Celebrating 12 Incredible Businesses On The Kenai – International Women’s Day

With March 8th, 2017 being International Women’s Day, we thought we’d take a moment to honor some of The Kenai’s most beloved local businesses. Each and every one of these thriving businesses offers a truly unique and special product to the many communities throughout the Kenai Peninsula. Whether you’re looking for a delicious restaurant, a spectacular lodging experience or a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation planned by experts – you’ll find it in the wonderful list below. Enjoy all that there is to offer on the only place in the Last Frontier known as Alaska’s Playground.

1 – Pizza Boys, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Pizza Boys

Located in the heart of Soldotna, Pizza Boys is a local favorite that also attracts visitors from all around the world each busy summer season. Their locally, hand-tossed pizzas will make your mouth water and you won’t be able to resist all the yummy sides. Menu favorites include baked pasta dishes, oven-roasted sandwiches, hoagies, gelato and plenty of beer and wine to go around.

Address: 44686 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

2 – Grouchy Old Woman B&B, Nikiski

Credit: Facebook – Grouchy Old Woman B&B

Located in North Kenai on the shores of Daniel’s Lake is this charming and utterly idyllic B&B escape. Watch as the moose meander about while your rest peacefully in your own private oasis. You won’t ever forget the warm-hearted hospitality that you’ll receive in this wonderful place.

Address: 48570 North Earl Drive, Kenai, AK 99611.

3 – The Driftwood Inn, Homer

Credit: TripAdvisor

Located in the heart of Old Town Homer is the historic Driftwood Inn. This beachy gem is filled with charm and will make you feel right at home. You’ll soon see why this sweet spot has become a favorite for adventurous families and serious fishermen and women.

Address: 135 West Bunnell Avenue, Homer, AK 99603.

4 – AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse, Homer

Credit: TripAdvisor

Quite simply put, this little steakhouse is seriously awesome. Nice, big portions and food that is always mouth-watering. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, but the live music nights really take the experience up a notch. Sip cocktails or shoot pool in a wood–paneled interior that is perfectly Alaskan.

Address: 120 West Bunnell Avenue, Homer, AK 99603.

5 – Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, Seward

Credit: Facebook – Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC

Nestled on the shoes of Resurrection Bay is this magnificent waterfront lodging retreat that many refer to as ‘heaven on earth.’ Enjoy exceptionally clean cabins with a million dollar view that is guaranteed to take your breath away. As you gaze out at the picturesque landscape that awaits you, you’ll experience something that looks like a masterpiece paining. Lynda Ann Martin Paquette is the owner of Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, and she says that her favorite part about operating a business on the Kenai Peninsula is that she “can live independently in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.” This award-winning property is truly a slice of heaven on earth.

Address: 13730 Beach Drive, Seward, AK 99664.

6 – A Cabin by the Pond, Soldotna

Credit: A Cabin by the Pond – Facebook

A Cabin by the Pond is a majestic little cabin getaway located just steps away from the world-renowned Kenai River. The artesian pond on property attracts moose, birds and a variety of wildlife that truly make the area feel like a wilderness escape. With seven different idyllic cabins to choose from, guests that stay here fall in love with cozy cabins and the warm Alaskan hospitality. Plus, it’s located just a mile away from downtown Soldotna. Cathy Sue Sargenser owns the business with her husband Jim, and she says that her favorite part of owning a leisure business is “That’s easy.  The people!  We’re honored to have the opportunity to interact and get to know people from many different nations and cultures.” She continues on by saying that they’ve entertained guests from all around the world, many of which they remain in touch with long after they return home. Lastly, she says that “It’s fun to wake up every morning knowing it will be a new adventure and opportunity to meet new friends.  I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do.”

Address: 34480 Airport Heights Street, Soldotna, AK 99669.

7 – Odie’s Deli, Soldotna

Facebook – Odie’s Deli

Odie’s Deli is a truly scrumdiddlyumptious deli restaurant located right in town Soldotna off the Sterling Highway. Local favorites include homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, cookies, and many other mouthwatering baked goods. The soft, flavorful breads are savory soups are made from scratch daily. Plus, each week they have a yummy weekly sandwich special. They even have PubQuiz trivia nights every Wednesday at 6pm and Live Music every Friday at 6pm! Tons of fun, great service, undeniably delicious food.

Address: 44315 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

8 – Main Street Tap & Grill, Kenai

Credit: Main Street Hotel Tap and Grill

There’s always something going on a Main Street Tap and Grill in Kenai! Locals and visitors alike always look forward to Karaoke Wednesday. Plus, every Friday and Saturday night you can enjoy the awesomeness of a Live Band or DJ! Monday’s and Thursday’s they have World Tavern Poker nights. The grill is filled with seriously delicious menu options and it’s always open late. If you’re a sports fanatic, you can always catch your favorite game on one of the many flat screens.

