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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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! <3 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.

#7 – Fishing. The fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private industry employer. Such a fun activity for the sport fisherman as well as the whole family.

#8 – Hiking. For the active, outdoor enthusiast- Alaska is the place to be. Whether you are a beginner or an expert hiker looking to go off the beaten path, hundreds upon thousands of hiking trails make up this beautiful state.

#9 – Water babies, unite! There are more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes in Alaska.

Photo from ehfcmembers.wordpress.com.

Photo from ehfcmembers.wordpress.com.

#10 – National Parks. Alaska has 8 National Parks, the second largest amount of any other state in the USA. All but two are actually classified as both National Parks and National Preserves.

Photo from hqworld.net.

Photo from hqworld.net.

#11 – Island living. Don’t think of “island life” when you think of Alaska? Think again. Alaska has 2,670 named islands making this the state perfect for those who want their own slice of Alaskan paradise.

Photo from www.wsj.com.

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

#12 – Alaska or bust! “The mountains are calling, and I must go!” Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are in Alaska.

#13 – Forests. The country’s largest and second-largest national forests are in Alaska. The 17-million-acre Tongass and the 5.6-million-acre Chugach. Both lie in southern Alaska and protect temperate rain forests and coastal mountains.

#14 – Glaciers. There are 616 officially named glaciers in Alaska however the Alaska Almanac estimates that Alaska has over 100,000 glaciers.

#15 – Arctic Tundra. This refers to treeless ecosystems where winters are long and cold, and summers are short and (usually) chilly. With a view like this, it’s hard not to fall in love.

#16 – Dog mushing is our state sport! And what’s not to love about that? In our book, the more dogs- the better! There is something so spectacular about the relationship between hard working dog mushers and their resilient, athletic dogs.

Photo from animalaska.wordpress.com.

Photo from animalaska.wordpress.com.

#17 – A birders paradise. Alaska has over 430 species of birds with the largest population of bald eagles in the entire nation.

#18 – A bear viewing mecca. Alaska is home to 98% of the US brown bear population and 70% of the total North American population. An estimated 30,000 brown bears live in Alaska.

#19 – We have the highest mountain peak in North America, Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). Sitting 20,310 feet above sea level, Mt. Denali is the third most prominent and isolated mountain in the world.

Photo from en.wikipedia.org.

Photo from en.wikipedia.org.

#20 – Sunsets. We will let the picture do all the talking. But really though, how could anyone resist this stunning eye candy?

Photo from fineartamerica.com.

Photo from fineartamerica.com.

Everyone Must Visit Kasilof Mercantile & Rocky’s Café

r1

As you head south from Soldotna towards Kasilof (in the direction of Homer), you will come across Rocky’s Café and the Kasilof Mercentile on the left hand side of the Sterling Hwy, right before you hit the bridge that goes over the Kasilof River.

r16

The sign says café and espresso but there is SO much more at this great Alaskan place than just those two things. Upon pulling into the parking lot, we loved checking out all the cool displays that screamed “you are in a fishing town in Alaska.” First up was this huge salmon hung up with cool mile arrows telling you how far it is to more “civilized” areas. Paris, France is 4883 miles away – holy smokes! We certainly are remote up here on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground (and we love it that way).

r3

We also LOVED this swinging bench with old license plates from all around the United States. Perfect for a family photo op after enjoying a good meal inside. Apologies for the slightly blurry outside photos. When you arrive at 8:30pm on an empty stomach, it’s hard to keep your hands totally steady when your stomach is growling at you.😉

r2

What stuck out to us was the attention to detail that this establishment truly put so some much care and emphasis on. As you read on you will see what we mean. Every direction you turn is beautifully decorated in the most Alaskan way possible. And it starts with these beautiful carved bears that great you upon entering.

r4

The first thing you see when coming in is a stocked up gift shop. For locals and visitors alike – there is something for everyone. Cool tee’s, hoodies, mugs, artwork, treats and so much more.

r15

As we walked to our table, we loved how clean and cozy the restaurant was. We also loved all the natural light that was coming in through the many windows. The exposed beams with hanging fans were also a very exquisite touch.

r9

We couldn’t help but to feast our eyes on all the beautiful stained glass. The wood and metal fish mounts were really cool as well.

r12

The Alaska themed artwork was also so beautiful to just stare at in amazement. Beautiful photos of epic wildlife found on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

r11

Then there is this epic paining of the mountains and inlet with float planes and fishing boats. Phenomenal! So very cool and so very fitting.

r10

The huge fireplace located right across from our table made us dream of returning during the snowy winter months. This would be the perfect spot to warm up next to the fire while enjoying a hearty meal.

r5We were also very impressed by the layout. There is a great amount of seating area (although were sure it gets packed during the summertime), a lengthy bar area and also lots of outdoor picnic tables. For such a small town, this is a rare find!

r6At Rocky’s Café they serve a mix of hearty American style cuisine options including burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, wild Alaska seafood, omelets, pancakes and other fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner options. We stuck to some traditional favorites. Up first was a delicious Rueben on toasted wheat bread with fries on the side.

r13

And a Kasilof Club on sourdough bread with perfectly cooked tater tots. This is a favorite menu option for many who visit!

r14

On the way out we were pleasantly greeted by the dessert display. Our diets might not have loved us for partaking in this sweetness, but we couldn’t resist homemade cakes.

r8

And then there is the ice cream cooler…😉 Need we say more? We decided that it should be considered illegal to leave Rocky’s Café without getting ice cream on the way out. Far too many fabulous flavors to pass up.

r7

From great food, ice cream, amazing desserts, a warm fire place, a cozy log cabin atmosphere, incredible paintings/artwork/stained glass windows, a gift shop and truly warm hospitality – it’s next to impossible to be disappointed when visiting this great Alaskan spot.

April Keen-Eye Candy

sunset at kenai river sanctuary 4.2

It was another fabulous month on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! From stunning sunsets and sunrises to enchanting river and mountain views – no stone of beauty was left unturned this April 2016 all across the Kenai Peninsula.

Kenai Lake 4.2

Surfcasting from the beach for halibut is excellent this time of year. We were consistently catching fish around 20-30 pounds which are small in size yet perfect for eating.

Surfcasting for Halibut off the Kasilof Beach 4.10

Walking the dogs at 6AM is worth it on the Kenai Peninsula when you have a sunrise like this… WOW!

Sunrise 4.26

Easy like Sunday morning turned into a pretty rugged and adventurous hike into the backcountry off of Tustemena Lake. With turquoise blue views like this, it was easy to keep going and going. Absolutely breathtaking!

58b15064-5ded-4097-ae0d-e5711f7e3512

The views of the huge snow-capped mountains in the distance was enough to completely knock us off our feet. Well, that and we needed an excuse to sit down and soak it all in (and tear into the picnic basket).

eb1511af-5aaa-4bce-85c1-0af3142ed3e9

A mid-week sunset at Kenai Beach off of Cannery Beach Road was the perfect way to break up the monotony of the work week and keep us motivated to push through until the weekend rolled around.

Kenai Beach Sunset 4.16

Hidden Lake with the mountains in the distance was gleaming with beauty this April as the trees started to gain back color and the bluebird sky shined in the distance.

Hidden Lake 4.3.16

It never seizes to amaze us how much Alaska shows off before most of the world is even awake. This sunrise painted the sky with vibrant colors before 7am on a Tuesday. The Kenai Peninsula is truly a magical playground.

Sunrise 4.11

Across Skilak Lake in the Northeast corner was this completely secluded fishing spot that produced a handful of beautiful rainbow trout this April. Fly fishing in peace is a breath of fresh air from the summertime combat fishing. But who are we kidding, we love it all!

Fishing the Northeast corner of Skilak Lake 4.3.16

The perfect way to spend a Friday night on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is by beach bummin’ it and sticking around to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in the entire world.

4.23

When you have 60 degree temperatures and not a hint of wind in the air, spending the day slowly drifting the river and wetting some lines is the closest feeling to ‘heaven on earth’ that we can imagine.

Skilak Lake 4.6

The endless beauty at Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing is another fantastic way to spend the day getting lost in translation in the great outdoors on Alaska’s Playground.

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Enjoying dinner over campfire at Kasilof Beach is something that feels so amazing, it’s almost like it came straight out of a dream.

Eric fire and sunset

And sticking around to enjoy every last minute of cracking campfire, saltwater breeze and fresh air until the sun goes down and it turns to pitch black outside… ALWAYS totally worth it.

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Cheers to an amazing April 2016 filled with stunning beauty, endless outdoor activities, amazing friends and dedicated community members on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. It’s been a wildly beautiful ride and we are now officially ready to bring on the next month. Be sure to share your May adventure with us on our Facebook page!

4.22

All photos included in this post are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to KPTMC.

The Best Breakup Of Your Life

Photo shared from cutterlight.com

Photo shared from cutterlight.com

If you are from Alaska, you know exactly what we are talking about. If you aren’t… well, were talking about a little thing that happens right after you contract that horrible illness known as spring fever.

Photo from Flickr/capt_tain Tom

Photo from Flickr/capt_tain Tom

And because it’s contagious, you spread the illness to all of your friends…

Photo from Flickr/JGS Concepts

Photo from Flickr/JGS Concepts

Breakup season is the time when Alaska slowly starts to unthaw from the cold, frozen winter months.
Photo from Brian Moore

Photo from Brian Moore

Parking lots everywhere turn into a slushy mess.
Photo from Flickr/Sandor Weisz

Photo from Flickr/Sandor Weisz

And the side of the road isn’t exactly the prettiest sight to behold. Okay, maybe they are still pretty in a “rugged Alaska life” kind of way.
Photo from Flickr/Dan Logan

Photo from Flickr/Dan Logan

Oh and your vehicle? Don’t even bother with a car wash for the next two months.
If you recently moved to Alaska, you aren’t officially inducted into the “resident” club until you’ve made it through a full winter AND a hard breakup. Don’t worry, the more you go through – the easier it gets.
Your backyard will be filled with even more unexpected visitors than usual (and you love it.)
Photo from The Alaska Life

Photo from The Alaska Life

And as we start to come out of our winter hibernation… so do those other things that hibernate. Surprise!
Photo shared from The Alaska Life

Photo shared from The Alaska Life

Being sure to always be prepared with a “layering system” is crucial during breakup season.
Photo from Flickr/ChrissyJ

Photo from Flickr/ChrissyJ

And you can’t leave home without wearing your fanciest pair of rubber boots.
Photo from vettieg.wordpress.com

Photo from vettieg.wordpress.com

But although breakups are not very fun, waking up early to catch a spring sunrise is always the best medicine.
Photo from Flickr/Young Juan

Photo from Flickr/Young Juan

Or having a little night cap with an Alaskan backdrop? Yeah that’s not to shabby either.
Photo from Flickr/Dan Logan

Photo from Flickr/Dan Logan

Breakups are always hard. But brighter days are to come. Here’s a sneak preview…
Photo from Debbie Tubridy

Photo from Debbie Tubridy

Okay and one more…
Photo from Kalyan Peri

Photo from Kalyan Peri

Are you ready yet? Summer will be here in no time!
Photo from Alaska River's Company

Photo from Alaska River’s Company

Our favorite way to rebound from a hard breakup (season) is by dreaming of warm summer days and midnight sun. One thing is for sure, no matter what season it is… it sure is a beautiful life on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! Do you have any telltale ways of rebounding from a breakup in Alaska? Share with us below!
Photo from Cecil Sanders Photography

Photo from Cecil Sanders Photography

Springtime KEEN-EYE Candy

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

March Madness on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground means something a whole lot more beautiful than what you’d find on the basketball court. As winter faded away and officially turned to spring and we moved our clocks forward an hour, we made sure to capture the magical moments that happened in our very own backyard.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Feast your eyes on some gorgeous eye candy that was captured throughout the month of March that will have you falling in love with the Kenai Peninsula all over again.

