16 Majestic Moments From 2016 On The Kenai

photo-credit-courtney-stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

The time has come and gone and we’ve officially said goodbye to 2016 on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. From season to season we were absolutely spoiled last year with the most epic displays of raw nature, adorable wildlife, magical mountains and glistening glacier views. We enjoyed every second of our peaceful ‘off season’ months and welcomed visitors from all around the world with arms wide open during the summer months. Here is a collection of some of our most memorable moments from the year as shared through the eyes and camera lenses of our loyal, loving fans and followers. With that being said, we are ready to make 2017 better than ever and can’t wait to share the journey with all of you, every step of the way. Wishing all of our friends out there a safe and Happy New Year!

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

PC: Renee Gilbert Photography

1 – We started January off with this incredible photo of a sow and her cub enjoying some private time on the beach at Naknek Lake in Katmai National Park. It’s impossible not to fall in love with that adorable baby face staring right at you!

PC: Ian Stotesbury

PC: Ian Stotesbury

2 – February brought us so much more than just sweet nothings during Valentines Day. This phenomenal aerial view overlooking Cooper Landing left us utterly breathless. That turquoise blue color was enough certainly eye-candy to get us through the rest of the winter.

PC: Patrick Thun

PC: Patrick Thun

3 – When late February rolled around and we got a glimpse of this adorable photo of two young girls eating breakfast while a moose peeked inside, our hearts about exploded. This is pure joy and happiness in a single photo.

PC: Jeremiah Frye

PC: Jeremiah Frye

4 – When March finally rolled around after a long winter, everyone fell in love with this iconic sign. To us, this represents a one-way ticket to the very best place to be in all of the Last Frontier!

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

PC: Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr.

5 – Late March spoiled us with this enchanting nighttime view overlooking the Homer Spit. We are so enchanted by the way that the lights reflect into the shores of Kachemak Bay and the way that the mountains jolt up into the air thousands of feet above sea level.

PC: Carl Knutson

PC: Carl Knutson

6 – A foggy April evening in Homer turned into a very alluring photo shoot when the clouds covered the low ceiling with bits of the sun sporadically peaking through.

PC: Lynn Anderson

PC: Lynn Anderson

7 – One of the most magical moments in May came when a full moon was spotted at sunrise overtop of a fishing vessel in Kachemak Bay out of Homer, Alaska. Again with that spectacular reflection!

PC: Joshua Stills

PC: Joshua Stills

8 – June is always a special month on The Kenai because it marks the official start of summer. This photo of a few happy outdoorsmen floating the upper Kenai River definitely gave us fishing fever!

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

PC: Double Haul Fly Fishing

9 – When the fireweed was in full bloom in July, we were at a complete loss for words. I mean c’mon now! This is one of the most incredible sights in the entire world. The mountains in the background add a lovely dimension to the overall setting as well.

PC: Laurel Bill Author

PC: Laurel Bill Author

10 – This August photo of two moose smooching shared by Summit Lake Lodge in Moose Pass made us almost explode with happiness. These wild creatures are simply stunning when observed in their natural element.

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

PC: Summit Lake Lodge

11 – When September rolled around, this rare photo of the Alaska Railroad, a boat pulling a fishing boat and a black bear lounging in a tree had us screaming with amazement. This just might be the most ‘only in Alaska’ moment of the year. Incredible!

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

PC: Channel 2 Weather Team by Satrina Lord

12 – Not only did October spoil us with stunning views of fall foliage, but this picture-perfect shot of a bull moose jumping across a chain length fence to join the other neighborhood moose was completely jaw-dropping. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

PC: Phil Pringle

PC: Phil Pringle

13 – Summertime might be when the rest of the world prefers to visit Alaska’s Playground, but we think the winter months are our best kept secret. This winter wonderland shot overlooking the Kenai River at the Russian River Confluence in Cooper Landing is our proof of that.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

14 – The cutest (and most ‘liked’) picture from November came when these two absolutely adorable reindeer baby reindeer came trotting across our computer screen. It is impossible to deny that this picture is the cutest thing you’ve seen all winter!

