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.

Extreme Ziplining Fun With Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures In Seward

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There are a million and one reasons to love the charming little coastal town of Seward, but ziplining with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures (hands down) deserves to be at the very top of that list. As you fly through the trees and gaze at gorgeous glaciers and towering mountains in the distance, you will feel your heart skip a beat from more than just the adrenaline rush of the ziplines.

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The beauty in the area is simply unmatched and the staff is undeniably top notch. If fun is what you’re after, this three hour eco-tour will have you falling head over heels in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

15The tour starts from the convenient main strip area in Seward next to the boat harbor. You’ll find lots of tourism vendors nearby including day cruises, fishing operations, hiking, kayaking and many others.

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We parked about a block away in one of they daily parking lots. The cost for parking was $5 for the day and the walk took just a couple minutes. When we came upon the main building we were very impressed right from the get-go by the beautiful log cabin.

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As we headed inside to sign our waivers and to check in for the tour, we noticed a very impressive logo on the door. 😉 Any business who reps The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground is a friend of ours! 🙂

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After we checked in we peeped our heads around the main building to soak in the view. Bluebird skies and mountain views overlooking the boat harbor. Talk about the most incredible dose of eye candy that we’ve ever experienced! The 70 degree weather wasn’t too shabby either!

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After about 10 minutes the shuttle arrived to take us to the enchanting ziplining area tucked away in the woods, free from the crowds.

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We pulled up into an area that had a big yurt and some outbuildings. The first thing we did was check all things that ‘could fall off’ at the front desk. Next, we got suited up with our harnesses and gear.

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Next came ground school. Our two super awesome, knowledgeable and completely hilarious guides trained us on all of the basics including hand and foot placement, traversing, stopping and overall safety.

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Everyone in the group had to then individually demonstrate the ability to properly traverse on a mini-zipline located at base camp. After we all completed ‘ground school’ we gathered around for an official graduation photo. First came the group shot… “say cheeeeeeese!”

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Next came the individual shots. Say “awwwwww!” But really, we just met. New Alaska friends are the best friends!

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A different kind of shuttle bus came next. We all loaded in the back and held on tight before heading up into the trees.

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On the way up it was hard to ignore the beautiful views as we gained elevation.

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And first, one last group shot before zipping the next couple hours away.

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Each individual zipline offered such incredible features. The phenomenal views simply could not be ignored. Snow-capped mountains in the distance while surrounded by lush Pacific Temperate Rainforest is an experience that is hard to top!

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The group rotated who went first, second, third, etc. the whole trip. Some of the daredevils in the crowd were always willing to go first while others had to work up the courage on some of the longer and steeper lines.

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The guides were entertaining and provided wonderful, educational commentary throughout the whole trip. During the height of the season, they do up to seven tours a day! That was incredible to hear considering each tour takes about three hours from start to finish. To go on a tour you have to be at least 10 years of age and weigh 80 pounds.

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Repelling down from the high platforms in the trees to the ground was probably one of the scariest parts of the tour for most people. However it was actually super easy and not scary at all once you took that first step off the ledge.

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The guides were also very interactive the whole time which made the process feel very safe and reassuring.

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The suspension walks were such a fun bonus towards the end of the tour.

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So many bridges, so many photo ops! Cheese! 😉

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With the peaceful noise of Stoney Creek rushing downstream in the backdrop, it was the most perfectly serene way to end a day of action zipping through the trees.

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If you’ve never been ziplining with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward, be sure to add it to the top of your 2017 summer bucket list. It is a once in a lifetime experience and the perfect day trip to enjoy with your friends or your family.

Springtime KEEN-EYE Candy

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

Lowell Point Beach in Seward, Alaska. Photo from Kristie Stockton.

March Madness on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground means something a whole lot more beautiful than what you’d find on the basketball court. As winter faded away and officially turned to spring and we moved our clocks forward an hour, we made sure to capture the magical moments that happened in our very own backyard.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Feast your eyes on some gorgeous eye candy that was captured throughout the month of March that will have you falling in love with the Kenai Peninsula all over again.

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

Photo from Elsie I-Hsin Lin at Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. ‎

We’ll kick things off with this beautiful sunrise in Soldotna, Alaska with  Mt. Redoubt glowing in the distance.

Sunrise 3.3 Soldotna, AK

No day in Alaska (where the state sport is dog mushing) is complete without a snowy dog walk in the woods. Although, this guy might be a little too small to compete with the real mushing dogs. 😉

Loomie in snow 3.8.16

Skilak Lake in Cooper Landing, Alaska is beautiful this time of year. And due to some pretty comfortable temperatures, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the lake has already broken up completely. Great for anyone wanting to get out for a day on the water enjoying some Rainbow Trout fishing.