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

We’ll kick things off with this beautiful sunrise in Soldotna, Alaska with  Mt. Redoubt glowing in the distance.

Sunrise 3.3 Soldotna, AK

No day in Alaska (where the state sport is dog mushing) is complete without a snowy dog walk in the woods. Although, this guy might be a little too small to compete with the real mushing dogs.😉

Loomie in snow 3.8.16

Skilak Lake in Cooper Landing, Alaska is beautiful this time of year. And due to some pretty comfortable temperatures, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the lake has already broken up completely. Great for anyone wanting to get out for a day on the water enjoying some Rainbow Trout fishing.

Skilak Lake Alaska 3.5.16Cunningham Park in Kenai, Alaska is a beautiful place to take a walk and soak in the warm sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

cunningham park soldotna

As we headed out for a day of exploring on the Kenai River, we couldn’t help but to stop and take a photo of the stunning spring view from Bings Landing in Sterling, Alaska. Check out those beautiful mountain beaks in the distance! Such a gorgeous contrast against the strikingly beautiful blue water of the Kenai River.

Bings Landing Doc

A hike in the woods that leads to a lush overlook of thick forest and Tustemena Lake in the distance… always a win!

tustemena overlook

A sunset is no ordinary sunset when you take it in from Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski, Alaska. It’s like a whole bag of skittles in the sky!😉

Captain Cook State Park

Sometimes “easy like Sunday morning” means taking a peaceful walk into the woods with a warm cup of coffee. Always a joyous journey on a beautiful spring day.

Sun beaming through treeline

Taking in an icy sunrise with a beautiful horse pasture in the distance is quite simply, what dreams are made of.

Sunrise over corrals 3.9.16

Because winter wonderland just feels like home (said every Alaskan, ever).❤

Winterwonderland 3.9.16Swiftwater Park in Soldotna, Alaska offers breathtaking views all year long. Bonus fact: in the winter, you can usually have the whole place to yourself. EPIC.

swiftwater park

When the drive to work makes you pull over and have a photo-shoot, you know you live in the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. But um, we aren’t biased at all.😉

Sunrise 3.8.16And when a sunset gives you goose-bumps and makes your heart dance with so much pure joy, you also know that you live in THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. Like this one taken at the beginning of the month on Kasilof Beach.

Kasliof Beach Sunset 3.6.16

A day spent taking in the mountain views from the beach in Ninilchik, Alaska is always a good day. Especially when the sun is shining bright!

In addition to the beautiful beach, endless ocean and epic mountain peaks, the up close and personal Bald Eagle viewing is also a sight to behold when visiting Ninilchik.

bald eagle with mountains ninilchik ocean

And here’s the shot a little closer up. This Bald Eagle sure is a beauty! And by the looks of where it’s sitting, it looks like quite the dare devil.😉 Or maybe just a smart fisherman!

eagle up close

The Kasilof River is such a special place to visit. During the wintertime when the snow still lines the banks, it’s like viewing something right out of a postcard. Simply incredible.

Kasilof

And move down a few miles to the mouth of the Kasilof River draining into the Pacific Ocean, this is a spectacular place to enjoy some soft sand and take in (yet another) epic sunset on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Kasilof Beach Sunset 3.13

Watching both the mountains and the sun reflect onto the beautiful water via drift boat in the middle of Skilak Lake is always an enthralling experience.

sun reflecting off skilak lake 3.13

And it’s only fitting that after spending over 12 hours on the glistening Skilak Lake that we stay long enough to catch a sunset, Alaska’s Playground style.

skilak lake sunset 3.13

The launch to Tustemena Lake (or to float the Kasilof River) is a fabulous place to listen to wolves howl and to watch moose roam. It’s also a great place to have a campfire, go for a hike and enjoy being away from the crowds.

Secluded Spring Day at the Kasilof River - Tustemena Lake LaunchA sunset down Cannery Beach Road in Kenai is quite simply – what dreams are made of.❤

Sunset down Cannery Beach Road overlooking Cook Inlet

Fishing the Kenai River near the Russian River confluence is way more fun without the crowds and with beautiful snow-capped mountains.

eric cooper landingThe Kenai River in Cooper Landing is STUNNING.

russian river confluence

There is no place like Homer. These views could suck you in for days.

stunning homer overlook 3.18

It was a magical night with calm, cool weather to watch boats in the bay as they got ready for the 2016 Winter King Tournament on 3.19.16.

homer mountains 3.18

And a sunset over Wasabi’s restaurant was sure to leave a lasting mark.

homer sunset from wasabis - 3.18.16

Swanson River Landing was beginning a serious breakup during late March. Soon enough we will be launching our kayaks for an epic float!

Swanson River

Fish Lake is a beautiful place fully submerge yourself in nature and not hear a single sound other than birds chirping and the occasional wolf howling.

Eric and Steve at Fish Lake 2

Remember, you have 365 changes to catch a sunrise and a sunset in each year. Get out there and make every day count. This beautiful sunrise was captured at Arc Lake in Soldotna, Alaska on March 9th.

Arc Lake

And on that note… We wish you love, safety and happiness with each and every day. Fall head over heels in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and never regret a second of this beautiful life!

Disclosure: With the exception of the first 3 photos featured above, all photos featured in this blog are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing.

April Fools Day Fun Facts

Photo Credit: Patrick Davis

Photo Credit: Patrick Davis

TGIF! So, if you’re thinking that an “April Fools Day Fact” sounds a bit like an oxymoron, don’t worry – we hear you loud and clear. But hey, we were trying to be catchy and relevant as we ring in the first day of April 2016 on this beautiful Friday morning. So cut us some slack, will ya?😉

Photo from Donna Shreck

Photo from Donna Shreck

The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is where anyone goes that wants to see majestic mountains, glorious glaciers and an endless amount of wildlife. In addition to being (hands down) one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, we wanted to share some cool facts with you all to give you a little history about the 25,600 square miles that make up the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Daryll Vispo shared from Alaska Magazine

Photo Credit: Daryll Vispo shared from Alaska Magazine

#1 – Of the 25,600 square miles that make up the Kenai Peninsula, only about 15,600 of that is actually land. The rest… you guessed it – splish spash!

Photo shared from The Kenai, Alaska's Playground Facebook page

Photo shared from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground Facebook page

#2 – The highest point on The Kenai is Truuli Peak. At 6,612 feet above sea level, Truuli is the highest peak in the Kenai Mountain Range, situated to the southeast of the eastern end of Tustumena Lake.

#3 – The WORLD record king salmon was pulled from the Kenai River in 1985 weighing in at 97.25 pounds.

#4 – The estimated size of the Alaska state record halibut was from the Cook Inlet in 1989 weighing in at 466 pounds.

#5 – Oil was first discovered in Alaska in 1957 at the Swanson River.

#6 – The average number of square miles per person on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is 0.3. Compare that to New York which has 0.003 square miles per person.

Photo from Ray Bulson

Photo from Ray Bulson

#7 – The town of Kenai is the largest city on the peninsula and the sixth largest in the entire State of Alaska.

Photo from Daniel Weber (Flickr)

Photo from Daniel Weber (Flickr)

#8 – Homer is the 14th largest city in the entire State of Alaska.

Photo from Keith Cuddeback (Flickr)

Photo from Keith Cuddeback (Flickr)

#9 – Soldotna is the 15th largest city in the entire State of Alaska.

Photo from Visit Soldotna Facebook page

Photo from Visit Soldotna Facebook page

#10 – The first cannery was built on the Kenai Peninsula in 1882. Talk about the trail blazers!

Photo from Ian Stotesbury

Photo from Ian Stotesbury

Do you have any fun facts about the Kenai Peninsula that you’d like to add to the list? Share in the comments area below!

Great Food & A Sunset In Homer Alaska

stunning homer overlook 3.18

One of the many things that we love about living on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is that we can take so many different kinds of road trips and experience a totally different landscape. Tonight, we ventured out from our office in Soldotna, Alaska and headed down to Homer, Alaska for a walk on the beach. Hoping to grab a bite to eat and a good sunset, we were certainly in for a treat.

epic ninilchick beach with mountains 3.12

After stopping at the beach in Ninilchik, Alaska to take in the gorgeous mountain views, we arrived in Homer at about 7:00pm. We pulled into the overlook area right as you head into town and to our surprise, were greeted by this sunning view overlooking the bay. The views of the snow-capped mountains weren’t too shabby either!😉

homer mountains 3.18

We took a peaceful drive down the Homer Spit followed by a pre-dinner walk on the beach. Campfire pits and picnic tables have a way of bringing out the camping-bug in all of us! Summer is right around the corner, woo hoo!

fire picnic table sunset - homer ak - 3.18

After soaking in the crisp, cool air from the beach we headed up to Wasabi’s Restaurant for dinner. Located off East End Road, Wasabi’s serves a mix of American and Asian style cuisine with amazing sushi and fresh caught Alaskan seafood. We love coming here because they also serve a lot of favorites that we find in can find in Hawaii, including poke and ahi tuna. The sunset from the parking lot was nothing short of amazing upon arrival.

sunset over wasabis

Upon arrival we soaked in the beautiful views and chilled water. Such a modern and relaxing environment.

water and a view

Per usual, we were brought out edamame right away and we were sure to dig right in (hence, the photo of a half eaten dish – sorry).😉

edamame

First up, it was necessary to start off with a cold beverage. They have a great drink menu here with a great assortment of local favorites and organic choices as well. First up was a glass of Chardonnay from Bear Creek Winery, a local winery in Homer.

bear creek chardonay

And a Lemon Drop? Sure, why not! They make the best! Do you see those amazing views out the window? Yeah, Wasabi’s has struck gold with their location for SURE.

lemon drop

After hearing the waitress read off the specials, we started with the sautéed peppers for an appetizers. She said, “only one out of 13 are spicy, so it’s kind of like playing Russian Roulette.” Obviously we were sold!

peppers

And for dinner, we both stuck to the special as well; bison burger with homemade fries. So much deliciousness!

bison burger

After eating everything on our plates and not taking home a single shred of leftovers, we were ready to roll ourselves home and climb into our pajamas. Thank you to Wasabi’s Restaurant for the excellent food and superior service. Never a disappoint when visiting this great place!

homer sunset from wasabis - 3.18.16

What is your favorite restaurant in Homer? Share your recommendations below!

Note: All photos above are Copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing.

Seeing Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Photo from Alaska Wildland Adventures on the Kenai River.

Photo from Alaska Wildland Adventures on the Kenai River.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends and fans of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! In honor of this lucky holiday, we are sharing ten gorgeous photos from the epic Kenai Peninsula that will leave you seeing green and falling in love.

"Bear Backpack!" Photo from Kathleen Turner.

“Bear Backpack!” Photo from Kathleen Turner.

#1. Zipling, Alaska’s Playground Style.

Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, Alaska.

Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, Alaska.

#2. When the phrase “take a hike” is always welcomed, you know you’re on The Kenai.

Hideout Trail. Photo shared from www.trover.com.

Hideout Trail. Photo shared from http://www.trover.com.

#3. When tundra and mountain biking collide, any outdoor enthusiast can agree that it feels a bit like you’ve discovered heaven on earth.

#4. Wildlife viewing isn’t just for the birds. The sea lions are always welcome. Especially when they are this stinkin’ cute.❤

#5. And on the topic of cuteness, does it get much better than this adventurous brut? We think not. Mom’s do it all, even if that means becoming the designated flotation device. #respect😉

Photo from Jon Langeland in Katmai National Park.

Photo from Jon Langeland in Katmai National Park.

