Denali is rightfully the best known national park in Alaska. But there are many others, all well worth a visit. Kenai Fjords is one of the most accessible- you can actually drive there. (By Alaska standards, thatís exceptional, since many of the parks in the state can only be accessed by air or boat). It is headquartered in Seward, a little over two hours south and east from Anchorage by car.
Having accessed it by car, you must see it by boat- this is a maritime park. Although you can visit Exit Glacier on foot, you canít come this far and miss the sights that are to be seen from the water. Ideally, youíd have your own boat or sea kayak and tour the islands and coves that constitute the park on your own. Even if you donít, (most of us non-Alaskans have to get there by air) there are many commercial offerings that provide a chance to see the park in whatever depth you want. All-day trips which will almost certainly allow you to see (in summer, at least) puffins, seals, sea lions, otters, calving glaciers, whales, and more are available for around $100. There seems to be a lot of competition among the companies that offer tours, which has led to high quality products. Capitalism is wonderful sometimes. Check the advertisers in the Seward section of the Milepost, a publication that contains a wealth of information about services available all over the state, and youíll have no trouble finding a trip youíll enjoy. Fishing is also popular and there are many commercial boats.
The park is very large, and an all-day trip to see puffins, calving glaciers, seals, etc. on a commerial boat will often involve hours-long stretches between islands. Weather is typically damp and cold even in mid-summer.
Sea otters provide frequent entertainment
Kenai Fjords may be the best place in the United States to see puffins
Visit the official site.
Favorite hikes: To Exit Glacier.
Favorite place to stay:One of the many B&B's in Seward.
Favorite place to sit for hours: Watching puffins.
While in the area visit: The town of Seward.
Read: Going to Extremes, by Joe McGinnis. Not about this area particularly, but one of the best books about Alaska.
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