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whirlwind kenai visit

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Reston, Virginia
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whirlwind kenai visit

I've got a short amount of time for the Kenai peninsula at the end of a vacation to AK with my husband. Here is the itinerary for the Kenai portion with my questions:

9/7 - glacier cruise in Whittier, ends at 5:30. Would like to start driving down the peninsula after.

Where is a good place to stop for the night?

Where is a good place to stop for dinner? (We're used to eating late, so late dinner isn't a problem.)

9/8 - Free day to explore the peninsula. interested in going as far as Homer. My husband is Russian, so he would like to stop in Ninlchik and Nikolaevsk.

Are there any other noteworthy Russian villages?

Any "must sees" or "must dos" on the drive to Homer?

9/9 - Morning in Homer, most of day is free, need to be back in Anchorage for an 11:59PM flight back home.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

New South Wales...
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1. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

Hi mkeith - just got back from a similar run. We stayed overnight in Whittier & headed out for Homer the next day. Even with multiple stops & detours we were still in Homer by 5pm. It will take you about an hour from Whittier to the Cooper Landing area if you catch the 6pm tunnel. The Kingfisher roadhouse (2nd one after the turn onto the Sterling Hwy on the left) is a great little spot for dinner even though it doesn't look much from the outside.... You could then stop the night somewhere at Cooper Landing. On the way to Soldotna detour along the Skilak Lake Rd for some stunning scenery and keep an eye out for black bears on the roadside. Sept will be too late to bother with making the hike out to Russian River Falls unless you are keen for a hike. Drive on down the Peninsula and be sure to stop at Deep Creek near Anchor Point to see the unique way of launching boats there :) On the other side of Homer along the East End Rd is a large Russian communty - K2iks should be able to elaborate more on that???

In Homer itself - we enjoyed the Spit area and also, on recs from TA members, made the effort to drive out past Fritz Creek for some spectacular views of the large glaciers coming off the Harding Icefield. We also did a short wildlife viewing cruise with a water taxi company (all we could get on the day) and it was interesting if not very fruitful in finding wildlife.

Bristol, Connecticut
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2. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

Summit Lake might be a good place to stop after Whittier. they have cabins and a restaurant. You could also drive as far as Cooper Landing and have a late dinner at The Princess Lodge.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

After the PWS tour, get ready to catch the tunnel opening at 6pm, or, plan on having dinner in Whitter and catch the next opening at 7pm.


As for where to stay that night, it depends on how far you want to drive. I really like the Kenai Princess Lodge at Cooper Landing. Haven't stayed there !! but we always visit their lounge for a drink and appetizers; stunning view of the Kenai River and fishing activity plus good food. Beautiful lodge/cabins. Cooper Landing is about 50-60 miles from Whittier, so about 1 1/2 hrs. Check the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce web site for other lodging options. http://www.cooperlandingchamber.com/

Or if you wanted to drive further, the town of Kenai is about another hr.

The Kenai Peninsula web site is a great resource. They have a free Visitor Guide. Click on 'Destinations' for the interactive map. Then click on the name of any town to find more information.


The drive back from Homer to Anchorage is about 5 hrs, but it's a Sunday so could be a slow drive.

Edited: 06 August 2012, 00:39
Reston, Virginia
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4. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

Thanks for the great suggestions and keep them coming! If anyone out there knows more about the Russian villages, that would be great.

Yescanada - by "slow drive" back to Anchorage, do you mean there's a lot of traffic headed back to the city on weekends? Since we literally have all day, I don't anticipate a problem, but good to know in advance.

Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

As for your first night for both dinner (we have used them):

Inn at Whittier

Summit Lake Lodge

Kenai Princesss Lodge.

Coming into Ninilchek the church is to the right before crossing the bridge which overlooks the village. Don't expect much on the village.

Nikolaevsk and the other settlements are really Old Believer settlements and not the historical Russian settlements as one might expect. They work together with the rest of the locals. Their dress code and faith may be more conservative and their homes look the same. Many of them reside east of us on East End Road

Chugiak, Alaska
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6. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

'Yescanada - by "slow drive" back to Anchorage, do you mean there's a lot of traffic headed back to the city on weekends?'

Not just the amount of traffic but the fact that it is often RVs that do not drive more than 55 mph and it's mostly two lane roads with little opportunity to pass. As long as you aren't in a hurry, you'll be fine, but plan for an accident or construction as well.

7. Re: whirlwind kenai visit

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