#6. Seeing green from ear to ear means taking an aerial photograph overlooking The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground via flightseeing tour. EPIC.

Photo shared from www.earthporm.com.

Photo shared from http://www.earthporm.com.

#7: A glacier surrounded by remote wilderness is our favorite kind of Alaskan party.

Photo shared from en.wikipedia.org.

Photo shared from en.wikipedia.org.

#8. Mountains, just mountains. In all their glory. They say these things (just looking at them) are what get many hooked on Alaska. We can’t disagree.

#9. The Aurora Borealis dancing freely in the nighttime sky. Always a “pinch me” moment.

Photo Credit: Ron Neibrugge with www.wildnatureimages.com. Taken in Seward, AK.

Photo Credit: Ron Neibrugge with http://www.wildnatureimages.com. Taken in Seward, AK.

#10. Fish on! It’s hard to have a list about the Kenai Peninsula without including everyone’s favorite pastime. This is a great activity for enjoying long days with loved ones on Alaska’s Playground.

Are you seeing green already? We know, we are too! Who would have ever thought that seeing green would feel this good.😉 Wishing you all the Luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day. Be safe out there and have a wonderful day!

Photo from renderedgemedia.com.

Photo from renderedgemedia.com.

Spring Fever on the Kenai River

Photo from Loomis Sage Marketing, www.LoomisSage.com

Kenai River at Bings Landing, Sterling Alaska.

Happy Thursday friends and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! It was a beautiful (winter) day on the Kenai River that left us with a heavy case of spring fever. With that being said, the countdown is officially on: 18 days until the first day of spring! I guess we decided to celebrate a bit early…😉

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

The sun was shining, the mountains were glowing and the bald eagles were perched along the riverbanks by the dozens. You know how Alaska has a way of delivering epic, jaw-dropping moments that make you feel like you are in a dream? Yeah… today was one of those days. At ever single turn. Simply stunning and totally secluded.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Oh, and the rainbow trout were showing themselves a little bit as well! Oh Alaska’s Playground, how you spoil us so!❤

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the upper killey on the Kenai River.

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the Upper Killey on the Kenai River.

We call this next photo “ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.” Although the sun was shining and it felt like spring, it is still “technically” winter so it is only natural that the banks of the Kenai River were a bit icy. Also, the temperature is still rather frigid (35-40 degrees most of the day). If you venture out to enjoy the glorious river anytime soon, be sure to be advised of this and be very careful when navigating about.

Ice on the Rocks, Kenai River style.

Ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.

Also, be sure to wear the proper gear. It might be sunny and beautiful, but that can be deceiving once you are on the water. With the wind blowing in your face, you will quickly go from happy and comfortable to miserable and numb without the proper gear. We recommend a face mask, good gloves, a warm hat and a layering system that will let you go from chilly to warm once you start hiking or casting a fishing pole and your body temperature rises. Now, the loud colors are optional (what can we say, we’re a little wild at heart)😉 but definitely be prepared so that your day enjoying The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground doesn’t get cut short.

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

In some areas there were some frozen fish skeletons on the gravel bars left over from last year. The dogs had a blast trying to sniff out all the smells (sorry pups, no meat left here). For us, it made us very excited for summer 2016 salmon fishing on the Kenai River! Woop woop!

Fish skeleton's from last year.

Fish skeleton’s on gravel bar by Kenai River.

And due to the earliness of the year, the water was very shallow in many areas so it was imperative to use extra caution with the boat. Slow and steady wins the race!😉

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

We also had a few icy invasions out in the water. Although very slippery and heavy in the water, it sure was a beautiful winter-wonderland sight to see.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

An important reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the current of the river. A current is the flow of water influenced by gravity as the water moves downhill to reduce its potential energy. The current varies spatially as well as temporally within the stream, dependent upon the flow volume of water, stream gradient, and channel geometrics. The Kenai River is about 82 miles long and with every river bend is a changing floor and a changing current. It’s always better to be safe and vigilant than to be caught off guard. And this time of year, the beauty of your surroundings can certainly be distracting.🙂

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice means… spring is coming, friends! Coming very soon indeed!

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

The day was filled with some of the most glorious mountain views of the Kenai Mountains. There is nothing like a day with bluebird skies and glowing snow-capped mountains. Alaska at it’s finest, in all her glory!

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

The rainbow trout (catch and release only) were being a bit elusive, however we did have the privilege of greeting a handful of them on the fly.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

We threw out some beads and some flesh flies… but what were they hitting on? Top secret.😉

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

We even saw a couple moose but by then, the camera decided to take an afternoon nap. Thankfully we got plenty of incredible photos of bald eagles. Like this one with three bald eagles all perched on the same tree. Absolutely stunning. Only in Alaska!

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Although we saw a couple other boats out and about as well as a few folks that hiked in to fish, it felt as though we had the river to ourselves for the entire day. It sure was a refreshing change from the summertime traffic that can be found. Although, we love our visitors to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground so we we’ve learned to appreciate all seasons equally.😉

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

And right as we were headed home, we came across two beautiful bald eagles looking like two little love birds sitting in a tree.❤ The perfect night cap to feast our eyes on.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

That’s all for today, friends.! Thankfully tomorrow is Friday (TGIF) so we are hoping you will all have the opportunity to get out and enjoy Alaska’s Playground. As always, if you ever need any help planning a fun-filled weekend on The Kenai, you can always visit us online or contact our office. Happy travels!

Spring Fling Road Trip Checklist

Photo of Turnagain Pass,, Alaska from www.panoramio.com.

Photo of Turnagain Pass, Alaska from http://www.panoramio.com.

Happy March 1st! We made it through leap year (next time we demand a three day weekend) and now we are ready to rock and roll into all that is the season of March Madness. With only a few weeks “officially” left in the winter season, we are dusting off our hibernation hats beginning TODAY and getting ready to hit the road running. After all, the days are getting longer and the sunrises get a little more stunning by the day, so we really have no excuse to sit still any longer.

Photo from www.thealaskalife.com.

Photo shared from http://www.thealaskalife.com.

One thing is for sure, The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is magical any time of the year. But there is something extra special about hitting the road and enjoying the vast snow-covered mountains that can be found all throughout The Kenai during the winter and spring months.

Photo from bobbacaps.blogspot.com.

Photo from bobbacaps.blogspot.com.

Now, let’s get real; In Alaska, it is possible to experience snow covered mountains all year long. But during the winter and spring months especially, the mountains seemingly glow with fresh, glistening snowy powder.

Photo from Marc Lester with www.ADN.com.

Photo from Marc Lester with http://www.ADN.com.

AND, they are right there! Right in front of your face. Popping up in mass quantities reaching far and wide, high into the sky. It doesn’t get more ‘up close & personal’ than that. And everyone knows how much we love to get Up Close & Personal on The Kenai.😉

Photo of the Homer Spit from Scott McMurren.

Photo of the Homer Spit from Scott McMurren.

But where there is extreme beauty, extreme caution should always be taken. Alaska is a big, beautiful beast of a State and it is very unforgiving. Although we have excellent groups of people that work tirelessly to maintain our roadways all year round, it is important to be prepared for anything as our weather patterns in Alaska are often times very unpredictable. And when we talk about your safety, we mean business (hoping that this bear photo expresses how important your safety is to us).😉

Photo shared from pinterest.

Photo shared from pinterest.

And on the topic of unpredictable, the glorious wildlife that can very regularly be seen at close distances from many roads on the Kenai Peninsula will often times cross the road or walk along the road. Be advised of this and always use caution when you observe wildlife while driving.

Photo shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Photo shared from Alaska from Scratch.

The day can start out with beautiful bluebird skies and be filled with flurries by lunchtime. With the assistance of AAA Alaska and AK on the GO, we are sharing this excellent checklist to make sure you are prepared for all of your Kenai Peninsula winter and spring road trippin’ adventures.

Photo from www.ADN.com.

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

AAA Alaska recommends the following tips for a safer winter & spring driving experience: 

1. Put away the cell phone. Distracted driving causes accidents. Pull off the road in a safe place for photos. It’s okay to do that.

2. Renting a car? Don’t forget to ask for a power cord to allow the engine’s block heater to do its job. A must in Interior Alaska however it is not something that’s needed that often on the Kenai Peninsula.

3. Check fluid levels (oil, antifreeze) and tire pressure before you leave home.

4. Watch the sides of roadways. In Alaska, anything from dog teams to moose can appear without warning, and drivers must not assume either will stop when they see you.

5. Check windshield wipers; are they suitable for winter driving? If wipers become clogged with ice or snow, stop and clear them before continuing.

6. Refrain from using cruise control in snowy, wet, or icy conditions.

7. Make a trip plan, and leave it with a trusted family member or friend at home. Call this friend when you safely reach your destination, and upon return home. Allow plenty of time to reach your intended stop. Do not rush.

8. “Aim high,” that is, look farther than 15 seconds down the road, about a quarter mile at 50 miles per hour. Ask kids to pick a landmark ahead, and count until you reach it, that will give some perspective of stopping distance or evasive maneuverability.

9. Carry your AAA membership card at all times. Remember, the membership follows the individual, not the vehicle, so even traveling in someone else’s car, you’re still protected.

10. Check road conditions and weather before leaving home. NOAA and Alaska 511 are excellent options.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

In addition to that great list from AAA Alaska, we also have a few road trip recommendations. Be sure that wherever you go, you wear layers of clothing and bring a good coat and boots just incase you experience rain, sleet or snow (or all of the above). As we mentioned before, the weather can change rapidly throughout the day so you want to be prepared for rising temperatures that can heat you up as well as frigid temperatures that can creep up on you and leave you a very unhappy camper if you’re not bundled up.

Photo from Loren Holmes via www.adn.com.

Photo from Loren Holmes via http://www.adn.com.

Some other items that we recommend include the following; plenty of water, food and snacks to hold you over if you get stuck on the road longer than expected, ice scraper for your windows, first aid kit, a good flashlight and materials for building a fire just incase you experience vehicle troubles and need to keep warm until someone arrives to help you. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when staying and playing on Alaska’s Playground.

Photo in Anchor Point, Alaska from activerain.com.

Photo in Anchor Point, Alaska from activerain.com.

On the Kenai Peninsula, springtime road trips are great because they allow you to load up the kiddos, family, friends and your beloved four-legged friends and have an epic adventure by simply driving right our of your driveway and off into any direction that your heart desires.

Photo shared from animalonline.info.

Photo shared from animalonline.info.

When you set out for a day trip, we recommend getting up and on the road nice and early so that everyone in the vehicle can enjoy a STUNNING Alaska’s Playground sunrise together. Trust us, you will not regret it. Alaska is truly larger than life.

Photo shared from www.airliners.net.

Photo shared from http://www.airliners.net.

And when you get up at the crack of dawn, it’s always a good idea to stop by a local Alaskan coffee house and fuel up for the whole family. And with views like this, how could you resist? We love Veronica’s Coffee House in Old Town Kenai and the amazing blogger Alaska from Scratch captured the warm atmosphere and delicate beauty absolutely perfectly.

Veronica's Coffee House shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Veronica’s Coffee House shared from Alaska from Scratch.

Be sure to take the time to pull over, get everyone out of the vehicle together, walk a few minutes and take in an stunning view of your backyard. While living such busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in everything and forget to appreciate the immaculate beauty that surrounds you. Slow down, breathe, and take the time to reflect. It’s true what they say… there is no time life the present!❤

Photo of the Kenai River shared from Alaska From Scratch.

Photo of the Kenai River shared from Alaska From Scratch.

With March 1st kicking off and only a few weeks left of winter before spring officially begins, it’s time to get out of hibernation and hit the road searching for fun new adventures. If you need any ideas or suggestions for where to explore next, please remember that you can reach out to us at any time and we would be delighted to help you plan your next spring/winter-wonderland excursion. Safe travels, dear friends!

