16 Majestic Moments From 2016 On The Kenai

photo-credit-courtney-stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

The time has come and gone and we’ve officially said goodbye to 2016 on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. From season to season we were absolutely spoiled last year with the most epic displays of raw nature, adorable wildlife, magical mountains and glistening glacier views. We enjoyed every second of our peaceful ‘off season’ months and welcomed visitors from all around the world with arms wide open during the summer months. Here is a collection of some of our most memorable moments from the year as shared through the eyes and camera lenses of our loyal, loving fans and followers. With that being said, we are ready to make 2017 better than ever and can’t wait to share the journey with all of you, every step of the way. Wishing all of our friends out there a safe and Happy New Year!

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

1 – We started January off with this incredible photo of a sow and her cub enjoying some private time on the beach at Naknek Lake in Katmai National Park. It’s impossible not to fall in love with that adorable baby face staring right at you!

PC: Ian Stotesbury

PC: Ian Stotesbury

2 – February brought us so much more than just sweet nothings during Valentines Day. This phenomenal aerial view overlooking Cooper Landing left us utterly breathless. That turquoise blue color was enough certainly eye-candy to get us through the rest of the winter.

PC: Patrick Thun

PC: Patrick Thun

3 – When late February rolled around and we got a glimpse of this adorable photo of two young girls eating breakfast while a moose peeked inside, our hearts about exploded. This is pure joy and happiness in a single photo.

PC: Jeremiah Frye

PC: Jeremiah Frye

4 – When March finally rolled around after a long winter, everyone fell in love with this iconic sign. To us, this represents a one-way ticket to the very best place to be in all of the Last Frontier!

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

5 – Late March spoiled us with this enchanting nighttime view overlooking the Homer Spit. We are so enchanted by the way that the lights reflect into the shores of Kachemak Bay and the way that the mountains jolt up into the air thousands of feet above sea level.

PC: Carl Knutson

PC: Carl Knutson

6 – A foggy April evening in Homer turned into a very alluring photo shoot when the clouds covered the low ceiling with bits of the sun sporadically peaking through.

PC: Lynn Anderson

PC: Lynn Anderson

7 – One of the most magical moments in May came when a full moon was spotted at sunrise overtop of a fishing vessel in Kachemak Bay out of Homer, Alaska. Again with that spectacular reflection!

PC: Joshua Stills

PC: Joshua Stills

8 – June is always a special month on The Kenai because it marks the official start of summer. This photo of a few happy outdoorsmen floating the upper Kenai River definitely gave us fishing fever!

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

9 – When the fireweed was in full bloom in July, we were at a complete loss for words. I mean c’mon now! This is one of the most incredible sights in the entire world. The mountains in the background add a lovely dimension to the overall setting as well.

PC: Laurel Bill Author

PC: Laurel Bill Author

10 – This August photo of two moose smooching shared by Summit Lake Lodge in Moose Pass made us almost explode with happiness. These wild creatures are simply stunning when observed in their natural element.

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

11 – When September rolled around, this rare photo of the Alaska Railroad, a boat pulling a fishing boat and a black bear lounging in a tree had us screaming with amazement. This just might be the most ‘only in Alaska’ moment of the year. Incredible!

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

12 – Not only did October spoil us with stunning views of fall foliage, but this picture-perfect shot of a bull moose jumping across a chain length fence to join the other neighborhood moose was completely jaw-dropping. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

PC: Phil Pringle

PC: Phil Pringle

13 – Summertime might be when the rest of the world prefers to visit Alaska’s Playground, but we think the winter months are our best kept secret. This winter wonderland shot overlooking the Kenai River at the Russian River Confluence in Cooper Landing is our proof of that.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

14 – The cutest (and most ‘liked’) picture from November came when these two absolutely adorable reindeer baby reindeer came trotting across our computer screen. It is impossible to deny that this picture is the cutest thing you’ve seen all winter!

PC: The Meta Picture

PC: The Meta Picture

15 – We couldn’t get enough of this adorable spring bear cub after he got all muddy playing with his two siblings in the tidal flats of Cook Inlet. Is your heart melting? Ours is too!

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

16 – Last but FAR from least is this majestic photo from our neighbors in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Sunsets like this are truly a force to be reckoned with.

PC: Carlos Rojas

PC: Carlos Rojas

Wishing all of your friends, fans and followers a safe and happy 2017! Be sure to put a visit to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground at the tippy top of your bucket list this year. We know you won’t regret it!

20 New Year’s Resolutions That Everyone On The Kenai Should Embrace In 2017

PC: Ragamuffin Brian - Flickr

PC: Ragamuffin Brian – Flickr

2017 is coming in hot and we are excited to ring in the New Year in the most magnificent place in the world – The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. As the New Year unfolds, we anxiously await the opportunity to get outdoors and embrace all the natural wonders that our enchanting backyard has to offer. These 20 resolutions are good reminders that the most important things in life are those in which can not be bought. So soak up the beauty that life has to offer and remember to never take a single day for granted.

PC: Dr. Deno - Filckr

PC: Dr. Deno – Filckr

1 – Express appreciation on a daily basis.

PC: American Magazine

PC: American Magazine

2 – Even in the toughest situations, seek to focus on the positive.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

3 – Always forgive yourself and others.

PC: Keri Wellman - Flickr

PC: Keri Wellman – Flickr

4 – Never stop improving; always try to be the best version of yourself for you and those around you.

PC: USDA Forest Service Alaska - Flickr

PC: USDA Forest Service Alaska – Flickr

5 – Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you.

PC: Steve Jurvestson - Flickr

PC: Steve Jurvestson – Flickr

6 – Spend as much time with Mother Nature as possible.

PC: Dan Logan - Flickr

PC: Dan Logan – Flickr

7 – Take time every week to unplug and be present.

PC: Christoph Strassler - Flickr

PC: Christoph Strassler – Flickr

8 – Get involved with your local community and open your heart to new friends.

PC: USDARD LAPAS photo by James Pendleton US Department of Agriculture - Flickr

PC: USDARD LAPAS photo by James Pendleton US Department of Agriculture – Flickr

9 – Go easy on yourself and remember that you are human.

PC: Jean Guy Dallaire - Flickr

PC: Jean Guy Dallaire – Flickr

10 – Visit a place you’ve never been before.

PC: Kelly Marcum - Flickr

PC: Kelly Marcum – Flickr

11 – Find peace with being alone.

PC: Dan Logan - Flickr

PC: Dan Logan – Flickr

12 – Face your fears head on.

PC: Dan Logan - Flickr

PC: Dan Logan – Flickr

13 – Chase as many sunrises and sunsets as possible.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

14 – Get outside every single day.

PC: Kevan Dee - Flickr

PC: Kevan Dee – Flickr

15 – Seek out untouched wilderness areas and be a trail blazer.

PC: Dan Logan - Flickr

PC: Dan Logan – Flickr

16 – Laugh every day, don’t take yourself too seriously and love with no limitations.

PC: Rob Baird - Flickr

PC: Rob Baird – Flickr

17 – Life is short; get busy living.

PC: Dr. Deno - Flickr

PC: Dr. Deno – Flickr

18 – When you’re feeling low, let nature be your healing guide.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

19 – Fuel your wanderlust fire.

PC: Bureau of Land Management - Flickr

PC: Bureau of Land Management – Flickr

20 – Work hard, be kind, stay humble.

PC: SwanNPS - Flickr

PC: SwanNPS – Flickr

Wishing all of our friends, fans and neighbors a safe and happy New Year! Let’s make 2017 the best one yet on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Dreaming Of A White Christmas? These 25 Stunning Photos Of The Kenai Will Fill Your Heart With Joy!

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas and you aren’t as lucky as we are (since we get to actually live in this magical place!) we thought we’d spoil you with an abundance of snowy, wintery eye-candy. The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is exceptionally special this time of year. Every direction you look will transport you directly into a winter wonderland paradise. From towering mountain views, to peaceful river beds and busy city streets – the magic of the holiday season is simply undeniable on the Kenai Peninsula. Just see for yourself… 🙂

PC: Leslie Richards

PC: Leslie Richards

1 – A picture perfect day gives way to the beautifully colored turquoise waters of the Kenai River at the Russian River confluence.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

2 – Docked boats in Seward, Alaska look stunning against a snowy mountain backdrop.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

3 – Riding the chair lift at Alyeska Resort up into the clouds and above the snowy mountain peaks.

PC: Alyeska Resort, Facebook

PC: Alyeska Resort, Facebook

4 – The upper Kenai River looks perfectly peaceful this time of year when all the anglers are hibernating for the winter.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

5 – A musher takes his sled dog team across an open sea of snow on the Kenai Peninsula.

PC: Chris McLennan

PC: Chris McLennan

6 – Even rest stops on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground get transformed into a winter wonderland paradise this time of year.

PC: Steve Kocino, Flickr

PC: Steve Kocino, Flickr

7 – Driving on the Seward Highway can be dangerous any time of year, but during the winter months the magical snowy views make the trip totally worth the while.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

8 – As the Kenai River freezes and thaws with changing winter temps, the fascinating views get elevated to a whole new level.

PC: Visit Soldotna, Facebook

PC: Visit Soldotna, Facebook

9 – A single tree lit up with Christmas lights turns this whole area near Summit Lake into a peaceful holiday paradise.

PC: The Alaska Life

PC: The Alaska Life

10 – On that same note, it’s impossible to deny that a Summit Lake Lodge cabin getaway is a picturesque experience this time of year. WOW!

PC: Summit Lake Lodge, Facebook

PC: Summit Lake Lodge, Facebook

11 – Solitude amongst the clouds can be found on the Lost Lake Trail near Seward.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

12 – Frost heaves, crisp temps and cloudy skies make for a fierce winter photo-op on The Kenai.

PC: Shawn Biessel

PC: Shawn Biessel

13 – A group of seals take a break from swimming by resting on floating ice chunks off the Homer Spit in Kachemak Bay.

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

14 – The view from Slaughter Ridge above Kenai Lake takes the rewards of winter hiking on The Kenai to a whole new level.

PC: Rusty Muffin Meanderings

PC: Rusty Muffin Meanderings

15 – The Alaska Railroad knows how to ring in the holiday season in style, there is no denying that. WOW!

PC: Kirk Alkire

PC: Kirk Alkire

16 – Spotting an alpenglow is always a treat, but it’s exceptionally special when it happens while driving through the pass.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

17 – Catching air in a magical mountain town such as Cooper Landing is an extreme way to celebrate the cheerfulness of the holiday season.

PC: Eric Teela, Flickr

PC: Eric Teela, Flickr

18 – Leave the big city of Anchorage and head towards The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground for a one way ticket to a winter wonderland paradise.

PC: Jennifer Robinson

PC: Jennifer Robinson

19 – The aerial views overlooking Resurrection Bay are like something straight out of a dream this time of year.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

20 – So you think all the bears are hibernating? Think again! This guy is showing off his best snow dancing skills for one lucky photographer to enjoy.

PC: NorthernLights Design

PC: NorthernLights Design

21 – Alyeska Resort looks like it belongs right on the front of a post card. This place sure knows how to make the snowy months look good!

