Few highways have as many moods as the Seward Highway. The 125-mile road, which runs from Anchorage down to Seward, can be all cheery sunshine one day—with views of snowcapped mountains, beluga whales, and surfers riding the tidal bore—and cranky the next, with socked-in mountains, mist, and mean-looking whitecaps on the water. Whatever the mood, there’s a load to see. It’s completely fair to say that driving the Seward, named an All-American Road and a USDA Forest Service Scenic Byway, is both the journey and the destination. (The road is also well-known for horrendous traffic jams during the summer—it’s the only road leading south down the Kenai Peninsula out of Anchorage.)

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In Search of Beluga Whales

The first hour-plus drive down the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage is perhaps the most dramatic. Riding along the Cook Inlet, the mountain scenery is fantastic. In the late summer, there’s a chance of spotting some of the 350 or so beluga whales that migrate to the area. We didn’t see any. We also couldn’t find any Dall sheep which are said to roam the hillsides. No matter, the drive was still as sensational as advertised.

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