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Happy Valentine’s Day from The Kenai

Photo shared from grizzlybay.org.

Photo shared from grizzlybay.org.

In honor of Valentine’s Day today, we decided to share a happy collection of some adorable wildlife which can be found on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Be prepared to ooze with “awes” as you check out these beautiful cuties in their natural environment.❤

Photo from Alaska Earths Frozen Kingdom.

Photo from Alaska Earths Frozen Kingdom.

These beautiful eagles enjoy fishing for salmon and taking in the breathtaking mountain views that Homer, Alaska has to offer.

Caught in the act! Two beautiful Harbor Seals sneak in a quick smooch while swimming in the wild.

Photo shared from Focas on Pinterest.

Photo shared from Focas on Pinterest.

These two sea lions enjoy a romantic moment on the beach after waddling out of the water.

Photo from weheartit.com.

Photo from weheartit.com.

Aww… young love! These two moose calf’s share in quick embrace while playing in the puddles.

Photo from imgarcade.com.

Photo from imgarcade.com.

And while were on the topic of moose, how precious is this beautiful mama with her newborn? Only in Alaska will you experience these sights right out your own front door. Simply incredible!

Photo shared from artwithheart.wordpress.com.

Photo shared from artwithheart.wordpress.com.

A lynx pair enjoy basking in the winter sun on the Kenai Peninsula. Easy like Sunday morning.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

Have you ever been to Beluga Point on the Turnagain Arm headed towards the Kenai Peninsula? If not, you simply must! These whales are so beautiful they are truly a sight to behold.

Photo from Travelicious.

Photo from Travelicious via Pinterest.

These vibrant puffins were caught enjoying a flight together while onlookers snapped photos on a Kenai Fjords Tour in Seward, Alaska.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

This Orca looks like it’s teaching its young how to show off for the visitors to Resurrection Bay on a Kenai Fjords Tours trip. Well done mama Orca, well done!

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Dahl Sheep are magical creatures to observe in their natural environment. Not to mention, their noses are shaped like hearts which is oh-so fitting for the Valentine’s Day holiday.❤

Photo from alaskaadventureunlimited.com.

Photo from alaskaadventureunlimited.com.

There are few things in life that are more adorable than two baby otters holding hands while floating around the ocean. Be still my heart, be still!

Photo from pcwallart.com.

Photo from pcwallart.com.

And last but certainly not least, since dog mushing is the state sport of Alaska, it’s only fitting that we take a moment to observe this adorable mom and pup enjoying a playful moment of love this Valentine’s Day. They look like future dog mushing champions to us! What do you think?😉

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Happy Valentines Day friends, fans and lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Wishing you love, happiness and lots of smiles on this beautiful Sunday!

Celebrate Love on Alaska’s Playground

The three day weekend is right around the corner, and in addition to President’s Day on Monday… don’t forget that it’s Valentines Day on Sunday, February 14, 2016! Which means you have the perfect excuse to spend the whole day celebrating life, love and happiness with your special sweetheart or with those friends and family members that are near and dear to your heart.

Photo shared from encircleworldphotos.photoshelter.com.

Photo shared from encircleworldphotos.photoshelter.com.

Maybe you aren’t someone who necessarily cares for the Valentines Day holiday? We get it. The infamous flowers, chocolates and life-sized stuffed animal “hoopla” that surrounds us all for weeks leading up to the holiday can be a bit too much to handle.

Photo from theplanetd.com.

Photo from theplanetd.com.

Fear not… you’re in luck! We have some great alternative options for those of you wanting to celebrate LOVE this Sunday while still enjoying The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and supporting local businesses.

First things first; seize every moment of this long weekend. You know you’ll regret it if you don’t. So get up early and chase a sunrise. Your eyes will thank you, we promise.

Sunrise over Beluga Lake, in Homer, Alaska. Photo from Laura Maciariello.‎

Sunrise over Beluga Lake, in Homer, Alaska. Photo from Laura Maciariello.

If you’re like us, and you want to start the weekend off on Friday or Saturday with a yummy breakfast treat, it is always a satisfying experience when stopping into Veronicas Coffee House in Kenai, Alaska. Serving delicious baked goods, fresh coffee and an assortment of menu options, Veronicas Coffee House offers the perfect Alaskan charm and warm hospitality to get your love-filled weekend started off right. Its also a great place to bring the whole family or to meet up with old friends.

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If you want to get out of town and into the backcountry, snowshoeing is always a great way to spend quality time with the one or one(s) you love. And on Alaska’s Playground, we truly do have an unlimited amount of backcountry to explore.

Cross country skiing is another great way to get a great workout together while also enjoying the fresh air and natural beauty that Alaska’s Playground has to offer.

Photo from edbookphoto.photoshelter.com.

Photo from edbookphoto.photoshelter.com.

Horseback riding is always a fun activity to get you out of town and exploring nature with your sweetheart, the kiddos or a group of your closest friends. Alaskan Horseman Trail Adventures and Guest Ranch in Cooper Landing, Alaska is a great option for anyone wanting a true taste of fresh winter air and views that are bound to take your breath away.

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If you have a need for speed and enjoy a good adrenaline rush, maybe snow-machining is the perfect activity for you and your special somebody to celebrate Valentines Day this Sunday. On The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, you are always guaranteed incredible vistas no matter which direction you head.

Photo from flipboard.com.

Photo from flipboard.com.

And if snow-machining is what you choose and you happen to head south, our friends at Freddie’s Roadhouse located in the Caribou Hills in Ninilchik, Alaska offer excellent backcountry accommodations for all outdoorsy enthusiasts. If rustic lodging and a true Alaskan experience is what you are after this weekend, this is a great option for you!

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Another way to enjoy an adrenaline-packed weekend together is by heading to Girdwood, Alaska to visit the infamous Alyeska Resort. Great for snowboarding, downhill skiing, dining, live music and loads of fun for all ages. Oh, and the sunsets and sunrises seem to be notoriously amazing at Alyeska Resort as well. You really can’t go wrong when heading to this magical place for a weekend.

Photo from last Valentines Day 2015 at Alyeska Resort.

Photo from last Valentines Day 2015 at Alyeska Resort.

Chasing a sunset via ATV ride is a great way to spend quality time together this Valentines Day. The photo below was taken in Homer, Alaska off East End Road. God’s country at it’s finest!

Photo from Loomis Sage Marketing.

Photo from Loomis Sage Marketing.

If you are in the market for a romantic getaway this weekend, head to the lovely town of Seward, Alaska and check out the spectacular A Cabin on the Cliff. This is a rustic trappers cabin that has been refurbished to offer romantic elegance. Here you can enjoy spectacular views of Ressurection Bay and the Chugach Mountains from a private hot tub located on a large, spacious deck.

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Another place to enjoy a quite, secluded romantic getaway is the beautiful Escape for Two B&B Cabin Rentals in Soldotna, Alaska. Have a fire, relax in the hot tub or just get cozy indoors and enjoy a glass of wine. You will feel utterly relaxed from the moment you check in.

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Enjoying a glass of wine together and some local Alaskan chocolates is a cliché Valentines Day option, but hey… you have to admit that it sounds like a pretty incredible idea. And when you visit Bear Creek Winery & Lodging in Homer, Alaska- you will feel anything but cliché. This place is miraculous! Bear Creek is a country winery. They make fruit wines and fruit grape wine blends. They grow, pick, and process some of the best berries in the world and it shows in their hand crafted, award winning wines. Guests are invited to visit the wine tasting room, tour the facility, walk the gardens and take in the breathtaking views of Kachemak Bay. The winery also offers high-end lodging for those visitors looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway.

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If fine dining is what you are after, Hotel Seward in Seward, Alaska is proven to be an excellent option. Offering steak, fresh Alaskan seafood and a plethora of other options. Check the Hotel Seward menu out HERE and prepare to have your mouth start watering.

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Mykel’s Restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska is another great option if you are after a delicious meal this Valentines Day weekend. We’ve heard through the grapevine that they’ve whipped up a special heart-melting menu for this weekend, so don’t miss out. Check their menu out HERE and be sure to call and make your reservations now. Remember, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach.

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And if you’re spending time with the kiddos this Valentines Day weekend, we have a couple great ideas that sure to bring a plethora of smiles. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near the town of Girdwood, Alaska is dedicated to conservation, education, and quality animal care of Alaska’s wildlife. Open currently on weekends only, come view Alaskan wildlife in large natural enclosures, which allow the wildlife the ability to display their natural behaviors.

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The Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, Alaska is always fun for kids and adults of all ages. Spend the day viewing beautiful marine life with the indoor comfort of being nice and cozy.

Photo shared from mishlerphotos.photoshelter.com.

Photo shared from mishlerphotos.photoshelter.com.

Or if you want to bundle the kiddos up and take them outside for a fun, winter-wonderland adventure, sledding is always a great idea that will bring adorable pink cheeks and smiles from ear to ear. You can even bring your beloved four-legged family members to join in on a day of fun in the great outdoors.

Photo shared from www.shutterstock.com.

Photo shared from http://www.shutterstock.com.

Need more ideas for how to make your Valentines Day weekend memorable? Submit a response or question below. Remember that you can always call us at (907) 262-5229 or visit us online at http://www.kenaipeninsula.org. Wishing you all a wonderful, love-filled weekend on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

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Glorious Glaciers on Alaska’s Playground

Photo of Exit Glacier near Seward, Alaska from www.alaska.org.

Photo of Exit Glacier near Seward, Alaska from http://www.alaska.org.

When we ask visitors what are the top attractions that bring them to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, the most common answers are 1. Mountains, 2. Glaciers, and 3. Wildlife.

And the most beautiful thing about that answer is that it is often a possibility to enjoy mountains, glaciers and wildlife all in the same trip. Amazing, right? Only on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, Alaska.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, Alaska.

Below we have a list of some of the most amazing glaciers on the Kenai Peninsula that you absolutely MUST visit at least once in your lifetime. Trust us, you will not regret one single moment of your journey.

Photo from www.alaska.org of Spencer Glacier.

Photo from http://www.alaska.org of Spencer Glacier.

The Kenai Peninsula extends approximately 150 miles southwest from the Chugach Mountains, south of Anchorage. It is separated from the mainland on the west by Cook Inlet and on the east by Prince William Sound. Throughout this vast land you will find many glaciers.

Glaciers are made up of fallen snow that, over many years, compresses into large, thickened ice masses. Glaciers form when snow remains in one location long enough to transform into ice. What makes glaciers unique is their ability to move. Due to sheer mass, glaciers flow like very slow rivers. Some glaciers are as small as football fields, while others grow to be dozens or even hundreds of kilometers long. Presently, glaciers occupy about 10 percent of the world’s total land area. In Alaska, glaciers cover about 5% of the state.

Portage Glacier is a glacier on the Kenai Peninsula and is included within the Chugach National Forest. It is located south of Portage Lake and west of the small town of Whittier. This beautiful glacier is definitely worth a visit!

Byron Glacier is located in the Portage Valley, about 20 minutes South of Girdwood and an hour from Anchorage. As you drive down the Turnagain Arm, you will find the turnoff for Byron Glacier on the left. Once you hit the trailhead, the hike up to the glacier is about 1.5 miles. This 1.4 mile trail offers an easy walk for all ages.  It allows a close-up view of a glacier with rugged, mountains in all directions.

Photo from radstravelogue.wordpress.com.

Photo from radstravelogue.wordpress.com.

Grewingk Glacier is quite the magnificent find in the Kenai Mountains! This is a 13 mile-long glacier located near Kachemak Bay near the town of Homer, Alaska. The best way to access the glacier is via a water taxi from Homer. From there you can be dropped off near the glacier and can enjoy a day of hiking and exploring deep into the wilderness.