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

22 – When you think about winter on The Kenai, this is the exact image that should come to your mind each and every time. Peaceful, serene and breathtakingly beautiful.

PC: Bing

PC: Bing

23 – The soft and serene views overlooking a wintery Kelly Lake are enough to fill your heart full of love and happiness.

PC: Mark Pierson Photography

PC: Mark Pierson Photography

24 – Another one of the historic Alaska Railroad because we just can’t get enough of those brilliant blue and yellow Alaska colors against a snow mountainous backdrop.

PC: Rmevet Photography

PC: Rmevet Photography

25 – Sixmile River Valley looking south towards the charming little town of Hope is a snowy, wintery dream this time of year.

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

PC: Wonderlane, Flickr

Wishing all of our friends, fans and neighbors on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground a safe and happy holiday season!

25 Surefire Ways To Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas On The Kenai

PC: hoomrun.com

PC: hoomrun.com

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! If the chilly days and heavy snowfall has you itching to get out of the house, don’t fret – we’ve got you covered! This epic list will keep you covered from outdoor adventures, to sweet indulgences, to scrumptious local restaurants, to fun community events and just about everything in between. No you won’t have a single excuse not to have a holly, jolly Christmas on The Kenai!

PC: Sebastian Saarloos

PC: Sebastian Saarloos

1 – Surround yourself with those that you love the most.

PC: Christopher Porter - Flickr

PC: Christopher Porter – Flickr

2 – Give to those in need and make your heart smile a little extra.

PC: Wonderlane - Flickr

PC: Wonderlane – Flickr

3 – Drive through some new neighborhoods and soak in all the sparkling Christmas lights.

PC: Joey Tripp - Flickr

PC: Joey Tripp – Flickr

4 – But first, stop by a local coffee shop for a caffeine and hot chocolate fix. Peppermint mochas anyone?

PC: Veronica's Café - Facebook

PC: Veronica’s Café – Facebook

5 – Grab your special someone and enjoy a walk by the river while soaking in a magical winter, wonderland view.

PC: Visit Soldotna - Facebook

PC: Visit Soldotna – Facebook

6 – Find a sledding hill and let the kiddo’s burn off all that sugar from the candy, cookie and fudge overload.

PC: OakleyOriginals - Flickr

PC: OakleyOriginals – Flickr

7 – Go wildlife viewing and show your visitors just how epic your backyard truly is.

PC: NorthernLights Designs - Facebook

PC: NorthernLights Designs – Facebook

8 – Rent a hotel room for the night and enjoy some quiet time away from all the stresses of everyday life.

PC: Land's End Resort - Facebook

PC: Land’s End Resort – Facebook

9 – Or take a weekend trip to a cozy B&B and enjoy a splendid change of scenery, without having to travel far.

PC: Escape For Two - Facebook

PC: Escape For Two – Facebook

10 – Take a snowy walk on the beach with your four legged companions.

PC: songwoman - Facebook

PC: songwoman – Facebook

11 – Get involved with festive community events and enjoy fun for the whole family.

PC: Soldotna Creek Park - Facebook

PC: Soldotna Creek Park – Facebook

12 – Cheat on your diet before the New Year rolls around! Visit some of The Kenai’s best bakeries and candy shops and indulge a little, won’tcha. Apple fritter anyone? We’ll take two!

PC: The Moose Is Loose - Facebook

PC: The Moose Is Loose – Facebook

13 – Got Christmas shopping to do? Shop local! Visit some of The Kenai’s most creative boutiques, seafood processors, automotive outfits and more. Support local businesses because it just feels good!

PC: KenaiPeninsula.org

PC: KenaiPeninsula.org

14 – Bundle up and enjoy a snowshoeing adventure into the peaceful backcountry.

PC: Outpost USA

PC: Outpost USA

15 – Or fuel your need for speed with a downhill skiing or snowboarding excursion at Alyeska Resort.

PC: Alyeska Resort - Facebook

PC: Alyeska Resort – Facebook

16 – Take a mini road trip and enjoy some of The Kenai’s most charming mountain towns that are straight out of a storybook.

PC: Mapio.net

PC: Mapio.net

17 – Go horseback riding, bring the kids to pet the horses or enjoy a one horse open sleigh ride that’ll transport you straight into winter wonderland.

PC: Alaska C & C Horse Adventures - Facebook

PC: Alaska C & C Horse Adventures – Facebook

18 – Or load up the sled and take the dogs for a long run on the snowy trails.

PC: Marc Lester AP

PC: Marc Lester AP

19 – It’s not Christmas on The Kenai until you’ve sat on Santa’s lap and met some of his elves!

PC: Scene of the Crash - Facebook

PC: Scene of the Crash – Facebook

20 – A white Christmas and a Northern Lights show? We should be so lucky! This is one that is definitely worth losing some sleep over!

21 – Head up to the Caribou Hills and enjoy a snow machining adventure with epic panoramic views.

PC: Swanson Snapshot

PC: Swanson Snapshot

22 – Visit your favorite local restaurants and ask for the ‘seasonal specialty’. Your taste buds just might get a major dose of flavorful nostalgia!

PC: Yelp - Billy A.

PC: Yelp – Billy A.

23 – Unplugging is good for the soul! Rent a public use cabin in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy a night in the woods without any distractions. A hot fire and a yummy s’mores tastes better in the wintertime, we promise!

24 – Throw the drift boat in the water and enjoy wetting some frosty lines without all the summertime congestion.

PC: YouTube

PC: YouTube

25 – Or find a local lake, load up with Christmas yummies, pop the ice shanty up and enjoy a day of festive ice fishing.

PC: Alaska's Angling Addiction, Peninsula Clarion

PC: Alaska’s Angling Addiction, Peninsula Clarion

Wishing all of our friends, family and fans of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground a safe and joyous holiday season!

13 Frozen Lakes On The Kenai That Are Ultimate Winter Recreation Destinations

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Wintertime on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is known as being the regions ‘best kept secret’. In a land that is so highly raved about and visited during the summer months, wintertime stands out for many special reasons. This season offers a delicate balance of breathtaking beauty and outdoor activities without the hustle and bustle of high volume tourism traffic. One of our go-to destinations during the winter months is a good frozen lake with sparkling fresh powder lining the sides in serene fashion.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

These lakes offer a variety of outdoor activities including cross country skiing, ice fishing, sledding, snowmachining, snow shoeing, ice skating and so much more. Read on to see a handful of great lake options that are guaranteed to take your winter wonderland adventures up a notch!

Pinterest

Pinterest

1 – Scout Lake. Located just outside of Soldotna, this wonderful neighborhood lake offers excellent opportunities to ice fish for landlocked cohos. You’ll love the convenient road access and the proximity to town.

Photo Credit: Alaska.org

Photo Credit: Alaska.org

2 – Juneau Lake. Snowshoe or cross country ski to the Juneau Lake Cabin on the south end of the Resurrection Pass Trail and find yourself submerged in a peaceful paradise with only the sounds of nature in the distance. Ice fishing for burbot is also excellent here around January.

Photo Credit: A Trail Called 'Life'

Photo Credit: A Trail Called ‘Life’

3 – Tern Lake. The turnoff on the Sterling Highway when you can turn right to go to Seward or left to go to Anchorage offers a great place to go ice skating with the family once the lake freezes. The mountain views that surround you will completely refresh and revive your soul.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan

Photo Credit: Dan Logan

4 – Carter Lake. This moderately traveled trail nearest to the town of Moose Pass is an excellent place to enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing. You’ll fall in love with the beauty of the backcountry here, there is no doubt about that!

Photo Credit: The Alaska Star

Photo Credit: The Alaska Star

5 – Watson Lake. This is a small campground located on the Kenai Peninsula located at mile marker 71 off the Sterling Highway. This is a great place to take a winter walk in the woods, go ice fishing or snowshoeing.

Photo Credit: Per Verdonk, Flickr

Photo Credit: Per Verdonk, Flickr

6 – Skilak Lake. Getting to the Kenai River can be a bit challenging during the winter months, but it can be done! Where there is a will, there is a way! Extreme outdoorsmen and woman can be found venturing across this frozen wonderland during the winter months and the sights in the distance are absolutely EPIC. Not the mention, the fishing this time of year is some of the best!

Photo Credit: Expedition Broker

Photo Credit: Expedition Broker

7 – Longmere Lake. Located at Mile Marker 88.9 off the Sterling Highway, this stocked lake makes it a perfect winter wonderland ice fishing destination for the whole family.

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

8 – Fish Lake. Drive down Swanson River Road and find yourself in an outdoor recreation mecca land. Whether you are hunting, ice fishing, ice skating or anything in between – you are sure to be spoiled with beautiful sights and peaceful sounds of nature.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

9 – Kenai Lake. One of the most magical destinations in Cooper Landing is by far Kenai Lake. During the winter months this special place is an excellent spot for wildlife viewing, photography and so much more.

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek, Flickr

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek, Flickr

10 – Arc Lake. Located just outside of city limits in Soldotna, this is an excellent place to bring the family and enjoy a day of ice skating, ice hockey, ice fishing or just let the dogs run around and take a walk around the lake.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

11 – Crescent Lake. If extremely remote and secluded is what you’re after, you’ll love this lake. Stay in a public use cabin after spending the day snowmachining through the mountains to reach this magical destination.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

12 – Spirit Lake. Located off of the Kenai Spur Highways and Strawberry Road in Kenai, this lake is great for ice fishing. Reel in species such as arctic char, coho and rainbow trout. This is great fun for the whole family!

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr

13 – Engineer Lake. Tucked in the foothills north of Skilak Lake, this hideaway destination a great place to escape the rat race and revive your soul. Stay in a public use cabin and enjoy some of the best wildlife viewing on the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Need more recommendations? Be sure to let us know if we can help you plan your adventure… we are always here to help you have fun on The Kenai!

Visit The Grandiose Turnagain Pass To Fall In Love With Winter Wonderland On The Kenai

Credit: Skimo Life

Credit: Skimo Life

This designated recreation area in the 6,908,540 acre Chugach National Forest is one of the Kenai Peninsula’s most prized outdoor winter destination spots. The unlimited amount of activities coupled with the towering mountain views is like something straight off the front of a postcard.

Credit: Remarkable Adventures

Credit: Remarkable Adventures

There is no doubt that upon arrival you’ll have to pinch yourself in disbelief of where you actually are.

Credit: Skimo Life

Credit: Skimo Life

It’s truly that incredible. The natural beauty that you’ll find here has a way of shooting right into your soul and making you fall in love with Alaska’s Playground on a whole new, overwhelmingly powerful level.

Credit: Journal

Credit: Journal

The Turngain Pass is located just over an hour south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway, or about that same distance north of Kenai Peninsula towns such as Seward and Soldotna.

Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

On a sunny, clear day the drive to get to Turnagain Pass in the wintertime is like a vacation in itself – absolutely enchanting every step of the way! But it can get very slick due to inclimate weather conditions, so be sure to drive with extreme caution.

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Credit: Courtney Stanley

If you are someone who wants needs to fuel your need for speed during the snowy winter months, the Turnagain Pass is exactly where you need to be. Adrenaline junkies will feel right at home in this massive, wildly remote paradise.

