Cooper Landing  spreads out over a seven-mile stretch that centers around Mile 50 of the Sterling Highway. Lodging options are listed from east to west. On the eastern end of Cooper Landing at Mile 45, Sunrise Inn (907/595-1222, www.alaskasunriseinn.com , year-round) has a full-service restaurant, a bar, an RV park ($25 with electricity only), a gas station, and a motel ($134 d). The lakeside location is especially pleasant.
Primarily for cruise passengers, Kenai Princess Lodge (907/595-1425 or 800/426-0500, www.princesslodges.com , mid-May–mid-Sept., $249 d), near the Kenai River bridge at Mile 48, overlooks the roiling turquoise water of the river and features a restaurant, a lounge, a half-mile nature trail, and a gift shop. Bungalow-style guest rooms have a sitting area, a wood-burning stove, a TV, a phone, and a small private deck. Two large hot tubs and saunas add to the appeal.
TroutFitters Alpine Motel (907/595-1212, www.aktroutfitters.com , May–Oct., $129–149 d), at Mile 48, has a dozen kitchenette units, offers fly-fishing instruction, has a fly shop, and rents fishing gear and waders. Nearby is Cooper Landing Grocery (907/595-1677), and a short distance up the road is Drifters Lodge (907/595-5555 or 866/595-5959, www.drifterslodge.com , Apr.–mid-Oct.), with modern chalet-cabins ($300 d) containing fridges and microwaves, along with shared-bath guest rooms ($150–200 d) in the lodge. A big breakfast, sauna access, and Wi-Fi are included in these rates.
Located on the western edge of “town” at Mile 52, Gwin’s Lodge (907/595-1266, www.gwinslodge.com , Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 6 a.m.–midnight late May–early Sept., $11–19) is a classic Alaskan eatery (since 1952) and a great place to pick up tips from the anglers while enjoying down-home cooking, especially the salmon chowder, burgers, and carrot cake. Various lodging choices are available at Gwin’s, but are not recommended. The store sells groceries, sodas, beer, lattes, gifts, and fishing licenses, and you can also buy or rent fishing gear, including poles and hip waders.
Upper Kenai River Inn (907/595-3333, www.upperkenairiverinn.com , $150–200 d) is a spacious and modern riverside home with four guest rooms. Breakfast is included.
Alaska Wildland Adventures (www.alaskawildland.com ) operates two Kenai Peninsula  lodges. Located in Cooper Landing , Kenai River Sportfishing Lodge (907/595-1279 or 800/478-4100) has a variety of all-inclusive fishing, food, and lodging packages; a three-night stay is $1,525 per person. More unique is Kenai Backcountry Lodge (907/783-2928 or 800/334-8730), hidden away on Skilak Lake and accessible only by boat. Accommodations are comfortably rustic tent cabins and log cabins, with a central bathhouse and lodge. All-inclusive stays—featuring kayaking and hiking—start at $975 per person for two nights.