PC: The Meta Picture

PC: The Meta Picture

15 – We couldn’t get enough of this adorable spring bear cub after he got all muddy playing with his two siblings in the tidal flats of Cook Inlet. Is your heart melting? Ours is too!

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

PC: Lisa Aikenhead

16 – Last but FAR from least is this majestic photo from our neighbors in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Sunsets like this are truly a force to be reckoned with.

PC: Carlos Rojas

PC: Carlos Rojas

Wishing all of your friends, fans and followers a safe and happy 2017! Be sure to put a visit to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground at the tippy top of your bucket list this year. We know you won’t regret it!

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13 Frozen Lakes On The Kenai That Are Ultimate Winter Recreation Destinations

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Wintertime on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is known as being the regions ‘best kept secret’. In a land that is so highly raved about and visited during the summer months, wintertime stands out for many special reasons. This season offers a delicate balance of breathtaking beauty and outdoor activities without the hustle and bustle of high volume tourism traffic. One of our go-to destinations during the winter months is a good frozen lake with sparkling fresh powder lining the sides in serene fashion.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

These lakes offer a variety of outdoor activities including cross country skiing, ice fishing, sledding, snowmachining, snow shoeing, ice skating and so much more. Read on to see a handful of great lake options that are guaranteed to take your winter wonderland adventures up a notch!

Pinterest

Pinterest

1 – Scout Lake. Located just outside of Soldotna, this wonderful neighborhood lake offers excellent opportunities to ice fish for landlocked cohos. You’ll love the convenient road access and the proximity to town.

Photo Credit: Alaska.org

Photo Credit: Alaska.org

2 – Juneau Lake. Snowshoe or cross country ski to the Juneau Lake Cabin on the south end of the Resurrection Pass Trail and find yourself submerged in a peaceful paradise with only the sounds of nature in the distance. Ice fishing for burbot is also excellent here around January.

Photo Credit: A Trail Called 'Life'

Photo Credit: A Trail Called ‘Life’

3 – Tern Lake. The turnoff on the Sterling Highway when you can turn right to go to Seward or left to go to Anchorage offers a great place to go ice skating with the family once the lake freezes. The mountain views that surround you will completely refresh and revive your soul.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan

Photo Credit: Dan Logan

4 – Carter Lake. This moderately traveled trail nearest to the town of Moose Pass is an excellent place to enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing. You’ll fall in love with the beauty of the backcountry here, there is no doubt about that!

Photo Credit: The Alaska Star

Photo Credit: The Alaska Star

5 – Watson Lake. This is a small campground located on the Kenai Peninsula located at mile marker 71 off the Sterling Highway. This is a great place to take a winter walk in the woods, go ice fishing or snowshoeing.

Photo Credit: Per Verdonk, Flickr

Photo Credit: Per Verdonk, Flickr

6 – Skilak Lake. Getting to the Kenai River can be a bit challenging during the winter months, but it can be done! Where there is a will, there is a way! Extreme outdoorsmen and woman can be found venturing across this frozen wonderland during the winter months and the sights in the distance are absolutely EPIC. Not the mention, the fishing this time of year is some of the best!

Photo Credit: Expedition Broker

Photo Credit: Expedition Broker

7 – Longmere Lake. Located at Mile Marker 88.9 off the Sterling Highway, this stocked lake makes it a perfect winter wonderland ice fishing destination for the whole family.

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

8 – Fish Lake. Drive down Swanson River Road and find yourself in an outdoor recreation mecca land. Whether you are hunting, ice fishing, ice skating or anything in between – you are sure to be spoiled with beautiful sights and peaceful sounds of nature.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

9 – Kenai Lake. One of the most magical destinations in Cooper Landing is by far Kenai Lake. During the winter months this special place is an excellent spot for wildlife viewing, photography and so much more.

