7 Itsy Bitsy Tiny Towns On The Kenai That Are Perfect For A Weekend Escape

green-edventures

PC: Green Edventures

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.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

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.

PC: What Up Swags

PC: What Up Swags

1 – Hope

PC: Travel Alaska

PC: Travel Alaska

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.

PC: Vacation Rental Pics, Hirshey Cabin

PC: Vacation Rental Pics, Hirshey Cabin

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.

PC: Green Edventures

PC: Green Edventures

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

PC: Flickr - Cecil Sanders

PC: Flickr – Cecil Sanders

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.

PC: Sarah Elzas - Flickr

PC: Sarah Elzas – Flickr

Head up to the Caribou Hills to ride the ATVs or enjoy beach combing with mind-blowing mountain views overlooking the inlet.

PC: Dan Callahan, Flickr

PC: Dan Callahan, Flickr

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

PC: Alaska.org

PC: Alaska.org

This tiny little gem with less than 200 residents is a great place to go escape the crowds and soak up some peaceful tranquility.

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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.

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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

PC: Where To Willie

PC: Where To Willie

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.

PC: Ian Collins, Flickr

PC: Ian Collins, Flickr

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.

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

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

PC: Jimmy Emerson, DVM

PC: Jimmy Emerson, DVM

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.

PC: Maria Fletcher Stark

PC: Maria Fletcher Stark

Spend the day checking out the gorgeous Trail Lake or head into the backcountry for a backpacking trek to Crescent Lake.

PC: Kevan Dee, Flickr

PC: Kevan Dee, Flickr

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

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

PC: Dan Logan, Flickr

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.

PC: Travis, Flickr

PC: Travis, Flickr

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.

PC: Amy Meredith, Flickr

PC: Amy Meredith, Flickr

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

PC: John M, Flickr

PC: John M, Flickr

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.

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

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.

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

PC: Andrea Pokrzywinski

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.

The Kenai’s 3-Day Romantic Road Trip Perfect For A Valentines Day Getaway

PC: Google Maps

PC: Google Maps

Congrats – you’ve officially made it through the first month of 2017! Now it’s time to reward yourself for all that endless hard work by taking an extended weekend escape through some of The Kenai‘s most spectacular towns and small businesses. Just encase you’re stuck working a dreaded five day work week, we kicked off this epic romantic adventure with a relaxing dinner and a million dollar view – just to assure that you completely unwind before diving into all the weekend fun. The entire trip takes six hours and includes three overnight stays at some of the most charming hospitality accommodations on The Kenai. So get ready to eat to your hearts content, sleep peacefully and spend your days playing in the most awe-inspiring paradise in the Last Frontier. Be prepared to make The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground your new favorite vacation destination.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Day One:

Five Star Dinner at Seven Glaciers Restaurant at Alyeska Resort – Girdwood. Watch as skiers and snowboarders fly down the slopes underneath you as you devour gourmet cuisine and casually sip on fine wine. Time it right and you’ll be able to enjoy a sky-high sunset that will electrify your entire world.

PC: Yelp - Mel W.

PC: Yelp – Mel W.

Chase The Northern Lights – Kenai Lake. Head south on the Seward Highway to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Once you arrive in Cooper Landing, you’ll be immediately blown away by the scenic beauty that surrounds you. Take an evening stroll underneath the stars at Kenai Lake and look up – you just might spot the miraculous Aurora Borealis dancing overtop of you.

PC: Michael DeYoung Photography

PC: Michael DeYoung Photography

Hot Tub & Riverfront View at Eagle Landing Resort – Cooper Landing. This charming riverfront spread is surprisingly open all year long, which is such a tremendous treat for visitors to the area. Book a cabin and spend the night soaking in the peace and quiet the surrounds you with the company of your sweetheart by your side.

