Since moving to Seattle I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they’ve always wanted to visit Alaska and since we’re about as close as you can get, a long weekend is totally an option. A couple years ago, Clayton visited for a four-day weekend and we put together the ultimate itinerary for his tour. We ventured from Millers Landing (Seward) to Homer and we drove a lot. But that’s the beauty of Alaska in the summer — it’s the land of the Midnight Sun so you can drive all night if you need to.
We lucked out with weather (not guaranteed) and more importantly, fishing. I’ve recapped our 4-day southcentral Alaska tour below but feel free to adjust as you see fit. Stay one day longer in Seward and catch a glacier tour or swing by Kenai on your way back to Anchorage from Homer for some salmon fishing — it’s Alaska, there’s so much room for activities.
Clayton landed in Anchorage and we headed straight down to Miller’s Landing, an adventure camp about 2.5 miles south of downtown Seward. We arrived late in the afternoon and checked into our seaside camping cabin. The cabin was right on the beachfront, overlooking Resurrection Bay. It was equipped with two beds, a wood stove, electricity (mini-fridge), and minimal amenities. There is no running water but the campground bathhouse is right across the parking lot.
After enjoying a beer on the water, we drove over to the Seward Brewing Co. for dinner. The brewpub is a newer restaurant in downtown and they have a pretty killer menu, of both food and beers. Of course, if you’re looking for a more traditional Alaskan seafood spot than you can drive a quick mile and a half down 4th Avenue (main drag) to Chinook’s Restaurant or Ray’s Waterfront.
The next morning, we woke up super early to grab breakfast and get checked in for our half day kayaking trip. The paddle was booked through Miller’s Landing allowing for about a 50-foot commute. I’ve done a few different kayaking trips through the company including the Bridal Veil Waterfall Paddle with about 10 of my closest gal pals. In the pouring rain. And we didn’t have one person complain. In fact, our kayaking guide for Clayton’s visit (Thumper – yes, really) was one of the same guides who accompanied our girls trip and totally remembered us, and our good spirits.
If kayaking isn’t your thing, Miller’s Landing offers fishing charters, yoga retreats, hiking tours, zip line excursions, etc. – like I said, it’s an adventure camp. However, if you want to be on your own schedule you can easily kill a few hours moseying around the Seward waterfront shops or even, hiking a local trail like the Exit Glacier View.
After arriving back to camp from our gorgeous paddle, we broke open the cooler for a picnic lunch on the beach. Shortly after lunch, we packed up and started the 3.5 hour drive to Homer. To break up the drive, we grabbed a snack and beverage at St. Elias Brewing Co. in Soldotna leading us to arrive to Homer in the late-evening. We checked into our bed & breakfast and crashed, knowing that we had to be up early for a fishing adventure.
We awoke too early (haven’t you heard, the early bird gets the worm) and made it down to the docks for our halibut fishing charter. The weather was unreal — like might-need-sunscreen unreal. Luckily for us, the Nauti-Lady (our boat) picked the ideal spot for putting our lines down and after three casts I had limited out with my two catches for the day.
Unlucky for me, I definitely get seasick. I had only been deep sea fishing once before in freezing temps and rough seas so I thought that it might have been the previous conditions. Alas, I spent the rest of the half-day trip sitting on the front of the boat, chewing on ginger candies, and trying not to think about my stomach. It was worth it though.
When we got back to land, we wandered around the Homer Spit and grabbed a celebratory beverage at the Salty Dawg Saloon. We toasted to restocking our freezer with fish and the fact that I did not lose my lunch on the boat, despite my stomach’s best efforts. Around 5:00 pm, we took the Danny J Ferry over to Halibut Cove for dinner at The Saltry Restaurant. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone and everyone. The restaurant is reservation only but the round-trip ferry ride is included in your booking.
They have a lunch service around noon and a dinner service around 5:00 pm. Once over to Halibut Cove, a fisherman’s village where majority of the houses sit on pilings, you have three hours to grab dinner and wander around. There is a 1/2 mile boardwalk that leads to a hiking trail and the views are incredible. Check out more on this quaint, car-free community here.
On our final day, we made our way leisurely back to Anchorage after stopping for lunch in Girdwood. We parked at Alyeska Resort and took the tram to the top with their Ride-and-Dine ticket that includes lunch at the Bore Tide Deli. The deli serves soup, sandwiches, and beer but if you’re looking for something a little fancier, you can always grab dinner and a famous “Fizz” at Seven Glaciers.
I like to think that this trip gave Clayton a good glimpse into the various hidden gems of southcentral Alaska. It was a full four days and like I said, a lot of driving but the best part of traveling around Alaska is that the path to get “there” is usually as good (if not better) than the destination.
We’re gearing up for another long weekend in my home state and have full list of new areas to explore. Stay tuned for a “4-Day Guide to Southcentral Alaska” – Round 2.