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek, Flickr

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek, Flickr

10 – Arc Lake. Located just outside of city limits in Soldotna, this is an excellent place to bring the family and enjoy a day of ice skating, ice hockey, ice fishing or just let the dogs run around and take a walk around the lake.

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit: Courtney Stanley

11 – Crescent Lake. If extremely remote and secluded is what you’re after, you’ll love this lake. Stay in a public use cabin after spending the day snowmachining through the mountains to reach this magical destination.

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

Photo Credit: Dan Logan, Flickr

12 – Spirit Lake. Located off of the Kenai Spur Highways and Strawberry Road in Kenai, this lake is great for ice fishing. Reel in species such as arctic char, coho and rainbow trout. This is great fun for the whole family!

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr

13 – Engineer Lake. Tucked in the foothills north of Skilak Lake, this hideaway destination a great place to escape the rat race and revive your soul. Stay in a public use cabin and enjoy some of the best wildlife viewing on the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Flickr

Need more recommendations? Be sure to let us know if we can help you plan your adventure… we are always here to help you have fun on The Kenai!

15 Photos That Prove The Kenai Has Magical Northern Lights Shows

Photo Credit: CruiseExperts.com

Photo Credit: CruiseExperts.com

When the Aurora Borealis is dancing in the night sky, sleep is the last thing on your mind.

Photo Credit: Jacob Klingel

Photo Credit: Jacob Klingel

The fall and winter seasons on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground are known for offering some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of the world. What people look forward to the most is the probably spotting the Northern Lights dancing in the night sky. As the brilliant purple, green, blue and pink shades merge sporadically above and turn the dark sky into a magical light show, it’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Flickr - Paul Weeks

Photo Credit: Flickr – Paul Weeks

1 – The Milky Way with the Aurora Borealis mixed in and a sky full of stars is sure to keep you wide awake while driving the Seward Highway from Anchorage down to the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Banan Tarr Photography

Photo Credit: Banan Tarr Photography

2 – When you experience driving over the Warren Ames Bridge with the Northern Lights dancing atop the Kenai River, it is sure to blow your mind.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

3 – Paddling around Sport Lake in Soldotna becomes a once-in-a-lifetime adventure when the Aurora Borealis is out.

Photo Credit: Danny Ungrue

Photo Credit: Danny Ungrue

4 – Spotting the Northern Lights over the Seward boat harbor is like something straight out of a dream. Holy magical!

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

5 – While you’re in Seward, load up the RV and camp beneath the Aurora Borealis for an epic Alaskan adventure.

Photo Credit: Flying The Nest

Photo Credit: Flying The Nest

6 – The northern town of Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula has lots of beautiful lakes and pullouts that are perfect for soaking in the Northern Lights.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

7 – Or if you’re feeling a little stir crazy and like an excursion is what you need, hop on the Alaska Railroad and experience the Kenai Peninsula like you’ve never dreamed imaginable.

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

Photo Credit: Ron Niebrugge

8 – The Northern Lights over the Kenai River in Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling or Cooper Landing is quite spectacular indeed!

Photo Credit: Emily Tracy

Photo Credit: Emily Tracy

9 – The Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church looks even more charming with the Northern Lights beaming above.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

10 – Look out on Resurrection Bay in Seward from Miller’s Landing and see the Aurora Borealis from the beachfront.

Photo Credit: Randy Camp

Photo Credit: Randy Camp

11 – Head to Alyeska Resort for some after-dark skiing and snowboarding and be prepared to see the Northern Lights set your world on fire.

Photo Credit: Alaska Dispatch News

Photo Credit: Daryl Pederson

12 – Camping in the RV in Seward or Homer is the best way to get up close and personal with the Aurora Borealis, sans the crowds.

Photo Credit: Kirk Alkire

Photo Credit: Kirk Alkire

13 – Heck, even quaint little coffee shops in town offer spectacular viewing spots for the Northern Lights – if you’re up late enough.

