Best new wilderness escape: Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
Why we love it: Think of Kenai Fjords as the best of Alaska compressed into 1,046 square miles (roughly a quarter of the size of L.A. County).
Icy blue fjords? Check. Glaciers? Check. Whales, bears, sea otters? Check, check, and check.
Three years ago, Alaska Wildland Adventures added the only thing Kenai was missing: a nice place to stay. The lodge’s woodsy main building and 16 boardwalk-linked cabins sit on the shore of Pedersen Lagoon, off Aialik Bay. Getting there requires a four-hour boat trip from Seward, which doubles as a whale-watching trip. Once there, options include guided hikes, canoeing, or simply relaxing on the porch, waiting for dinner—menu standouts include olive oil–poached halibut and caribou medallions—and admiring how Alaska has made itself so comfortable for you.
Don’t miss: Spotting otters, seals, and calving glaciers on guided kayak trips. A 2-day/1-night stay is $650, including Seward boat, meals, and activities; kenaifjordsglacierlodge.com