One of the many things that we love about The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is the diverse terrain. Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula truly is home the most spectacular displays of Mother Nature’s distinguished artwork. While we have an obvious obsession with so of the larger towns on the peninsula like Kenai, Homer, Seward and Soldotna – these tiny gems have a special kind of hold on our hearts.
This is the kind of feeling that is indescribable in ways that you’ll only understand if you actually visit and find out for yourself. If you’ve ever been to any of these tiny treasured towns, we’re sure that you’ll get all sorts of nostalgia thinking about memories from the past. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to have a weekend escape with your friends, family or special someone – you’ll want to check every single one of these places off your bucket list this year.
1 – Hope
There is truly so much to do in this tiny little town located down a long, winding road off the Seward Highway heading south on the Kenai Peninsula. Stay in a quaint lodge or cabin, explore the Seaview Café and surrounding inlet sights in the distance. You won’t be able to ignore the mountains views! Fishing is very popular here in the summertime.
Hiking is another very popular activity in Hope. Hike the 5 mile round-trip Hope Point Trail and see stunning views overlooking the famous Turnagain Arm.
If your travels bring you to Hope during the summertime, be sure to check out a thrilling whitewater rafting excursion with Chugach Outdoor Center or NOVA River Runners Inc. Check out the awesome YouTube footage below for a sneak peek into all the adrenaline-packed fun you’ll be in for.
2 – Ninilchik
In this tiny town with a population of around 850 residents, you might be surprised to learn that that is so much to do here. Fishing, hiking, beach combing, atv riding and so much more.
Head up to the Caribou Hills to ride the ATVs or enjoy beach combing with mind-blowing mountain views overlooking the inlet.
It’s impossible to deny one of Ninilchik’s most popular summertime attractions; saltwater fishing! Soak in the most epic mountain views while reeling in massive halibut and slippery salmon. If you aren’t afraid of having a whole lotta’ fun, this is one incredible activity that is calling your name loud and clear!
3 – Clam Gulch
This tiny little gem with less than 200 residents is a great place to go escape the crowds and soak up some peaceful tranquility.
Spend the weekend playing at the beach, hiking or riding ATVs then prepare for a life-changing sunset view at the end of the day.
Sit back and soak in the scenic beauty of waves crashing against the shore in Clam Gulch by peeping the YouTube video below. If peace and relaxation is what you’re after, this town is meant for you!
4 – Cooper Landing
The charming mountain town with some of the bluest water that you’ll ever see. Enjoy fascinating snow-capped peaks and the glacial fed waters of Kenai Lake and the Kenai River.
While the renowned fisheries are incredibly noteworthy within themselves, we also love the glorious hiking opportunities in Cooper Landing. There are also lots of incredible eco-tours in the area such as rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and paddle boarding.
As if you aren’t already convinced that a weekend escape to Cooper Landing is an incredibly good idea, just do yourself a favor and watch the quick six minute video below. The fascinating drone footage will make your heart pound right out of your chest. There really is nothing more glorious than The Kenai!
5 – Moose Pass
The little drive-by town on the way to Seward, where if you blink – you’ll miss it. Be sure to stop by Tern Lake at the Sterling Highway junction to soak in one of the most picturesque views in all of the state.
Spend the day checking out the gorgeous Trail Lake or head into the backcountry for a backpacking trek to Crescent Lake.
Check out the YouTube video below and enjoy seeing the most spectacular aerial footage of Moose Pass from a floatplane. It really is a hidden gem of a town just nestled perfectly in the middle of nowhere.
6 – Nikiski
This community out north on the Kenai Spur Highway is a lot more than just an oil & gas town. For starters, the voluptuous volcanic views are guaranteed to take your breath away.
Where the gravel road ends, the epic trail riding begins. This is a locals spot that offers non-stop muddy fun from dusk until dawn. Head to Captain Cook State Recreational Area for some hiking, beach combing, horseback riding or a long walk on the beach with your dogs.
Here’s the thing; Nikiski is heavily underrated. When you head all the way out that north road, you literally can escape into a realm of total peace and quiet. We happen to love Captain Cook State Recreation Area, partially because nothing beats the sunset views at the locale. Just check out the great YouTube video below and see for yourself.
7 – Seldovia
This idyllic little coastal town is worth the ‘off the beaten path’ trip in. Head down to Homer and hop on a boat or the ferry and make your way over the Seldovia, population 280.
Popular activities in town include beachcombing, hiking and some of the most incredible saltwater fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. Seldovia also has incredibly charming lodging options and some delicious eateries as well.
The utterly phenomenal YouTube video below from Seldovia Native Association Inc. will make you fall madly in love with Seldovia, if you aren’t already head over heels. Give it a quick peep and get ready to plan your 2017 vacation getaway to this coastal paradise.
That’s all for now, friends! Get out and explore all these sweet hidden gems that can only be found right here on the Kenai Peninsula.