Exit Glacier is a glacier derived from the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska and one of the Kenai Fjords National Park’s major attractions. The best part about this amazing glacier is that it is easily accessible to view. With just a short drive from downtown Seward, visitors can hike a short well-traveled trail to a viewing area of Exit Glacier.

Spencer Glacier is located in the Chugach National Forest and is only accessible by train. Hop off the Glacier Discovery train at the Spencer Whistle Stop, and take a 1.3 guided hike to Spencer Lake, and from there you can take the 2.1 mile trail to Spencer Glacier. There are even spots to camp along the trail! If you aren’t interested in hiking, there is a cool rafting trip that you can take to get a beautiful view of Spencer Glacier. This is absolutely a must-do if you are visiting Alaska and don’t have time to get to all of the amazing glaciers that we’ve listed here.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge with www.WildNatureImages.com.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge with http://www.WildNatureImages.com.

Aialik Glacier is about 15 miles from the town of Seward, Alaska and is the largest glacier in Aialik Bay, located in Kenai Fjords National Park. Glacier calving activity is most active in May and June. Take a cruise from Seward to experience Aialik, or you can go out on your own and experience via the glacier via kayak.

Holgate Glacier is a glacier located outside the town of Seward, Alaska in the Kenai Fjords National Park. It flows outward from the Harding Icefield toward Holgate Arm of Aialik Bay. While it is one of the smaller glaciers in Aialik Bay, Holgate Glacier is still a popular destination to see calving glaciers. And it is actually advancing! Holgate Arm is often filled with ice, but on a good day you can get to a close and safe distance from the glacier.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

Pedersen Glacier is an outlet glacier of the Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park near the town of Seward, Alaska. In the 1980s, the lagoon was designated as the Pedersen Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, a 1,700-acre sanctuary meant to preserve and protect the area’s wildlife and land.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge with www.WildNatureImages.com.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge with www.WildNatureImages.com.

Godwin Glacier is located outside of the town of Seward, Alaska near the waters of Resurrection Bay. For a once in a lifetime experience, Godwin Glacier is a must-see. And if you’re up for a thrilling experience, you can visit Godwin Glacier via a Glacier Landing excursion with Seward Helicopter Tours.

Photo from Seward Helicopter Tours.

Photo from Seward Helicopter Tours.

Bear Glacier, found in Kenai Fjords National Park outside of the town of Seward, Alaska is a tidewater glacier and a popular spot for kayakers. You can also easily see it on a cruise from Seward. With massive icebergs and blue waters, seeing the glacier up close is a thrilling experience. Many people camp on the outer beach near Bear Glacier, and enjoy the glacier views in the background. This is also a great area to check for whales, sea otters, puffins, and other wildlife.

Bear Glacier flowes down from the Harding IcefieldAre you as blown away by these stunning photographs as we are? It’s hard not to fall in love. And just wait until you experience these incredible glaciers in person. The feeling of the crisp air and the sound of the robust calving is quite enchanting. If you haven’t already, be sure to add a visit to some of these amazing glaciers to your 2016 Kenai Peninsula bucket list!

Harbor Seal on Columbia Glacier. Photo from www.ervinskalameraphotos.com.

Harbor Seal on Columbia Glacier. Photo from http://www.ervinskalameraphotos.com.

(Note: Although the above pictures are absolutely breathtaking, it is never a good idea to hike on a glacier by oneself, without proper gear, or without training and experience. Glaciers are very slick and can be very dangerous for travel. It is always a better and safer idea to view these gorgeous glaciers from a safe distance. Outdoor guide services are available on the Kenai Peninsula for those wanting to get up close and personal with these beautiful glaciers.)

RV, Flightsee, Hospitality; New 2016 Recommendations!

2016 Cover

Hey friends! Have you picked up your new 2016 Kenai Peninsula Discovery Guide yet? If not, please reach out to us HERE and let us know if we can send you one. We would love the opportunity to help you plan your 2016 dream vacation to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Photo Credit: Anurag Singh

Photo Credit: Anurag Singh

With the start of the new year we have some new incredible recommendations to share with our beloved friends and visitors to Alaska’s Playground. Of course, this is just a small list of some newly discovered treasures that range from RV Parks, to Flight-seeing Tours to amazing Hospitality Hot Spots.

Photo from M. Draper Photography on the Kenai River

Photo from M. Draper Photography on the Kenai River

As you surely already know, we could easily ramble on for hours with hundreds upon hundreds of recommendations for things to do and places to stay on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. But these (listed below in alphabetical order) are just some of our newest finds that we are sure you will love just as much as we do. And if you want some more suggestions, remember that you can reach out to us anytime by visiting our website at http://www.kenaipeninsula.org.

Photo from Kevin Boutwell in Ressurection Bay in Seward, AK.

Photo from Kevin Boutwell in Ressurection Bay in Seward, AK

Let’s kick this awesome list off with our friends at AA Seward Air Tours in Seward, Alaska. AA Seward Air Tours offers scenic flights over glaciers, fjords and mountains near Seward, Alaska. If wildlife is what you are after, you are sure to see lots of it on your tour with AA Seward Air Tours. If you are in need of an air taxi to a remote location, AA Seward Air Tours is a great option to call for this service as well.

Photo from AA Seward Air Tours.

Photo from AA Seward Air Tours.

The owner, Jim Craig has been flying for well over 12 years and his wife Maria ads greatly to the team with her charming personality and worldly knowledge. Safety and comfort are the primary concerns at AA Seward Air Tours so in addition to offering once in a lifetime memories on their trips, guests can relax and feel at ease knowing that they are in safe hands. If escaping the crowds and enjoying amazing aerial vistas isn’t already on your 2016 bucket list, we certainly recommend putting it on there. And when you do, be sure to keep AA Seward Air Tours in mind when you are in Seward.

Photo from AA Seward Air Tours.

Photo from AA Seward Air Tours.

If you are planning on visiting Alaska this spring or summer and are scheduled to fly into Anchorage and then drive down the beautiful Turnagain Arm to visit the Kenai Peninsula via rental vehicle, we recommend Alaska Car and Van Rentals for your first stop transportation needs. Here you will find a wide variety of vehicles including large vans to fit a full group of people or those traveling with pets or lots of extra luggage.

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Another option for those flying into Anchorage and visiting The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground via the Turnagain Arm route would be Alaska Motorhome Rentals. This is the perfect option for those wanting to skip checking into hotels every night and want to have a more casual experience while exploring the Kenai Peninsula. If you have never driven a motorhome before, it’s really no problem at all. All of their motorhomes are Class C “cabovers”, simply a home built on a van chassis, and most of their guests tell them that it’s as easy as driving a car. Freedom never felt so good!

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If you end up spending a couple nights in Anchorage before heading down to enjoy the rest of your Alaskan vacation on the Kenai Peninsula, we recommend Anchorage Ship Creek RV Park if you are in a motorhome and want to stay within city limits. They offer a variety of activities and amusements at your doorstep. Located just a few blocks from downtown Anchorage, it offers easy access to Alaska’s largest city. In addition to being near Alaska’s top attractions, this RV Park offer a host of conveniences and amenities. You can be assured of clean restrooms and showers, friendly and courteous staff, water and electric hook-ups, laundromat, a local tour reservation center, and more. They also offer bike and carrier rental package to assure that you are outfitted to the tee before heading down to the Kenai Peninsula.

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And if you are not in an RV and are simply in Anchorage a couple of nights before driving or flying down to enjoy the rest of your Alaskan vacation on the Kenai Peninsula, we have a few new hotel recommendations this year including the Alex Hotel & Suites, Anchorage Lofts Hotel, Aspen Suites Hotel Anchorage and the Puffin Inn. We have some other Anchorage hotel recommendations as well, but these are the newest on our 2016 radar.😉

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Another great way to visit The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is via our friends with The Magic Bus. Magic Bus was formed in 1996. Since then they have provided transportation services for corporate groups, local families, weddings, visiting sports teams and year-round individual and group visitors to Alaska. They provide transfers to or from the cruise ports of Whittier and Seward, trips North to Talkeetna and Denali National Park, Alyeska Ski resort and services in Anchorage. They offer vehicle sizes that range from their upscale 11 passenger vehicles, the Limobus style 16 seat motorcoaches, multiple 28 seater mid-size motorcoaches and full size 55 passenger motorcoaches. If you want to visit the Kenai Peninsula via roadway but would rather skip the driving and instead enjoy taking in the sights from start to finish, we definitely recommend The Magic Bus for your shuttle and transportation needs.

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Alaska’s Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge in Halibut Cove, Alaska is somewhat like a dream come true destination. “Glorious nature. Delicious food. True Alaskan hospitality.” Soak up the Alaskan wilderness at this intimate, timber framed lodge in the village of Halibut Cove, adjoining the Kachemak Bay State Park. Enjoy three gourmet meals a day, and highly personal attention with majestic scenery, miles of beaches, and secluded salt water coves right out the front door. You can’t beat fun for a good time, and your hosts at the Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge are committed to making your time in Halibut Cove just that fun. In fact, if exceeding expectations is something that you fancy,  we have a feeling that this place is sure to do just that.

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In addition to an amazing lodge, delicious food and warm hospitality, Alaska’s Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge offers many different Eco Tours and activities. Imagine this… bear viewing, wildlife tours, flight-seeing, kayaking, guided hiking and fishing! The possibilities for fun truly are endless when you visit Alaska’s Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge.

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Alaskan Gamefisher in Soldotna, Alaska offers affordable fishing charters and lodging for halibut and salmon fishing in Cook Inlet and freshwater salmon fishing on the Kenai River. They specialize in multi-day packages. All of their package trips include a full day of fishing including Salmon and/or Halibut in both fresh water and saltwater. The boat, crew, fishing equipment and lodging are all included in these packages. They offer 2 types of Charter for you to choose from – Private or Shared. So you get to choose the exact experience that you want, whether it be quiet and secluded or social and full of group fun. Alaskan-Game-Fisher

Another great option for those visiting The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground to get plenty of fishing in is Bottom Line Charters in Ninilchik, Alaska. Bottom Line Charters offers a group of experienced US Coast Guard licensed charter operators who all posses a lifetime passion for fishing. All of their vessels are very comfortable and offer enclosed and heated cabins, toilet facilities and state of the art electronics for safe navigation and maximum fishing potential in Cook Inlet.

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Your trip with Bottom Line Charters will include bait, tackle, fish filleting and top quality rods and reels. Most charters run 6 to 8 hours depending on the tide, weather and package options. The waters of Cook Inlet provide world class salmon and halibut fishing. The average halibut weighs 25 pounds with many caught over 100 pounds. Needless to say, you are in for quite the adventure with Bottom Line Charters and you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.

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Central Charters and Tours in Homer, Alaska let’s you experience the beauty and thrill of Alaska first hand. They offer cruises & tours of Kachemak Bay enroute to historic Seldovia. Eco-friendly sailing tours are offered and a brilliant way to experience the natural beauty that Homer and Kachemak has to offer. They also offer fishing trips including full day, half day and double limit options throughout Kackemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet.

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Some other amazing options that you can find at Central Charters and Tours include Bear Viewing, Kayaking, Lodging and Retail Gear for all of you outdoor adventures. Conveniently located about halfway down the spit in Homer, be sure to check out Central Charters and Tours for all of your adventure needs.

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Dandy Cabins in Homer, Alaska is a great option for those coming to town who want privacy away from the hotels, yet still want to be close to the airport and the infamous Homer Spit. The Dandy Cabins are a small group of cabins available for daily and weekly rentals. For more information you can visit their website directly or visit them on Facebook to see all the great reviews offered by past guests that have stayed at Dandy Cabins.