PC: Facebook - Kelly Snow at Eagle Landing Resort

PC: Facebook – Kelly Snow at Eagle Landing Resort

Day Two:
Scenic Pullout at Russian River Confluence – Cooper Landing. Sleep in or get up early and seize the day. Don’t leave Cooper Landing without stopping at the Russian River Confluence to soak in the magical wintertime views of the Kenai River.

PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Coffee Date at Veronica’s Café – Kenai. Head to the historic fishing town of Kenai to grab a delicious breakfast pastry and hot cup of coffee to enjoy with your sweetheart. If you’re feeling like getting some fresh air, head down to the beach and take a wintertime stroll while soaking in views of Cook Inlet and Mt. Redoubt in the distance.

PC: Facebook - Veronica's Café by Mike Haggerty

PC: Facebook – Veronica’s Café by Mike Haggerty

Local Lunch at Duck Inn – Soldotna. Grab a burger or a hot sandwich in the casual local hot spot. While you’re at it, enjoy a game or pool while sipping on a draft beer.

PC: Facebook - The Duck Inn, Soldotna

PC: Facebook – The Duck Inn, Soldotna

Sweet Shopping Fun at Alaska Berries – Soldotna. The northernmost winery in North America offers so many delightful things that you’re guaranteed to love. Enjoy shopping for wines, jams, syrups, vinegar’s, vinaigrette’s and much more!

PC: Facebook - Alaska Berries

PC: Facebook – Alaska Berries

Romantic Dinner at Mykel’s Restaurant – Soldotna. This local spot always does Valentine’s Day right. Get ready to dine on incredible food that you’ll be itching to rave about to all of your friends and family. King crab, steak, chicken, salmon, lamb and so much more.

PC: Facebook - Mykel's Restaurant

PC: Facebook – Mykel’s Restaurant

Night Cap at Bridge Lounge – Soldotna. Finish the night off by heading to this wonderful atmosphere where you can enjoy a drink and good conversation with your special someone.

PC: Facebook - Bridge Lounge

PC: Facebook – Bridge Lounge

Cozy Fireside Cabin at Escape For Two – Soldotna. Just a few minutes outside of Soldotna heading towards Kasilof, turn on Tote Road and it’ll lead you to this idyllic little staycation that is the perfect place for you and your honey to enjoy a nice night together.
PC: Facebook - Escape For Two

PC: Facebook – Escape For Two

Or… A Winter Wonderland Riverfront Retreat at Gallery Lodge – Kasilof. Head a little further down the road going south on the Sterling Highway and you’ll stumble upon this magnificent lodging option that will transport you and your sweetheart right into a winter wonderland paradise.
PC: Facebook - Gallery Lodge Kasilof AK

PC: Facebook – Gallery Lodge Kasilof AK

Day Three:
Homestyle Breakfast at Rocky’s Café – Kasilof. You’ll love all the local paintings on the walls and artwork displays in this cozy café. The gift shop is also quite impressive. For breakfast, fill up on all the classic favorites that you’ve loved since childhood.
PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Peaceful Relaxing Stroll For Two – Clam Gulch Recreational Area. After breakfast, walk it off in Clam Gulch and have a fun morning watching eagles soar in the distance while beach combing.
PC: Courtney Stanley

PC: Courtney Stanley

Mountainside Burger Lunch at Freddie’s Roadhouse – Ninilchik. Head up into the Caribou Hills and enjoy epic mountain views while chowing down on a yummy home-style burger, just how mama used to make it.
PC: Facebook - Freddie's Roadhouse

PC: Facebook – Freddie’s Roadhouse

Wine Tasting at Bear Creek Winery – Homer. It doesn’t get more romantic than tasting award-winning wine in the ‘halibut fishing capital of the world’. You’ll love the genuine service that you’ll find here along with all the wildly unique fruit wines. That Blueberry Zin is calling our names!
PC: Facebook - Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

PC: Facebook – Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

Hot Tub & Million Dollar View at Land’s End Resort – Homer. Charming rooms at the end of the Homer Spit with the most epic panoramic view overlooking the world-renowned Kachemak Bay State Park.
PC: Land's End Resort

PC: Land’s End Resort

Enjoy A Couple’s Massage at Renewal Spa – Homer. Because there is no greater way to end a fun-filled romantic weekend road trip than by soaking in a long sensual massage hand-in-hand with your special someone.
Facebook - Land's End Resort

Facebook – Land’s End Resort

Love the idea of a weekend getaway, but aren’t traveling through these regions on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Reach out to us and let us know if you need any help planning the perfect Kenai Peninsula road trip adventure.

