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. ūüėČ

#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 РSnow 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 ‚Äúthe land of the midnight sun.‚ÄĚ 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 РAurora 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 РFishing. 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‚Äôt think of ‚Äúisland life‚ÄĚ 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! ‚ÄúThe mountains are calling, and I must go!‚ÄĚ Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are in Alaska.

#13 РForests. 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 РArctic 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.

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. ‚Äé

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

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. ūüėČ

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.

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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! ūüėČ

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.

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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. ūüėČ

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.

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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. ūüėČ Or maybe just a smart fisherman!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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 ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ 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.

RV, Flightsee, Hospitality; New 2016 Recommendations!

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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. ūüėČ

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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‚Äôt 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 ‚Äď 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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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. ūüėČ

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… ūüėČ

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. ūüôā

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

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