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.

Krazy about Kayaking on The Kenai

This post doesn’t need too much of an introduction, so we’ll just paddle right into it. We are absolutely “KRAZY” about kayaking on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground. Being out on open water with the wind in your hair, the sun beaming down, mountains in the distance, the booming sound of glaciers calving, and wildlife to view from land to sea. Needless to say, a kayaking addiction is easy to come by and hard to shake.

Bear Glacier. Photo courtesy of Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking in Seward, AK.

Bear Glacier. Photo courtesy of Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking in Seward, AK.

From Kachemak Bay State Park in Homer, Prince William Sound, Humpy Cove, to Fox Island, Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward… we can’t get enough of the fun and adventurous outdoor activity!

Photo from Kayak Adventures Worldwide in Seward, AK.

Photo from Kayak Adventures Worldwide in Seward, AK.

There are lots and lots of incredible places to go kayaking on Alaska’s Playground, but we would like to show you a few lodges and guide outfits that are top-notch and come highly recommended.

KPTMC's own Keith Baxter with his beautiful wife Desiree enjoying Halibut Cove, AK.

KPTMC’s Member Services Director, Keith Baxter with his beautiful wife Desiree enjoying Halibut Cove.

Up first is Stillpoint Lodge across the bay from Homer, Alaska in the village of Halibut Cove. A short boat ride or float plane flight from Homer, and easily accessible from the lower 48, you’ll find a magnificent lodge nestled on the edge of the wilderness. Whether for a vacation, wedding, retreat, workshop, or a special family event, Stillpoint Lodge makes it easy to have the getaway of your dreams.

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In addition to being an incredible secluded getaway location, Stillpoint Lodge offers some of the most epic kayaking adventures that you will ever come by. You can embark on a guided kayaking tour in Kachemak Bay State Park including kayaking at the Glacier Lake. Caution: your breath will be taken away. It is stunning!

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Homer Ocean Charters in Homer, AK has so much to offer. They have been offering premier fishing charters for halibut and salmon since 1979. Homer is the premier destination for sea kayaking in Kachemak Bay. You are totally surrounded by picturesque mountain peaks, remote fjords and abundant wildlife. Homer Ocean Charters offers guided day and multi day kayaking trips for beginning and experienced sea kayakers.

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Paddling among the sea otters, porpoises and even whales at times, including tide pooling, and learning about the local area adds to your exceptional experience. Their guides are experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful. Many paddlers have stated that kayaking with Homer Ocean Charters has been the highlight of their Alaskan vacation. They use single and double person necky kayaks that are very stable for beginners while providing the adventure the more experienced paddler is looking for.

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Kayak Adventures Worldwide in Seward, Alaska is one of the coolest kayaking outfits around. If you’re looking for “local vibe, local access, awesome people and an excellent adventure” this is most definitely the place for you.

10712875_10152638836651239_8270782431579072204_nKayak Adventures Worldwide is a small shop based in Seward, Alaska offering environmentally friendly and educationally based sea kayaking trips.  You don’t need any experience to join their trips – just an adventurous spirit and a desire to learn and explore the great Alaskan wilderness. Check out more incredible photos by visiting their Facebook page Kayak Adventures Worldwide.

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Oh and we must add… Kayak Adventures Worldwide has succeeded in proving to us that sunsets on a kayaking adventure have a way of appearing much more magical than your average everyday sunset. It almost looks like the colors of the sunset are reflecting off of the kayaks. Simply incredible!

10451800_10152703671746239_8795026975767857828_nIn the same “neck of the woods” is another incredible guide outfit; Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking in Seward, Alaska. Imagine sea kayaking in a place of turquoise blue waters teeming with whales and puffins, tidewater and alpine glaciers, protected coves and rugged cliffs under glorious skies. These visions become reality while sea kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

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Sea otters casually watch you as they feed on sea urchins and mollusks; seals follow you curiously as you kayak in silence; pods of orcas glide through the waters as they search for salmon… and it’s all waiting for you at Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

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Checking out the lush and mountainous Fox Island in Resurrection Bay is always an incredible adventure with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

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Orca Island Cabins is next up on our list. Located in Humpy Cove in Resurrection Bay outside of Seward, this fabulous place offers unique yurt accommodations on a private island. Enjoy the best in Alaska with whale watching, incredible kayaking, fishing, hiking or just sitting back and relaxing.  We did a full blog on Orca Island Cabins last summer. To read more about this special place, check out the full blog on Orca Island Cabins Orca Island Cabins.