Address: 10800 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK 99611.

9 – Mykel’s Restaurant, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Mykel’s Restaurant

This insanely delicious restaurant offers some of the best food that you’ll probably ever eat in your entire lifetime. The menu is full of delicious steaks, seafood dishes, appetizers and salads – plus a full bar with lots of local beers on tap. They even have live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Tammy Blank is the Chef and Kitchen Manager at Mykel’s Restaurant, a.k.a. the personally directly responsible for all of the mouth-watering things that you will be scarfing down ASAP. Along with Vanessa Robinson, who is the Restaurant General Manager at Mykel’s Restaurant, both of these incredible women work hard to handle all of the behind-the-scenes action that comes with being one of the best places to eat in all of Alaska. Alice Kerkvliet has been the owner of Mykel’s Restaurant for the last 18 years. She says, “I respect and trust these women and am eternally grateful for their help in promoting the tourism industry in our beautiful community and state of Alaska. They handle all the daily responsibilities, plan for the future and evaluate our progress along the way. We love being part of Alaska’s playground here on the Kenai Peninsula!”

Address: 35041 Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

10 – Everything Bagels, Kenai & Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Everything Bagels

This is a new name on the Kenai Peninsula, and one that the locals have quickly fallen head-over-heels in love with. Pamela Parker and her husband started Everything Bagels in their personal kitchen in February 2016. Six months after baking our first batch of bagels, they opened there store in Soldotna with their new business partners, Brooke and John Campbell. After just six more months passed, they expanded again to open their second location in Kenai. Grab a fresh baked bagel with hand-made cream cheese and you will fall in love at first bite, we guarantee it!

Soldotna Address: 44539 Sterling Highway.

Kenai Address: 610 Attla Way.

11 – Aksala Alaska, Seward

Credit: visitalaska907.com

The team at Aksala Alaska loves to “live, work, and play Alaska.” They are passionate about the beautiful state of Alaska, and they love to share it with travelers from all around the world! Go to Aksala Alaska for lodging, transportation, plus adventures and tours from Kenai Fjords National Park to Denali National Park. “Go the local way, go AKSALA ALASKA

Address: 209 4th Avenue #1, Seward, AK.

12 – Soldotna Inn, Soldotna

Credit: Facebook – Soldotna Inn

The comfortable and cozy Soldotna Inn is located right near the Y in the heart of Soldotna. These affordable rooms offer a great value close to all of the best fishing holes and hiking trails. Cindy Jackinsky is the Hotel Manager that spends her days working hard to assure that operations are running efficiently while balancing the art of guest service being the utmost priority at all times. CarolAnn Wagner is the Head Housekeeper, a.k.a the behind-the-scenes ninja that keeps the fundamentals flowing like a well-oiled machine. Alice Kerkvliet has been the owner of Soldotna Inn for the last 18 years. She says, “I respect and trust these women and am eternally grateful for their help in promoting the tourism industry in our beautiful community and state of Alaska. They handle all the daily responsibilities, plan for the future and evaluate our progress along the way. We love being part of Alaska’s playground here on the Kenai Peninsula!“

Address: 35041 Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna.

A huge “thank you” to each and every one of these incredible businesses (and all of their extraordinarily hard-working teams) for all that you do to serve our community. Locals and visitors alike are grateful to have so many top-notch restaurant, lodging and adventure establishments to choose from on The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground.

Spring Fever on the Kenai River

Photo from Loomis Sage Marketing, www.LoomisSage.com

Kenai River at Bings Landing, Sterling Alaska.

Happy Thursday friends and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! It was a beautiful (winter) day on the Kenai River that left us with a heavy case of spring fever. With that being said, the countdown is officially on: 18 days until the first day of spring! I guess we decided to celebrate a bit early… 😉

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

Fishing the Kenai River, Winter, March 2016.

The sun was shining, the mountains were glowing and the bald eagles were perched along the riverbanks by the dozens. You know how Alaska has a way of delivering epic, jaw-dropping moments that make you feel like you are in a dream? Yeah… today was one of those days. At ever single turn. Simply stunning and totally secluded.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Beautiful bald eagle perched along the Kenai River.

Oh, and the rainbow trout were showing themselves a little bit as well! Oh Alaska’s Playground, how you spoil us so! ❤

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the upper killey on the Kenai River.

Beautiful rainbow trout caught near the Upper Killey on the Kenai River.

We call this next photo “ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.” Although the sun was shining and it felt like spring, it is still “technically” winter so it is only natural that the banks of the Kenai River were a bit icy. Also, the temperature is still rather frigid (35-40 degrees most of the day). If you venture out to enjoy the glorious river anytime soon, be sure to be advised of this and be very careful when navigating about.

