Local Bites & Brews

7 Nights, 8 Days Indulging In The Kenai’s Mouthwatering Flavors

Anchorage – Girdwood – Seward – Soldotna – Kenai – Homer – Halibut Cove

DAY ONE: Anchorage

49th State Brewing Co Anchorage

Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and the launching point for your Kenai Peninsula Local Bites & Brews road trip. Pick up a rental vehicle from Innoko Rentals, LLC or ABC Motorhome Rentals.

 

Anchorage has a bucket load of incredible breweries. You could easily spend a full week here just checking them out individually, as they are all so unique and distinctive from the next. Anchorage Brewing Company, Midnight Sun Brewing Co., King Street Brewing Company, Resolution Brewing Company, Glacier Brewhouse, Broken Tooth Brewing Company at Moose’s Tooth Pub, Glacier Brewhouse, Resolution Brewing Company, Cynosure Brewing, and 49th State Brewing Company. Alaska Denali Winery is also divine if you prefer a local wine.

 

Some other excellent restaurants in Anchorage include Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria, Jen’s Restaurant, Table 6, Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant, Sea Galley, Snow City Café, Glacier Brewhouse, Club Paris, Sacks Café, Orso, Fat Ptarmigan, Bridge Seafood Restaurant, and Marx Bros Café.

 

Optional Activities:

  • Visit the Oscar Anderson House Museum or the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
  • Explore nature and wildlife at the Alaska Zoo or the Alaska Botanical Garden
  • Get above it all with a picturesque panoramic view over the city at Flattop Mountain
  • Visit the historic Earthquake Park to learn more about the infamous 1964 Good Friday Earthquake
  • Learn about Alaska’s profound history, traditions and culture at the Anchorage Museum or the Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Enjoy a scenic walk with fresh air and incredible views at the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Kincaid Park or the Delaney Park Strip
  • Kick off your vacation with a scenic wilderness trip with the historic Alaska Railroad company
  • Learn about the local culture and explore all that there is to do in the area with a visit to the local chamber

 

Overnight in Anchorage at any of these great hotels and motels listed HERE.

 

DAY TWO: Girdwood (40 miles)

Yelp – Aniruddha S.

Depart Anchorage and head towards Girdwood.

 

Take the scenic Seward Highway heading south towards the Kenai Peninsula. The Seward Highway was voted America's Most Outstanding Scenic Byway by Scenic America, and trust us – it’s a phenomenal driving experience.

 

Hop in your rental car and follow the breathtakingly beautiful Turnagain Arm while enjoying many interpretative rest stops and viewpoints along the way. Depending on the season, it is not unusual to spot beluga whales or Dall sheep from your car window. You might even spot a bear munching on berries or roaming throughout the mountainside.

 

Stops Along The Way:

  • McHugh Creek (Mile 111); enjoy a hike or picnic in the Anchorage foothills of the Chugach State Park
  • Beluga Point (Mile 110.5); great opportunities for viewing beluga whales from mid-July through August
  • Bird Creek (Mile 101); fisherman’s paradise with observation platforms that photographers will love
  • Bird Point (Mile 96); a scenic stop where you can enjoy a long hike or bike ride with spectacular views

 

In Girdwood, take the tram at Alyeska Resort up to eat lunch (if they’re open) or simply soak in the majestic glacier views from the popular Seven Glaciers Restaurant. This location is roughly 47 miles from Anchorage. To access it, you’ll turn right onto the Alyeska Highway in Girdwood, then turn left onto Arlberg Avenue and follow the road up to the resort.

 

Girdwood Brewing Company is a direct fire micro brewhouse serving up brilliant blends of artistically aromatic flavors. Visit the taproom and chat with friendly locals, or grab a quenching growler to go.

 

Optional Activities:

 

Overnight for one night in Girdwood at the resort. The local resort restaurants are heavenly, but Girdwood has a lot of other incredible options as well. The Double Musky Inn is a beloved local spot that is highly popular. Other great choices are Jack Sprat, Chair 5, and The Bake Shop.

 

DAY THREE: Seward (90 miles)

Chinooks

Depart Girdwood south on the Seward Highway to the breathtakingly beautiful coastal town of Seward.

