Russian Orthodox Church was established in 1894. Displays include religious and art artifacts brought from Russia in the early 1800s.Kenai is a popular destination for berry picking during the summer months. Alaskan blueberries, nagoonberries, salmonberries, crowberries, wild raspberries and cranberries all grow on the peninsula.
Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center
The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center was built in 1991 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the town. It is a 9,500 square foot multi-purpose facility, housing conference rooms and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Exhibits include Athabascan and Aleut native artifacts, displays depicting the period of Russian occupancy as well as why Kenai is considered the "Oil Capitol of Alaska" .
Located south of Anchorage on the northeast end of Resurrection Bay, Seward is the last stop on the Seward Highway. The town was named for William H. Seward, the man responsible for negotiating the purchase of Alaska.It is a major access point to Kenai Fjords National Park and is a great base from which to explore the surrounding area. From the town visitors can charter boats or planes and arrange fishing, hunting, or sightseeing trips.
Alaska SeaLife Center
The Alaska SeaLife Center focuses on research, animal rescue and rehabilitation, as well as public education. Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, seabirds, and a Discovery pool are some of the highlights for visitors.Visitors to the Alaska SeaLife Center can experience the marine wildlife from the Gulf of Alaska up close and personal. Alaskan king crab, sea stars, and the Giant Pacific octopus as well as a variety of intertidal creatures and deep sea fish are visible through the underwater viewing windows.
Address: Box 1329, Seward, AK 99664, United States
Opening hours: May 15 to Sep 14: 9am-6:30pm; Sun: 8am-6:30pm; Fri: 8am-6:30pm; Sat: 8am-6:30pm
Sep 15 to Apr 30: 10am-5pm
Sep 15 to Apr 30: 10am-5pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $20.00, Child 17 & under $15.00, Child 11 & under $10.00, Child 3 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop, Wheelchair loan or rental
Iditarod National Historic Trail
Iditarod National Historic Trail consists of a network of trails totally more than 2,300 miles. Originally used by ancient hunters and later by gold prospectors, the trail is now used, and best known, for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Although it is primarily a winter trail hikers do use sections of the trail during the summer months.
Resurrection Bay Historical Society Museum
The Resurrection Bay Historical Society Museum offers displays on the history of the town and area, as well as collections of native craft work and carvings.
Address: Box 55, Seward, AK 99664-0055, United States
Opening hours: May 1 to Sep 30: 10am-5pm
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $3.00, Child $.50, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: A special open house is held every August 28 in honor of the founding of Seward in 1903.
Facilities: Gift shop
Homer (pop. 5,400) was established in the late 1800's when Homer Pennock landed a group of gold and coal prospectors. Following the discovery of coal in the area, the settlement continued to prosper. Tourism and fishing are primary industries in the community today. Hunting, fishing, and sightseeing tours are easily arranged from here.
Pratt Museum offers a range of interactive exhibits including a marine gallery, wildlife, Russian, Eskimo, and American Indian cultural displays, Alaskan art, and an exhibit on the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Address: 3779 Bartlett Street, Homer, AK 99603, United States
Opening hours: May 15 to Sep 15: 10am-6pm
Sep 16 to May 14: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Mon
Sep 16 to May 14: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Family $24.00, Adult $8.00, Senior $6.00, Child 18 & under $4.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Useful tips: Closed the month of January.
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