Visiting the Kenai Peninsula comes with a warning: once you experience it, you’ll never want to leave. The ideal destination for anyone wanting to experience the wonder and majesty of the Last Frontier, make the most out of the opportunity by staying at one of these spectacular resorts and lodges.
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The Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island offers the chance to stay right inside Kenai Fjords National Park, home to the Harding Icefield, a nearly 714 square miles of ice up to a mile thick. It feeds nearly three dozen glaciers flowing out of the mountains, six of them to tidewater. The journey to get there begins with a 12-mile boat ride out of Seward into the heart of coastal Alaska. Once at the lodge, you’ll enjoy the often mist-enveloped pebble beaches as well as breathtaking views Halibut Cove, where sea lions and humpback whales often appear. The spectacular main lodge and eight waterfront cabins are tucked within the woods, sandwiched between the unspoiled pebble beach and a tranquil lagoon, providing the ultimate spot for escaping the chaotic world. You can do nothing but relax, spend time enjoying active pursuits like kayaking, canoeing, and hiking, or perhaps a little of both.
Set along the north shore of Summit Lake in the heart of Chugach National Forest, the historic Summit Lake Lodge offers an ideal base for exploring the Kenai Peninsula. Built from local logs, the lodge resort offers a friendly atmosphere with a cozy slate fireplace and the chance to completely immerse yourself in a wilderness setting, unplugged. Instead of staring at a phone, computer or television screen, relax on the deck and watch for bald eagles or enjoying the sounds of the resident loons, or take part in activities like horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, fishing and golf. After a day of play, head to the main lodge for cocktail hour to chat with other guests, and then look forward to delicious meals at the fine dining restaurant.
Tutka Bay Lodge sits in a remote seven-mile fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay near the town of Homer, surrounded by rugged coastline, deep fjords, dramatic mountains, old growth Sitka spruce forests, peaceful beaches and amazing tidal fluctuations. Guests can stay in the main lodge or one of six private guest accommodations and enjoy the use of a sauna, hot tub, and boat house. Outdoor adventure options include sea kayaking, hiking, and fishing for halibut and salmon. Along with an outstanding array of activities, the lodge offers a unique look at the food-gathering and preparation processes of master chef Kirsten Dixon’s sea-to-table cuisine. Guests can even participate in every stage of the process, from fishing and foraging to preparing and, the best part, eating.
Kenai Magic Lodge offers an intimate experience with just seven cabins, along with exclusive access to 130 yards of private riverfront on the world famous Kenai River. Specializing in custom-tailored adventures, guests can hop onto the Alaskan bush plane to take in incredible aerial views of Mount Denali, land on a glacier and enjoy a picnic lunch, and possibly spot some of the state’s most iconic wildlife, like black and brown bears, moose, caribou, mountain goats and Dahl sheep. Cruising into Resurrection Bay to see visit Kenai Fjords National Park and see active glaciers calving huge blocks of ice is one of the many other options – on this trip, you’re likely to see lots of bald eagles, along with puffins, sea lions, porpoise, sea otters and whales. While all cabins include a full kitchen, if you don’t want to worry about cooking, the lodge offers in-house meal packages too.
This elegant lodge overlooking the Kenai River offers the rare chance to enjoy seclusion, luxury and affordability. Made up of three hand-hewn log cabins, the Main Lodge features a full kitchen with a 16-person dining table, a wood-burning fireplace, loft library, comfortable seating area and a deck where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the river. A favorite with fishing enthusiasts who want to catch dolly varden and rainbow trout, or go salmon fishing for sockeye, pink, silver and king salmon, guests can utilize the expertise of a Kenai River fishing guide, or go on a customized fishing adventure. The lodge is also popular for weddings and family reunions, with the property’s beautiful, spacious outdoor areas and a host of amenities.
This premier, full-service destination lodge in Halibut Cove sits adjacent to Kachemak Bay State Park. The remote property offers the chance to experience the “real Alaska,” far off the beaten path, yet in a luxurious way. The timber framed lodge is considered an architectural gem and boasts 360 degree wrap-around decks with impressive vistas that include soaring mountains, beaches, the ocean, saltwater estuaries and more. Rates include three gourmet meals each day and a wealth of activities, all set among unrivaled scenery. Enjoy world-class halibut fishing, paddling among icebergs, hiking to glaciers and observing a host of wildlife, from bears, moose, and wolves to caribou, mountain goats and more. Along its coastline, a remarkable variety of marine life can be viewed as well, including whales, porpoise, and sea otters.
The Seward Windsong Lodge is a full-service lodge set in a glacier valley and surrounded by dense forest on the banks of Resurrection River. While you’ll feel like your miles from the “real world,” a free shuttle provides access into Seward, just four miles away. Spend a day enjoying some of the best the Alaskan wilderness has to offer, from backcountry hiking to kayaking the fjords, and then return to feed your appetite at the Resurrection Roadhouse, famous for its gourmet menu, with plenty of local, sustainable wild Alaska seafood and an extensive wine list, as well as its jaw-dropping views. Afterward, look forward to returning to your room and falling asleep to the sounds of the river.
Kenai Princess Lodge sits along the banks of the Kenai River. Teeming with trophy-sized fish, it offers the ultimate stay for those looking for that ideal catch, along with easy access to Kenai Fjords National Park. Expert staff can arrange fishing tours as well as nature hikes, river rafting, and wildlife viewing cruises through Resurrection Bay, and guests can also kayak through Kenai Lake, while learning about the local history, surrounding mountain range and the floral and fauna of the region. With activities for kids available too, it’s ideal for bringing the whole family. The lodge features naturally finished wood vaulted ceilings, and each bungalow-style guest room features a wood-burning stove, and a private porch, making it ideal to return to for relaxing after a long day. There’s a deck for soaking up amazing views of the Kenai River Valley, the mountains beyond the the river itself, as well as fine dining at the Eagle Crest Restaurant, which offers more incredible views along with exceptional cuisine.
The Land’s End Resort is situated at the very tip of the Homer Spit, boasting spectacular views of Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountain Range. The only hotel on the Spit, it sits right at water’s edge, providing guests immediate access to walks along the beachand sightings of whales, seals, otters and bald eagles, as well as being just a short jaunt from the harbor, which houses the famous “Salty Dawg Saloon” and a wealth of arts and craft shops. Enjoy soaking in the oceanfront hot tub, watching the boats head out to sea, and indulging in treatments at the Land’s End Spa, with its menu including herbal wraps, facials, massage and more. The property’s Chart Room Restaurant is one of the most popular eateries in Homer, featuring local salmon, halibut and oysters, and when you want to enjoy an outdoor adventure, take advantage of the staff’s local knowledge to help you book an excursion.