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.

flickr-peter-flynn

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.

bay-realty-blog

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.

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

14138877_1075095932575077_5976800142001781859_o

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!

1-cd8ba5df1f

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.

Beautiful Beaches on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Photo by Jean -Marie Prival, Flickr.

Photo by Jean -Marie Prival, Flickr

As Summer Solstice has officially came and went, we are now able to ring in all that the season has to offer. Warm weather and over 20 hours of daylight means that we have more time than our heart desires to get out and enjoy our beautiful beaches, sandy shores and spectacular mountain views.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Robert Levy, Flickr.

The beach in Seward is an excellent place to camp with friends and family, go whale watching or just listen to the waves crash against shore as you prepare to head out of a saltwater fishing adventure. The snow-capped mountains in the distance are pretty mesmerizing as well!

Photo from Brian Strombeck, Flickr.

Photo from Brian Strombeck, Flickr.

The town of Hope is known for having some of the most beautiful sights in all of Alaska although the simplicity of the town make you feel totally at ease and relaxed. Pitch a tent on the beach and stay through the night or enjoy a day hike high into the mountains with stunning views of the beach from above.  

Photo from Erik Halfacre, Flickr.

Photo from Erik Halfacre, Flickr.

Take a small plane over to Katmai National Park and land right on the beach at Hallo Bay before enjoying an epic day of watching bears feed on salmon in Brooks Falls. Only on Alaska’s Playground!

Photo from Marshmallow, Flickr.

Photo from Marshmallow, Flickr.

The beach running up and down the Homer Spit is described as “epic” on a daily basis. The place is truly like something out of a movie. Enjoy walking the long sandy beach, let your dogs dip their paws in the water, camp out, let the kids splash in the surf, fly a kite, have a campfire, surf-cast off shore or just sit back and enjoy watching the boats come in and out of the harbor. There are also tons of great shops, eateries, bakeries and restaurants up and down the spit that are great to enjoy when you want a break from having sandy toes. There is no such thing as a bad day on the Homer Spit!

Homer, Alaska - Tent on Homer Spit

Photo from Cristopher Griner, Flickr.

Staying up late enough to enjoy an Alaska’s Playground sunset is definitely worth while when you are at Kenai Beach.

Photo from Wasif Siddiqui, Flickr.

Photo from Wasif Siddiqui, Flickr.

The Kasilof Beach at the mouth of the Kasilof River is great spot to go if you are coming to dipnet, go fishing, beachcomb or just soak in the gorgeous mountainous views.

Photo from Travis, Flickr.

Photo from Travis, Flickr.

The beach in Anchor Point is known for it’s famous tractor launch. But if you are looking for an excellent beach to just put your toes in the sand and soak in out-of-this-world views, this is your spot. Bald eagles are very commonly viewable at this beach from very close distances (and it’s INCREDIBLE)! It’s hard to leave disappointed after spending the day at this amazing beach.

Photo from Kevan Dee, Flickr.

Photo from Kevan Dee, Flickr.

Clam Gulch is where you need to go for stunning mountain views, soft sand and utter solitude! Sometimes getting away from the crowds and just being one with Alaska is the best way to refresh your soul before returning to work on Monday morning.

Photo from Peter Flynn, Flickr.

Photo from Peter Flynn, Flickr.

Find a secluded (private) beach by the town of Seldovia and feel yourself be completely ruined to any other beach in the world. Once you have a beach all to yourself with absolutely zero sounds to be heard except the waves breaking and the birds chirping… you will be totally, completely ruined. In the best way possible.

Photo from Joseph, Flickr.

Photo from Joseph, Flickr.

Bishops Beach in Homer is one of those magical places where you feel like you could walk for days and days and never get tired. Surrounded by mountainous views and brisk saltwater in the air, this place is truly magical.

Photo from caliseashel, Flickr.

Photo from caliseashel, Flickr.

Discovery Beach at Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski is an excellent place to beachcomb, ride ATVs, go horseback riding, walk for miles and miles or stay long enough to enjoy an incredible sunset. The beauty at this beach is most definitely worth the semi-long drive out from the town of Kenai.

Photo from RocksInMyHead, Flickr.

Photo from RocksInMyHead, Flickr.

The beaches inside the Kenai Fjords National Park out of Seward are sometimes rocky and sometimes sandy, but they are ALWAYS stunningly beautiful

Photo from National Park Service, Alaska Region, Flickr.

Photo from National Park Service, Alaska Region, Flickr.

Halibut Cove in Kachemak Bay is another excellent place to go if you are on the search for the most beautiful and perfect secluded beach paradise.

Photo from Antti T. Nissinen, Flickr.

Photo from Antti T. Nissinen, Flickr.

The beach in Lake Clark National Park is an excellent place to go and check out huge bears in their natural habitat. Stay for the day and enjoy world-class sockeye or silver salmon fishing!

Photo from Sanjoy Ghosh, Flickr.

Photo from Sanjoy Ghosh, Flickr.

The beach at Lowell Point in Seward is known for providing fun for all ages, shapes and sizes. Play in the surf, skip rocks, paddle out into the ocean via kayak or spot for humpback whales from shore. Whatever you do here, you will be happy. It’s impossible to be anything but happy when you are surrounded by such stunning natural beauty.

Photo from Dave Bezaire, Flickr.

Photo from Dave Bezaire, Flickr.

If lake life is more your cup of tea, Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing has been known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Alaska. We’d say that this picture at sunset definitely validates those claims!

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

Photo from Maria Fletcher-Stark, Flickr.

That’s it for now, nature lovers and adventure hounds! Enjoy the beautiful beaches on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground this summer and remember to always be bear aware. 😉 Happy travels!

Photo from Stephen Brkich, Flickr.

Photo from Stephen Brkich, Flickr.