Credit: YouTube

Credit: YouTube

To see exactly what we’re talking about, check out the YouTube video below to see just how epic the riding is in this stunningly beautiful territory.

On the other side of the pass where motors aren’t allowed, you can enjoy getting deep into the backcountry via snowshoe, cross country skis or snowboard.

Credit: SnowBrains.com

Credit: SnowBrains.com

The endless mountain views coupled with the pristine silence that surrounds you is positively breathtaking. We are willing to bet that you will never, ever want to leave. This is real, raw, rugged Alaska at it’s finest – and it’s right here on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Credit: SnowBrains.com

Credit: SnowBrains.com

For an awesome up close and personal look into the magic that is skiing in Turnagain Pass, check out the awesome YouTube video below and prepare to ‘get a good feeling’ that will leave you itching to get outside and play in the powder!

If you’re lucky and find yourself enjoying Turnagain Pass on a clear winter night, you might even have a shot at seeing the bright lights of the Aurora Borealis dance above you.

Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

To see just how mesmerizing it can be, check out the epic footage below featured on YouTube by Alaska Dispatch News. This will give you the chills, it’s truly that beautiful.

Now that you’ve completely fallen in love (just like we have) with the strikingly appealing Turnagain Pass, let’s all start doing our snow dances and hope that we get a flurry filled winter season.

Credit: The Adventures of Amber

Credit: The Adventures of Amber

If you need any more tips or travel recommendations this winter, never hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help you have fun on The Kenai!

14 Incredible Bed & Breakfasts On The Kenai That Will Make You Feel Right At Home

nelson-miller

Whether you’re coming to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground for fishing, wildlife viewing, sightseeing or anything and everything in between – you are sure to get a good nights sleep when you rest your head at one of these inviting hospitality outfits. Listed in no particular order, each and every one of these charming bed and breakfasts will captivate your heart and make you feel right at home. These places are truly just the best of the best on the Kenai Peninsula!

alanna-allen-photography

1 – Buckman Bed & Breakfast of Alaska – Soldotna. 350 feet of private Kenai River frontage plus a comfortable room and a continental breakfast each morning. If seclusion and privacy is what you’re after, you’ll love this unique and picturesque place.

buckmans-b-and-b

2 –Timber Bay Bed & Breakfast – Homer. This place is a true hidden gem in the ‘halibut fishing capital of the world’. Drive 15 miles out East End Road and enjoy panoramic views of the bay and the mountains in the distance. Your chances of seeing wildlife are also very high here!

facebook-timber-bay-bed-and-breakfast

3 – Tanglewood Bed & Breakfast – Kenai. With an unassuming feel from the outside, you’ll be totally blown away by the wildlife views overlooking the tidal flats. Enjoy watching moose, caribou, seals and bald eagles in the distance as you enjoy breakfast at your leisure. Bonus: this great place is just two miles from all the great shops and eateries in downtown Kenai. Location, location, location!

www-tanglewoodbedandbreakfast-com

4 – Alaska Paddle Inn – Seward. With private rooms overlooking breathtaking views of Resurrection Bay, you won’t ever want to leave these rustic and adorable accommodations. Enjoy neighborhood attractions such as hiking, kayaking, beach combing, wildlife viewing and truly so much more.

facebook-alaska-paddle-inn

5 – The Moose Is Inn – Clam Gulch. This family owned and operated B&B is just 20 minutes from the Kenai River action and conveniently located to some of the best halibut fishing in the state. Many visitors also enjoy wildlife viewing and beach combing close by.

the-moose-is-inn

6 – Alaska Fishing Charters and Soldotna B&B Lodge – Soldotna. Nestled on the banks of the world famous Kenai River, you won’t ever want to leave once checking in and meeting your gracious hosts. Combine your cozy staycation with an epic fishing charter and find yourself living the perfect Alaskan dream.

facebook-alaska-fishing-lodge-and-soldotna-bb-charters

7 – Escape For Two B&B and Cabin Rentals – Soldotna. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this charming place tucked away in the quiet Soldotna woods. The lake view will make you feel peaceful and relaxed while the fireplace on the open deck will make you really escape into a staycation paradise.

escape-for-two

8 – The Spyglass Inn – Homer. Pat is simply one of the most incredible hosts in the last frontier. Come and stay in this cozy home away from home and enjoy activities nearby including fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, shopping, beach combing or checking out the local eateries.

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9 – Red Cabin B&B – Kenai. Located on 20 private acres and yet just five minutes away from the world famous Kenai River. If you are looking for the best of both worlds (i.e. – action and relaxation), you’ll definitely find it here. Plus the hosts are absolutely incredible!

red-cabin-bb

10 – The Hutch B&B – Cooper Landing. If you’ve never visited the charming town of Cooper Landing, you will absolutely fall in love with it after a visit here. We love the ‘down home’ atmosphere that you’ll find here and the very reasonable rates. Not to mention, you’re just minutes away from the prolific Kenai and Russian Rivers.

the-hutch

11 – The Farm B&B – Seward. Quaint, quiet and reasonably priced. When you come to the farm, you’ll undoubtedly be able to get some much need rest and relaxation. This historic place was originally built in the 1920’s and when you see the way it has transformed over the years, you’ll be in awe. This place is so special!

the-farm

12 – Grouchy Old Woman B&B – Nikiski. 20 scenic minutes north of the popular town of Kenai is this charming B&B on the shores of Daniel’s Lake. This calming spot is great for groups of 10 or fewer and those who enjoy soaking in splendid views of nature and wildlife. You’re sure to be impressed by the local garden and towering trees that surround you.

grouchy-old-woman-b-b

13 – Halcyon Heights B&B/Inn – Homer. With truly epic panoramic views of Grewingk Glacier, Kachemak Bay and the Homer Spit, it’s safe to say that your jaw will drop when you pull up here and are instantly made to feel like you are on top of the world. Enjoy just a handful of minutes from downtown, free internet, hot tub, large decks and private bathrooms. This is Alaska at it’s finest, folks – and you’ll love every second of it!

halcyon-heights

14 –Daniels Lake Lodge – Nikiski. The secluded lakeside cove is enough to charm the socks off just about anyone and everyone. I mean, you’ll probably never want to leave. Enjoy wildlife viewing, private rooms, a lakeside hot tub, canoe rides and truly so much more.

daniels-lake-lodge

If you need any more great recommendations for places to stay or things to do on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, be sure to let us know in the comments below or send us a private message. Have fun out there, travel warriors!

 

15 Photos That Prove The Kenai Has Magical Northern Lights Shows

Photo Credit: CruiseExperts.com

Photo Credit: CruiseExperts.com

When the Aurora Borealis is dancing in the night sky, sleep is the last thing on your mind.

Photo Credit: Jacob Klingel

Photo Credit: Jacob Klingel

The fall and winter seasons on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground are known for offering some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of the world. What people look forward to the most is the probably spotting the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky. As the brilliant purple, green, blue and pink shades merge sporadically above and turn the dark sky into a magical light show, it’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Flickr - Paul Weeks

Photo Credit: Flickr – Paul Weeks

1 – The Milky Way with the Aurora Borealis mixed in and a sky full of stars is sure to keep you wide awake while driving the Seward Highway from Anchorage down to the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Banan Tarr Photography

Photo Credit: Banan Tarr Photography

2 – When you experience driving over the Warren Ames Bridge with the Northern Lights dancing atop the Kenai River, it is sure to blow your mind.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

3 – Paddling around Sport Lake in Soldotna becomes a once-in-a-lifetime adventure when the Aurora Borealis is out.

Photo Credit: Danny Ungrue

Photo Credit: Danny Ungrue

4 – Spotting the Northern Lights over the Seward boat harbor is like something straight out of a dream. Holy magical!

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

5 – While you’re in Seward, load up the RV and camp beneath the Aurora Borealis for an epic Alaskan adventure.

Photo Credit: Flying The Nest

Photo Credit: Flying The Nest

6 – The northern town of Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula has lots of beautiful lakes and pullouts that are perfect for soaking in the Northern Lights.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

7 – Or if you’re feeling a little stir crazy and like an excursion is what you need, hop on the Alaska Railroad and experience the Kenai Peninsula like you’ve never dreamed imaginable.

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

8 – The Northern Lights over the Kenai River in Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling or Cooper Landing is quite spectacular indeed!

Photo Credit: Emily Tracy

Photo Credit: Emily Tracy

9 – The Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church looks even more charming with the Northern Lights beaming above.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

10 – Look out on Resurrection Bay in Seward from Miller’s Landing and see the Aurora Borealis from the beachfront.

Photo Credit: Randy Camp

Photo Credit: Randy Camp

11 – Head to Alyeska Resort for some after-dark skiing and snowboarding and be prepared to see the Northern Lights set your world on fire.

Photo Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

Photo Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

12 – Camping in the RV in Seward or Homer is the best way to get up close and personal with the Aurora Borealis, sans the crowds.

Photo Credit: Kirk Alkire

Photo Credit: Kirk Alkire

13 – Heck, even quaint little coffee shops in town offer spectacular viewing spots for the Northern Lights – if you’re up late enough.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

14 – Head down to the beach for a chilly winter campfire and let the fabulous hues of the Aurora Borealis keep you enchanted through the night.

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown, Facebook.com/thekenai

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown, Facebook.com/thekenai

15 – Last but not least, check out Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski on a clear, cool night for excellent opportunities to spot the Northern Lights dancing in full force.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Just about anywhere you go, if the lights are out, you’ll see them. Wait for a clear, cool night and get ready to go exploring on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

You’ll Never Forget A Stay At The Charming Seward Windsong Lodge

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When you pull up to the Seward Windsong Lodge located at 31772 Herman Leirer Road in Seward, Alaska – there is no doubt that you will be blown away after just the first glance. This seasonal lodge is exactly where you need to vacation in 2017, so be sure to add it to your bucket list ASAP.

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Not only is the lodge itself stunning beautiful, but every direction you look is filled with charming, picturesque views. And once you step inside, the warm and fuzzies will only magnify.

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The first thing you’ll notice is the warm cedar, high ceilings with exposed beams, full logs, floor to ceiling windows and gorgeous native artwork on the walls. The front desk team members will greet you with a warm smile and complete elegance, while your eyes will wander at the massive space surrounding you.

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The café and seating area is very large and will easily fit your whole family comfortably. There are also guest computers in the lobby area for you to use if you need to check emails or catch up on a work assignment while you’re on vacation.

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Quite possibly the most gorgeous part of the lobby is the impressive rock fireplace. You’ll be tempted to sit town and take a load off before heading to your room, and we say – “go for it!” Soak in all the special moments that Seward Windsong Lodge has to offer.

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The super wonderful front desk staff will give you your keys and a detailed map to help you find your room. Notice how even the keys are gorgeous? This place really leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the love little details.

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As you will find on the map above, the lodge has several private outbuilding where you will find your clean, cozy and comfortable home-away-from-home.

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We especially loved how we could drive right up to our room and be tucked away from any incoming and outgoing traffic.

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The flower baskets, towering trees and majestic mountains in the distance were also a stellar dose of eye-candy. The blue-bird skies and fall foliage also made the view especially spectacular.