 

For the next 30 miles, you’ll wind through the mountainous Turnagain Pass (mile 68.3) passing by the gorgeous east fork of Sixmile Creek (mile 61.7) before crossing the gold-bearing Canyon Creek (mile 56.7). Stop along the way and enjoy the scenic pullouts that your heart desires.

 

Continue going straight past the Sterling Highway turn-off and continuing south. Directly after this point, turn right and enjoy a scenic stop at Tern Lake. Here you can enjoy a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities as you snap photos of the majestic mountains reflecting like a mirror into the waters below. Wildlife viewing includes beavers, river otters, muskrats, and salmon. In the distance you might even be able to spot moose and Dall sheep.

 

Make your way eight miles down the road where you’ll drive through the picturesque town of Moose Pass. Stop for lunch and a peaceful stroll on the shores of Trail Lake Lodge. Look for trumpeter swans enjoying an afternoon swim out on the lake or moose munching along the shoreline before continuing on to Seward.

 

Once you arrive in Seward, be sure to check out Seward Brewing Company in the historic downtown district. Enjoy mouthwatering locally brewed craft beers, along with collaborative menu consisting of elevated comfort food and traditional pub favorites.

 

For a list of delicious dining recommendations, click HERE. Other local places that are definitely worth a try include Chinooks Restaurant, the Smoke Shack, and The Cookery.

 

Optional Activities:

  • Take a walk at Seward Waterfront Park or head down the road to the Lowell Point State Recreation Area
  • Get elevated on a flightseeing, helicopter or glacier landing adventure; book a tour HERE
  • Soak up the sunshine with a hike up to the easily-accessible Exit Glacier, guided excursions available HERE
  • Go ziplining and enjoy traversing through a beautiful Pacific Temperate Rainforest; book a tour HERE
  • Go sea-kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding around Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords; book a tour HERE
  • Submerge yourself in the local culture with the remarkable experience of a dog sled tour; book a tour HERE
  • Learn about the local culture and explore all that there is to do in the area with a visit to the local chamber

 

Stay overnight in Seward for two nights; view a list of hotels and motels HERE and a list of resort properties and cabins HERE. If you prefer to stay in a cozy bed and breakfast, view options HERE. If you want to get away from it all, consider staying at the remote Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island, just a short 45 minute boat ride from Seward.

 

DAY FOUR: Soldotna – Kenai – Nikiski (117 miles)

Kassik’s Brewery

Depart Seward towards Soldotna, Kenai, and Nikiski. You’ll need to backtrack on the Seward Highway for about 36 miles before turning left onto the Sterling Highway (at Tern Lake) where you’ll then follow that same road all the way down to Soldotna. You’ll turn right on the Kenai Spur Highway make your way into Kenai and Nikiski.

 

Soldotna: Visit Kenai River Brewing Company, a microbrewery specializing in handcrafted ales. St. Elias Brewing Co. is a local favorite, serving hand-crafted ales, stone-fired pizzas, delicious sandwiches, salads, and yummy desserts. Great dining options in town include The Moose Is Loose Bakery, Mykel’s Restaurant, Froso’s Family Dining, Golden International, Pizza Boys, Odie’s Deli, Acapulco Mexican Restaurant and many more options available, HERE

 

Kenai: This historic town of Kenai has high end cuisine, authentic Mexican food, yummy sandwich shops, charming coffee houses, and some really excellent bakeries to cure your sweet tooth. Click HERE for a list of all the goods.

 

Nikiski: Make your way out to Kassik’s Brewery located in Nikiski, and sip on delicious micro-brews while chatting with the locals.

 

Optional Activities In Kenai:

  • Go beach combing or horseback riding on Kenai Beach
  • Head north to the Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski for hiking or ATV’ing fun
  • Go to the driving range or hit a round of 18 holes at the Kenai Golf Course
  • Enjoy the prolific fisheries on the renowned Kenai River on a guided fishing excursion; book a tour HERE

 

Overnight in Kenai. Choose from lots of great lodges, resorts and cabins in Kenai by clicking HERE. Check out a list of motels and hotels in town by clicking HERE. Click HERE for a list of great bed & breakfast lodging options in Kenai.