Ice on the Rocks, Kenai River style.

Ice on the rocks, Kenai River style.

Also, be sure to wear the proper gear. It might be sunny and beautiful, but that can be deceiving once you are on the water. With the wind blowing in your face, you will quickly go from happy and comfortable to miserable and numb without the proper gear. We recommend a face mask, good gloves, a warm hat and a layering system that will let you go from chilly to warm once you start hiking or casting a fishing pole and your body temperature rises. Now, the loud colors are optional (what can we say, we’re a little wild at heart) 😉 but definitely be prepared so that your day enjoying The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground doesn’t get cut short.

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

Loud and proud on the Kenai River. Oh, and very warm too!

In some areas there were some frozen fish skeletons on the gravel bars left over from last year. The dogs had a blast trying to sniff out all the smells (sorry pups, no meat left here). For us, it made us very excited for summer 2016 salmon fishing on the Kenai River! Woop woop!

Fish skeleton's from last year.

Fish skeleton’s on gravel bar by Kenai River.

And due to the earliness of the year, the water was very shallow in many areas so it was imperative to use extra caution with the boat. Slow and steady wins the race! 😉

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

Shallow Kenai River, March 2016 with Mountain View.

We also had a few icy invasions out in the water. Although very slippery and heavy in the water, it sure was a beautiful winter-wonderland sight to see.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

An important reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the current of the river. A current is the flow of water influenced by gravity as the water moves downhill to reduce its potential energy. The current varies spatially as well as temporally within the stream, dependent upon the flow volume of water, stream gradient, and channel geometrics. The Kenai River is about 82 miles long and with every river bend is a changing floor and a changing current. It’s always better to be safe and vigilant than to be caught off guard. And this time of year, the beauty of your surroundings can certainly be distracting. 🙂

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Ice floating near fisherman in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice means… spring is coming, friends! Coming very soon indeed!

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

Floating ice in Kenai River, March 2016.

The day was filled with some of the most glorious mountain views of the Kenai Mountains. There is nothing like a day with bluebird skies and glowing snow-capped mountains. Alaska at it’s finest, in all her glory!

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

Kenai Mountains from boat on Kenai River.

The rainbow trout (catch and release only) were being a bit elusive, however we did have the privilege of greeting a handful of them on the fly.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

Rainbow trout caught with bead on Kenai River.

We threw out some beads and some flesh flies… but what were they hitting on? Top secret. 😉

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

Flesh fly, Kenai River Alaska March 2016.

We even saw a couple moose but by then, the camera decided to take an afternoon nap. Thankfully we got plenty of incredible photos of bald eagles. Like this one with three bald eagles all perched on the same tree. Absolutely stunning. Only in Alaska!

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Three Bald Eagles, Kenai River Alaska, March 2016.

Although we saw a couple other boats out and about as well as a few folks that hiked in to fish, it felt as though we had the river to ourselves for the entire day. It sure was a refreshing change from the summertime traffic that can be found. Although, we love our visitors to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground so we we’ve learned to appreciate all seasons equally. 😉

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

Secluded Kenai River, March 2016.

And right as we were headed home, we came across two beautiful bald eagles looking like two little love birds sitting in a tree. ❤ The perfect night cap to feast our eyes on.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

Two bald eagles on the Kenai River, March 2016.

That’s all for today, friends.! Thankfully tomorrow is Friday (TGIF) so we are hoping you will all have the opportunity to get out and enjoy Alaska’s Playground. As always, if you ever need any help planning a fun-filled weekend on The Kenai, you can always visit us online or contact our office. Happy travels!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai

PSkilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Skilak Lake. Photo from Becky Washington.

Happy Thanksgiving to our amazing friends, fans and fellow lovers of The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground! Living on the Kenai Peninsula, we undoubtedly have a million-and-one things to be thankful for each and every day. To start, it’s beyond-incredible that we live in a town that has these kind of mountain views right within the city (see below).

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

Photo from Greg Daniels shared from the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.

More times than not, we are blessed with some of the most magical sunrises. Like this one below in Seward, Alaska over the small boat harbor.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

Photo from Derrick Miskinis Photography.

And the sunsets, those aren’t too shabby either. 😉 This one below in Cook Inlet titled “one last haul” is hard to beat!

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

Photo from Daniel Woeste.

We are thankful to live in an area where we can enjoy world-class river fishing right out front door.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

Photo from kenaicache.com.

And just-for-the-halibut, we must mention that the salt fishing is worthy of “writing home about” as well. 😉

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

Photo from halibutchronicles.com.