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

Photo Credit: Mike Haggerty

14 – Head down to the beach for a chilly winter campfire and let the fabulous hues of the Aurora Borealis keep you enchanted through the night.

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown, Facebook.com/thekenai

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown, Facebook.com/thekenai

15 – Last but not least, check out Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski on a clear, cool night for excellent opportunities to spot the Northern Lights dancing in full force.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Just about anywhere you go, if the lights are out, you’ll see them. Wait for a clear, cool night and get ready to go exploring on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

You’ll Never Forget A Stay At The Charming Seward Windsong Lodge

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When you pull up to the Seward Windsong Lodge located at 31772 Herman Leirer Road in Seward, Alaska – there is no doubt that you will be blown away after just the first glance. This seasonal lodge is exactly where you need to vacation in 2017, so be sure to add it to your bucket list ASAP.

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Not only is the lodge itself stunning beautiful, but every direction you look is filled with charming, picturesque views. And once you step inside, the warm and fuzzies will only magnify.

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The first thing you’ll notice is the warm cedar, high ceilings with exposed beams, full logs, floor to ceiling windows and gorgeous native artwork on the walls. The front desk team members will greet you with a warm smile and complete elegance, while your eyes will wander at the massive space surrounding you.

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The café and seating area is very large and will easily fit your whole family comfortably. There are also guest computers in the lobby area for you to use if you need to check emails or catch up on a work assignment while you’re on vacation.

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Quite possibly the most gorgeous part of the lobby is the impressive rock fireplace. You’ll be tempted to sit town and take a load off before heading to your room, and we say – “go for it!” Soak in all the special moments that Seward Windsong Lodge has to offer.

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The super wonderful front desk staff will give you your keys and a detailed map to help you find your room. Notice how even the keys are gorgeous? This place really leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the love little details.

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As you will find on the map above, the lodge has several private outbuilding where you will find your clean, cozy and comfortable home-away-from-home.

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We especially loved how we could drive right up to our room and be tucked away from any incoming and outgoing traffic.

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The flower baskets, towering trees and majestic mountains in the distance were also a stellar dose of eye-candy. The blue-bird skies and fall foliage also made the view especially spectacular.

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When we walked into the room we were automatically drawn to the beautiful log bed frames and the really neat Alaskan prints on the walls.

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We were also very impressed with the size of the rooms! They were large and contemporary with a warm, lodge feel. It truly was the perfect balance and everything you would ever want in a hospitality suite.

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The flat screen television, desk area and mini-fridge made out stay very comfortable as we greatly appreciated having some of our beloved creature comforts.

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The bathroom was also very clean and just the right size.

14The smell of the Bath & Body Works coconut lime soap, lotion and shampoo was divine!

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The vanity is set outside of the bathroom which was great. It made it easy for a multi-person party to swiftly navigate the logistics of getting ready to go in the morning.

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We love seeing local Alaska products in rooms when we travel, and this Heritage Coffee from Alaska’s state capital of Juneau did not disappoint one bit.

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In fact, the coffee was a certain kind of special when we enjoyed it from this incredible porch! Oh my gosh – talk about perfection. Right off the room is a little piece of paradise nestled in the woods. In the morning you can drink a cup of coffee and listen to the birds chirping in the distance. PS, check out those cute little trees carved into the porch. Again with all the little details! We were so impressed with every single nook and cranny.

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After getting settled in we decided to head over to the Resurrection Roadhouse for dinner. There is a really neat little path that will lead you right from your room to the restaurant. It just takes a couple minutes to get there and the walk through the woods offers a perfectly manicured trail.

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You can also drive to the roadhouse if you prefer that option.

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After dinner we soaked in a stunning sunset right from the lodge.

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The next morning we checked out and headed down the road to visit Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. You can access it via road and the hike up to it is short and sweet.

5After that we grabbed lunch in town and ate at a picnic table with a million dollar view.