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Driftwood Inn, Charters, and RV park in Homer, Alaska is another fabulous option for your lodging, fishing, wildlife viewing and RV’ing needs. The Driftwood Inn is a charming, historic, hotel, motel, and Inn located in the heart of Old-Town Homer near the beach in Homer, Alaska. Driftwood Charters offers year-round. With a lifetime of fishing and maritime experience in Alaska waters, their captains strive to make your fishing trip an experience of a lifetime. You can enjoy a day on Kachemak Bay or Cook Inlet with experienced fourth and fifth generation Alaska Captains. Catching fish and having fun is their top priority and they will even take time out if we happen upon some of our spectacular sea life. Their mission is to provide you with a safe, comfortable and “fish-filled” adventure.

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The Driftwood Inn RV Park is centrally located in downtown Homer on the bluff above Bishops Beach, just one block away from the Homer Visitor’s Center and Chamber of Commerce. Here, their guests enjoy a convenient, intimate setting, mountain views, peaceful walks along the beach, nearby museums, art galleries, restaurants and a coffee shop. Amenities at the RV park include free showers, free wireless internet, coin-operated washers/dryers, free cable tv with the us of a small cable box, fire pits, picnic tables, fish cleaning station and freezer, water/sewer hookups, electricity and a very convenient in-town location.

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Grizzly Ridge Cabins & RV in Cooper Landing, Alaska offers 400 feet of Kenai Riverfront property and spectacular views of majestic mountains that are guaranteed to immerse you in the grandeur of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. You don’t want a cabin or an RV site in the woods, you want one right on the river! And that is exactly what you will get at Grizzly Ridge Cabins & RV in Cooper Landing. Their cabins sleep 4 persons, 4 twin beds. 1 bathroom/shower, deck with picnic table, grill. Fully equipped kitchen with microwave, Full size gas stove/oven, refrigerator, serving ware, cooking utensils, silverware, cookware. Gas grill, fire pit. Located on a bluff overlooking the river, mountain views of Slaughter Ridge and Cooper Mountains.

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The RV Park at Grizzly Ridge offers 8 sites, very affordable nightly rates and the most desirable location that you can imagine (right on the river!). They also have a full convenience store, open 7 days a week in the summertime, that offers a huge selection of food, supplies and all of the Alaska merchandise that you will need to bring home to all of your friends and family.

IMG_3256Harbor 360 Hotel in Seward, Alaska is truly a gem located in a central and convenient location. Harbor 360 Hotel, your gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park in the scenic harbor town of Seward, Alaska. Located directly on the waterfront of the Seward Small Boat Harbor, Harbor 360 Hotel offers guests stunning 360 degree views of Resurrection Bay and the surrounding Kenai Mountains. Their spacious, comfortable guest rooms feature two queen beds or one king bed. Guests can enjoy views of the harbor while soaking in the hot tub or swimming in Seward’s only hotel pool. Their rooms include free breakfast featuring a variety of hot and cold items so you can get a great start to your day of Alaskan adventures. Open year-round, be sure to keep Harbor 360 Hotel in mind the next time your travels bring you to Seward, Alaska.

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Kenai Magic Lodge in Sterling, Alaska offers amazing Alaska fishing and wilderness adventures located in the center of the Kenai Peninsula. They are located directly on the central stretch of the Kenai River. They offer fishing packages that include river fishing for salmon, deep sea fishing for halibut, lingcod and rockfish, and fly-out fishing excursions as well. They also offer adventures that include bear viewing, kayaking, rafting and glacier cruises.

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If lodging is what you need, you will find privacy in your very own rustic log cabin. Kenai Magic Lodge is located on the banks of the Kenai River and surrounded by tall evergreen trees. The cozy cabins provide pleasant surroundings to sit back and enjoy your fishing tales with each other. It is always a good idea to keep Kenai Magic Lodge in mind for all of your Kenai Peninsula lodging and fishing needs!

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If getting above it all and making memories that are sure to last a lifetime is what you’re after, we have just the thing for you. Seward Helicopter Tours in Seward, Alaska operates during the summer months giving Glacier Dog Sled Rides and Scenic Helicopter Flights. In the winter time they offer winter dog sled tours and rides. Adventures with Seward Helicopter Tours include a Dog Sled Tour on Goodwin Glacier, Bear Glacier Tour, Glacier Landing and Scenic flights over Seward. If you are looking for the ultimate adventure of a lifetime, we couldn’t possibly recommend Seward Helicopter Tours more. It is a must-do when visiting The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

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If you’ve been to Homer, Alaska and you are as in love with the coastal beauty as we are, we have a treat that is sure to blow your mind. Located just a boats-ride away from Homer is Halibut Cove, Alaska where you will find Stillpoint Lodge. Just a short trip across breathtaking Kachemak Bay, past towering mountain fjords, is this casual yet luxurious resort lodge nestled on the edge of the Alaskan wilderness. It is a quick getaway from Homer and easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Here you will find cozy cabins that surround a beautiful and inviting lodge. Once you go inside you will find the perfect balance of grand architecture, Alaskan artistry, Scandinavian styling, simple, nature-inspired design, and a hint of Zen… with eco-friendly luxuries and amenities
one may not expect to find in such a setting.

1909276_867890966571218_3480636644800048305_oStep outside the lodge and into the pristine wilderness of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay. This designated critical habitat area is home to a remarkably high level of biological activity. Witness playful sea otters up-close in their natural habitat as you launch an ocean kayak or stand up paddleboard right from the private dock at Stillpoint Lodge. Experience a variety of opportunities for watching whales and birds, going bear viewing, tide pooling and world-class fishing,  as well as exploring glaciers and mountains.

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Last but certainly not least on our list of new 2016 recommendations is Turning Heads Kennels in Seward, Alaska. Offering Dog Sled Tours on the Kenai Peninsula in Seward, Alaska. The folks at Turning Heads Kennels invite you to join their 11th place Iditarod dog sled team in Seward, Alaska for an iconic Alaskan adventure. They offer both summer & winter dog sled tours and are two-time recipients of best overall dog care awards. If you want to learn about the history of dog sledding in Alaska, you will get a top-notch, professional and informative experience with Turning Heads Kennels.

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At Turning Heads Kennels, their sled dogs are the heart and soul of what they do. They pride themselves on having, fun, friendly, and highly energetic dogs. Follow the adventures of Iditarod Musher Travis Beals, Iditarod Hopeful Sarah Stokey and their wonderful family of sled dogs by visiting Turning Heads Kennels the next time that you are in Seward, Alaska.

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Thank you for taking the time out of your day to learn all about these wonderful people and their amazing businesses on and around The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place with so many passionate people that work hard to provide out-of-this-world experiences for locals and visitors alike. Whether you have never been to our beautiful neck of the woods, or you are someone who visits annually (or multiple times a year), we invite you to check these incredible local businesses. Happy travels, friends!

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Sweet and Savory flavors of The Kenai

Photo in Katmai National Park, credit tagged on photo.

Photo in Katmai National Park, credit tagged on photo.

Well 2016 is here and it’s already off to a great start! After getting outside and enjoying all the glorious mountains, glaciers, wildlife and endless outdoor adventures that can be found on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, you’re sure to work up quite the appetite.

But unlike the moose and the bears, who get the pleasure of finding their food sources in the great outdoors, us humans have a plethora of delicious and delectable options to choose from.  From Kenai, to Soldotna, to Seward and Homer (and just about everywhere in between), we have some excellent recommendations for you to put on your “foodie bucket list” this year. This is just a short, sweet list with some new 2016 hot spots. The truth is, we could quite literally write a novel about the amazing food on The Kenai.😉 Listed in alphabetical order with all being equally scrumptious, read on to learn more.

Photo from the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, AK.

Photo from the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, AK.

We will kick things off with something sweet (because dessert before dinner is always a good rule of thumb on a snowy Sunday). Gotta Have Desserts (Kenai Catering) located off of South Willow Street in Kenai, Alaska is a MUST if you are looking for delicious treats. Cake, crème brulee, muffins, cupcakes, scones, doughnuts and so much more. You are surely to be disappointed if you do not make it a point to stop in and visit when you are in Kenai.

Gotta Have Desserts in Kenai, Alaska.

Gotta Have Desserts in Kenai, Alaska.

AJ’s OldTown Steakhouse & Tavern in Homer, Alaska is a must, especially after a long day of Halibut fishing out on the salt. This steak house is the real deal. Consistently spot-on with genuine hospitality to couple the incredible food. It truly is a win-win type of situation when you visit AJ’s in Homer. Mouth is already watering and we haven’t even gotten to the part about the rockin’ live music that can often be heard on evenings throughout the walls of AJ’s. Located in the heart of Old Town & known locally for serving up amazing steaks, local seafood, specialty drinks, goodwill & hospitality for over 70 years.

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Alaska Berries in Soldotna, Alaska prides itself in being the first, and currently the only winery in the State of Alaska that is certified as being 100% Alaska Grown. They grow all of their fruit and berries used in the production of their handcrafted wines and jams. “From the bush to the bottle” allows Alaska Berries complete control of the entire process which insures the highest quality fruit is picked at its peak of ripeness.  When guests visit this estate winery they are able to see first hand the care and consideration that is given to the farm and to the unique wines, jams and syrups.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Alaska Seafood Grill in Seward, Alaska has gained popularity for it’s vast menu serving Alaskan seafood favorites such as halibut, rockfish, salmon, scallops and king crab. Located in the boat harbor, Alaska Seafood Grill provides a variety of fresh Alaskan seafood in a fast and casual environment. All items are offered a’la carte, giving you the freedom to choose only your favorite type of seafood, or mix and match to sample the Arctic Ocean’s bounty.

Photo from Alaska Seafood Grill.

 

Bridge Lounge in Soldotna, Alaska is a new lounge in town located right in the middle of town by the bridge, inside Kenai River Lodge. With great food, incredible drinks, great customer service and live music, Bridge Lounge is quickly becoming a top pick for many locals and visitors alike. And with a view that is sure to take your breath away, you will find yourself having a hard time leaving this great spot!

Photo from Bridge Lounge Facebook page.

Photo from Bridge Lounge Facebook page.

Priding themselves in serving “the best BBQ on the Kenai Peninsula,” Firehouse BBQ offers quite the variety of favorites. Brisket, Ribs, Pulled Pork and Loaded Stuffed Baked Potato. And we can’t forget the homemade pies and cobbler (served with delicious vanilla ice cream) that is made fresh and changes regularly. Everything at Firehouse BBQ is finger-licking good and made fresh daily. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-8pm and on Sunday from 11am to 4pm (or until they sell out). This is a great place to visit if you want to go in and dine with the family or grab a quick to-go box for a day enjoying the great outdoors.

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Iditarod Café located in Kenai, Alaska is owned and operated by the same owners of Gotta Have Desserts and Kenai Catering. Bobbi England and her husband Steve truly do have this culinary thing down pat! And boy oh boy is the town of Kenai lucky to reap all the delicious rewards of their incredible talents. If you are in Kenai, be sure to visit this wonderful place.

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The Kasilof Mercantile & Rocky’s Café in Kasilof, Alaska offers delicious home style cooking and yummy desserts with a full ice cream bar. Rocky’s Cafe warm and cozy atmosphere offers a warm fire place, consistently excellent customer service and beautiful Alaskan art painted on the wall. In the Kasilof Mercantile find fun and unique Alaskan clothing and memorable treasures as well as standard grocery items in the grocery store.