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When we walked into the room we were automatically drawn to the beautiful log bed frames and the really neat Alaskan prints on the walls.

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We were also very impressed with the size of the rooms! They were large and contemporary with a warm, lodge feel. It truly was the perfect balance and everything you would ever want in a hospitality suite.

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The flat screen television, desk area and mini-fridge made out stay very comfortable as we greatly appreciated having some of our beloved creature comforts.

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The bathroom was also very clean and just the right size.

14The smell of the Bath & Body Works coconut lime soap, lotion and shampoo was divine!

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The vanity is set outside of the bathroom which was great. It made it easy for a multi-person party to swiftly navigate the logistics of getting ready to go in the morning.

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We love seeing local Alaska products in rooms when we travel, and this Heritage Coffee from Alaska’s state capital of Juneau did not disappoint one bit.

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In fact, the coffee was a certain kind of special when we enjoyed it from this incredible porch! Oh my gosh – talk about perfection. Right off the room is a little piece of paradise nestled in the woods. In the morning you can drink a cup of coffee and listen to the birds chirping in the distance. PS, check out those cute little trees carved into the porch. Again with all the little details! We were so impressed with every single nook and cranny.

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After getting settled in we decided to head over to the Resurrection Roadhouse for dinner. There is a really neat little path that will lead you right from your room to the restaurant. It just takes a couple minutes to get there and the walk through the woods offers a perfectly manicured trail.

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You can also drive to the roadhouse if you prefer that option.

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After dinner we soaked in a stunning sunset right from the lodge.

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The next morning we checked out and headed down the road to visit Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. You can access it via road and the hike up to it is short and sweet.

5After that we grabbed lunch in town and ate at a picnic table with a million dollar view.

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In the distance we enjoyed watching boats come in and out of the harbor while soaking up the fresh air.

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With so much to see and do in Seward, you MUST add a trip to the Seward Windsong Lodge to your 2017 Alaska bucket list. As you can see from the photos above, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will have the time of your life and be pleasantly surprised from start to finish.

Have fun out there, adventure hounds and travel addicts!

All photos above are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to KPTMC.

10 Restaurants On The Kenai That Serve Mouthwatering Alaska Seafood

PC: Jessica Spengler - Flickr

PC: Jessica Spengler – Flickr

With our incredible lakes, rivers and ocean access, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll find countless places to access fish on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Although you can go out and catch your own, there is just something extra special about eating mouthwateringly delicious seafood made to perfection by an passionate, creative chef.

PC: Ang - Flickr

PC: Ang – Flickr

All of these spots throughout the Kenai Peninsula offer something uniquely different from the next, yet they all have one thing in common; a dedication to sourcing local seafood. From salmon, halibut, cod and rockfish to scallops, shrimp, oysters and king crab. If wild, natural, sustainable Alaska seafood is the name of your game, your options are truly limitless when you check out any of these great restaurants.  For a finished product that is simply decadent, choose one of these excellent spots for your next date night out. Note: These restaurants are listed in no particular order, meaning… we love them all equally!

PC: woodleywonderworks - Flickr

PC: woodleywonderworks – Flickr

1: AJ’s Old Town Steakhouse & Tavern – Homer. Located on Bunnell, AJ’s is the place to go after a long day of playing outside in the ‘halibut fishing capital of the world’. The warm and cozy atmosphere mixed with the excellent food and outgoing service will make you want to come back time and time again.

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

2:  The Duck Inn – Soldotna. Located off K-Beach road, this awesome restaurant offers a cozy and laid back atmosphere with great food that consistently delivers. The blackened salmon sandwich is a local favorite but we’re pretty certain that you’ll love just about anything you try.

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

3: The Chart Room at Land’s End Resort – Homer. Located at the end of the Homer Spit is one of the best restaurants in town, the Chart Room. Enjoy fresh Kachemak Bay Oysters, Alaskan Bouillabaisse or King Crab Legs with one of the most breathtaking views in all of Alaska.  

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

4: Chinooks Restaurant – Seward. Located on 4th Avenue with an enchanting view overlooking the boat harbor, this restaurant offers fabulous daily specials, delicious drinks and some of the most tasty selection of wild Alaska seafood that we’ve ever experienced. We love the pan roasted halibut, smoked scallops, smoked scallop mac-n-cheese and the pecan crusted cod. YUM!

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

5: Inlet View Restaurant – Ninilchik.  Located off the Sterling Highway, this cozy little spot is a great place to pull over and enjoy a delicious seafood dinner and a couple drinks while watching the sunset in the distance. We were especially fond of the service and warm atmosphere that was experienced here.

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

6: Mykel’s Restaurant – Soldotna. Located off the Kenai Spur Highway, this fantastic restaurant is a local favorite. With great service and a relaxing atmosphere, you’ll love dining on seafood favorites such as the walnut crusted salmon with raspberry beurre blanc, Kodiak scallops, garlic pan seared halibut and the tempura prawns. It’s all so mouthwateringly delicious!

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

7: Anchor River Inn & Restaurant – Anchor Point. Located off the Old Sterling Highway, this neat spot is a great place to fill up on delicious food after a long day of fishing for steelhead. You’ll love the Alaskan style décor and the wonderful service!

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

8: Christo’s Palace – Seward.  Located on 4th Avenue, this lovely little spot is a great place to enjoy a date night out. You’ll love the grilled halibut Portobello, seafood sauté, smoked salmon fettuccine and the stuffed baked pasta.  

PC: TripAdvisor

PC: TripAdvisor

9: The Restaurant at Porterhouse Grill – Sterling. Located off the Sterling Highway, this unassuming little spot is an excellent place to have a hearty seafood dinner after a day of fishing on the Kenai River. Try the colossal prawns, halibut or the surf n’ turf if you want to make your taste buds extra happy!

PC: Facebook

PC: Facebook

10: The Flats Bistro – Kenai. This relatively new restaurant located off of K-Beach Road has a spectacular view overlooking the beautiful flats and Cook Inlet. If incredible seafood is what you’re after, try the razor clams, scallops fettuccine, king crab legs, fish and chips or the salmon.

PC: AmericasCuisine.com

PC: AmericasCuisine.com

Now that you’re likely wiping the drool up off your keyboard, be sure to keep these excellent places in mind the next time you plan on eating out. For more great options or recommendations, feel free to give us a call or drop us a message below and we will be happy to help in any way that we can!

15 Festive Ways To Embrace The Fall Season With Arms Wide Open

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Photo Credit: Wild Alaska Art – Dan Twitchell

Fall is one of the most magical times of the year on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. The morning air is crisp and fresh, the fall foliage surrounds you down every road you drive, the sunsets are electric, the alpenglow’s are magnificent, the pumpkin flavored treats are utterly delicious and the cozy moments spend indoors are filled with nostalgic moments.

Photo Credit: David L. Brown

Photo Credit: David L. Brown

1 – Get outside and spend the day hiking and soaking in the fall foliage.

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

2 – Enjoy the final days of RV season and enjoy an overnighter. A mini road trip from Seward to Homer (while stopping in every town along the way) is the best way to drink life in.

Photo Credit: State of Alaska - Michael DeYoung

Photo Credit: State of Alaska – Michael DeYoung

3 – Wet some lines and enjoy the spectacular scenery, without the ‘combat fishing’ mayhem.

Photo Credit: Drifter's Lodge

Photo Credit: Drifter’s Lodge

4 – Take a day trip along the Seward or Sterling Highway and stop at all the pull outs to take in the epic views.

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown

5 – Treat your fur babies to as many outings as possible before the snow flies and their paws can’t handle the trek without booties.

Photo Credit: Dana Orlosky - Flickr

Photo Credit: Dana Orlosky – Flickr

6 – Hop on the Alaska Railroad for a day of rest and relaxation, and enjoy off-the-grid views along the way.

Photo Credit: Tonia Burrough

Photo Credit: Tonia Burrough

7 – Rent a public use cabin on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and unplug for the night. If you prefer to have some more frills and creature comforts, take advantage of the awesome shoulder season prices that are available now at hospitality spots all over the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Recreation.gov

Photo Credit: Recreation.gov

8 – Enjoy wildlife viewing and watch as the bears fatten up before heading into hibernation.

Photo Credit: Heidi Ho Hanson

Photo Credit: Heidi Ho Hanson

9 – Go biking in the backcountry and cover as much (stunningly beautiful) ground as possible.

10 – Chase as many sunsets as humanly possible. Even if you loose a little sleep, you will NEVER regret it.

Photo Credit: Anik Martin

Photo Credit: Anik Martin

11 – As the temperature continues to drop, use every excuse possible to make a fire and have a cozy night in. Don’t forget the snacks, movies and soft blankets!

Photo Credit: Scott Schiller - Flickr

Photo Credit: Scott Schiller – Flickr

12 – It’s the season for ‘all things’ pumpkin spice, so indulge a little wontcha! 😉

Photo Credit: The Moose Is Loose - Facebook

Photo Credit: The Moose Is Loose – Facebook

13 – If the forecast calls for a Northern Lights show, stay up late and soak it in. Being tired the next day will be worth it after you lay eyes on the Aurora Borealis in action.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

14 – If it’s chilly or gloomy, have fun by visiting places like the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage or the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward. Fun for the whole family!

Photo Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center - Facebook

Photo Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – Facebook

15 – It’s okay to blend in with the crowd. Sometimes ‘status quo’ just feels way too good to ignore. The warm and fuzzies that remind you of childhood should be celebrated as often as possible. Soak in the magic of the season by doing all the traditional favorites that spark a major dose of nostalgia – and love every single minute of it!

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Need more ideas to keep you busy this fall on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? Leave a comment below or feel free to shoot us a personal Facebook message.

Extreme Ziplining Fun With Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures In Seward

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There are a million and one reasons to love the charming little coastal town of Seward, but ziplining with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures (hands down) deserves to be at the very top of that list. As you fly through the trees and gaze at gorgeous glaciers and towering mountains in the distance, you will feel your heart skip a beat from more than just the adrenaline rush of the ziplines.

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The beauty in the area is simply unmatched and the staff is undeniably top notch. If fun is what you’re after, this three hour eco-tour will have you falling head over heels in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

15The tour starts from the convenient main strip area in Seward next to the boat harbor. You’ll find lots of tourism vendors nearby including day cruises, fishing operations, hiking, kayaking and many others.

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We parked about a block away in one of they daily parking lots. The cost for parking was $5 for the day and the walk took just a couple minutes. When we came upon the main building we were very impressed right from the get-go by the beautiful log cabin.

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As we headed inside to sign our waivers and to check in for the tour, we noticed a very impressive logo on the door. 😉 Any business who reps The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is a friend of ours! 🙂

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After we checked in we peeped our heads around the main building to soak in the view. Bluebird skies and mountain views overlooking the boat harbor. Talk about the most incredible dose of eye candy that we’ve ever experienced! The 70 degree weather wasn’t too shabby either!

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After about 10 minutes the shuttle arrived to take us to the enchanting ziplining area tucked away in the woods, free from the crowds.

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We pulled up into an area that had a big yurt and some outbuildings. The first thing we did was check all things that ‘could fall off’ at the front desk. Next, we got suited up with our harnesses and gear.

