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.

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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.