13 Great Spots To Walk In And Wet A Line

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Summer solstice has came and went and August is the time of the season to wet lines and soak up the warmest weather of the year. While some might think that the best fishing spots on the river and the salt require a boat and plenty of money for gas, we are here to prove that misconception all wrong. These walk-in fishing spots are easily accessible, they offer spectacular scenery and best of all – all they require is for you to show up with a rod in hand. Low maintenance and easy on the wallet, for those of you that love catching deliciously wild Alaska seafood – it doesn’t get much better than these hot spots and best kept secrets on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Flickr - Maria Fletcher-Stark

Flickr – Maria Fletcher-Stark

1 – Homer Lagoon

Flickr - Isaac Wedin

Flickr – Isaac Wedin

2 – Bings Landing on the Kenai River

Flickr - Travis

Flickr – Travis

3 – Russian River Confluence in Cooper Landing

Flickr - Ian Collins

Flickr – Ian Collins

4 – Soldotna Creek Park on the Kenai River

Facebook - Soldotna Creek Park

Facebook – Soldotna Creek Park

5 – Anchor River in Anchor Point

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Photo Credit – Pixabay

6 – Seward Beach

Flickr - madeleine deaton

Flickr – madeleine deaton

7 – Centennial Campground in Soldotna

Facebook - Centennial Campground

Facebook – Centennial Campground

8 – Crooked Creek at the Kasilof River Confluence

Facebook - Crooked Creek Guide Service, Cabins and RV Community

Facebook – Crooked Creek Guide Service, Cabins and RV Community

9 – Mouth of the Kenai River at Kenai Beach

Flickr - Kim F

Flickr – Kim F

10 –  Mouth of the Kasilof River at Kasilof Beach

Photo Credit - Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter

Photo Credit – Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter

11 – Resurrection Creek in Hope

Flickr - Philip Morton

Flickr – Philip Morton

12 – Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing

PC - Courtney Stanley

Photo Credit – Courtney Stanley

13 – Deep Creek and the Ninilchik River

Photo Credit - YouTube

Photo Credit – YouTube

While these spots are all phenomenal in their own ways, keep in mind there are tons more great spots to walk-in and wet a line all throughout The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. But we figured that this will give you a good introduction for now. For the fly fishers in the crowd THIS article is a great read and documents some great spots to walk-in and wet a line. If you’d like any more tips for great spots or need help finding any of the above that we’ve listed, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email and we will help in anyway that we can!

You Might Be Surprised To Learn That The Kenai Is A Surfing Destination

This footage of Homer based surfer and photographer, Scott Dickerson will make you completely fall in love with surfing on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. His perspective on appreciating the simplicity of life and his tenacity to brave the cold Alaskan waters is incredibly admirable. As he talks about one of the most glorious parts of surfing in Alaska being that there aren’t the crazy crowds on the water (like what you might experience in places like Hawaii), we can’t help but to relate.

We love Alaska’s Playground for many, many undeniable reasons but probably more so that anything, the ability to find our own private pieces of paradise – sans the crowds – is what really makes our hearts skip a beat. There is nothing like the feeling of getting up close and personal with nature while experience the sounds of, well – nothing. The hustle and bustle of the city is just not for us. We are outdoor lovers with a passion for all things natural and pristine. And if we can experience Alaska’s many mountains, glaciers and wildlife while doing fun water sports such as surfing, why the heck wouldn’t we? Life is too short to be bored and as the saying goes… you can get busy living or you can get busy dying. And on that note, it’s time for us to go home and go play!