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In the distance we enjoyed watching boats come in and out of the harbor while soaking up the fresh air.

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With so much to see and do in Seward, you MUST add a trip to the Seward Windsong Lodge to your 2017 Alaska bucket list. As you can see from the photos above, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will have the time of your life and be pleasantly surprised from start to finish.

Have fun out there, adventure hounds and travel addicts!

All photos above are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to KPTMC.

15 Festive Ways To Embrace The Fall Season With Arms Wide Open

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Photo Credit: Wild Alaska Art – Dan Twitchell

Fall is one of the most magical times of the year on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. The morning air is crisp and fresh, the fall foliage surrounds you down every road you drive, the sunsets are electric, the alpenglow’s are magnificent, the pumpkin flavored treats are utterly delicious and the cozy moments spend indoors are filled with nostalgic moments.

Photo Credit: David L. Brown

Photo Credit: David L. Brown

1 – Get outside and spend the day hiking and soaking in the fall foliage.

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

Photo Credit: Sujohn Das, Flickr

2 – Enjoy the final days of RV season and enjoy an overnighter. A mini road trip from Seward to Homer (while stopping in every town along the way) is the best way to drink life in.

Photo Credit: State of Alaska - Michael DeYoung

Photo Credit: State of Alaska – Michael DeYoung

3 – Wet some lines and enjoy the spectacular scenery, without the ‘combat fishing’ mayhem.

Photo Credit: Drifter's Lodge

Photo Credit: Drifter’s Lodge

4 – Take a day trip along the Seward or Sterling Highway and stop at all the pull outs to take in the epic views.

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown

Photo Credit: Photographer Unknown

5 – Treat your fur babies to as many outings as possible before the snow flies and their paws can’t handle the trek without booties.

Photo Credit: Dana Orlosky - Flickr

Photo Credit: Dana Orlosky – Flickr

6 – Hop on the Alaska Railroad for a day of rest and relaxation, and enjoy off-the-grid views along the way.

Photo Credit: Tonia Burrough

Photo Credit: Tonia Burrough

7 – Rent a public use cabin on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and unplug for the night. If you prefer to have some more frills and creature comforts, take advantage of the awesome shoulder season prices that are available now at hospitality spots all over the Kenai Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Recreation.gov

Photo Credit: Recreation.gov

8 – Enjoy wildlife viewing and watch as the bears fatten up before heading into hibernation.

Photo Credit: Heidi Ho Hanson

Photo Credit: Heidi Ho Hanson

9 – Go biking in the backcountry and cover as much (stunningly beautiful) ground as possible.

10 – Chase as many sunsets as humanly possible. Even if you loose a little sleep, you will NEVER regret it.

Photo Credit: Anik Martin

Photo Credit: Anik Martin

11 – As the temperature continues to drop, use every excuse possible to make a fire and have a cozy night in. Don’t forget the snacks, movies and soft blankets!

Photo Credit: Scott Schiller - Flickr

Photo Credit: Scott Schiller – Flickr

12 – It’s the season for ‘all things’ pumpkin spice, so indulge a little wontcha! 😉

Photo Credit: The Moose Is Loose - Facebook

Photo Credit: The Moose Is Loose – Facebook

13 – If the forecast calls for a Northern Lights show, stay up late and soak it in. Being tired the next day will be worth it after you lay eyes on the Aurora Borealis in action.

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

Photo Credit: Vaughn Johnson Photography

14 – If it’s chilly or gloomy, have fun by visiting places like the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage or the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward. Fun for the whole family!

Photo Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center - Facebook

Photo Credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – Facebook

15 – It’s okay to blend in with the crowd. Sometimes ‘status quo’ just feels way too good to ignore. The warm and fuzzies that remind you of childhood should be celebrated as often as possible. Soak in the magic of the season by doing all the traditional favorites that spark a major dose of nostalgia – and love every single minute of it!

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Need more ideas to keep you busy this fall on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? Leave a comment below or feel free to shoot us a personal Facebook message.