We are thankful for the many awesome adrenaline rushes that Alyeska Resort provides us every season. By the way, today is opening day! Woohoo!

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

Photo from Alyeska Resort Facebook page.

And for living in a state the provides so many opportunities to enjoy snow days with the kiddos. Alaska kids love the snow and are raised to be tough little outdoorsmen and women from the time they can walk. 🙂

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

Photo from Chris Hall via The Alaska Life.

We are thankful to have so many wildlife viewing opportunities. Nothing beats spotting a mama bear with three of her cubs.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Photo from stellerair.com.

Except maybe the opportunity to see amazing wildlife displaying their true “survival of the fittest” instincts in the wild. Talk about up close and personal!

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

Photo from the Peninsula Clarion.

The way that the sun breaks through the clouds and shines upon the ocean in Homer, Alaska is enough to leave us breathless every time.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska's Playground Facebook page.

Photo from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground Facebook page.

We are thankful for date nights and family outings that are above it all and simply over-the-top.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

Photo from Alyeska Resort.

We are thankful to live amongst this beautiful, vast land where we regularly have the opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis right out our back door.

And for the opportunity to see marine animals in their natural habitat.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

Photo from the Travel Channel.

We are thankful to live in an area where the hiking trails offer some of the most epic, jaw-dropping views.

And where “pitching a tent” isn’t just your everyday, average camping experience.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

Photo from greetingsfromstrangers.wordpress.com.

What are thankful to live in an area where an everyday, average kayaking experience can change to totally-monumental and profoundly life changing  once you paddle upon a huge glacier sticking out of the ocean.

Photo from National Geographic.

Photo from National Geographic.

And for SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) adventures that offer that same sort of feeling. Only in Alaska! Only on the Kenai Peninsula!

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

Photo from Liquid Adventures.

And although we could go on and on for many hours, at the end of the day we are most thankful for having the opportunity to share The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground with our friends, family and loved ones. Whether you live here full time or you are a visitor to this beautiful area, it is an undeniably special place that is best experienced with those closest to your heart.

Because at the end of the day its not about where you are, its about who you’re with.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

Photo from mowryjournal.com.

So today be sure to eat, drink, laugh and enjoy each others company. Happy Thanksgiving from The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground!

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from www.jimcoda.com.

Bald eagles in Homer, Alaska. Photo from http://www.jimcoda.com.

A Whale’s Tale

Photo from www.sarashoemakerlind.com in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo from http://www.sarashoemakerlind.com in Kenai Fjords National Park.

What brings you to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? What fuels your love for this massive 25,000+ square miles of land, river and sea? There are a lot of reasons to fall in love with the Kenai Peninsula. For many, the wildlife alone is what keeps them coming back year after year. From land to sea, you will never run out of wildlife sightings that are hard to believe.

Photo from Sleepyibis.

Photo from Sleepyibis.

When you can get up close and personal with 50 ton humpback whale that stretches nearly 50 feet long and 20 feet wide, it’s easy to feel like you are on another planet. Talk about a *pinch me* moment!

Photo from Daryll Vispo Photography taken in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo from Daryll Vispo Photography taken in Kenai Fjords National Park.

And when heading out to fish on the salt surprisingly offers you an epic photo-op, you know you’ve struck gold.

Photo from HOWL Alaska in Homer!

Photo from HOWL Alaska in Homer, AK.

Or when a peaceful day of kayaking through Resurrection Bay in Seward, AK causes a sudden intermission. Hold on tight and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime adrenaline rush!

Photo from Shawn South with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

Photo from Shawn South with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking.

You really can’t quite put into words how magical it is to see a whole family of orca’s swimming together. Did you know that orca’s form family units, led by the female, that can stick together for decades.

Photo from Kay White via the National Park Service.

Photo from Kay White via the National Park Service.

Mama orca and her little one just popping up to say hello. ❤

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

And if you are looking to visit the Kenai Peninsula for a whale-watching tour, be advised that the (human) visitors aren’t the only ones that enjoy checking out the glaciers. 😉

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

Photo from Kenai Fjords Tours.

And if you are planning to go out fishing on the ocean, there is always a possibility that a massive marine animal might pop in to say hello. 🙂

Photo from The Alaska Life in Seward, AK.

Photo from The Alaska Life in Seward, AK.

So whether you choose to go out on a solo adventure or to join a group of like-minded outdoorsy enthusiasts, we are certain that the Kenai Peninsula will leave you with lasting memories that will make you want to come back time and time again.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Photo from Alaska.org.

Need ideas or any help planning your next adventure to The Kenai, Alaska’s Playground? Respond below or call our office directly. Happy planning and happy travels! 🙂

Photo from Alaska.org.

Photo from Alaska.org.