Skilak Lake Alaska 3.5.16Cunningham Park in Kenai, Alaska is a beautiful place to take a walk and soak in the warm sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

cunningham park soldotna

As we headed out for a day of exploring on the Kenai River, we couldn’t help but to stop and take a photo of the stunning spring view from Bings Landing in Sterling, Alaska. Check out those beautiful mountain beaks in the distance! Such a gorgeous contrast against the strikingly beautiful blue water of the Kenai River.

Bings Landing Doc

A hike in the woods that leads to a lush overlook of thick forest and Tustemena Lake in the distance… always a win!

tustemena overlook

A sunset is no ordinary sunset when you take it in from Captain Cook State Recreation Area in Nikiski, Alaska. It’s like a whole bag of skittles in the sky! 😉

Captain Cook State Park

Sometimes “easy like Sunday morning” means taking a peaceful walk into the woods with a warm cup of coffee. Always a joyous journey on a beautiful spring day.

Sun beaming through treeline

Taking in an icy sunrise with a beautiful horse pasture in the distance is quite simply, what dreams are made of.

Sunrise over corrals 3.9.16

Because winter wonderland just feels like home (said every Alaskan, ever). ❤

Winterwonderland 3.9.16Swiftwater Park in Soldotna, Alaska offers breathtaking views all year long. Bonus fact: in the winter, you can usually have the whole place to yourself. EPIC.

swiftwater park

When the drive to work makes you pull over and have a photo-shoot, you know you live in the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. But um, we aren’t biased at all. 😉

Sunrise 3.8.16And when a sunset gives you goose-bumps and makes your heart dance with so much pure joy, you also know that you live in THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. Like this one taken at the beginning of the month on Kasilof Beach.

Kasliof Beach Sunset 3.6.16

A day spent taking in the mountain views from the beach in Ninilchik, Alaska is always a good day. Especially when the sun is shining bright!

In addition to the beautiful beach, endless ocean and epic mountain peaks, the up close and personal Bald Eagle viewing is also a sight to behold when visiting Ninilchik.

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And here’s the shot a little closer up. This Bald Eagle sure is a beauty! And by the looks of where it’s sitting, it looks like quite the dare devil. 😉 Or maybe just a smart fisherman!

eagle up close

The Kasilof River is such a special place to visit. During the wintertime when the snow still lines the banks, it’s like viewing something right out of a postcard. Simply incredible.

Kasilof

And move down a few miles to the mouth of the Kasilof River draining into the Pacific Ocean, this is a spectacular place to enjoy some soft sand and take in (yet another) epic sunset on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Kasilof Beach Sunset 3.13

Watching both the mountains and the sun reflect onto the beautiful water via drift boat in the middle of Skilak Lake is always an enthralling experience.

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And it’s only fitting that after spending over 12 hours on the glistening Skilak Lake that we stay long enough to catch a sunset, Alaska’s Playground style.

skilak lake sunset 3.13

The launch to Tustemena Lake (or to float the Kasilof River) is a fabulous place to listen to wolves howl and to watch moose roam. It’s also a great place to have a campfire, go for a hike and enjoy being away from the crowds.

Secluded Spring Day at the Kasilof River - Tustemena Lake LaunchA sunset down Cannery Beach Road in Kenai is quite simply – what dreams are made of. ❤

Sunset down Cannery Beach Road overlooking Cook Inlet

Fishing the Kenai River near the Russian River confluence is way more fun without the crowds and with beautiful snow-capped mountains.

eric cooper landingThe Kenai River in Cooper Landing is STUNNING.

russian river confluence

There is no place like Homer. These views could suck you in for days.

stunning homer overlook 3.18

It was a magical night with calm, cool weather to watch boats in the bay as they got ready for the 2016 Winter King Tournament on 3.19.16.

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And a sunset over Wasabi’s restaurant was sure to leave a lasting mark.

homer sunset from wasabis - 3.18.16

Swanson River Landing was beginning a serious breakup during late March. Soon enough we will be launching our kayaks for an epic float!

Swanson River

Fish Lake is a beautiful place fully submerge yourself in nature and not hear a single sound other than birds chirping and the occasional wolf howling.

Eric and Steve at Fish Lake 2

Remember, you have 365 changes to catch a sunrise and a sunset in each year. Get out there and make every day count. This beautiful sunrise was captured at Arc Lake in Soldotna, Alaska on March 9th.

Arc Lake

And on that note… We wish you love, safety and happiness with each and every day. Fall head over heels in love with The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground and never regret a second of this beautiful life!

Disclosure: With the exception of the first 3 photos featured above, all photos featured in this blog are copyright of Loomis Sage Marketing.

Featured Town on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground

Seward, Alaska – Alaska Starts Here

Situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities. Known as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park,” Seward is a picturesque town with a bustling harbor and historic downtown district filled with unique shops, art galleries, and delicious seafood restaurants. You will welcome the fact that Seward is one of the most easily accessible communities in Alaska.

Seward may be reached by road, air or the Alaska Railroad. The Seward highway which connects Anchorage with Seward has been named an All-American Road, which is the highest designation of a National Forest Scenic Byway.

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