Would you ever try surfing on Alaska’s Playground? The folks at Surf Alaska in Homer are experts at documenting the true beauty of this sport. Be sure to check them out!

May Keen-Eye Candy

Russian River 5.13Well, it’s hard to believe that June is already here! May ended up proving to be one of the most beautiful months that we’ve seen all year. From steady temps in the 70’s, flat water on the salt, stunning vistas high in the mountains, epic sunrises and breathtaking sunsets… it sure was a doozy!

Beluga Point 5.13

When you take the drive from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground up north towards Anchorage, it’s impossible not to stop at Six Mile Creek to splash your toes in the water, especially on the most perfect sunshiny Alaska day.

Sixmile Creek

Lower Summit Lake is an excellent place to go birding, wildlife viewing or just stop and soak in the incredible photography opportunities.

Lower Summit Lake 5.13

Somewhere deep into the backcountry way above the Kenai River is a mountainous view that is sure to blow you away. If you look close enough, you can even see the Kenai River peeping through at the very bottom of the mountains.

Backcountry Cooper LandingThe boat harbor on the Homer Spit is surely filled with more fish stories than we could even imagine. And it sure is beautiful!

Homer Boat Docks

The view from the deck at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooking the Kenai River is absolutely spectacular.

Princess lodge 2

When we visited Jim’s Landing off Skilak Lake loop this May, we noticed that there were some pretty impressive rock stacks all over the shore.

Jim

The turquoise blue water at the Russian River ferry is always an enchanting sight to behold during the springtime months.

Russian River Confluence 5.13

On May 3rd you could catch a sunrise around 6:30am and it certainly made getting out of bed a whole heck of a lot easier.

5AM sunrise cinso de mayo

But these days you have to get up around 4am to be fortunate enough to catch the sunrise. But when you do, the stunning beauty makes it so that you don’t regret the lack of sleep one bit!

Run Sunrise 5.26

And sunsets (which are equally as breathtaking) won’t come around until nearly midnight. But when you’re feeling up to it, they sure are worth staying up late for. This one below is overlooking Cook Inlet from a secluded trail in Alaska’s Kenai River City of Soldotna.

Woods Sunset Eric

The lifejackets are out and ready for the season at Bings Landing. Remember, kids don’t float!

Bings

This picture has us convinced that Kenai Lake might be a magical place that comes straight out of our dreams. Simply stunning!

Kenai Lake

Halibut Cove was beaming with bright blue skies, tents on the beach and snow-capped mountains this May. This little place is truly so special. If you ever get the chance to visit, DO! You won’t regret one second of it.

Halibut Cove

A little place called Cooper Lake is the perfect spot to go if you want to get away from the crowds but still enjoy epic fly fishing and mountain views.

Cooper Lake

The turquoise water of the Kenai River is the definition of “eye candy” in the springtime. Especially when the leaves are starting to turn colors and develop more life and there is still leftover snow on the mountains from the winter months. These two factors really make that turquoise water POP all that more clearly.

Princess Chute - Cooper Landing

The view from the pullout going into Homer always seems to knock us off of our feet. With the spit in the distance and mountains for days, it’s easy to fall head-over-heels in love.

View over Homer

Going springtime mudding down one of many trails on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is the perfect way to dust the cobwebs off the ATVs and prepare for an awesome summer of riding and exploring the great outdoors.

Four Wheeler Sunset 5.14

I think we can all agree on one things… No matter what, there are no bad days when you’re out on the salt!

Fishing Pole

Cheers to another amazing month down, friends! We hope you all enjoyed your month of May as much as we did and we look forward to the most epic month of June in The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground history. 😉 Be safe out there and as always, have FUN!

Bird Point Trailhead

All photos in this post are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing with sole usage rights granted to the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council.