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Next came ground school. Our two super awesome, knowledgeable and completely hilarious guides trained us on all of the basics including hand and foot placement, traversing, stopping and overall safety.

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Everyone in the group had to then individually demonstrate the ability to properly traverse on a mini-zipline located at base camp. After we all completed ‘ground school’ we gathered around for an official graduation photo. First came the group shot… “say cheeeeeeese!”

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Next came the individual shots. Say “awwwwww!” But really, we just met. New Alaska friends are the best friends!

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A different kind of shuttle bus came next. We all loaded in the back and held on tight before heading up into the trees.

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On the way up it was hard to ignore the beautiful views as we gained elevation.

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And first, one last group shot before zipping the next couple hours away.

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Each individual zipline offered such incredible features. The phenomenal views simply could not be ignored. Snow-capped mountains in the distance while surrounded by lush Pacific Temperate Rainforest is an experience that is hard to top!

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The group rotated who went first, second, third, etc. the whole trip. Some of the daredevils in the crowd were always willing to go first while others had to work up the courage on some of the longer and steeper lines.

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The guides were entertaining and provided wonderful, educational commentary throughout the whole trip. During the height of the season, they do up to seven tours a day! That was incredible to hear considering each tour takes about three hours from start to finish. To go on a tour you have to be at least 10 years of age and weigh 80 pounds.

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Repelling down from the high platforms in the trees to the ground was probably one of the scariest parts of the tour for most people. However it was actually super easy and not scary at all once you took that first step off the ledge.

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The guides were also very interactive the whole time which made the process feel very safe and reassuring.

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The suspension walks were such a fun bonus towards the end of the tour.

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So many bridges, so many photo ops! Cheese! 😉

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With the peaceful noise of Stoney Creek rushing downstream in the backdrop, it was the most perfectly serene way to end a day of action zipping through the trees.

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If you’ve never been ziplining with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, be sure to add it to the top of your 2017 summer bucket list. It is a once in a lifetime experience and the perfect day trip to enjoy with your friends or your family.

13 Ridiculously Awesome Reasons To Welcome Fall With Arms Wide Open

Photo Credit: Alyeska Resort

Photo Credit: Alyeska Resort

The best part about summer coming to a close is that we will finally get the peacefulness of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground back at our fingertips. Although we love the excitement that comes along with people coming to visit us from all around the world all summer long, there is something very soothing about feeling the crisp fall air.

Photo Credit: Will T

Photo Credit: Will T

Plus, with all the misconceptions about there being “nothing to do” in Alaska during the fall and winter months, we are here to prove to everyone that these are actually the best times of year to experience the real, raw last frontier.

Photo Credit: Anurag Singh

Photo Credit: Anurag Singh

This time of year the river banks are less far less crowded, the trails are less traveled and you can actually walk on a popular beach without seeing a single soul in sight. Before we know it the termination dust will be flying, the bears will be moving into hibernation and we will be flocking to the Kenai River to reel in trophy rainbow trout.

Photo Credit: Kalyan Peri

Photo Credit: Kalyan Peri

Best of all, we can experience all of the above in utter peace and quiet. It’s the perfect balance after a hustling and bustling summer season. We’d be lying if we said that we weren’t madly in love with the fact that we get to experience the best of both worlds, right in our backyard!

Photo Credit: Patrick Thun

Photo Credit: Patrick Thun

1 – The fall colors are explosive.

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

2 – On a clear night, the northern lights are mesmerizing.

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

3 – There is nothing quite like the crisp, sparkling white beauty of the termination dust.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

4 – Fly fishing for trophy rainbow trout on the Kenai River… can you say ‘hog wild’?

Photo Credit: Fish Em LLC

Photo Credit: Fish Em LLC

5 – Crazy dipnetting beaches are now secluded, peaceful beaches again.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

6 – No more combat fishing which means no more split shots to the eye.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

7 – Epic sunsets. You know, since the sun actually sets at a decent hour now.

Photo Credit: Wonderlane, Flickr

Photo Credit: Wonderlane, Flickr

8 – And sunrises. You know, since the sun actually rises at a decent hour now.

Photo Credit: Eric, Flickr

Photo Credit: Eric, Flickr

9 – No more crazy motorhome/tourist/construction traffic.

Photo Credit: Kim F, Flickr

Photo Credit: Kim F, Flickr

10 – Our hiking trails now have far less people and we can actually enjoy the sounds of birds chirping!

Photo Credit: Rob Baird, Flickr

Photo Credit: Rob Baird, Flickr

11 – If you own a business in Alaska, you might actually get to have a day off now!

 Photo Credit: Little Mermaid Homer, Facebook

Photo Credit: Little Mermaid Homer, Facebook

12 – Love dining out? Hooray, your wait in line will now be cut in half!

Photo Credit: Firehouse BBQ-Soldotna, Facebook

Photo Credit: Firehouse BBQ-Soldotna, Facebook

13 – Guess what, the sun will still shine and the snow won’t stick for at least another month – if we are lucky! 😉

Photo Credit: Eric Rolph

Photo Credit: Eric Rolph

What are you most looking forward to with the changing of the seasons? We’d love to hear about how you enjoy your fall and winter months in the Facebook comments below!

Eagle Landing Resort In Cooper Landing Is The Perfect Kenai Riverfront Getaway

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Just one look at that peaceful photo above is enough to convince you that no matter where you’re at, you’d probably much rather be enjoying the serene views overlooking the fall colors along the banks of the Kenai River at Eagle Landing Resort in Cooper Landing. Head south from Anchorage to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and make your way to this magical spot tucked right off the side of the Sterling Highway.

2As you pull in to the resort you’ll notice a pretty large spread of cabins in every direction that you look. But what makes this resort extra special is that every individual cabin offers a lovely amount of privacy so you’ll always feel like you’re experiencing your own little slice of paradise.

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Upon arrival, the first thing we did was check out the cabin. We couldn’t wait to get inside and see if the inside was as charming as the outside.

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Not surprisingly at all, the inside was just as warm and cozy as we expected it to be. To the right as we walked in was a single bedroom with a queen bed, warm quilt and local artwork on the wall.

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We couldn’t stop ooh’ing and aww’ing over the beautiful logs and excellent craftsmanship as we made our way into the living room and kitchen area.

18The cabin was filled with all the amenities we could ask for and so much more. Inside was a full size refrigerator, microwave, oven, coffee maker (with complimentary coffee) and plenty of dishes to accommodate a large group. Seating in the dining room and kitchen area was enough for nine people!

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And that doesn’t even include the porch. Directly off of the dining room was a deck overlooking the beautiful Kenai River. Outside were more chairs and a little table, perfect for enjoying a drink or a meal while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views at the same time.

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Beneath the deck towards the beautiful Kenai River is a small fire pit with a picnic table nearby. So if you have an overflow of guests that want a little privacy, there are so many perfect places to get away and enjoy a peaceful moment amongst yourselves.

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After checking kitchen and dining area, we noticed that the room had lots of great amenities as well. Two large recliner chairs, a big couch, coffee table and a flat screen television with tons of channels to choose from. Next, we headed upstairs. Again, the craftsmanship on the logs was simply phenomenal. It’s impossibly to deny the rustic beauty.

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Upstairs there were four large beds, sleeping a total of 8 people. The accommodations were cozy, yet perfect for a family or a group of people coming to enjoy a world-class fishing trip.

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When you look over to a view like this (see below) it’s easy to forget all about the size of the space you’re in and focus solely on the natural beauty surrounding you. The Kenai River with those gorgeous fall colors along the mountainside… perfection!

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One of the little things that we loved the most about the cabin were all the fun fishing accents that were perfectly suited for the area. The outdoorsy theme is carried throughout the entire resort and it’s just so cool to see that every single detail is accounted for. No stone was left unturned and it really shows.

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After checking out the inside we headed outside to soak in the beautiful grounds. We loved all of the beautiful flowers, perfectly manicured lawn, hammock in the trees and checking out the other units (such as the dreamy cabin with a hot tub overlooking the river).

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A beautiful dock with double chairs on the end offered the perfect place to soak in the epic views with the sound of absolutely nothing but birds chirping and fishing jumping in the background. This place is truly picture-perfect!

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One of the most attractive features about the location of this wonderful resort is its proximity to world-class fishing on the Russian River and the Kenai River. We spent the entire weekend going down and wetting lines. Other great activities to do in the area include kayaking, hiking and wildlife viewing. There are some really great restaurants in the area as well. We recommend Sackett’s Kenai Grill for lunch or dinner and Gwin’s Lodge breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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After a day of fun and sun on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground we returned to the resort to enjoy the best possible things imaginable… a campfire! And bonus; an awesome horseshoe pit! We loved seeing all the stacked firewood and the BBQ stoves nearby that were available for guest use.

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Lots of chairs surrounded an Alaskan themed fire pit with cutouts of bears, fish and mountains. Again with the beautiful attention to detail!

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We made a hot fire, enjoyed great conversation with friends and even had the pleasure of chatting with the owner, Barbara, before turning in for the night. We work up the next morning feeling like we couldn’t wait to return. We have a feeling that hot tub cabin will be calling our name once the snow starts flying on a chilly winter night.

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Eagle Landing Resort is open all year long and it is truly the perfect stay-cation to relax and unwind, no matter what time of year it is. When it comes to decompressing from your busy life, we can’t think of a better place help completely rejuvenate you! For more information, visit them online HERE!

All photos above are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing will sole usage rights granted to KPTMC. If you’d like to use any, please inquire with us first. Thank you!

Take Your Camping Up A Notch With These 14 Public Use Cabins On The Kenai

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Photo by Dan Logan, Flickr

August and September are very special months on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. By now the midnight sun is beginning to fade off and we are getting dark skies in the evening between about 11pm and 5am. Dipnetting has come to a close and the silvers are starting show us a good fight in the river. The fly fishing has also been incredible in the Russian River as well as throughout many other areas on the peninsula.

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Photo by Courtney Stanley

We are enjoying the super warm high-70’s weather and are remembering to soak up the sunshine at every chance we get. In fact, come September 1st the realization that summer is on the “downward spiral” actually makes us get so die-hard that we want to get outside and go camping as frequently as possible. But if given the opportunity to pitch a tent versus staying in a hard-sided cabin, we’ll choose the cabin any day. These 14 public use cabins in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are an excellent way to enjoy wild, raw Alaska away from the majority of the tourism crowds. Check out the list below and if you want to book one, make sure to visit this website HERE through recreation.gov to make your online reservations today. Prices are between $35 and $45 per night. A smokin’ deal in the summertime!