10915147_10152627815465678_2298295920136522466_nLazy Otter Charters in Whittier, AK is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore Prince William Sound via kayak. Lazy Otter Charters Inc. is a family owned and operated charter and water taxi operation in Whittier, Alaska. They are here to help you plan your adventure in Prince William Sound! Perfect for men, women and children of all ages! Check out that cutie below on his first kayaking adventure. 🙂

230124_143689785702562_2096732_nWhether you are interested in a personalized day cruise, including glaciers, whales and wildlife viewing, need a trip to a public cabin in Prince William Sound, or an expedition using our kayak transport, Lazy Otter Charters Inc. would love to help you with your Prince William Sound adventure. They are even now offering year-round winter tours of the sound!

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If you are a kayak owner and are looking for a great location to go out on your own adventure, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 907-262-5229 or visit us online HERE.

Photo courtesy of Keith Baxter, Member Services Director at KPTMC.

Photo courtesy of Keith Baxter, Member Services Director at KPTMC.

Are you addicted yet? If you aren’t… hurry and call one of these great places and succumb to the adventure that is sure to steal your heart and never let it go.

Photo courtesy of Desiree Baxter, Realtor at Jack White Real Estate in Soldotna.

Photo courtesy of Desiree Baxter, Realtor at Jack White Real Estate in Soldotna.

Get out and enjoy the sunshine this weekend… and all summer long for that matter. Happy paddling, friends!

Photo courtesy of Denai Keene, Realtor with Jack White Real Estate of Soldotna.

Photo courtesy of Denai Keene, Realtor with Jack White Real Estate of Soldotna.

 

From Florida to Alaska: Training to be a Sea Kayak Guide


By: Daniel P. Meuninck (meuninck@gmail.com)

From Florida to Alaska: Training to be a Sea Kayak Guide

I was used to living around mountains. Splash Mountain is my personal favorite. Big Thunder Mountain is considered a classic. And of course, Space Mountain is most people’s favorite to summit. I even went on an expedition up Everest a number of times. No big deal. But to say the landscape of my former residence of Orlando, Florida is vastly different from the views over Resurrection Bay would be more than an understatement. I mean shoot, the largest “hill” on a recent marathon I ran was the exit ramp at Disney World. Compare that marathon to the 5k race up Mount Marathon in Seward and I’m not sure which would be the bigger challenge.

From Florida to Alaska

But here I am. From Florida to Alaska for a summer adventure as a sea kayak guide at Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking. I like challenges and enjoy challenging myself and this job definitely provides both. Many of my friends said they were envious of me for getting paid to have a vacation. And while yes, I love what I am doing, this is definitely not a vacation. Not to say it isn’t fun, but to say wilderness guides are just on a pleasure cruise does a disservice to everything they do, train for, and provide for the guests they interact with on a daily basis. Personally, I came in with some training. All guides at Sunny Cove need to have their Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification. While the remoteness of our trips is a huge draw for people, it also means you are far from help if something goes amiss and the WFR is a prerequisite for any aspiring guides. As an alum of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) Alaska Outdoor Educator course, I also knew what to expect in regards to the climate of the temperate rain forest that surrounds, but that doesn’t necessarily make the cold rainy days any easier.

So what does it take to be a sea kayak guide?

A passion for the outdoors? Absolutely! But so much more. Guides are interpreters of everything a guest sees along their journey. One may paddle near shore and see a simple rock sticking out of the water. But I see the effect of tectonic plates smashing together forming a drowning mountain being sunk in a bay carved out by massive glaciers that have retreated over time and that’s just the cliff notes version of the story. A guide is trained to invite their guests into that story. Guides are educators; and not just of simple paddling technique, but of local history, geology, and ecosystems. Sure, a large part of training is to make sure guests are safe on the water which includes reading weather patterns and tides and teaching the essentials of paddling a kayak, but the real meat of training a sea kayak guide is helping that guide become an expert story teller on the water. It can be easy to take people from point A to point B, but where is the joy in that when there are a million stories all around just waiting to be told to compliment the journey.

Mental fortitude is also a must! As great as this job can be, there are days where the rain doesn’t end and the warm weather seems as far away as the Florida sunshine. But throughout my training, I have learned to navigate these challenges. A three day kayak camping expedition led our training crew to witness a number of bald eagles, sea otters, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions culminating with a pod of orcas and a breaching humpback whale. Those days definitely make it easier to deal with the elements. And while the formal part of training may have concluded, my learning continues as a sea kayak guide never truly leaves training. There is always something new to learn. For me that could include bomb proofing my roll or delving into the history of the native culture. Either way, I am excited to start telling my story and the story of all that surrounds me in this beautiful place called Alaska.

Written by Daniel P. Meuninck (meuninck@gmail.com) of Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.
Learn more about Sunny cove by visiting their website: www.sunnycove.com and Facebook: www.facebook.com/kayakalaska