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Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop in Nikiski, Alaska is housed in a small warehouse nestled in a clearing in the woods, adjacent to the Kassik’s (owners) home in Nikiski.  The owner, Frank’s passion for brewing began when his wife Debara, bought him a home brew kit for Christmas. Frank was hooked and soon became a proficient home brewer.  They built a 36 X 50 shop in hopes to someday have a brewery.  In May of 2005 Kassik’s purchased a used seven barrel system, and then remodeled their building to accommodate the equipment with the help of family and friends.  The brewery opened Memorial Weekend 2006 with their first brew Beaver Tail Blonde, their Moose Point Porter was on tap a few weeks later.

Photo from Kassik's Brewery Facebook page.

Photo from Kassik’s Brewery Facebook page.

Mooseback Annie’s is a new restaurant located in the town of Sterling, Alaska. Savory soups, sandwiches and suppers. Dine in or take out. They also offer to-go lunches for fisherman or anyone on the go! If you are hungry and in the market for delicious, home cooked food, be sure to stop in to Mooseback Annie’s the next time you are in Sterling.

Photo from Mooseback Annie's Facebook page.

Photo from Mooseback Annie’s Facebook page.

Is your mouth watering yet? We know, so is ours! Be sure to try out one of these 10 super-yummy spots the next time you visit The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. See you soon, friends!🙂

Top 15 Moments of the Year 2015

Photo shared from I Love Alaska Facebook Page.  Photo by Jordan Alleva.

Photo shared from I Love Alaska Facebook Page. Photo by Jordan Alleva.

Cheers to the last day of 2015! It’s been a pretty magical year on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. So in honor of the final day of the year, we though we’d do a little “Throwback Thursday” and recap the most memorable moments from our Facebook page.

Kenai Lake. Photo from Ed Boudreau.

Kenai Lake. Photo from Ed Boudreau.

Shared with almost 35,000 fans of the glorious Kenai Peninsula, let’s kick this party off with this Photo #1; A stunning sunrise in Seward, Alaska shared from Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

Photo Credit: Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking

Photo Credit: Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking

Photo #2, perfectly captioned “Eagle Eyes” is shared from the beautiful town of Seldovia, Alaska.

Shared from Seldovia, Alaska.

Shared from Seldovia, Alaska.

Photo #3 is a pretty in pink glorious morning sunrise shot from the beautiful town of Seward, Alaska.

Photo by Katherine "Pinky" Bleth & the Seward Journal.

Photo by Katherine “Pinky” Bleth & the Seward Journal.

Photo #4 is an always-popular aerial shot of the epic Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Is this on your bucket list? If not, we bet it is now!😉

Photo Credit: Daniel Leifheit. http://bit.ly/1C8YuOL.

Photo Credit: Daniel Leifheit. http://bit.ly/1C8YuOL.

Photo #5… license and registration, please. Need we say more? This moose has an agenda and no humans will stand in his way.😉

Photo from I Love Alaska Facebook page.

Photo shared from I Love Alaska Facebook page.

The #6 most popular moment on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground featured an epic underwater chase by a school of halibut chasing a GoPro. Check out this link HERE to view the full video. Warning: it’s up close & personal and incredibly AWESOME.

#7 is the true epitome of “the land of the midnight sun.” This blue-bird-sky photo was taken in June at midnight on the beautiful Turnagain Arm.

Photo by Brittney Robles. Shared from I Love Alaska Facebook page.

Photo by Brittney Robles. Shared from I Love Alaska Facebook page.

#8 leaves us utterly breathless. This bear is in his very own version of Disney Land. The happiest place on earth is Alaska!🙂

Photo shared from The Alaska Life Facebook page.

Photo shared from The Alaska Life Facebook page.

The #9 moment features a video of a giant pod of humpback whales that put on quite the show during a Kenai Fjords Tours excursion. If you turn up the volume, you can actually hear the whales trumpet. Once in a lifetime memories happen on Alaska’s Playground! Video featured HERE!

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours Facebook page.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours Facebook page.

Moment #10 is a lovely video of an Orca rubbing its belly along the shore of Fox Island Alaska. Full video HERE!

Video from Eric Eberspeaker. Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Video from Eric Eberspeaker. Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Our #11 moment features an Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) time lapse from Lights Out Photography that is comprised of 546 images taken in the span of about 18 minutes. Exposure time for images were 2 seconds. Shot from the Seward Hwy. Check out the full video HERE!

Aurora Borealis photo from Lights Out Photography.

Aurora Borealis photo from Lights Out Photography.

#12 is a fan favorite and a seasonal delight. Fall colors on the Seward Hwy. Our fall season is short here in Alaska, but boy oh boy does it leave a lasting impression.

Photo from the Seward Highway.

Photo from the Seward Highway.

Moment #13 is appropriately titled “just another day in Alaska.” In this incredible video captured by Bill Tyra you see two bull moose rutting and rumbling it out right smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood in someone’s driveway. It’s incredible. And its real. Only in Alaska! Full video HERE.

Video from Bill Myra.

Video from Bill Tyra.

#14: Surrounded by nature, the small town of Kenai, Alaska stirs peacefully. If you’re wondering, the answer is “yes, we pinch ourselves daily in amazement that this is our backyard.” Lucky is an understatement.

Photo Credit Greg Daniels. Shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

Photo Credit Greg Daniels. Shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

And last but certainly not least, moment #15 of the Year 2015 is this beautiful winter shot featuring the vivid Aurora Borealis captured sky-high from the chair lifts.

Photo shared from Alaska Dispatch News.

Photo shared from Alaska Dispatch News.

Whew! What an amazing year it has been. And the best part is that every year seems to get even better than the last. So hold on tight, 2016 is going to be epic! We can’t wait to share our journey with you and most importantly, we can’t wait for you to share your new memories with US! Thank you for joining us in celebrating all things glorious on the Kenai Peninsula year after year. We are blessed to share our love for this beautiful place with such wonderful people. Cheers!

Happy Holidays from Alaska’s Playground

Photo from Bing.com

Photo from Bing.com

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And being on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground to celebrate the season is as close to “a dream come true” as you can possibly imagine.

Quartz Creek in Cooper Landing. Photo courtesy of Brian Moore.

Quartz Creek in Cooper Landing. Photo courtesy of Brian Moore.

Whether you’re hitting the slopes at Alyeska Resort, enjoying a relaxing day of snowy-sightseeing or opting for a good meal and an indoor activity, Alaska’s Playground is sure to deliver.

600 Santa's Ski for Free at Alyeska Resort

600 Santa’s Ski for Free at Alyeska Resort.

One of our favorite parts about wintertime on The Kenai is that all our favorite summertime “hot spots” are transformed into magical, snowy escapes. Like this one below at Kenai Lake.

Or this one at Tern Lake. It’s hard not to feel completely refreshed after taking in a crisp, clear sight like this. And the most beautiful part? These sights are ALL AROUND on the Kenai Peninsula. Like we said before, being here truly feels like a dream come true.

Catching a winter sunrise in the Chugach Mountains is simply something that everyone MUST do at least once in their lifetime.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, www.WildNatureImages.com.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, http://www.WildNatureImages.com.

And taking the sleds out for some afternoon laughs and smiles is something that is sure to be a hit with the kiddos, every single time!

Even just your everyday average “road trip” can offer sights that make you feel like you need to *pinch* yourself to see if you are dreaming. Just look at those mountains! Utterly magical.

Photo from AKontheGO.com

Photo from AKontheGO.com

Wintertime hiking on Alaska’s Playground is another go-to activity that we highly recommend for anyone looking to spend a day off enjoying the great outdoors. Talk about a total soul cleanse.

And on the same note of wintertime hiking, lets just say… the destination is always worth the journey. Need proof? Check out this amazing, secluded photo below.

Photo from Kathleen Barth Photography.

Photo from Kathleen Barth Photography.

Wildlife viewing during the winter months is a treat that we can’t even believe we are so lucky to enjoy out our very own backdoor. Life changing!

Resting Bull Moose. Photo from Kathleen Barth Photography.

Resting Bull Moose. Photo from Kathleen Barth Photography.

Or if you’re more of a “water baby” and you are searching for a bit of an adrenaline rush, you could always try wintertime surfing on the Kenai Peninsula. Brrrr!😉

Photo from SurfAlaska.net.

Photo from SurfAlaska.net.

If snowmobiling (or snow-machining) is more of your thing, from flat valleys to steep mountain terrain- there are countless areas on The Kenai to enjoy fresh powder all winter long.

Photo from travel.davidmbyrne.com.

Photo from travel.davidmbyrne.com.

No matter what you plan to do with you’re holiday weekend, if you spend any time traveling to the Kenai Peninsula via the notorious Turnagain Arm, we are sure that you will enjoy a plethora of breathtaking sights.

While you’re here, be sure to keep your eyes open for some of the beautifully decorated outdoor Christmas trees, like this one below in the quaint town of Seward.

Photo from Ron Neibrugge with www.WildNatureImages.com.

Photo from Ron Neibrugge with http://www.WildNatureImages.com.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!🙂

Snowshoeing on The Kenai

Photo from Rbulson PhotoShelter

Photo from Rbulson PhotoShelter

If solitude is what you’re looking for on these chilly winter days in Alaska, we can’t think of a more serene activity to recommend than snowshoeing.

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion

Snowshoeing is a great sport in that just about anyone and everyone can do it. Whether you are a beginner, a moderate hiker or a backcountry expert, there is a path for you.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

One of the most exhilarating aspects of snowshoeing is that it allows you “escape it all” while often times not having to venture too far out of civilization.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

And there truly is nothing quite like the smell of fresh power in the middle of nowhere. It just feels like the way Alaska should. Peaceful, serene and good for the soul.

Photo from Alaska-In-Pictures.com

Photo from Alaska-In-Pictures.com

And if taking a breather and taking in some amazing wintertime views is what you’re looking to do, snowshoeing is definitely the sport for you.

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

Photo from Ron Niebrugge, Wild Nature Images

If you’re looking for the perfect date-day-out, we couldn’t recommend snowshoeing more.

Photo from Alaska Adventure Company

Photo from Alaska Adventure Company

Or if you’re looking for a great activity to get the kiddos out of the house (and smiling from ear to ear) on a snow-day. Snowshoeing it is!

Photo from AlaskaPublic.org

Photo from AlaskaPublic.org

And if you just want to hang out with some of your friends, quality time spend outdoors is way cooler than any amount of time around the television.

Photo from Travoom

Photo from Travoom

Or if you’re feeling extra outdoorsy and want to test out the “winter camping” waters, snowshoeing is a great way to get to where you’re going.

Photo from Alaska-In-Pictures.com

Photo from Alaska-In-Pictures.com

If you’re extra-lucky, you might end up catching the Aurora Borealis while out on a snowshoeing excursion. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Photo from Crescent Moon Snowshoes

Photo from Crescent Moon Snowshoes

If you prefer to spend your days off enjoying the great outdoors with your four-legged best friend, it’s been tested and proved that dogs love snowshoeing adventures just as much as us humans (or probably even more).😉

Photo from Road Trip America

Photo from Road Trip America

And we will also testify to the fact that nothing will prepare you better for a Monday than a Sunday spent out enjoying nature, away from the hustle and bustle.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter

One thing is for sure, you will not regret the feeling that you get when you are submerged in nature with utter peace and quiet. After all, that is what makes Alaska so special.

Photo from Expeditions Alaska

Photo from Expeditions Alaska

For trail ideas you can always check out the local Fish & Game offices, Chamber of Commerce or feel free to send us an email and we will happily help you plan an epic day of back-country snowshoeing fun.

Photo from RMI Guides

Photo from RMI Guides

Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai

PSkilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Skilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Happy Thanksgiving to our amazing friends, fans and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! Living on the Kenai Peninsula, we undoubtedly have a million-and-one things to be thankful for each and every day. To start, it’s beyond-incredible that we live in a town that has these kind of mountain views right within the city (see below).

