A couple of friends of mine had stayed at the Log Cabin Inn before and recommended it. It is south of Kenai on the Kalifornsky Beach Road. I thought about staying there when I was planning my trip to Alaska but the Red Cabin B&B was less expensive and both were outside of town. I did stop to take some pictures as I headed south to Homer.
John and Jacquie have a beautiful home on top of a hill in the forest. The living room and dining room have a whole wall of windows with a spectacular view. There is also a deck around two sides of the house. John himself built much of the house, the horse barn and his boat.
When I was making my Alaska reservations in Mar 07 for Aug 07, all the regularly recommended places in Kenai were already either full or charging 50% more than their normal prices. I believe they expected a salmon run that weekend (turned out to be over when I was actually there). I looked on Google Earth and found the Red Cabin B&B. Sometimes life makes you do good things. I e-mailed them. They were full also but offered to let me stay in their guest room in the main house. This already tells you much about John and Jacquie Steckel, and things only got better!
Not only did I get to stay in their beautiful guest room, but Jacquie invited me to the dinner they were giving for the people in the cabins that evening. Jacquie's baked halibut was the best halibut I had on the whole trip. Who said former school district superintendents cannot cook? It turns out that John studied genetics and played water polo in college; however, his real expertise is that he can build anything (e.g. boat, house, barn, tire wall, rock walls). I also found out what Alaskans do in the winter...they read. They recommended many books in their library to me. John and Jacquie are two very charming people that now run an outstanding B&B. When I had to leave the next morning, I was wishing that I had planned to stay longer.
The Red Cabin B&B is located on a beautiful 20 acres on a hill between Soldotna and Kenai. They have horses and, had the weather not been bad, I think the views would have been spectacular. Because they were in use, I did not see the inside of the cabins but they were nice from the outside and I am certain were the same inside. Pillars boat launch on the Kenai River is just 5 minutes away.
Living so close to here, I haven't stayed personally, but I have scouted it out and find it to be a great little place to camp. It's located right by the services in Hope but it's also on the water. Since the road takes you about 18 miles off the highway and the town only has 140 or so people, it has to be pretty quiet. The Seaview Cafe allows for parking and camping but you also have options of US forest service sites in the area. Beyond the Seaview, theres Porcupine Campground with 24 sites, trails, drinking water, overlooks and views of Turnagain Arm. Those sites are $10 a night.
The area is very pretty and quiet. You don't have to hike out but you're still well off the highway. Other Turnagain arm locations are right along the Seward and are at times, very windy. While I can see this area getting muddy, it wasn't breezy when we were there.
Magnificent hotel/lodge surounded by the most amazing vegetation and river. A nice place to stop on your way between Seward and Anchorage. The rooms are very cozy, all wooden, with a fireplace. And a nice jacuzzi. I loved it.
It's an easy to find--little known, though, 'cept to a few locals (because I asked!)--small campground right in town on the main stretch, right up the street from a KMart, fast fooderies, and next to a ball field. Tent space, picnic tables, barbecue/fire pits, and an outhouse close to the entrance. Big enough to park one's truck.
It was surprisingly quiet, when my daughter and I camped out there in late July, even with all of the traffic on the main thoroughfare. It was inexpensive, too--only $8/night but with a two or three night limitation. There are plenty of hotels/motels around--King's Inn being one--but for us, this was ideal. We could run down and fish, grab a pizza if we felt like it, or picnic at the beach or cook at our camp site.
Well, when we were in the Kenai area, we visited and stayed in a city called Homer which is opposite Seward, and south of Kenai. The name of the place we stayed was 'A room with a view' and it had the most beautiful harbor views along with a massive amount of moose poop!
The Bay View was great for it's view of the bay, and Seekins was great for the moose being everywhere. The fun part was the giftshop/local store that was right around the corner from our Inn. Inside, they sold train whistles and moose poop chocolates! I was a kid, give me a break.
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