Flickr, Dan Logan

Photo by Dan Logan, Flickr

1: Big Bay Cabin – Tustumena Lake (accessible via boat)

Big Bay

2: Big Indian Creek Cabin – Mystery Creek Road (accessible via aircraft, road currently closed)

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3: Caribou Island Cabin – Tustumena Lake (accessible via boat)

caribou island4: Dolly Varden Lake Cabin – Swanson River Road (accessible via boat)

dolly varden5: Doroshin Bay Cabin – Skilak Lake (accessible via boat)

doroshin6: Engineer Lake Cabin – Skilak Lake Road (accessible via hike-in, boat, or cross-country skiiing and snowshoeing in the winter)

engineer7: Kelly Lake Cabin – Mile 68.1 Sterling Highway (accessible via short hike in)

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8: McLain Lake Cabin – Off the Swanson River (accessible by the canoe trail, snowmachine or float plane)

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9: Nurses Cabin – Tustumena Lake (accessible via boat)

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10: Pincher Creek Cabin – Chickaloon Bay Tidal Flats (accessible via bush/float plane)

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11: Pipe Creek Cabin – Tustumena Lake (accessible via boat)

pipe creek12: Snag Lake Cabin – Cook Inlet area near Nikiski (accessible via float plane, ski plane, snowmachine)

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13: Upper Ohmer Lake Cabin – Skilak Lake Road (accessible via hike-in)

ohmer14: Vogel Lake Cabin – Cook Inlet / Turnagain Arm (accessible via float plane, ski plane and snowmachine)

VogelPlease note that all the cabins are non-electric and many will require a boat to access. They are bare bones shelters that will require you to bring a warm sleeping bag, head lamp, fresh drinking water (or filtration system), safety gear and plenty of food. Make sure that anything you pack in you also pack out (meaning please do not leave any trash behind). By clicking on the link above to book these cabins, you can read the full descriptions of where each is located and what they offer. Many are even accessible all year long with snow-machine and cross country skiing access during the chilly, snowy winter months. Have fun out there, happy campers!

Fly Fishing Is On Fire At The Russian River In Cooper Landing

Head to Cooper Landing on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground for an epic hike or fly fishing adventure on the Russian River. It’s a beautiful time of year to get out and enjoy your stunningly beautiful backyard!

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Or if you just want to enjoy a good hike and views of the river, you can always park at the campground or the confluence (aka the ferry) and enjoy a beautiful stroll riverside.

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Another excellent hike in the area is the Russian River Falls trail. The trailhead is located in the campground turnout off the Sterling Hwy in Cooper Landing. This area is known for having lots of bear activity, however – so be careful and always be prepared for an unexpected sighting. The parking fee at the campground is $11 of a 12 hour day and you can fill your vehicle full of as many people as legally possible. So load up your friends/family and make it a point to check out this incredible area.

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Fly fishing this time of year is quite the treat. During the weekdays you’ll notice that the crowds have begun to disperse and the area feels like the real, raw Alaska that you’ve surely come to fall in love with. You also might be incredibly surprised to learn that you very well might have the entire river to yourself.

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This time of year, the river is filled with brilliantly colored salmon that are starting the spawning process. We even stumbled upon a huge king salmon on a low riverbed that was turned totally white and spawned out. It is a rare occurrence to see those huge fish so far upstream in the Russian River, but it is always cool sighting to behold. We started upstream and walked down over the course of about five hours.  In most areas the water was only a couple feet deep so we were able to walk back and forth from each side and fish both banks thoroughly.

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It’s pretty easy to fall in love with the Russian River. Unlike the Kenai, it is very shallow in many areas (especially the upper) and you can actually see into the water all the way to the bottom. The beautiful multi-colored rocks on the riverbed are very slippery, so it’s important to use extreme caution when in the water so that you don’t fall over.

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Pretty frequently the bright red salmon would move quickly and splash up out of the water, which can also alarm you and throw you off a bit as you are meandering through the quick currents. We couldn’t stop catching fish! It was epic, to say the least. We hooked several nice little rainbows, but nothing too big in size. They are a blast to catch because they run like the wind and are very feisty.

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We also had great success with dolly varden (dollies), grayling and even a couple beautiful silvers. We primarily used beads on a fly or threw a couple fly’s on there solo to switch it up every so often.

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Everything was catch and release (this was definitely not a “meat run”), just a fun day with a little finesse and a fly rod.

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In true Alaskan fashion, we fished until the very last moment and soaked up every ounce of sunlight. And luckily, we had a phenomenal sunset to close out a picture perfect day of fishing. Talk about one of those moments that make you have to *pinch* yourself because it’s almost unbelievable to live in such a stunningly beautiful place. So grateful to live in (truly) the most beautiful place in the last frontier!

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Have you been fishing this summer? Where are your favorite spots to go on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? We’d love to hear about all your epic adventures! Wishing you tight lines, water babies and adventure hounds!

All photos above are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing will sole usage rights granted to KPTMC. If you’d like to use any, please inquire before hand. Thank you!

It’s Impossible Not To Fall In Love With The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Leave Alaska’s largest city of Anchorage and head down to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground to enjoy the most fun and exciting place in all of the last frontier. On your way down after you pass Girdwood and right before the Whittier turnoff is this magical place known as the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. AWCC is ‘dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, education and quality animal care.’ Many animals here are rehabilitated before being re-introduced to the wild, while others look so happy that they will probably never want to leave.

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The first thing we noticed was all of the little attention-to-detail features. The wildlife theme was carried about from start to finish (and every single place in between). We were also pleasantly surprised by how kind and educated the entire staff was (literally, everyone). Everyone was so nice and helpful and most importantly – enthused! To hear their experiences first hand and feel their love and dedication for the animals was so spectacular. This is truly one of the most incredible places in the entire 49th state.

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Next we pulled up to the toll both area where we pay to enter. I believe it was $12.50 per person (adult) of which the money goes back to help feed and take care of the animals at the conservation center. Pretty good deal if you as us! We couldn’t help but love the wooden bear carvings as the sign that showed us all of the animals we were about to see, yippie!

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As we pulled around to find a parking spot (which was hard – the place was totally packed), we noticed the bears over to the right. So of course, that was our first stop. BEARS! Eeeeek!

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The observation bridge through the bear habitat was packed with people that were just like us – totally fascinated by the enormous mammals.

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At one point in time all three bears gathered perfectly into the photo frame while the nibbled on grass and explored their backyard for all of us to swoon over.

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The littlest of the three brown bears was actually the oldest (as told by one of the staff). We had to snap a photo because she was looking mighty good for her age!

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On the other side were a couple of black bears. They were pretty much basking in the sun and completely ignoring all of the tourists that were gushing over how cute they are.

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At one point in time this cutie woke up for a picture. As you can see, he is totally out of it. Shortly thereafter he went right back to sleep and continued ignoring us.

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Next we headed over to check out the Musk Ox in the distance.

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There was a great deal of education information about these ice age creatures and we were sure to get in plenty of reading while viewing them in the distance.

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These stoic animals have such a strong and impressive disposition. Just look at that view… Alaska at it’s finest!

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As you will soon find out from the countless photos below, we were kind of obsessed with the Sitka Black-tailed Deer.

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The deer and elk were both so fun to observe. Some moved slowly while dining on grass while other just basked in the warm sun.

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And of course in true AWCC fashion, the informative signs provided us with a great deal of information including diet, size, weigh, habitat and reproduction.

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In this photo you can (sort of) see a tiny little baby nestling next to the center tree. The babies were so adorable it made it very tough to leave. You could truly just sit and stare at them all day long.

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We also really enjoyed seeing how these beautiful animals all gathered together like one big happy family. With the tall snow-capped mountains in the background, it made for the perfect photo-op.

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We stopped for a good amount of time to take in the wood bison roaming about in the incredibly large (contained) field area.

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These two (below) foraged on some grass and contemplated making a move to the other side to join the rest of the group.

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The big guy was the first to cross to the other side, but first had to stop for a drink along the way.

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Next we made a quick stop to admire the flower garden that doubled as a fork in the road.

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We headed over to check out the moose and the small barn-like building with critters inside.

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There is great information about moose, the climates they live in and how there antlers grow and shed.

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The moose were just chillen out inside enjoying the cool shade in the building. Those antlers are beautiful (and they look so soft)!

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On the other side was a couple smaller critters hanging out and enjoying a neat little space.

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We snapped a fun photo of this small red fox posing for the camera and taking in the beautiful mountain view.

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As we continued our tour inside the open barn area we came across this cool musk ox skull. Pretty fascinating history behind it as you can read below.

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Displayed on the wall inside is this massive wood bison hid with information about it. It was actually quite soft to the touch and we would imagine it would keep you very, very warm on a chilly Alaska night.

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On the way out we hopped back in the truck and took a journey by the caribou viewing area.

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Otherwise known as “reindeer” – these animals are incredible to observe. And check out those beautiful velvety racks, simply stunning!

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And in perfectly fitting Alaska fashion – an Alaska flag on the way out. Next to a reindeer cutout, of course!

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But wait, there is more! On the other side – an American flag. The best of both worlds collide at the entrance/exit of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. We love the little details and as we said before, this place doesn’t leave a single stone unturned.

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Be sure to put this magical place on your bucket list before summer is over and winter rolls around. It truly is a place that guarantees endless smiles as you fall in love with the incredible amounts of wildlife that roam the last frontier.

All photos above are taken by Courtney Stanley and copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to KPTMC. If you’re interested in using any, please inquire with us directly.

13 Great Spots To Walk In And Wet A Line

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Summer solstice has came and went and August is the time of the season to wet lines and soak up the warmest weather of the year. While some might think that the best fishing spots on the river and the salt require a boat and plenty of money for gas, we are here to prove that misconception all wrong. These walk-in fishing spots are easily accessible, they offer spectacular scenery and best of all – all they require is for you to show up with a rod in hand. Low maintenance and easy on the wallet, for those of you that love catching deliciously wild Alaska seafood – it doesn’t get much better than these hot spots and best kept secrets on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Flickr - Maria Fletcher-Stark

Flickr – Maria Fletcher-Stark

1 – Homer Lagoon

Flickr - Isaac Wedin

Flickr – Isaac Wedin

2 – Bings Landing on the Kenai River

Flickr - Travis

Flickr – Travis

3 – Russian River Confluence in Cooper Landing

Flickr - Ian Collins

Flickr – Ian Collins

4 – Soldotna Creek Park on the Kenai River

Facebook - Soldotna Creek Park

Facebook – Soldotna Creek Park

5 – Anchor River in Anchor Point

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Photo Credit – Pixabay

6 – Seward Beach

Flickr - madeleine deaton

Flickr – madeleine deaton

7 – Centennial Campground in Soldotna

Facebook - Centennial Campground

Facebook – Centennial Campground

8 – Crooked Creek at the Kasilof River Confluence

Facebook - Crooked Creek Guide Service, Cabins and RV Community

Facebook – Crooked Creek Guide Service, Cabins and RV Community

9 – Mouth of the Kenai River at Kenai Beach

Flickr - Kim F

Flickr – Kim F

10 –  Mouth of the Kasilof River at Kasilof Beach

Photo Credit - Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter

Photo Credit – Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter

11 – Resurrection Creek in Hope

Flickr - Philip Morton

Flickr – Philip Morton

12 – Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing

PC - Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit – Courtney Stanley

13 – Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River

Photo Credit - YouTube

Photo Credit – YouTube

While these spots are all phenomenal in their own ways, keep in mind there are tons more great spots to walk-in and wet a line all throughout The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. But we figured that this will give you a good introduction for now. For the fly fishers in the crowd THIS article is a great read and documents some great spots to walk-in and wet a line. If you’d like any more tips for great spots or need help finding any of the above that we’ve listed, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email and we will help in anyway that we can!