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

More times than not, we are blessed with some of the most magical sunrises. Like this one below in Seward, Alaska over the small boat harbor.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

And the sunsets, those aren’t too shabby either.😉 This one below in Cook Inlet titled “one last haul” is hard to beat!

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

We are thankful to live in an area where we can enjoy world-class river fishing right out front door.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

And just-for-the-halibut, we must mention that the salt fishing is worthy of “writing home about” as well.😉

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

We are thankful for the many awesome adrenaline rushes that Alyeska Resort provides us every season. By the way, today is opening day! Woohoo!

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

And for living in a state the provides so many opportunities to enjoy snow days with the kiddos. Alaska kids love the snow and are raised to be tough little outdoorsmen and women from the time they can walk.🙂

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

We are thankful to have so many wildlife viewing opportunities. Nothing beats spotting a mama bear with three of her cubs.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Except maybe the opportunity to see amazing wildlife displaying their true “survival of the fittest” instincts in the wild. Talk about up close and personal!

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

The way that the sun breaks through the clouds and shines upon the ocean in Homer, Alaska is enough to leave us breathless every time.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska's Playground Facebook page.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground Facebook page.

We are thankful for date nights and family outings that are above it all and simply over-the-top.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

We are thankful to live amongst this beautiful, vast land where we regularly have the opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis right out our back door.

And for the opportunity to see marine animals in their natural habitat.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

We are thankful to live in an area where the hiking trails offer some of the most epic, jaw-dropping views.

And where “pitching a tent” isn’t just your everyday, average camping experience.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

What are thankful to live in an area where an everyday, average kayaking experience can change to totally-monumental and profoundly life changing  once you paddle upon a huge glacier sticking out of the ocean.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

And for SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) adventures that offer that same sort of feeling. Only in Alaska! Only on the Kenai Peninsula!

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

And although we could go on and on for many hours, at the end of the day we are most thankful for having the opportunity to share The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground with our friends, family and loved ones. Whether you live here full time or you are a visitor to this beautiful area, it is an undeniably special place that is best experienced with those closest to your heart.

Because at the end of the day its not about where you are, its about who you’re with.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

So today be sure to eat, drink, laugh and enjoy each others company. Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from www.jimcoda.com.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from http://www.jimcoda.com.

A Moose kind of Monday

Photo from The Moose is Loose Facebook page.

Photo from The Moose is Loose Facebook page.

Because nothing makes it easier to beat the Monday blues than a collection of adorable moose enjoying The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. And there is just something about the sight of a huge, 700 pound moose frolicking in the fresh fall snowfall that makes it hard to wipe a smile off your face.

Photo from Alaska from Scratch Facebook page.

Photo from Alaska from Scratch Facebook page.

Or maybe the sight of a nearly 1000 pound moose on its “tip-toes” is what will keep a smile on your face all day long. These animals are pretty remarkable!

Photo shared from our Facebook page.

Photo shared from our Facebook page.

And of course, there is just something about a moose and a sweet little baby playing peek-a-boo through the window that can melt anyone’s heart in an instant.❤

Photo from Jeremy Lee Sarnowski Sr.

Photo from Jeremy Lee Sarnowski Sr.

And a moose trying his best to wear snow-camouflage and blend in to backdrop is pretty darn adorable indeed. There is no hiding an animal that size!

Photo from activerain.com.

Photo from activerain.com.

Or how about this bull moose who unexpectedly gets a snout full as he reaches for graze along the Kenai River. Nature at it’s finest!

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

And there is just something oh-so-adorable about a mama moose and baby moose munching on leftover Halloween pumpkins. Better eat them all before Thanksgiving this Thursday!

Photo shared from KTUU.com.

Photo shared from KTUU.com.

One thing is for sure, only in Alaska will you mutter the words “today I saw a moose on a roof!”😉

Photo from Anchorage Daily News.

Photo from Anchorage Daily News.

But maybe the real riddle on everyone’s mind this Monday is, why did the moose cross the road? All we know is that he looks awfully stoic and wildly handsome.

Photo from christophermartinphotography.com.

Photo from christophermartinphotography.com.

Braving the heavy snowfall in Alaska can be difficult, but this bull and cow moose make weathering the storm look like a breeze.

And this sweet young moose just makes weathering the storm look like an absolute blast. Did someone say snow day? Yes, please!

Photo from fineartamerica.com.

Photo from fineartamerica.com.

And because Monday’s are sometimes (most of the time) harder than most, a nap is usually the best way to go. Take it from this beautiful gal below. She looks awfully comfy.🙂

Photo from the www.inquisitr.com.

Photo from the http://www.inquisitr.com.

One thing is for sure, moose certainly have a special way of bringing so much life and beauty to the dark, snowy fall and winter months.

Photo from susanstevenson.com.

Photo from susanstevenson.com.

And last but certainly not least, we are pretty sure that no one can disagree that a moose underneath the Aurora Borealis is one of the most magical sights that can be seen. Incredible!

Photo from Mark Newman via Alaska - Land of the Last Frontier Facebook page.

Photo from Mark Newman via Alaska – Land of the Last Frontier Facebook page.

Hopefully these fun photos brought a smile to your face on this chilly, crisp Monday morning. Have a wonderful day, friends!

Photo from potd.pdnonline.com.

Photo from potd.pdnonline.com.

150 Million Acres of Magic in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Photo from O'Dell Fowles shared by High Adventure Air Charter, Guides & Outfitters.

Photo from O’Dell Fowles shared by High Adventure Air Charter, Guides & Outfitters.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 500 unites in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This is a 150-million acre network of lands and waters that is set aside to help conserve out nation’s fish and wildlife heritage.

Photo from the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center and Tracy Curtin.

Photo from the Cooper Landing Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center and Tracy Curtin.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, often call “Alaska in miniature,” is home to a wide diversity of wildlife including moose, eagles, brown and black bears, lynx, wolves and trumpeter swans.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska from freenaturepictures.blogspot.com.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska from freenaturepictures.blogspot.com.

For a complete list of species, visit the official U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service link HERE.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

Lynx enjoying the fresh snowfall on the Kenai Peninsula.

The eastern portion of the refuge descends from the 6,500 Harding Ice Field to 2,000 to 4,000 ft. peaks in the western Kenai Mountains.

Photo of the Harding Ice Field from www.photosbymartin.com.

Photo of the Harding Ice Field from http://www.photosbymartin.com.

Ice fields and glaciers are vital sources of fresh water for wildlife and people. Mountain goats, brown bears and ravens have been sighted crossing glaciers by many locals and visitors alike.

Photo from Mark Johnson.

Photo from Mark Johnson.

A wildlife sighting in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is always a special treat. And it happens quite frequently, so be sure to always keep a look out. After all, this is their backyard, we just get to play in it.😉

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

In the refuge you will find Mountain Tundra. This is where the tree line ends at 1,500 to 2,000 ft. with low growing tundra plants and shrubs continuing in elevation to snow and rock fields at 4,000 ft. Dall sheep, mountain goats, and caribou roam this rugged country. Hoary marmots form colonies on talus slopes.

Brown bears graze for berries and occasionally take marmots and sheep. Wolves and golden eagles have been known to be successful hunters of young sheep. Wolverines scavenge the carcasses of dead sheep and goats.

Photo of brown bears searching for berries.

Photo of brown bears searching for berries.

From sea level to 2,000 ft., the northern boreal forest is found on the refuge. This forest is composed predominately of white and black spruce, birch, aspen, and cottonwood trees in various stages of succession. This forest is an important source of food and shelter for moose, black and brown bears, lynx, wolves, coyotes, porcupine, weasels, red squirrels and snowshoe hares.

Northern Boreal Forest in Alaska.

Northern Boreal Forest in Alaska.

The lakes & wetlands in the refuge are something extra special! The northeastern portion of the refuge is dotted with hundreds of small lakes surrounded by wetland tundra or spruce/hardwood forest hills. This large wetland habitat supports migratory breeding birds including common and pacific loons, grebes, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, ducks, and shorebirds.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Photo from the Redoubt Reporter.

Mammals found within this lake & wetland habitat include caribou, moose, beaver, muskrat, and mink. The lakes support a variety of fish species, such as rainbow trout, arctic char, red and silver salmon, and sticklebacks.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Also within this habitat, the Chickaloon River Flats remains the last pristine major saltwater estuary on the Kenai Peninsula. The Flats serves as a staging area for thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl.

Photo at the Chickaloon River Flats from the Redoubt Reporter.

Photo at the Chickaloon River Flats from the Redoubt Reporter.

And the Rivers in the refuge can be described as “what dreams are made of” with some being world renowned.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

The refuge is drained by nine river systems, including the world famous Kenai River, renowned for its wide variety of sport fish including Chinook (king), sockeye (red), and coho (silver) salmon, and Dolly Varden and rainbow trout.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook Page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook Page.

Bald eagles are often sighted perched in tall cottonwoods along the riverbanks. Brown and black bears are attracted to the rich fish resources in summer and fall. Moose, beaver, and mergansers are commonly seen wildlife along refuge river systems.

Photo from the Upper Kenai River Trail at the Russian River Ferry, from USFWS/Berkley Bedell.

Photo from the Upper Kenai River Trail at the Russian River Ferry, USFWS/Berkley Bedell.

If you haven’t yet visited, you simply MUST. Be sure to make time to catch a good reflection (double the pleasure, double the memories).

Photo from Aren Kert at Tern Lake.

Photo from Aren Kert at Tern Lake.

And a beautiful rainbow won’t hurt your eyes too bad either…😉

Photo from Sara Moore via the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from Sara Moore via the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

If you prefer to get your body moving and enjoy an active lifestyle, we recommend a hike in the refuge. So many incredible options to choose from.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Be sure to get up early enough (at least one day) to enjoy a sunrise. Worth it? We think so!

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Photo from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

And of course, it’s always a good idea to take a load off and enjoy a good sunset. Happy travels, friends.🙂

Sunset over Mt. Iliamna. What dreams are made of.

Sunset over Mt. Iliamna. What dreams are made of.

 

A Whale’s Tale

Photo from www.sarashoemakerlind.com in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo from http://www.sarashoemakerlind.com in Kenai Fjords National Park.

What brings you to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? What fuels your love for this massive 25,000+ square miles of land, river and sea? There are a lot of reasons to fall in love with the Kenai Peninsula. For many, the wildlife alone is what keeps them coming back year after year. From land to sea, you will never run out of wildlife sightings that are hard to believe.

Photo from Sleepyibis.

Photo from Sleepyibis.

When you can get up close and personal with 50 ton humpback whale that stretches nearly 50 feet long and 20 feet wide, it’s easy to feel like you are on another planet. Talk about a *pinch me* moment!

Photo from Daryll Vispo Photography taken in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo from Daryll Vispo Photography taken in Kenai Fjords National Park.

And when heading out to fish on the salt surprisingly offers you an epic photo-op, you know you’ve struck gold.

Photo from HOWL Alaska in Homer!

Photo from HOWL Alaska in Homer, AK.

Or when a peaceful day of kayaking through Resurrection Bay in Seward, AK causes a sudden intermission. Hold on tight and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime adrenaline rush!

Photo from Shawn South with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

Photo from Shawn South with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

You really can’t quite put into words how magical it is to see a whole family of orca’s swimming together. Did you know that orca’s form family units, led by the female, that can stick together for decades.

Photo from Kay White via the National Park Service.

Photo from Kay White via the National Park Service.

Mama orca and her little one just popping up to say hello.❤

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

And if you are looking to visit the Kenai Peninsula for a whale-watching tour, be advised that the (human) visitors aren’t the only ones that enjoy checking out the glaciers.😉