7 Itsy Bitsy Tiny Towns On The Kenai That Are Perfect For A Weekend Escape

green-edventures

PC: Green Edventures

One of the many things that we love about The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is the diverse terrain. Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula truly is home the most spectacular displays of Mother Nature’s distinguished artwork. While we have an obvious obsession with so of the larger towns on the peninsula like Kenai, Homer, Seward and Soldotna – these tiny gems have a special kind of hold on our hearts.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

This is the kind of feeling that is indescribable in ways that you’ll only understand if you actually visit and find out for yourself. If you’ve ever been to any of these tiny treasured towns, we’re sure that you’ll get all sorts of nostalgia thinking about memories from the past. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to have a weekend escape with your friends, family or special someone – you’ll want to check every single one of these places off your bucket list this year.

PC: What Up Swags

PC: What Up Swags

1 – Hope

PC: Travel Alaska

PC: Travel Alaska

There is truly so much to do in this tiny little town located down a long, winding road off the Seward Highway heading south on the Kenai Peninsula. Stay in a quaint lodge or cabin, explore the Seaview Café and surrounding inlet sights in the distance. You won’t be able to ignore the mountains views! Fishing is very popular here in the summertime.

PC: Vacation Rental Pics, Hirshey Cabin

PC: Vacation Rental Pics, Hirshey Cabin

Hiking is another very popular activity in Hope. Hike the 5 mile round-trip Hope Point Trail and see stunning views overlooking the famous Turnagain Arm.

PC: Green Edventures

PC: Green Edventures

If your travels bring you to Hope during the summertime, be sure to check out a thrilling whitewater rafting excursion with Chugach Outdoor Center or NOVA River Runners Inc. Check out the awesome YouTube footage below for a sneak peek into all the adrenaline-packed fun you’ll be in for.

2 – Ninilchik

PC: Flickr - Cecil Sanders

PC: Flickr – Cecil Sanders

In this tiny town with a population of around 850 residents, you might be surprised to learn that that is so much to do here. Fishing, hiking, beach combing, atv riding and so much more.

PC: Sarah Elzas - Flickr

PC: Sarah Elzas – Flickr

Head up to the Caribou Hills to ride the ATVs or enjoy beach combing with mind-blowing mountain views overlooking the inlet.

PC: Dan Callahan, Flickr

PC: Dan Callahan, Flickr

It’s impossible to deny one of Ninilchik’s most popular summertime attractions; saltwater fishing! Soak in the most epic mountain views while reeling in massive halibut and slippery salmon. If you aren’t afraid of having a whole lotta’ fun, this is one incredible activity that is calling your name loud and clear!

3 – Clam Gulch

PC: Alaska.org

PC: Alaska.org

This tiny little gem with less than 200 residents is a great place to go escape the crowds and soak up some peaceful tranquility.

flickr-peter-flynn

Spend the weekend playing at the beach, hiking or riding ATVs then prepare for a life-changing sunset view at the end of the day.

bay-realty-blog

Sit back and soak in the scenic beauty of waves crashing against the shore in Clam Gulch by peeping the YouTube video below. If peace and relaxation is what you’re after, this town is meant for you!

4 – Cooper Landing

PC: Where To Willie

PC: Where To Willie

The charming mountain town with some of the bluest water that you’ll ever see. Enjoy fascinating snow-capped peaks and the glacial fed waters of Kenai Lake and the Kenai River.

PC: Ian Collins, Flickr

PC: Ian Collins, Flickr

While the renowned fisheries are incredibly noteworthy within themselves, we also love the glorious hiking opportunities in Cooper Landing. There are also lots of incredible eco-tours in the area such as rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and paddle boarding.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

As if you aren’t already convinced that a weekend escape to Cooper Landing is an incredibly good idea, just do yourself a favor and watch the quick six minute video below. The fascinating drone footage will make your heart pound right out of your chest. There really is nothing more glorious than The Kenai!

5 – Moose Pass

PC: Jimmy Emerson, DVM

PC: Jimmy Emerson, DVM

The little drive-by town on the way to Seward, where if you blink – you’ll miss it. Be sure to stop by Tern Lake at the Sterling Highway junction to soak in one of the most picturesque views in all of the state.

PC: Maria Fletcher Stark

PC: Maria Fletcher Stark

Spend the day checking out the gorgeous Trail Lake or head into the backcountry for a backpacking trek to Crescent Lake.

PC: Kevan Dee, Flickr

PC: Kevan Dee, Flickr

Check out the YouTube video below and enjoy seeing the most spectacular aerial footage of Moose Pass from a floatplane. It really is a hidden gem of a town just nestled perfectly in the middle of nowhere.

6 – Nikiski

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

This community out north on the Kenai Spur Highway is a lot more than just an oil & gas town. For starters, the voluptuous volcanic views are guaranteed to take your breath away.

PC: Travis, Flickr

PC: Travis, Flickr

Where the gravel road ends, the epic trail riding begins. This is a locals spot that offers non-stop muddy fun from dusk until dawn. Head to Captain Cook State Recreational Area for some hiking, beach combing, horseback riding or a long walk on the beach with your dogs.

PC: Amy Meredith, Flickr

PC: Amy Meredith, Flickr

Here’s the thing; Nikiski is heavily underrated. When you head all the way out that north road, you literally can escape into a realm of total peace and quiet. We happen to love Captain Cook State Recreation Area, partially because nothing beats the sunset views at the locale. Just check out the great YouTube video below and see for yourself.

7 – Seldovia

PC: John M, Flickr

PC: John M, Flickr

This idyllic little coastal town is worth the ‘off the beaten path’ trip in. Head down to Homer and hop on a boat or the ferry and make your way over the Seldovia, population 280.

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

Popular activities in town include beachcombing, hiking and some of the most incredible saltwater fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. Seldovia also has incredibly charming lodging options and some delicious eateries as well.

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

The utterly phenomenal YouTube video below from Seldovia Native Association Inc. will make you fall madly in love with Seldovia, if you aren’t already head over heels. Give it a quick peep and get ready to plan your 2017 vacation getaway to this coastal paradise.

That’s all for now, friends! Get out and explore all these sweet hidden gems that can only be found right here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Advertisements

30 Outdoorsy Alaskan Instagram Accounts That Everyone On The Kenai Should Follow ASAP

main

Now that we are gliding along smoothly into the New Year, we wanted to take a moment to stop, reflect and share. Since we live in the most beautiful place in the world (aka – The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground), sometimes it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our own little slice of paradise. But what we’ve noticed along the way is that our fellow Alaskan friends, colleagues and adventure-lovers have some of the best kept secrets in the great 49th state. So what’s all the hush-hush about? These 30 Instagram accounts are filled with so much phenomenal eye-candy that you won’t be able to contain your love affair with the Last Frontier. Fuel your wanderlust and fall head over heels in love with Alaska (again, and again, and again) after you follow each and every one of these insanely awesome pages. No matter where your travels take you this year, we know that you won’t regret putting The Kenai at the top of your bucket list.

featured

1 – @JohnHallsAlaska. Check out all the behind the scenes action of these fully guided small group tours. See the best of what Alaska has to offer!

1

2 – @TravelAlaska. The State of Alaska Tourism Office shares incredible attractions all across the Last Frontier. You won’t be able to contain your excitement, trust us.

2

3 – @TheAlaskaLife. If there was ever a doubt in your mind that living in Alaska was the definition of ‘living the dream’ – this is all the proof in the puddin’ that you need. Absolutely brilliant photography and incredible stories from locals across the Last Frontier will leave you in a constant state of awe.

3

4 – @AlaskaTravel. Alaska Travel at Alaska.org will show you sides to Alaska that you only thought existed in your wildest dreams. Be sure to check out the Alaska map and start making all of your Alaska dreams come true.

4

5 – @CabinLife_Alaska. Because sometimes it’s just good for the heart to follow the solace perspective of off-the-grid living in interior Alaska. Simply put, these snaps are food for the soul.

5

6 – @AlaskaUltimateSafaris. Alaska bear watching and glacier viewing is just so much cooler when you experience it from the comforts of a helicopter. This unforgettable excursion is unlike anything else in the world. See a side to the Kenai Peninsula like never before.

unnamed

7 – @VisitSoldotna. Catch the latest on what life is like inside Alaska’s Kenai River City by following this great page today. The beautiful photography will make you fall in love with all four seasons on a whole new level.

7

8 – @KenaiFjordsNPS. Follow all the stunning latest on the renowned Harding Icefield and get up close and personal with some of the most jaw-dropping displays of raw nature and marine wildlife in the salty shores of Resurrection Bay.

8

9 – @VisitHomer. Alaska’s halibut fishing capital of the world is home to so many renowned treasures. Visit the Homer Spit, go fishing in Kachemak Bay or spend the afternoon chasing down phenomenal photography opportunities. Just about every nook and cranny of this town will delight your heart with joy.

9

10 – @AkWildlife. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage is such a prized gem that locals adore and visitors are continuously amazed by. Follow them today and keep up to date on what all the cutest rehabilitation animals are doing to keep strong and happy in the Last Frontier.

10

11 – @ResortAlyeska. Head to the most beloved ski town in the world where you’ll find the incredible Alyeska Resort. This resort offers endless powder play dates in the wintertime as well as some of the most epic hiking and backpacking destinations during the summertime. Hop on a trail or shred the pow, but if you’re stuck at home – follow all the magic on Insta.

11

12 – @AlaskaWildland. Uniquely, responsibly and exclusively Alaskan adventures dating all the way back to 1977. For top notch tours, lodging and backcountry adventures in the Last Frontier – you need to follow these fine folks ASAP.

unnamed-1

13 – @JimmieJackFishing. This awesome Alaska fishing lodge is located right here on the Kenai Peninsula. Stay up to speed with what’s being caught and be sure to plan your next halibut, salmon or multi-species fishing trip today.

unnamed-2

14 – @26glaciers. This luxury glacier viewing tour out of Prince William Sound in Whittier was voted best in the state by locals, and after you see these jaw-dropping photos you’ll completely understand why. This is a bucket list must!

14

15 – @AlaskaRailroad. The most beautiful train rides in the world lead you right to the Kenai Peninsula, you just have to hop on and experience the magic for yourself. This Insta page will make you seriously need to start planning your Alaskan adventures ASAP.

15

16 – @AlaskaCollection. Formerly Alaska Denali Travel, the Alaska Collection offers the best of the best in Alaska vacation planning options. From the Kenai Peninsula, Katmai, Lake Clark, Seward, Talkeetna, up into Denali and so much more. Just start exploring and you’re sure to stumble upon something that lights a fire in your adventurous spirit.

16

17 – @AlaskaBearAdventures. If adorable bear cubs roaming in the raw wilderness makes your heart absolutely explode with happiness, this page (and these tours) is exactly what you need. Head down to Homer this summer to experience the fun in person!

17

18 – @TravelJuneauAK. If you haven’t noticed already, our love for the Last Frontier runs deep. So deep that our neighbors in the Southeast community of Juneau have us lusting over their gorgeous outdoor wonderland. From the sights of Mendenhall Glaciers to the lush rainforest beauty inside the Tongass National Park – we can’t get enough!

18

19 – @KenaiRiversideFishing. There is just nothing like them summer nights spent out on the banks of the Kenai River fishing beneath the midnight sun. Mountains, river, trout, salmon – oh my! This guiding diary makes us get a major case of heart-eyes!

19

20 – @AlaskaMarineHighway. Visiting Alaska via the picturesque marine highway is an experience unlike any other in the world. View majestic mountains towering above you out of the ocean while the occasional breaching whale pops up to greet you on the bow. Mind-blowing? You better freakin’ believe it. Only in Alaska baby!

20

21 – @OrcaIslandCabins. Head to Seward and make your way out to the idyllic shores of Humpy Cove where you’ll find Orca Island Cabins. The yurt style lodging offers the most perfect ‘glamping’ experience while the eco-activities available at your disposal will charm the socks right off of you. Go whale watching via stand-up paddleboard or kayak around the bay while birding.

21

22 – @SeldoviaBayFerry. Life beyond the Homer Spit in the remote coastal town is just about as scenic as can be. Literally just following the Insta page will completely relax you, but we highly encourage you to take a trip on the ferry this summer and reward yourself with the ultimate Kenai Peninsula getaway.

22

23 – @great_alaska_adventures. Livin’ the dream never felt so good. Follow the ultimate outdoorsy adventures with Great Alaska team and find yourself flocking to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground for fishing and travel fun.

23

24 – @AlaskaSealifeCenter. Scientific knowledge mixed with stunning photographs helps to promote the understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. This is not only a great (indoor) place to take the family to enjoy during the chilly winter months, but it’s also an absolutely blast any other time of year as well. Caution: cuteness overload will occur in heavy doses.

24

25 – @PrincessAlaskaLodges. Plan on taking a cruise up to Alaska? If so, you better start following this Insta page like right this very second. Extend your time in the Last Frontier with a land excursion package that will lead you to the most stunning Alaskan lodges in the 49th state. Trust us, the photos will do something crazy to your adventurous heart.

25

26 – @DiscoverValdez. Home to the snowiest area in the entire state and the most awe-inspiring views of Mother Nature. This might be one of the most wow-worthy adventure capitals in the entire state. A huge shout-out to our neighbors for continuing to share the renowned beauty of Alaska with all of us!

26

27 – @TurningHeadsKennel. We have a secret to share that we can no longer keep quiet about. We are freakin’ crazy-obsessed with dog mushing. It’s just the most incredible sport of pure resilience, compassion and power. To overcome such tremendous boundaries to then come together as a team, (wo)man and dog – there is nothing more admirable. This Insta account just lights a special spark in our hearts. You’ll see why after just one glance.

27

28 – @StillPointLodge. A sweet, sweet island escape that you’ve been dreaming about all your life. THAT, my friends – is exactly what you’ll find here. The towering fjords, majestic mountains and enchanting views of Kachemak Bay will utterly blow you away.

28

29 – @MillersLandingEscape. The idyllic town of Seward will lead you to a peaceful slice of paradise known as Lowell Point. The large beach area with towering mountains in the distance is like a scene straight out of a dream. Millers Landing also just so happens to be your one-stop option for lodging and recreational activities.

29

30 – @InletCharters. Inlet Charters Across Alaska out of Homer is who you need to be with when you want to have a blast and catch a ton of fish. Reel in halibut or salmon, or spend the afternoon on a renowned wildlife viewing tour. Whatever you do, don’t forget to follow this crew on Insta and book a trip for the 2017 season before it’s too late!

30

Safe travels to all of our dear friends out there and remember that you can always reach out to us at any time if you need help planning your dream Kenai Peninsula vacation.

 

The Kenai’s 3-Day Romantic Road Trip Perfect For A Valentines Day Getaway

PC: Google Maps

PC: Google Maps

Congrats – you’ve officially made it through the first month of 2017! Now it’s time to reward yourself for all that endless hard work by taking an extended weekend escape through some of The Kenai‘s most spectacular towns and small businesses. Just encase you’re stuck working a dreaded five day work week, we kicked off this epic romantic adventure with a relaxing dinner and a million dollar view – just to assure that you completely unwind before diving into all the weekend fun. The entire trip takes six hours and includes three overnight stays at some of the most charming hospitality accommodations on The Kenai. So get ready to eat to your hearts content, sleep peacefully and spend your days playing in the most awe-inspiring paradise in the Last Frontier. Be prepared to make The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground your new favorite vacation destination.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Day One:

Five Star Dinner at Seven Glaciers Restaurant at Alyeska Resort – Girdwood. Watch as skiers and snowboarders fly down the slopes underneath you as you devour gourmet cuisine and casually sip on fine wine. Time it right and you’ll be able to enjoy a sky-high sunset that will electrify your entire world.

PC: Yelp - Mel W.

PC: Yelp – Mel W.

Chase The Northern Lights – Kenai Lake. Head south on the Seward Highway to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Once you arrive in Cooper Landing, you’ll be immediately blown away by the scenic beauty that surrounds you. Take an evening stroll underneath the stars at Kenai Lake and look up – you just might spot the miraculous Aurora Borealis dancing overtop of you.

PC: Michael DeYoung Photography

PC: Michael DeYoung Photography

Hot Tub & Riverfront View at Eagle Landing Resort – Cooper Landing. This charming riverfront spread is surprisingly open all year long, which is such a tremendous treat for visitors to the area. Book a cabin and spend the night soaking in the peace and quiet the surrounds you with the company of your sweetheart by your side.

PC: Facebook - Kelly Snow at Eagle Landing Resort

PC: Facebook – Kelly Snow at Eagle Landing Resort

Day Two:
Scenic Pullout at Russian River Confluence – Cooper Landing. Sleep in or get up early and seize the day. Don’t leave Cooper Landing without stopping at the Russian River Confluence to soak in the magical wintertime views of the Kenai River.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Coffee Date at Veronica’s Café – Kenai. Head to the historic fishing town of Kenai to grab a delicious breakfast pastry and hot cup of coffee to enjoy with your sweetheart. If you’re feeling like getting some fresh air, head down to the beach and take a wintertime stroll while soaking in views of Cook Inlet and Mt. Redoubt in the distance.

PC: Facebook - Veronica's Café by Mike Haggerty

PC: Facebook – Veronica’s Café by Mike Haggerty

Local Lunch at Duck Inn – Soldotna. Grab a burger or a hot sandwich in the casual local hot spot. While you’re at it, enjoy a game or pool while sipping on a draft beer.

PC: Facebook - The Duck Inn, Soldotna

PC: Facebook – The Duck Inn, Soldotna

Sweet Shopping Fun at Alaska Berries – Soldotna. The northernmost winery in North America offers so many delightful things that you’re guaranteed to love. Enjoy shopping for wines, jams, syrups, vinegar’s, vinaigrette’s and much more!

PC: Facebook - Alaska Berries

PC: Facebook – Alaska Berries

Romantic Dinner at Mykel’s Restaurant – Soldotna. This local spot always does Valentine’s Day right. Get ready to dine on incredible food that you’ll be itching to rave about to all of your friends and family. King crab, steak, chicken, salmon, lamb and so much more.

PC: Facebook - Mykel's Restaurant

PC: Facebook – Mykel’s Restaurant

Night Cap at Bridge Lounge – Soldotna. Finish the night off by heading to this wonderful atmosphere where you can enjoy a drink and good conversation with your special someone.

PC: Facebook - Bridge Lounge

PC: Facebook – Bridge Lounge

Cozy Fireside Cabin at Escape For Two – Soldotna. Just a few minutes outside of Soldotna heading towards Kasilof, turn on Tote Road and it’ll lead you to this idyllic little staycation that is the perfect place for you and your honey to enjoy a nice night together.
PC: Facebook - Escape For Two

PC: Facebook – Escape For Two

Or… A Winter Wonderland Riverfront Retreat at Gallery Lodge – Kasilof. Head a little further down the road going south on the Sterling Highway and you’ll stumble upon this magnificent lodging option that will transport you and your sweetheart right into a winter wonderland paradise.
PC: Facebook - Gallery Lodge Kasilof AK

PC: Facebook – Gallery Lodge Kasilof AK

Day Three:
Homestyle Breakfast at Rocky’s Café – Kasilof. You’ll love all the local paintings on the walls and artwork displays in this cozy café. The gift shop is also quite impressive. For breakfast, fill up on all the classic favorites that you’ve loved since childhood.
PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Peaceful Relaxing Stroll For Two – Clam Gulch Recreational Area. After breakfast, walk it off in Clam Gulch and have a fun morning watching eagles soar in the distance while beach combing.
PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Mountainside Burger Lunch at Freddie’s Roadhouse – Ninilchik. Head up into the Caribou Hills and enjoy epic mountain views while chowing down on a yummy home-style burger, just how mama used to make it.
PC: Facebook - Freddie's Roadhouse

PC: Facebook – Freddie’s Roadhouse

Wine Tasting at Bear Creek Winery – Homer. It doesn’t get more romantic than tasting award-winning wine in the ‘halibut fishing capital of the world’. You’ll love the genuine service that you’ll find here along with all the wildly unique fruit wines. That Blueberry Zin is calling our names!
PC: Facebook - Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

PC: Facebook – Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

Hot Tub & Million Dollar View at Land’s End Resort – Homer. Charming rooms at the end of the Homer Spit with the most epic panoramic view overlooking the world-renowned Kachemak Bay State Park.
PC: Land's End Resort

PC: Land’s End Resort

Enjoy A Couple’s Massage at Renewal Spa – Homer. Because there is no greater way to end a fun-filled romantic weekend road trip than by soaking in a long sensual massage hand-in-hand with your special someone.
Facebook - Land's End Resort

Facebook – Land’s End Resort

Love the idea of a weekend getaway, but aren’t traveling through these regions on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Reach out to us and let us know if you need any help planning the perfect Kenai Peninsula road trip adventure.