You Might Be Surprised To Learn That The Kenai Is A Surfing Destination

This footage of Homer based surfer and photographer, Scott Dickerson will make you completely fall in love with surfing on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. His perspective on appreciating the simplicity of life and his tenacity to brave the cold Alaskan waters is incredibly admirable. As he talks about one of the most glorious parts of surfing in Alaska being that there aren’t the crazy crowds on the water (like what you might experience in places like Hawaii), we can’t help but to relate.

We love Alaska’s Playground for many, many undeniable reasons but probably more so that anything, the ability to find our own private pieces of paradise – sans the crowds – is what really makes our hearts skip a beat. There is nothing like the feeling of getting up close and personal with nature while experience the sounds of, well – nothing. The hustle and bustle of the city is just not for us. We are outdoor lovers with a passion for all things natural and pristine. And if we can experience Alaska’s many mountains, glaciers and wildlife while doing fun water sports such as surfing, why the heck wouldn’t we? Life is too short to be bored and as the saying goes… you can get busy living or you can get busy dying. And on that note, it’s time for us to go home and go play!

Would you ever try surfing on Alaska’s Playground? The folks at Surf Alaska in Homer are experts at documenting the true beauty of this sport. Be sure to check them out!

These 5 Videos Of Baby Moose In Alaska Will Make Your Heart Explode

Seeing wildlife (from a distance) in the wild is one of the most remarkable things to witness in life. The innocence of seeing these adorable babies has the ability to soften the hearts of even the toughest humans out there. After watching these five videos of baby moose in Alaska, don’t be surprised if your eyes become welled up with water, your jaw is continuously dropped from the cuteness factor and your mouth utters the words “awww” and “oh my gosh how cuteeee” over and over again. Enjoy! 🙂

Flickr - debbie_sonberg

Flickr – debbie_sonberg

These precious baby moose playing in a yard sprinkler in a residential neighborhood in Alaska is proof that our hearts can explode several times in one single minute. OH MY GOSH! ❤

You might have remembered the baby moose that was born recently in the Lowe’s parking lot in Alaska. Talk about an “Only in Alaska” moment. So special.

This baby moose wobbling around and learning how to walk in Homer on the Kenai Peninsula is way too cute for words. So lovable, huggable and kissable!

From just over a month ago in Alaska is this fantastic video (with great music) of a baby moose playing in someone’s yard as mama watches on. It’s happy, innocent and filled with so much joy.

And last but not least there is this truly miraculous video of a mama moose lying down on a yard in Alaska and giving birth to twins. It shows the actual birth (which is slightly graphic to some) but it’s one of the most beautiful displays of nature that you will probably ever witness. Watch as the newborn moose stumble and wobble to get up and use their legs for the first time ever.

That’s all for now! ❤ Do you have any video footage of wildlife on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground that you’ve taken? If so, be sure to share it with us in the comments below because we would LOVE to see it!

This Footage Will Make You Fall In Love With Backpacking On The Kenai

Happy first day of July! With the 4th of July weekend officially upon us, we figured that there is no greater way to celebrate our independence than to leave the noise of the city behind us and disappear into the woods for a lofty dose of nature cleansing. For all over you adventure travelers that are visiting The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground this summer, we have the perfect idea for you to get the most out of every step of your epic journey. First things first; You must rummage your closet for some ultra-durable wicking layers of clothing, get a handful of MRE meals and some delicious dried fruit, grab a light yet comfortable sleeping pad, a warm sleeping bag, a can of bear spray, a few bottles of bug spray and a durable tent with a good rain fly. Okay, now you are ready to rock and roll in the backcountry.

Backpacking is the best way to get up close and personal with the real, raw Alaska that locals love. If you want to get up close and personal with stoic wildlife, booming mountains, glistening glaciers and abundant fishing streams – this is the activity for you. Round up some of your best friends or your special someone and hit the ground running. The 6,908,540 acre Chugach National Forest and the 1.92 million acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are just a couple of the excellent areas that are perfect for all of your beloved backpacking adventures. And if tent camping isn’t really your thing, keep in mind that there are tons of state cabins all throughout these great places that are available for a very small fee (with reservations required). Be safe and have fun out there this weekend and all summer long.

Happiness only real when shared. ❤ Don’t go into the backcountry alone unless you’ve told close friends or family exactly where you are going and where your daily routes are going to lead you.

Are you as obsessed with the outdoors as we are? Check out this article which features great camping spots all over The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

10 Breakfast Restaurants On The Kenai That Are Seriously Delicious

Flickr - ltenney1225

Flickr – ltenney1225

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so really – who are we to disagree? And after eating at all of these truly scrumptious restaurants, we might even want to start eating our favorite meal of the day for lunch and dinner too. 😉

For well made recipes with quality ingredients and lofty serving sizes, you gotta’ check out these 10 breakfast restaurants on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground that are sure to blow your taste buds out of the water. Note: These are listed in no particular order, because you know – we love them all equally!

Flickr - Clemens v. Vogelsang

Flickr – Clemens v. Vogelsang

1 – The Smoke Shack in Seward. Eat delicious American style cuisine in an old rail road car. You’ll have to squeeze into this tiny little spot, but the delicious food and fantastic service makes it all worth while. Visitors rave about the French toast, eggs and bacon.

Facebook - Smoke Shack from Vivian Wu

2 – Duncan House Diner in Homer is where everyone in town will tell you to go if you only have one day to eat breakfast in the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.” This iconic breakfast spot has been loved by locals and any visitor that ever steps food inside it’s doors since 2002. Some breakfast favorites include the Hearty Homesteader, High Tide and the packed omelets.

227769_472996722736442_1318440551_n3 – Tito’s Discovery Café in Hope is truly a hidden gem in this tiny quaint town. Visitors rave about the reindeer sausage, eggs, hash browns and the mouth watering pies. Only here will you realize that sometimes it is just A-OKAY to have a slice of pie for dessert after breakfast.

Facebook - Tito's Discovery Cafe, Hope, AK4 – Rocky’s Café in Kasilof is one of the most hoppin’ joints in the summer time. Stop by and enjoy eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy or how about some bacon chocolate chip pancakes before heading out for a day of fishing. Visitors also love the log cabin feel and the beautiful local themed paintings and stain glass adornments inside.

Rocky's Cafe5 – The Duck Inn located conveniently off of K-Beach road in Soldotna is a local hot spot that visitors are as equally attracted to. A clean and comfortable environment with ample seating makes this place welcoming to parties of all sizes. And then you have the food; huge serving sizes, quality ingredients and most importantly – consistently excellent meals. It’s always a win-win!

Facebook - The Duck Inn, Soldotna6 – Louie’s Restaurant in Kenai has been around for over 30 years. The rustic and Alaskan atmosphere truly offers one of the most beloved spots for locals to get great food, every time. Known for their large serving sizes, consistently mouth-watering food and friendly service – Louie’s is where you go for a taste of what the locals love.

Facebook - Louie's via Bob Ball7 – Gwin’s Lodge in Cooper Landing is one of those places that have a way of making you instantly feel like you’re at home. The friendly service and the log cabin adornments are charming, warm and perfectly Alaskan. Load up on a hearty eggs, bacon and hash browns breakfast before jamming out to the Kenai River for a day of fishing or floating down the rapids.

Facebook - Gwin's Lodge8 – The Restaurant at Porterhouse Grill in Sterling is newly opened and quickly winning the hearts of anyone who walks through the doors. Locals can’t get enough of the country breakfast, omelets, pancakes and delicious French toast. This is the perfect place to stop before heading out for a day of fishing on the Kenai River.

Facebook - The Restaurant at Porterhouse Grill9 – The Chart Room at Land’s End Resort in Homer offers a renowned chef serving hearty, home-style breakfast options as well as one of the most spectacular views in all of Alaska. Visitors here can’t get enough of all the healthy and hearty omelet options, the vanilla run French toast and the pacific hash.

10659347_10152390415576903_6866737128202624558_n10 – The Anchor River Inn in Anchor Point is way more than just a place to rest your head at night. For those coming down to fish for steelhead or king salmon on the Anchor River or maybe going out on the salt to fish for halibut out of Deep Creek – you must start your day at this delicious diner. Favorites include the Fresh toast, cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon and hash browns. YUM!

Facebook - Anchor River Inn

Beautiful Beaches on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Photo by Jean -Marie Prival, Flickr.

Photo by Jean -Marie Prival, Flickr

As Summer Solstice has officially came and went, we are now able to ring in all that the season has to offer. Warm weather and over 20 hours of daylight means that we have more time than our heart desires to get out and enjoy our beautiful beaches, sandy shores and spectacular mountain views.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

The beach in Seward is an excellent place to camp with friends and family, go whale watching or just listen to the waves crash against shore as you prepare to head out of a saltwater fishing adventure. The snow-capped mountains in the distance are pretty mesmerizing as well!

Photo from Brian Strombeck, Flickr.

Photo from Brian Strombeck, Flickr.

The town of Hope is known for having some of the most beautiful sights in all of Alaska although the simplicity of the town make you feel totally at ease and relaxed. Pitch a tent on the beach and stay through the night or enjoy a day hike high into the mountains with stunning views of the beach from above.  

Photo from Erik Halfacre, Flickr.

Photo from Erik Halfacre, Flickr.

Take a small plane over to Katmai National Park and land right on the beach at Hallo Bay before enjoying an epic day of watching bears feed on salmon in Brooks Falls. Only on Alaska’s Playground!

Photo from Marshmallow, Flickr.

Photo from Marshmallow, Flickr.

The beach running up and down the Homer Spit is described as “epic” on a daily basis. The place is truly like something out of a movie. Enjoy walking the long sandy beach, let your dogs dip their paws in the water, camp out, let the kids splash in the surf, fly a kite, have a campfire, surf-cast off shore or just sit back and enjoy watching the boats come in and out of the harbor. There are also tons of great shops, eateries, bakeries and restaurants up and down the spit that are great to enjoy when you want a break from having sandy toes. There is no such thing as a bad day on the Homer Spit!

Homer, Alaska - Tent on Homer Spit

Photo from Cristopher Griner, Flickr.

Staying up late enough to enjoy an Alaska’s Playground sunset is definitely worth while when you are at Kenai Beach.

Photo from Wasif Siddiqui, Flickr.

Photo from Wasif Siddiqui, Flickr.

The Kasilof Beach at the mouth of the Kasilof River is great spot to go if you are coming to dipnet, go fishing, beachcomb or just soak in the gorgeous mountainous views.

Photo from Travis, Flickr.

Photo from Travis, Flickr.

The beach in Anchor Point is known for it’s famous tractor launch. But if you are looking for an excellent beach to just put your toes in the sand and soak in out-of-this-world views, this is your spot. Bald eagles are very commonly viewable at this beach from very close distances (and it’s INCREDIBLE)! It’s hard to leave disappointed after spending the day at this amazing beach.

Photo from Kevan Dee, Flickr.

Photo from Kevan Dee, Flickr.

Clam Gulch is where you need to go for stunning mountain views, soft sand and utter solitude! Sometimes getting away from the crowds and just being one with Alaska is the best way to refresh your soul before returning to work on Monday morning.

Photo from Peter Flynn, Flickr.

Photo from Peter Flynn, Flickr.

Find a secluded (private) beach by the town of Seldovia and feel yourself be completely ruined to any other beach in the world. Once you have a beach all to yourself with absolutely zero sounds to be heard except the waves breaking and the birds chirping… you will be totally, completely ruined. In the best way possible.

Photo from Joseph, Flickr.

Photo from Joseph, Flickr.

Bishops Beach in Homer is one of those magical places where you feel like you could walk for days and days and never get tired. Surrounded by mountainous views and brisk saltwater in the air, this place is truly magical.

Photo from caliseashel, Flickr.

Photo from caliseashel, Flickr.

Discovery Beach at Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski is an excellent place to beachcomb, ride ATVs, go horseback riding, walk for miles and miles or stay long enough to enjoy an incredible sunset. The beauty at this beach is most definitely worth the semi-long drive out from the town of Kenai.

Photo from RocksInMyHead, Flickr.

Photo from RocksInMyHead, Flickr.

The beaches inside the Kenai Fjords National Park out of Seward are sometimes rocky and sometimes sandy, but they are ALWAYS stunningly beautiful

Photo from National Park Service, Alaska Region, Flickr.

Photo from National Park Service, Alaska Region, Flickr.

Halibut Cove in Kachemak Bay is another excellent place to go if you are on the search for the most beautiful and perfect secluded beach paradise.

Photo from Antti T. Nissinen, Flickr.

Photo from Antti T. Nissinen, Flickr.

The beach in Lake Clark National Park is an excellent place to go and check out huge bears in their natural habitat. Stay for the day and enjoy world-class sockeye or silver salmon fishing!

Photo from Sanjoy Ghosh, Flickr.

Photo from Sanjoy Ghosh, Flickr.

The beach at Lowell Point in Seward is known for providing fun for all ages, shapes and sizes. Play in the surf, skip rocks, paddle out into the ocean via kayak or spot for humpback whales from shore. Whatever you do here, you will be happy. It’s impossible to be anything but happy when you are surrounded by such stunning natural beauty.

Photo from Dave Bezaire, Flickr.

Photo from Dave Bezaire, Flickr.

If lake life is more your cup of tea, Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing has been known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Alaska. We’d say that this picture at sunset definitely validates those claims!

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

That’s it for now, nature lovers and adventure hounds! Enjoy the beautiful beaches on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground this summer and remember to always be bear aware. 😉 Happy travels!

Photo from Stephen Brkich, Flickr.

Photo from Stephen Brkich, Flickr.

May Keen-Eye Candy

Russian River 5.13Well, it’s hard to believe that June is already here! May ended up proving to be one of the most beautiful months that we’ve seen all year. From steady temps in the 70’s, flat water on the salt, stunning vistas high in the mountains, epic sunrises and breathtaking sunsets… it sure was a doozy!

Beluga Point 5.13

When you take the drive from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground up north towards Anchorage, it’s impossible not to stop at Six Mile Creek to splash your toes in the water, especially on the most perfect sunshiny Alaska day.

Sixmile Creek

Lower Summit Lake is an excellent place to go birding, wildlife viewing or just stop and soak in the incredible photography opportunities.

Lower Summit Lake 5.13

Somewhere deep into the backcountry way above the Kenai River is a mountainous view that is sure to blow you away. If you look close enough, you can even see the Kenai River peeping through at the very bottom of the mountains.

Backcountry Cooper LandingThe boat harbor on the Homer Spit is surely filled with more fish stories than we could even imagine. And it sure is beautiful!

Homer Boat Docks

The view from the deck at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the Kenai River is absolutely spectacular.

Princess lodge 2

When we visited Jim’s Landing off Skilak Lake loop this May, we noticed that there were some pretty impressive rock stacks all over the shore.

Jim

The turquoise blue water at the Russian River ferry is always an enchanting sight to behold during the springtime months.

Russian River Confluence 5.13

On May 3rd you could catch a sunrise around 6:30am and it certainly made getting out of bed a whole heck of a lot easier.

5AM sunrise cinso de mayo

But these days you have to get up around 4am to be fortunate enough to catch the sunrise. But when you do, the stunning beauty makes it so that you don’t regret the lack of sleep one bit!

Run Sunrise 5.26

And sunsets (which are equally as breathtaking) won’t come around until nearly midnight. But when you’re feeling up to it, they sure are worth staying up late for. This one below is overlooking Cook Inlet from a secluded trail in Alaska’s Kenai River City of Soldotna.

Woods Sunset Eric

The lifejackets are out and ready for the season at Bings Landing. Remember, kids don’t float!

Bings

This picture has us convinced that Kenai Lake might be a magical place that comes straight out of our dreams. Simply stunning!

Kenai Lake

Halibut Cove was beaming with bright blue skies, tents on the beach and snow-capped mountains this May. This little place is truly so special. If you ever get the chance to visit, DO! You won’t regret one second of it.

Halibut Cove

A little place called Cooper Lake is the perfect spot to go if you want to get away from the crowds but still enjoy epic fly fishing and mountain views.

Cooper Lake

The turquoise water of the Kenai River is the definition of “eye candy” in the springtime. Especially when the leaves are starting to turn colors and develop more life and there is still leftover snow on the mountains from the winter months. These two factors really make that turquoise water POP all that more clearly.

Princess Chute - Cooper Landing

The view from the pullout going into Homer always seems to knock us off of our feet. With the spit in the distance and mountains for days, it’s easy to fall head-over-heels in love.

View over Homer

Going springtime mudding down one of many trails on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is the perfect way to dust the cobwebs off the ATVs and prepare for an awesome summer of riding and exploring the great outdoors.

Four Wheeler Sunset 5.14

I think we can all agree on one things… No matter what, there are no bad days when you’re out on the salt!

Fishing Pole

Cheers to another amazing month down, friends! We hope you all enjoyed your month of May as much as we did and we look forward to the most epic month of June in The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground history. 😉 Be safe out there and as always, have FUN!

Bird Point Trailhead

All photos in this post are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Photo by Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

Photo by Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

As summer nears and springtime is in full swing, one thing that everyone looks forward to (yes, even the bears) is how magically beautiful the fresh blooming flowers brighten up The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

After a long, cold winter it is easy to feel completely entrenched in snow and frozenness. Lakes, yards, valleys, riverbanks, everything under the sun – you guessed it… FROZEN. So when we see beautiful fireweed blooming, it is 100% worthy of a photo-shoot in itself.

Photo from Megan, Flickr.

Photo from Megan, Flickr.

The sea of flowers along the Lost Lake Trail is truly motivation to keep going and going. Exercise seems easy when you’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful sights in the world.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

Accessible from the lovely town of Seward, the views around Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park are stunning after the April showers bring May flowers.

Photo from Ronald Woan, Flickr.

Photo from Ronald Woan, Flickr.

Renting a cabin in the woods is just part of the Alaska’s Playground experience. Have a fire outside, ride the ATV’s and just enjoy unplugging from the rat race of the city. And when flowers are in bloom, it’s hard not to fall in love with the beauty.

Photo from Keith Parker, Flickr.

Photo from Keith Parker, Flickr.

And if mellow-yellow is more of your style, you guessed it – we have some of that too!

Photo from Bill Bumgarner, Flickr.

Photo from Bill Bumgarner, Flickr.

The view from Ptarmigan Lake with fiery flowers is something that makes us feel a bit like we are in a land of heaven right here on earth.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

And so does the very presence of being at Quartz Creek in Cooper Landing during the season of fresh blooming flowers and crisp, clean air!

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

If long walks in the wildflowers and daisy chain necklaces are your cup of tea, Bear Creek is an excellent place to set off on an exploration.

Photo from Random Michelle, Flickr.

Photo from Random Michelle, Flickr.

Fireweed with snow-capped mountains in the background just screams “Only In Alaska” and we fall head-over-heels in love!

Photo from Dr.DeNo, Flickr.

Photo from Dr.DeNo, Flickr.

Or fireweed with the view of a glacier in the distance… that is a pretty epic WINNING sight as well. Fritz Creek is a fantastic place to enjoy the bright blooming May flowers on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Photo from Joe Decruyenaere, Flickr.

Photo from Joe Decruyenaere, Flickr.

Hiking along Primrose is filled with so many colorful sights that you’d think a skittles bag exploded all over the backcountry.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

Photo from Dan Logan, Flickr.

Flowers on the Kenai Peninsula are so excited to bloom, don’t be surprised if you find them growing out of rocks. These bluebells sure are determined!

Photo from Bill Bumgarner, Flickr.

Photo from Bill Bumgarner, Flickr.

Quite frankly, after seeing this stunning view overlooking Kachemak Bay from Diamond Ridge in Homer, we have never been more excited for the season of bloom that is upon us!

Photo from Lisa Matlock, Flickr.

Photo from Lisa Matlock, Flickr.

And if you’re as in love with wildlife viewing as we are, don’t worry – you can enjoy the moose and the beautiful flowers at the same time.
Photo from Lynda Cazort, Flickr.

Photo from Lynda Cazort, Flickr.

Or if you are planning on visiting Alaska’s Playground to get your fishing game on, we got you covered there too. Even the walk to the docks is lined with stunning May flowers after the April showers. Kick things into gear and enjoy the colorful sights and fresh fragrance on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground this month!

Photo from Nicholas D., Flickr.

Photo from Nicholas D., Flickr.

20 Undeniable Reasons Why Everyone Should Love Alaska

Photo from kathika.com.

Photo from kathika.com.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer out there! The 49th state is a glorious place for freedom lovers and wilderness adventurers. The last frontier is more than just a place for the wildlife to roam free, it’s an outdoor mecca for anyone looking to experience some of the most beautiful, untouched land in all of the world. We will give you 20 undeniable reasons why everyone should love Alaska, but we all know that this is a topic we could sing the praises to for well over 20 lines. 😉

#1 – Seclusion. Sure the city lights can be luring, but Alaska has the lowest population density in the nation at one person per square mile. The perfect place to unplug and drink life in.

#2 – Natural Hot Springs. The U.S. Geological Survey identifies 79 thermal springs in Alaska.

Photo from www.alaska.org of Chena Hot springs.

Photo from http://www.Alaska.org of Chena Hot springs.

#3 – Snow days in Alaska are not ordinary whatsoever. Winter is nothing short of EPIC. Drive right out your front door and go cross country skiing or snow-machining in a total backcountry paradise.

Photo from crestedbutteguides.com.

Photo from crestedbutteguides.com.

#4 – 24 hours of daylight. Otherwise known as “the land of the midnight sun.” This means, more time to play during the warm summer months. Alaskans have a motto: we will sleep in the wintertime, just like the bears!

Photo from www.adn.com.

Photo from http://www.adn.com.

#5 – Aurora Borealis. The beautiful colors of the Northern Lights do all the talking for themselves. Seeing these gorgeous dancing lights in person is a MUST for everyone’s lifetime bucket list.

Photo from northtosouth.us.

Photo from northtosouth.us.

#6 – Sunrises. One word: breathtaking. We would say more, but we are speechless.