10. Take a self-guided tour down memory lane with the Old Town Walking Tour. Maps are available at the Kenai Visitors Center. All history buffs will love Kenai’s Old Town!
11. The Russian Orthodox Church is a sign of beauty to behold. Established in 1791, Russian Orthodox still have services there every week.
12. Visit the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center and see some of the most astounding wildlife displays. Don’t forget your camera. Movie showings are also available.
13. Drive to Captain Cook State Park at the end of Kenai Spur Highway for spectacular views of Cook Inlet, surrounding mountains and if the weather permits, a glimpse of Denali. As well as the mountain views, you can see offshore oil platforms, beluga whales and a beautiful assortment of birds. The beaches are popular with Agate hunters, and there are campsites available.
14. The Kenai River Caribou Herd likes to hang out at the Kenai Flats. Drive down Bridge Access Road with your camera and keep an eye out; they blend into the scenery! These Caribou are protected by Fish and Game.
15. The Bluff, in Old Town, is one of the greatest beaches in Kenai. This beach has one of the fastest tides in the world! Soft sand, shells and a wonderful view of the mountain range.
16. Stroll through Kenai City Gardens and Parks. Leif Hansen Memorial Park is located inside the city limits on Kenai Spur Highway. Cunningham Park, located off Beaver Loop Road, is excellent for viewing the Kenai River and Beluga whales.
17. Beluga Whales can best be viewed at the Bluff in Old Town, within an hour or two before or after high tide. Don’t forget your binoculars!
1. A glimpse into early day Soldotna life can be seen at the Soldotna Historical Museum and Historic Village, where Homesteader cabins and artifacts are displayed.
2. Stop by the Soldotna Visitor Information Center for free brochures, maps & information on local communities and a calendar of local events. After viewing the world-class photo display you can take a picture of the world record King Salmon caught right here in our own Kenai River. The coffee pot is always on!
3. Visit the National Wildlife Refuge Center and take a guided or unguided walk along the marked trails to Headquarters Lake. Bring your camera, as there may be Alaskan wildlife! There are movies about Alaska and Alaskan wildlife that play hourly.
4. Talk a walk down the Kenai River Classic Fish Walk, located just down the steps from the Visitors Center. Pack a picnic lunch and eat out on the sun deck, or drop a line and you may catch the fish of the day!
5. Drive down to Bridge Access and experience the breathtaking views of our active volcanoes! Mt. Spurr, Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Iliamna and on a very clear day you can see Mt. Augustine.
6. Six miles west of Soldotna on Bridge Access Rd., bird watchers can delight in the Canadian Geese, Snow Geese and wide variety of shore birds that call the Kenai Flats home during the summer months. There is a telescope on the outlook point to view these birds at this important staging and feeding area.
7. Visit the local city parks along the river – and don’t forget your fishing pole so you can experience how nice our fishing boardwalks are. Binoculars are also a necessity as bald eagles are always fishing for their dinner!
8. At our local Wells Fargo Bank, you will find loads of Soldotna history perched upon the walls.
9. Visit the B.E.A.C.H.M. Fishery in Kasilof, just 25 miles south of Soldotna. This tour gives you a history of the areas’ commercial fishery. Call 907-262-3233 for a free tour!
18. Tour the historical Ninilchik Village and see the first Russian School House, the Melania Curtis Home, the Ninilchik Village Cache, the Village Store, the Sorensen/Tupper Home, Bud Dietz Home and the Old Red House. All of these buildings were built in the late 1800’s.
19. Hike the Resurrection Trail to a wonderful waterfall called Juneau Falls. During the hike you may encounter wildlife such as Dall sheep, hoary marmots, black or brown bears, countless bird species and maybe even Caribou!
20. Take a walk up to Russian River Falls, where you will witness hundreds of airborne salmon powering their way up the falls to their spawning grounds.
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – The beautifully eerie aurora borealis was long one of nature’s mysteries, now solved by matter-of-fact scientists who explain how gas particles in the upper atmosphere are struck by solar electrons trapped in the earth’s magnetic field, producing the strange lights. Your best chance to see an aurora display is in the spring or fall, although spectacular lights may occur on dark nights throughout the winter. Bore-Tide – This high and extremely dangerous wave caused by the surge of flood tide upstream in a narrow estuary like Turnagain Arm will look to you like a wave approaching the shore.
Glaciers – 28,800 square miles or 4.9% of the state of Alaska is covered by ice fields. Most glaciers are found in the Alaska Range, the Wrangell Mountains and the Coast, St. Elias, Chugach and Kenai Mountains. Why are glaciers blue? The weight of the accumulated snow forces out any air bubbles, creating compressed ice crystals, which absorb most colors of the spectrum but reflect blue. Portage, Matanuska, Columbia, Knik and Eagle Glaciers are in the Anchorage area.
Hoar Frost – Alaskans have giving this name to the crystal-like condensation that forms on any surface whenever the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Permafrost – This is permanently frozen ground lying a few inches to a few feet beneath much of Alaska. Surprisingly enough, it can be of any natural material: sand, soil, or even solid rock. A thin layer of tundra usually covers permafrost.
Tundra – Areas in Alaska with cool temperatures, frequent winds and moisture-retaining soils will frequently support tundra, a low-growing vegetation.
Calendar Of Events
January – Quintessential Kenai Artist’s Reception, T200 Sled Dog Race, Peninsula Winter Games
February – Annual She Can Ski fundraiser event, Winter Fun Day at Kenai Wildlife Refuge, Fishin’ Chix Ice Fishing Derby, Island Lake Ice Fishing Tournament, Annual Taste of the Kenai
March – St. Patrick’s Day Annual Parade, Annual March for Meals Pie Auction & Dinner, Spring Extravaganza
April – Spring Carnival, Easter Egg-stravaganza. Annual Home Show, Ice Skating Competition
May – Kenai Peninsula Sport Rec & Trade Show, Kenai Birding Festival, Annual Appreciation Car Show, Lemonade Day Alaska, Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
June – American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Kenai River Festival, Summer Solstice Music Festival, Annual Quilting on the Kenai, Funny River Community Garage Sale, Salmon Classic Kickoff
July – Annual World Series Baseball Event, Sawfest, Stanley Ford Car Show, Soldotna Progress Days, Rodeo,
August – Salmonstock Music Festival, Kenai Peninsula Annual Run for Women, Kenai Peninsula Fair, Funny River Festival, Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival, Fishin’ Chix Fishing Rodeo
September – Alaska State Fair, Kenai River Women’s Classic, Geocache Rally, Kenai River Marathon
October – Annual Beer & Wine Extravaganza – Kenai Lumberjack Jam
November – Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula, Christmas Comes to Kenai
December – Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration