10 Short And Sweet Hikes To Take On The Kenai This Spring

The days are continuing to get longer and the weather has been practically the picture of perfection. With warmer air and electric sunshine rays, the snow is quickly melting and we just can’t seem to get enough! With over two months of the spring season remaining, it’s the perfect time of year to break out of hibernation and hop on these 10 awesome trails. Remember to be aware of wildlife that surrounds area trails all throughout The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Flickr – Dan Logan

1: Exit Glacier – Seward, Alaska (2.5 miles)

As one of the most popular hikes on the Kenai Peninsula, this well-maintained trail makes it easy to get into to the serene surroundings of nature without having to go too far. The remarkable views of Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park will take your breath away. Take the 2-mile loop from the Nature Center or keep on going and make it a 3 or 4 mile trek. If you’re after a longer journey, continue on up to the Harding Icefield. For more trail information, click HERE.

Yelp – Katie R.

2: Beluga Slough Trail – Homer, Alaska (1.2 miles)

This 1.2-mile loop trail offers scenic views overlooking Kachemak Bay, with tremendous wildlife viewing opportunities to boot. Walk the shores of Bishop’s Beach while beach combing along the way. For more trail information, click HERE.

Yelp – Jeannette G.

3: Captain Cook Beach Trail – Nikiski, Alaska (2.5 miles)

Nothing beats a long walk on the beach, especially when you have the whole place all to yourself. That’s the feeling you get out here. Enjoy the picnic area (with a million dollar view) and then take a nice flat walk on the beach with the whole family. For more trail information, click HERE.

David Mendosa

4: Tonsina Creek Trail – Seward, Alaska (3 miles)

This scenic 3 mile trail will lead you from the beautiful Lowell Point beach area through lush hemlock and spruce trees on to Tonsina Creek. Stop and take time to soak in the views overlooking Resurrection Bay as you enjoy gradual elevation gain. For more trail information, click HERE.

The Trek Planner

5: Bear Mountain Trail – Sterling, Alaska (1.6 miles)

Access this short, sweet hike by taking Skilak Lake Loop to mile marker 6.9 (accessible from the Sterling or Cooper Landing) in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. You’ll climb a fairly steep .8 miles up hill, but the view you’ll be rewarded with is way worth any pain from the elevation gain. Soak in sights overlooking Skilak Lake and the robust Kenai Mountains. For more trail information, click HERE.

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6: Keen Eye & Centennial Trails – Soldotna, Alaska (.3-3 miles)

Hike along the Keen-Eye Nature Trail with interpretive information along a well-maintained path. Visitors can take a side path down to Headquarters Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Continue on to the 2-mile Centennial Trail Loop to enjoy a beautiful nature escape with plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities. For more trail information, click HERE.


7: Hidden Creek Trail – Cooper Landing, Alaska (3 miles)

This 3-mile out and back hike is located off of Skilak Lake Loop and it is a fairly flat, winding hike. You’ll go through a variety of diverse terrain, with excellent berry picking opportunities during July and August. You’ll also wind through an old burn area from the 1996 wildfire, giving you widespread views overlooking the surrounding Kenai Mountains. For more trail information, click HERE.

Alaska Hike Search

8: Calvin & Coyle Trail – Homer, Alaska (1.5 miles)

Located near to town in Homer just down East End Road, this lovely little nature trail winds through thick spruce forest with enchanting widespread meadows. The observation platform overlooking the Beluga wetlands provides tremendous birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. For more trail information, click HERE.

Life in Alaska Blog

9: Russian River Falls – Cooper Landing, Alaska (4 miles)

Head to the Russian River Campground to access the trailhead for this awesome hike. The whole family will love the wide gravel path with gentle elevation gain. During the summer months, this is a great place to view salmon running in the streams beneath the falls. This area is also known for its frequent bear encounters, so remember to be cautious. For more trail information, click HERE.

Flickr – USDA Forest Service Alaska Region

10: Anchor Point Beach – Anchor River State Recreation Area, Alaska (2-5 miles)

Bring a fly rod and walk the Anchor River while fishing, or head down to the soft sandy beach to walk for a few flat miles. Soak in breathtaking scenery overlooking Kachemak Bay leading to spectacular views of mountains and volcanoes in the distance. For more trail information, click HERE. Other nearby hiking areas include Stariski Creek and Whiskey Gulch.

Flickr – Brian Johnson and Dane Kantner

If you love beach walks, check out a full list of some of the Kenai Peninsula’s most beautiful sandy shores by clicking HERE. Also, we highly recommend the book 50 Hikes In Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, which is available for purchase by clicking HERE.

If you have any questions about any of these beautiful hikes, feel free to let us know in the comments below or by visiting our Facebook page. Have fun out there, adventure hounds!

15 Incredible Eco-Tourism Adventures That You Can Have On The Kenai

Credit: Dan Friend

Not only do we have a multitude of exceptional businesses on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, but the entire state of Alaska is known for having some of the best tourism outfits on the entire planet. You see, what makes these companies truly stand out from the crowd is the fact that they don’t only care about their employees and visitors from all around the world, but they are also wildly passionate about Mother Nature. With care, compassion and concern for our planet both today and in the future, these businesses stand out for their dedication to sustainability. On top of all that “feel good” stuff, each and every one of these businesses offers a truly extraordinary way for visitors from all around the globe to experience the mighty last frontier. To learn more about the program that certifies green tourism businesses in Alaska, click HERE.

Credit: Jae Yoon

1: Alaska Rivers Company – Cooper Landing

As one of the longest established outfitters on the Upper Kenai River, Alaska Rivers Company has a solid reputation of supreme satisfaction. Whether you want to enjoy a leisurely float while soaking in beautiful views of birds and wildlife, or you want to reel in fish from sun up until sun down – they have you covered. Spend your night in a private, peaceful log cabin away from all of the crowds.

Facebook – Alaska Rivers Company

Address: Mile 50, Sterling Highway, Cooper Landing, AK 99572. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

2: Alaska Stillpoint Lodge – Halibut Cove

Located just across the bay from Homer, this beautiful wilderness escape will completely captivate your mind and relax your soul. Enjoy secluded log cabins surrounded by nature with awe-inspiring views overlooking Kachemak Bay. Unlimited outdoor adventures await your active lifestyle, plus you’ll enjoy the delicious cuisine and flavorful cocktails that you’ll get to indulge in come nightfall. Stillpoint Lodge can only be accessed by water taxi or air, enhancing the feel of a private island getaway.

Facebook – Stillpoint Lodge

Address: 46877 Stillpoint Trail, Halibut Cove, AK 99603. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

3: Alaska Travel Adventures – Juneau, Anchorage

Alaska Travel Adventures is basically your one-stop-shop for all types of fun and adventure in the Last Frontier. This travel agency will assist you in planning your dream Alaska vacation, from luxury cruises to independent land excursions (and just about everything in between). From land to sea, they have you covered!

Facebook – Alaska Travel Adventures

Address: 9085 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

4: Alaska Wildland Adventures – Cooper Landing

Alaska Wildland Adventures offers multiple different environmentally responsible, lodge-based, small group travel adventures throughout the Kenai Peninsula and beyond. For over 40 years they have been offering top-notch Alaska vacation packages, adventure tours and wilderness lodge experiences that are guaranteed to create lifelong memories.

Facebook – Alaska Wildland Adventures

For a complete look at their website with many different location addresses, click HERE.

5: Bear Paw Adventure Lodging – Anchor Point

From comfortable Alaskan log-cabin style lodging, to awe-inspiring bear viewing excursions and epic fishing trips. If you are look for one of the most fun and memorable vacations of your life, this option is sure to deliver greatness. Their mission is to provide the finest first-class Alaska hospitality experience to their highly valued and cherished guests.

Facebook – Bear Paw Adventure – Lodging Fishing Bear Viewing, Kenai Peninsula Alaska

Address: 72450 Camai Road, Anchor Point, AK 99556.  Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

6: Chugach Adventures – Girdwood

Offering absolutely epic rafting and canoe trips in the Turnagain Arm area of Alaska’s scenic Seward Byway. Enjoy paddling around icebergs on Spencer Lake or canoeing to your hearts content up the Placer River. This experience is filled with high-energy, knowledgeable guides and non-stop fun.

Facebook – Chugach Adventures

Address: 1553 Alyeska Highway, Girdwood, AK 99587. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

7: Diamond M Ranch – Kenai

Diamond M Ranch Resort is not only highly involved with the local community, but they are also involved in sustainable agriculture and assuring that they provide a top-notch guest experience. With an award-winning RV Park, beautiful apartment-style suites with views and lots of cabins to choose from – all on an 80 acre working ranch. This third-generation family operation is dedicated to providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience to every guest that comes through.

Facebook – Diamond M Ranch Resort

Address: 48500 Diamond M Ranch Road,  Kenai, AK 99611. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

8: Great Alaska Adventures – Sterling & Outlying Areas

What originally began as a sport fishing destination has now become one of Alaska’s oldest and most well-respected lodging operations. Today they continue to offer first-class fishing trips in addition to bear viewing, remote sea kayaking, hiking, rafting, mountain biking and plenty of combination adventures to boot. Plus we have a feeling that you’ll never sleep as soundly as you do here!

Facebook – Great Alaska Adventures

Address: 33881 Sterling Highway, Sterling, AK 99672. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

9: Jason’s Guide Service – Cooper Landing

If your summer plans consist of screaming, “FISH ON” then we recommend giving Jason a shout. As an experienced Kenai River fishing guide, he will lead you on fully-guided trips for rainbow trout, dolly varden char, sockeye, silver salmon and more. With over 20 years of experience in the area, he’ll know how to show you the time of your life.

Facebook – Jason’s Guide Service

Address: Mile Marker 48, Cooper Landing, AK 99572. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

10: Kayak Adventures Worldwide – Seward

Get ready to scream, “kaw kaw!” Short for Kayak Adventures Worldwide, of course. Head to Seward to hop on your exclusive eco adventure out into the shores of Resurrection Bay. This small operation has professional, highly knowledgeable guides that will lead you on some of the most jaw-dropping adventures into the Kenai Fjords National Park and beyond.

Facebook – Kayak Adventures Worldwide

Address: 328 3rd Avenue, Seward, AK 99664. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

11: Kenai Fjords Tours – Seward

Time and time again this enchanting excursion that leads through the shores of Resurrection Bay into the glorious Kenai Fjords National Park, has been rated as the top must-do attraction in all of Alaska.  Hop on your scenic day cruise and enjoy a fully guided trip as the highly knowledgeable captain naturalizes the entire journey. Watching glaciers calving, humpback whales breaching and endless wildlife and nature viewing from start to finish. Plus, the yummy lunch and warm cookies will keep you feeling full of energy throughout the entire trip.

Facebook – Kenai Fjords Tours

Address: 1304 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

12: Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge – Fox Island

Head to Seward and go across the bay to the magical destination known as Fox Island, located in the middle of Resurrection Bay. Here you will find the absolutely beautiful Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. Enjoy a private island experience with comfortable rooms, friendly guest service and delicious dining. You’ll love the peacefulness that this secluded property offers, plus you’re just minutes away from the renowned Kenai Fjords National Park

Facebook – Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge

Address: Fox Island / Resurrection Bay, 12 nautical miles southeast of Seward, Seward, AK 99664. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

13: Orca Island Cabins – Humpy Cove

Where glamour meets camping, you’ll find Orca Island Cabins on a perfectly peaceful private island in Humpy Cove. These eco-friendly cabin style yurts offer one of the most wow-worthy summertime ‘glamping’ experiences throughout the entire state of Alaska. Spend the day paddle boarding or kayaking around the shores of Resurrection Bay, or enjoy whale watching, birding, yoga, wildlife viewing, beach combing or just sitting back and soaking in the award-winning views.

Facebook – Orca Island Cabins

Address: Humpy Cove, Resurrection Bay, Seward, AK 99664. A 45 minute boat ride to Orca Island from Seward begins your adventure in style. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

14: Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures – Seward

This three-hour zipline tour through the Alaskan rainforest canopy offers nothing but fun and laughter from start to finish. The guides are filled with knowledge and non-stop high energy. They will not only work hard to assure that you are safe and comfortable, but they’ll give you that little ‘push off the ledge’ when you’re needing a little extra nudge. This is a family-friendly adventure that everyone will enjoy. Soar through the tree tops and enjoy spectacular wilderness views in the distance. Plus on a clear day, you might even be rewarded with a spectacular glacier view in the distance!

Facebook – Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures

Address: 1304 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

15: Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking – Seward

Hop on a sea kayak and get ready to experience a place of turquoise blue waters, tidewater and hanging glaciers, islands of protected coves and rugged cliffs teeming with whales and puffins under glorious bluebird skies. When you experience this wow-worthy adventure with such wonderful guides, you’ll get way more than just a trip into the notoriously scenic Kenai Fjords National Park. This is one trip that will captivate your heart and make you fall madly in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground on a whole new level.

Facebook – Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking – Seward, Alaska

Address: 1304 B 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664. Plug your GPS in HERE for directions from your current location.

Alaska Travel Diary: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Winter Wonderland Vacation

Greetings to all my fellow adventure lovers and fans of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. My name is Jillian Hyland and I am an Oregon resident, hospitality professional and traveling addict with an undying wanderlust for life. I’m taking over the blog for the week to share with you my personal experiences traveling to Alaska, on the tailwind of the notoriously-snowy winter season. Before we go any further you should know one thing; it’s not as hard or overwhelming as you might think! Traveling to Alaska, at any time of the year, is absolutely spectacular and easily accessible via major airline. Once you arrive, the welcoming hospitality and over-the-top adventures will fill your heart with more joy than you’ve ever dreamed imaginable. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience!

I recently had the opportunity to take a few days off from my busy city job to enjoy a little vacation time, and as I sat down to plan my trip I couldn’t stop thinking about Alaska. I wanted to visit someplace new that I’ve never been to before, and the wildly rugged yet miraculously scenic Last Frontier was calling my name.

With a goal to unplug and get off-grid, my heart was leading me to a place that would later help me not only decompress, but also totally and completely help me reset my mind and refresh my soul. The unreal scenery, picturesque views, endless outdoor activities to partake in and the ability to observe magnificent wildlife in their natural environment – that’s what I was looking forward to.

So I did it. I took the (metaphorical) polar plunge. I booked my plane ticket and packed my bags. I set out on a solo mission to experience the majestic beauty of the 49th state, all by my lonesome. Just me, myself and the Last Frontier.

Although I was planning the trip of a lifetime without bringing anyone else along to experience the magic with me, something inside me felt brave and untamed. I was ready for this. As the saying goes, “Alaska or bust!”

From the moment I landed at the airport, I was in awe of the state’s beauty, culture and charm. I arrived in Anchorage, Alaska and made my way down to Alyeska Resort. From the moment I arrived, I was wowed by the stunning facilities.

But once I went to the front desk to check in to my hotel room, the warm and friendly service nearly made my heart explode with happiness. Throughout my stay I received perfect turndown service with yummy chocolates and bottled water each day.

Of course, in true Alaskan fashion, the magic kept on pouring in when I actually entered my hotel room and found this perfect little note. Thank you to Amy for speaking right to me with this sweet caption. Coming to Alaska was me, following my star.

For the next five days, I would turn off my cell phone and focus on being present in the moment. Each morning I would wake up and enjoy a good book and a cup o’ joe while looking out the window at one of the most spectacular winter-wonderland views of my life. I had to *pinch* myself a few times to remind me that this was all real… and not just a dream!

During my stay at the resort I utilized several amenities.  I used the pool/hot tub area, onsite grab & go café and the complimentary shuttle that the staff informed me about at check in. All of these amenities were very useful during my stay. Plus, I felt very fancy in my soft, customized Alyeska Resort robe. What a neat touch!

One of the first restaurants I tried was Seven Glaciers at Alyeska Resort. I took the tram up the mountain and almost lost my mind when I experienced pristine panoramic views that (quite literally) looked like something out of my wildest dream.

Once I got to the top of the mountain, I kicked off my dining experience with a photo-op overlooking the Chugach range. This is what winter wonderland looks like in the movies, but who would have ever thought that I’d experience it in person? Absolutely incredible!

I took a brief tour of the restaurant, posing next to all the coolest attractions (of course). Now this is what I call a wine cellar! Wow!

I tried the famous ‘fizz’ drink before ordering some food. It was a very delicious concoction and the service was top-notch. The million dollar views were effortlessly brag-worthy as well.

Alaska came with a lot of firsts for me. For one, I tried sushi for the first time ever! For some reason, I’ve never taken a keen interest in sushi – but Alaska brought out something brave and ambitious inside of me. The end result? Pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself!

One of my nights in Alaska led me to a concert at The Sitzmark Bar & Grill. I loved this place! It was laid back yet super lively and it had that quintessential locals vibe, with friendly people to spark conversations with all through the evening. I had their famous nachos during the concert, which were fantastic! I loved the intimate feel of the bar and the outdoor patio area as well.

I also attended an outdoor snowboard/ski competition one evening at the base of the mountain. This was so cool because I got to watch a phenomenal event where young kids competed in performing tricks. This was hands-down one of the most memorable evenings during my time in Alaska!

One day I went out with Glacier City Snowmobile Tours for an excursion called the Real Deal Tour. Overall, what I enjoyed most about this trip was the friendliness of the staff and the knowledge that they had about the area. It was truly such a learning experience from start to finish, which was an unexpected yet highly welcomed surprise. I also learned that locals call snowmobiling “snowmachining” – just a little insider scoop for anyone who doesn’t already know this top secret intel. 😉

We rode outside of Girdwood through Portage Valley to a place that is actually a historical part of the Iditarod trail. This was another one of those *pinch me* I can’t believe it’s real type of moments.

The tour company had a small cabin in the woods where we stopped and they served the group hot cocoa, cider and fireside reindeer dogs. Eating the reindeer dogs felt so “Alaskan!” This was definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had!

I had never been snow-shoeing before, but was determined to give it a shot. So that’s what I did; I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I rented snow-shoes for one day from the lodge. They provided me with great information to nearby trails close to the resort. So just like that, I bundled up in my warm Alaskan attire and I set out into the wilderness all on my own.

At the end of the day, I realized that I covered a whopping 8 miles in total. And you know what? I loved every single second of it!  I think my favorite part of this athletic adventure was enjoying the sheer beauty of the trail, listening to nature and taking in the quietness around me. I stopped along the way for several breathtaking photo ops and truly took the time to stop and absorb the scenic wilderness that I was nestled in.

One day I even rented a fat-tire bike to further investigate all of the intriguing trails that run for miles upon miles nearby to the resort.

I used Alpine Air Alaska, Inc. for the glacier landing helicopter tour that I booked one day. I cannot say enough how incredible this experience was! Mind-blowing would probably definitely be an understatement. The pilot made me feel safe and comfortable, and provided me with an immense about of knowledge. My mind was eased knowing that I was in such good hands, and I can’t say enough about how much I appreciated the top-notch hospitality and friendly service. Hands down, I would recommend this glacier landing tour and this reputable company to anyone interested in a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan experience.

The aerial perspectives from the helicopter provided awe-inspiring beauty that looked like something straight out of a National Geographic magazine. Towering snow-capped mountains mixed with piercing blue glaciers was enough eye-candy to last me a lifetime. The pilot even pointed out some moose down below (which was the first time I’ve ever laid eyes on a real live moose!!!) – simply amazing.

My favorite part of this journey was landing on the glacier. While educating the group with an immense amount of knowledge on our surroundings, the pilot let us walk around and explore the glacial land on an up-close-and-personal level.

The photo-ops that followed were (again) like something from my wildest dreams. This was truly a spiritual, out-of-this-world experience that I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in.

On one of my final days in town, I reconnected with an old college girlfriend and we explored with Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This place absolutely exceeded my expectations!

We cruised around and checked out moose, bears, musk ox, deer, caribou and so much more.

The picturesque mountains surrounded us were so captivating! It was almost as if every photo we snapped deserved to be on the cover of a postcard.

We watched as kiddos screamed in delight and ran alongside the local wolf pack.

At one point in time, I’m pretty sure that this adorable moose tried to give me a smooch. SWOON! All of my dreams have now officially come true. This was way too precious. Moose are my favorite wild animals and this rehabilitation facility provides such a great way for visitors to Alaska (such as myself) to experience the fascinating amounts of local wildlife.

Although I dined at a few restaurants during my time in Alaska, the place that stood out the most was Jack Sprat. The chalet style building located near the base of the mountain had a unique, creative menu that made me want to sample everything in sight.

The food was fresh, local and tasted absolutely delicious. Plus the portion sizes were HUGE, which was nice so that I had a little something extra to take back to the hotel to enjoy later in the evening if I got hungry. The service was very lively and accommodating, while the ambiance was idyllic and inviting.

Before I wrapped up my vacation to head back to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, I had to pose for the obligatory photo with the big stuffed bear in front of the gift shop at Alyeska. Because… when in Alaska! 😉 After such a magical winter experience, I am definitely planning on returning to Alaska in the summer! At the top of my bucket list, I am interested in doing some warm weather hiking, whale watching and biking on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. If I was able to fall in love with Alaska during the winter, I can only imagine how my adoration of this beautiful state will vastly flourish during the raved-about summer season.

Need travel trips, customized seasonal itineraries or ideas for how to make your trip to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground positively memorable? Reach out below or feel free to send us a direct message on our website or our Facebook page. Be safe out there adventure hounds, and remember that “it’s not the life in your years – it’s the years in your life.”  Travel, explore, LIVE!

Disclosure: All photos above are copyright of Jillian Hyland with sole usage rights granted to the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council. For photo usage inquiries or content material, please feel free to reach out to Jillian directly by clicking HERE.

Celebrating 12 Incredible Businesses On The Kenai – International Women’s Day

With March 8th, 2017 being International Women’s Day, we thought we’d take a moment to honor some of The Kenai’s most beloved local businesses. Each and every one of these thriving businesses offers a truly unique and special product to the many communities throughout the Kenai Peninsula. Whether you’re looking for a delicious restaurant, a spectacular lodging experience or a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation planned by experts – you’ll find it in the wonderful list below. Enjoy all that there is to offer on the only place in the Last Frontier known as Alaska’s Playground.

1 – Pizza Boys, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Pizza Boys

Located in the heart of Soldotna, Pizza Boys is a local favorite that also attracts visitors from all around the world each busy summer season. Their locally, hand-tossed pizzas will make your mouth water and you won’t be able to resist all the yummy sides. Menu favorites include baked pasta dishes, oven-roasted sandwiches, hoagies, gelato and plenty of beer and wine to go around.

Address: 44686 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

2 – Grouchy Old Woman B&B, Nikiski

Credit: Facebook – Grouchy Old Woman B&B

Located in North Kenai on the shores of Daniel’s Lake is this charming and utterly idyllic B&B escape. Watch as the moose meander about while your rest peacefully in your own private oasis. You won’t ever forget the warm-hearted hospitality that you’ll receive in this wonderful place.

Address: 48570 North Earl Drive, Kenai, AK 99611.

3 – The Driftwood Inn, Homer

Credit: TripAdvisor

Located in the heart of Old Town Homer is the historic Driftwood Inn. This beachy gem is filled with charm and will make you feel right at home. You’ll soon see why this sweet spot has become a favorite for adventurous families and serious fishermen and women.

Address: 135 West Bunnell Avenue, Homer, AK 99603.

4 – AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse, Homer

Credit: TripAdvisor

Quite simply put, this little steakhouse is seriously awesome. Nice, big portions and food that is always mouth-watering. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, but the live music nights really take the experience up a notch. Sip cocktails or shoot pool in a wood–paneled interior that is perfectly Alaskan.

Address: 120 West Bunnell Avenue, Homer, AK 99603.

5 – Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, Seward

Credit: Facebook – Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC

Nestled on the shoes of Resurrection Bay is this magnificent waterfront lodging retreat that many refer to as ‘heaven on earth.’ Enjoy exceptionally clean cabins with a million dollar view that is guaranteed to take your breath away. As you gaze out at the picturesque landscape that awaits you, you’ll experience something that looks like a masterpiece paining. Lynda Ann Martin Paquette is the owner of Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, and she says that her favorite part about operating a business on the Kenai Peninsula is that she “can live independently in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.” This award-winning property is truly a slice of heaven on earth.

Address: 13730 Beach Drive, Seward, AK 99664.

6 – A Cabin by the Pond, Soldotna

Credit: A Cabin by the Pond – Facebook

A Cabin by the Pond is a majestic little cabin getaway located just steps away from the world-renowned Kenai River. The artesian pond on property attracts moose, birds and a variety of wildlife that truly make the area feel like a wilderness escape. With seven different idyllic cabins to choose from, guests that stay here fall in love with cozy cabins and the warm Alaskan hospitality. Plus, it’s located just a mile away from downtown Soldotna. Cathy Sue Sargenser owns the business with her husband Jim, and she says that her favorite part of owning a leisure business is “That’s easy.  The people!  We’re honored to have the opportunity to interact and get to know people from many different nations and cultures.” She continues on by saying that they’ve entertained guests from all around the world, many of which they remain in touch with long after they return home. Lastly, she says that “It’s fun to wake up every morning knowing it will be a new adventure and opportunity to meet new friends.  I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do.”

Address: 34480 Airport Heights Street, Soldotna, AK 99669.

7 – Odie’s Deli, Soldotna

Facebook – Odie’s Deli

Odie’s Deli is a truly scrumdiddlyumptious deli restaurant located right in town Soldotna off the Sterling Highway. Local favorites include homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, cookies, and many other mouthwatering baked goods. The soft, flavorful breads are savory soups are made from scratch daily. Plus, each week they have a yummy weekly sandwich special. They even have PubQuiz trivia nights every Wednesday at 6pm and Live Music every Friday at 6pm! Tons of fun, great service, undeniably delicious food.

Address: 44315 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

8 – Main Street Tap & Grill, Kenai

Credit: Main Street Hotel Tap and Grill

There’s always something going on a Main Street Tap and Grill in Kenai! Locals and visitors alike always look forward to Karaoke Wednesday. Plus, every Friday and Saturday night you can enjoy the awesomeness of a Live Band or DJ! Monday’s and Thursday’s they have World Tavern Poker nights. The grill is filled with seriously delicious menu options and it’s always open late. If you’re a sports fanatic, you can always catch your favorite game on one of the many flat screens.

Address: 10800 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK 99611.

9 – Mykel’s Restaurant, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Mykel’s Restaurant

This insanely delicious restaurant offers some of the best food that you’ll probably ever eat in your entire lifetime. The menu is full of delicious steaks, seafood dishes, appetizers and salads – plus a full bar with lots of local beers on tap. They even have live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Tammy Blank is the Chef and Kitchen Manager at Mykel’s Restaurant, a.k.a. the personally directly responsible for all of the mouth-watering things that you will be scarfing down ASAP. Along with Vanessa Robinson, who is the Restaurant General Manager at Mykel’s Restaurant, both of these incredible women work hard to handle all of the behind-the-scenes action that comes with being one of the best places to eat in all of Alaska. Alice Kerkvliet has been the owner of Mykel’s Restaurant for the last 18 years. She says, “I respect and trust these women and am eternally grateful for their help in promoting the tourism industry in our beautiful community and state of Alaska. They handle all the daily responsibilities, plan for the future and evaluate our progress along the way. We love being part of Alaska’s playground here on the Kenai Peninsula!”

Address: 35041 Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

10 – Everything Bagels, Kenai & Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Everything Bagels

This is a new name on the Kenai Peninsula, and one that the locals have quickly fallen head-over-heels in love with. Pamela Parker and her husband started Everything Bagels in their personal kitchen in February 2016. Six months after baking our first batch of bagels, they opened there store in Soldotna with their new business partners, Brooke and John Campbell. After just six more months passed, they expanded again to open their second location in Kenai. Grab a fresh baked bagel with hand-made cream cheese and you will fall in love at first bite, we guarantee it!

Soldotna Address: 44539 Sterling Highway.

Kenai Address: 610 Attla Way.

11 – Aksala Alaska, Seward

Credit: visitalaska907.com

The team at Aksala Alaska loves to “live, work, and play Alaska.” They are passionate about the beautiful state of Alaska, and they love to share it with travelers from all around the world! Go to Aksala Alaska for lodging, transportation, plus adventures and tours from Kenai Fjords National Park to Denali National Park. “Go the local way, go AKSALA ALASKA

Address: 209 4th Avenue #1, Seward, AK.

12 – Soldotna Inn, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Soldotna Inn

The comfortable and cozy Soldotna Inn is located right near the Y in the heart of Soldotna. These affordable rooms offer a great value close to all of the best fishing holes and hiking trails. Cindy Jackinsky is the Hotel Manager that spends her days working hard to assure that operations are running efficiently while balancing the art of guest service being the utmost priority at all times. CarolAnn Wagner is the Head Housekeeper, a.k.a the behind-the-scenes ninja that keeps the fundamentals flowing like a well-oiled machine. Alice Kerkvliet has been the owner of Soldotna Inn for the last 18 years. She says, “I respect and trust these women and am eternally grateful for their help in promoting the tourism industry in our beautiful community and state of Alaska. They handle all the daily responsibilities, plan for the future and evaluate our progress along the way. We love being part of Alaska’s playground here on the Kenai Peninsula!“

Address: 35041 Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna.

A huge “thank you” to each and every one of these incredible businesses (and all of their extraordinarily hard-working teams) for all that you do to serve our community. Locals and visitors alike are grateful to have so many top-notch restaurant, lodging and adventure establishments to choose from on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

17 Wildly Entertaining Winter Events That Everyone On The Kenai Loves

Credit: Leif Hagen

Credit: Leif Hagen

Even though winter is getting ready to (hopefully) come to a close, we wanted to break into the March Madness spirit with a compilation of exceptional winter events held right here on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Because this time of year, we all need a little extra something to help beat those wintertime blues. Without further ado, check out some of the most action-packed winter wonderland activities on the Kenai Peninsula and get ready to fall in love with the snowy season all over again.

Credit: Eric Teela, Flickr

Credit: Eric Teela, Flickr

1 – Seward Polar Bear Jump
The Seward Polar Bear Jump is held each year during the month of January in the beautiful town of Seward on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. This fun event was started over 30 years ago in 1986. Come out dressed in your best funny costume and plunge into the waters of Resurrection Bay to help raise money for the Alaska Division of the American Cancer Society. For event information, click HERE.

Credit: Seward City News

Credit: Seward City News

2 – Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race
This fun event usually kicks off around the end of January, and is an absolute ball of a time that the whole family will get into. Founded in 1983, the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race (T-200) is a non-profit organization that generally runs every winter on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Over the years it has grown its reputation to draw competitive distance mushers from Alaska, the lower 48 states as well as international locations. For more event information and to view the locations along the trail, click HERE.

Credit: Clint Pickarsky

Credit: Clint Pickarsky

3 – Holiday Event at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage
Held in the middle of December of each year, the holiday fun at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is the perfect way to ring in the magic of the season on The Kenai. Visitors can enjoy fun animal programs, crafts, pictures with some of your favorite Christmas characters and so much more. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Facebook

Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Facebook

4 – Frozen RiverFest in Soldotna
Held in February of each year and organized by the Kenai Watershed Forum, this fun winter event is absolutely jam-packed with chilly weather fun. This epic outdoor party offers fun for the whole family including bon fires, live music, food vendors, games and a beer garden. Simply put; this is where you need to be on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Soldotna Parks & Recreation, Facebook

Credit: Soldotna Parks & Recreation, Facebook

5 – Winter King Salmon Tournament in Homer
Held every year at the end of winter during the month of March, the Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament is the place where angling addicts go to reel in massive king salmon from the saltwater shores in Kachemak Bay. This one-day tournament awards tens of thousands of dollars in prize money to the largest kings caught, with the top earners being in the first, second and third place spot. This event has grown to an enormous size over the years and is one of the most anticipated annual fishing tournaments on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. In fact, in 2016 over 1500 fisherman and 480 boats competed. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament, Facebook

Credit: Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament, Facebook

6 – Taste of the Kenai in Soldotna
This is a culinary experience that is sure to delight your taste-buds and overwhelm your senses. Enjoy sampling a variety of foods and drinks from local businesses all over the Kenai Peninsula, while taking part in the raffle and silent auction.  KPTMC created this event to highlight the unique culinary experiences on the Kenai Peninsula, and it has grown to be one of the most anticipated culinary events of the year. The Taste of the Kenai is held every year in March and rotates locations in the central Kenai Peninsula area. This year it will be located at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on March 31, 2017. For more event information and to buy your tickets today, click HERE.

Credit: The Kenai, Alaska's Playground, Facebook

Credit: The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground, Facebook

7 – Christmas Comes to Kenai
Kick off your winter season each year with this incredible event hosted by the Kenai Visitor & Cultural Center. The fun starts the day after Thanksgiving in November and includes a wow-worthy parade, fun with Santa and his elves, craft fair, bonfire, yummy goodies and hot cocoa, followed by the grand finale fireworks in the evening. This is the best way to dive right into the magic of the season on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Peninsula Clarion

Credit: Peninsula Clarion

8 – Tsalteshi Trails Ski-for-Women Event in Soldotna
While the name of this fun Nordic skiing event might make you think that it’s just for women, you’re wrong! Everyone is invited to join in on the awesome outdoor action. Dress up in the wildest outfit you can find and make your way to Tsalteshi Trails on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground to enjoy a skiing event on Super Bowl Sunday. The event generally begins at 11am so you’ll be back home in time for kick-off. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Tsalteshi Trails, Facebook

Credit: Tsalteshi Trails, Facebook

9 – Movie in the Park at Soldotna Creek Park
It doesn’t get more Alaskan than this on The Kenai! Grab the whole family and head over to Soldotna Creek Park to enjoy a movie outside underneath the dark winter sky. Organized by the Soldotna Parks & Recreation Department, attendees should expect to bundle up and dress for cold weather while they enjoy warm cocoa, hot pizza and unlimited outdoor fun. Each winter there are four outdoor movie events to look forward to, with varying times and dates each year. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Soldotna Parks & Recreation, Facebook

Credit: Soldotna Parks & Recreation, Facebook

10 – Homer Winter Carnival  
Alaska’s halibut fishing capital of the world is a fun destination to visit, no matter what time of year it is. The fun carnival festivities are held on the second weekend in February of each year and offer the perfect solution for beating those pesky winter blues on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Active Rain

Credit: Active Rain

11 – Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival in Seward
Seward’s Nordic Ski Club offers the perfect way to get jazzed about winter from the cozy comforts of an indoor theatre. If you live in this region on The Kenai, be sure that you don’t miss this incredible viewing event with a tasty pot-luck to go along with it. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: WinterWildlands.org

Credit: WinterWildlands.org

12 – Torchlight Parade & Fireworks on New Years Eve – Girdwood
We’ll keep this short and sweet; Alyeska Resort is exactly where you need to be on New Years Eve each year. The epic fun that you’ll have both participating in the parade down the slopes and viewing the incredible fireworks show is simply unmatched. While it might not be located directly on The Kenai, we can’t say enough great things about these wonderfully action-packed festivites. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Alyeska Resort

Credit: Alyeska Resort

Credit: Alyeska Resort

Credit: Alyeska Resort

13 – Peninsula Winter Games in Soldotna
Held in January of each year, kiddos and entire families flock to the festivities at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to burn off all that extra cooped-up winter energy. Hosted by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, there is no denying that this super-fun winter event on The Kenai is one that you will completely regret missing. Enjoy games, contests, tournaments, fireworks and so much more. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Nikki OConnor

Credit: Nikki OConnor

14 – Holiday Weekend in Seward  
Generally held on the first weekend in December, this fun holiday bash is a blast that Seward residents on The Kenai look forward to each and every year. This old fashioned holiday festival includes local bazaars and craft shows, fun at the Alaska SeaLife Center and a glorious Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in the evening hours. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Seward.com

Credit: Seward.com

15 – Alaska Railroad Holiday Trains
The Alaska Railroad Holiday Train kicks off in Alaska’s largest city of Anchorage and winds down the stunningly beautiful Turnagain Arm towards The Kenai. These excursions depart on a three separate Saturdays in December and have AM and PM departure times. The experience that you will have is so magical that it will likely become a cherished family tradition. Bring the kids and enjoy sweet treats while visiting with Santa Claus and his happy, friendly elves. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Alaska Railroad, Facebook

Credit: Alaska Railroad, Facebook

16 – Christmas in the Park in Sodotna
Gather up your friends and family and head to Soldotna Creek Park on a weekend early in December to enjoy the spectacular tree-lighting festival. Enjoy cookies, cocoa, chatting with Santa Claus, a Christmas movie in the park and a spectacular tree-lighting event at the end of the night. This is a sure-fire way to plunge yourself right into the magic of the holiday season on The Kenai. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Soldotna Creek Park, Facebook

Credit: Soldotna Creek Park, Facebook

17 – Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Fat Bike Event
The first annual Fat Tire Bike Event was held in January of 2017 at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, and we have a feeling that it’ll be around for quite some time to come. Load up the kiddos or bring a group of your friends with you and enjoy biking around the snowy grounds while observing all the beautiful wildlife. It’s impossible not to have fun at this special place. For more event information, click HERE.

Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Facebook

Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Facebook

Did we miss any of your favorites? If so, let us know and we’ll be happy to add them to the list!