 

DAY FIVE: Homer

Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

Arrive in Homer, Alaska! This cosmic oasis by the sea is known as the ‘halibut fishing capital of the world’ and has been voted as the Happiest Seaside Town in America by Coastal Magazine.

 

Drive all the way down to the 4.5 mile stretch of land jutting out into the renowned Kachemak Bay, known as the Homer Spit. Spend the afternoon beach combing, wildlife viewing on the harbor docks, shopping on the boardwalks and trying out the local cuisine.

 

Visit Bear Creek Winery & Lodging and prepare to experience the most delicious award-winning wine in the Last Frontier. The mouthwatering hand-crafted wine is made right on site using local blueberries, raspberries, and other fruits. Guests can go wine tasting, relax in the garden area, or take a tour of the property.

 

Optional Activities In Homer:

  • Go bear viewing across the bay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience; book a tour HERE
  • Take a walk in the idyllic downtown district, also known as the arts capital of Alaska
  • Go horseback riding on the beach while soaking in panoramic views of mountains and glaciers
  • Enjoy a guided wildlife viewing or birding tour while hearing the waves crash around you; book a tour HERE
  • Flightseeing with incredible aerial perspectives from Katmai to Lake Clark National Park; book a tour HERE
  • Reel in massive fish from halibut to salmon on a guided saltwater trip; book a tour HERE
  • Learn about the local culture and explore all that there is to do in the area with a visit to the local chamber

 

You’ll spend the next two nights in Homer. We recommend staying right on site at the winery in one of their luxury suites, so that you can enjoy the local flavors without worries about driving later. Although you can click HERE for a great list of local resorts, lodges, and cabin properties if the winery happens to be full. Click HERE for a great list of local hotels. Click HERE for a great list of local bed and breakfast options.

 

Delicious restaurants in Homer include AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse, Chart Room at Land’s End Resort, Captain Pattie’s, Fat Olives, Wasabi’s Bistro, Little Mermaid Café, Café Cups, and Cosmic Kitchen. One of Homer’s most iconic watering holes is the historic Salty Dawg Saloon, a historic 1897 cabin with attached lighthouse addition, located on the Homer Spit. Step inside and experience once of the most unique places in the world; a true landmark.

 

The Grog Shop in Homer features over 1,500 different wine varietals from around the globe, along with a large inventory of older vintages stored in a temperature controlled room.

 

DAY SIX: Halibut Cove (12 nautical miles)

The Saltry Restaurant

On your second day in Homer, take a water taxi across the bay (12 nautical miles) to enjoy a scrumptious waterfront lunch or dinner in the middle of a lush wilderness setting.

 

In Halibut Cove you’ll be nestled on the shores of Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska's first state park, and only wilderness park, containing roughly 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and ocean.

 

Pull up to the boat dock at The Saltry on Ismailof Island, where you’ll hop off and make your way up the boardwalk to enjoy a meal that you won’t soon forget. Perouse the gorgeous local artwork before sitting down and indulging in a fresh, sustainable, farm-to-table style meal. The wild Alaska seafood and oysters sourced from the local waters of Kachemak Bay, are simply divine. This is gourmet cuisine at its finest, and the unbelievable location is sure to make you fall instantly in love.

 

The Danny J Ferry is a highly recommended transportation option that offers scenic vistas, birding, and marine wildlife viewing as you sail across Kachemak Bay into Halibut Cove.

 

Once you return to Homer in the afternoon or evening, consider stopping at Homer Brewing Company. This great local spot is located just down the way from the Homer Spit, at 1411 Lake Shore Drive. This local production brewery serves up fresh traditional ales with growlers to go.

 

DAY SEVEN: Return to Anchorage (221 miles)

Flickr – Marie LaFauci

Don’t leave town without experiencing one of the best breakfasts of your life at Duncan House Diner, or stop by Two Sisters Bakery for some delicious pastries (and so much more).

 

Backtrack north on the Sterling Highway. Make your way to the Seward Highway junction where you’ll turn left and continue all the way into the city of Anchorage.