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Visiting Kenai, Alaska

Visitor Information | Newspaper | Lodging | Camping
Food | Sightseeing | Internet Access | Transportation | Hospital

While not as cosmopolitan as its neighbor to the south, Homer, Kenai offers a different kind of glimpse into the past from many of Alaska's historical towns. As the second oldest permanent settlement in Alaska, Kenai's roots lie first in the Russian fur trade, and later in the oil discoveries of the late 1950s.

One of the main attractions of Kenai is its fishing opportunities along the Kenai River where Alaska Salmon are bountiful. The serious fisherman should seek out on of the many fishing tours and charters that Kenai offers, to make sure that you are visiting all of the best spots. One of the largest operators is the Alaska Sport Lodge, which conducts trips of varying lengths for all kinds of salmon and rainbow trout, as well as fly-out trips for giant halibut.

The Kenai Landing activity center is a must-see attraction in Kenai. It is a top destination for weddings and events on the peninsula, but the passing-through traveler can enjoy the restaurants and marketplace, as well as some of the guided tours of the surrounding bay and wilderness areas. Kenai Landing also plays host to seasonal arts and cultural events, particularly in the summertime.

If it's art that you're after, the Kenai Visitor's Bureau offering "First Friday" exhibition, featuring a new gallery show every first Friday of the month as well as a permanent collection of natural history and native artifacts.

Of course, you won't need to visit the lodges or museums to get a taste for the rich history of Kenai. The town offers many opportunities for walking tours of nearby landmarks, such as Fort Kenay, one of the oldest military installations on the Kenai Peninsula and the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church, one of the oldest in Alaska. The church still holds services every Sunday, but visitors can see Russian icons and 19th century bibles from Monday through Saturday.

Outside of the "Old Town" Kenai is a different kind of walking tour, along "The Bluff" of the Kenai River. From hear you can see spectacular views of the mouth of the Kenai and the mountains of the Cook Inlet, or stop nearby at the Beluga Whale Lookout in the early summer to catch a glimpse of the white whales.

Access to Kenai by RV is via the Sterling Highway to the Kenai Spur Highway.

Population: 7,686
Location: Cook Inlet, just above the mouth of the Kenai River
Annual Precipitation: 19.2 inches
July Average: Temperature 62°F; precipitation 1.97 inches


Visitors Center
Phone: (907) 283-1991

Kenai Chamber of Commerce
Address: 402 Overland Ave., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-7989


Peninsula Clarion
Address: PO Box 3009, Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-7551


Katmai Pines Lodge
Address: 260 South Willow Street
Phone: (907) 283-6101

The Merit Inn both have rooms starting around $80/night during the summer, and $50/night+ during the winter.

If you really want to splurge, try Kings Inn with 2 queen beds, refrigerator, microwave, & cable TV for $69.50/night.


The Duck Inn
Address: 43187 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Soldotna, AK
Phone: (907) 262-1849
Rates: July - $109-$119; Oct.-Apr. - $49-$59

Historic Kenai Landing
Address: 2101 Bowpicker Ln., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 335-2500
Rates: See website.

Aspen Hotel Soldotna
Address: 326 Binley Circle, Soldotna, AK
Phone: (907) 260-7736 / (888) 308-7848
Rates: See website.

Great Alaska Adventure Lodge
Address: Moose River, 33881 Sterling Hwy., Sterling, AK
Phone: (907)262-4515
Rates: See website.

Harborside Cottages B & B
Address: 13 Riverview Dr. (PO Box 942), Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-6162 / (888) 283-6162
Rates: See website.

Log Cabin Inn
Address: 49860 Eider Rd. (PO Box 2886), Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-3653
Rates: See website.

All Seasons B & B
Address: 37915 Loriwood Dr., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-7050
Rates: See website.

Uptown Motel
Address: 47 Spur View Dr., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-3660 / (800) 777-3650
Rates: See website.

Best Western King Salmon Motel
Address: 35546-A Kenai Spur Hwy., Soldotna, AK
Phone: (907) 262-5857 / (888) 262-5857
Rates: See website.


Captain Cook State Recreation Area
Address: End of North Road, Nikiski
Phone: (907) 262-5581
Rates: See website.

Beluga Lookout Lodge & RV Park
Address: 929 Mission Pkwy., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-5999
Rates: See website.

The Recreation Center
Address: 227 Caviar Street
Phone: (907) 283-3855
Note: Has great deals on the use of their facilities. Racquetball courts cost $8-10/hour; weight room use is $3/day; or $1 will get you in to use the gymnasium. Showers are included in the racquetball and weight room rates.

QUICK KENAI FACT - The roots of the name Kenai is either from the Russian word Kenayskya meaning "flat, barren land" or Kenai, the Inuit word "kenai" for bear.


Charlotte's Bakery, Cafe, Espresso
Address: 115 S. Willow, Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-2777

Sal's Klondike Diner
Address: 44619 Sterling Hwy., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 262-2220

Address: 35041 Kenai Spur Hwy., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 256-4305

Paradisos (several locations)
Phone: (907) 283-2222

Suzie's Cafe
Address: Mile 87.2, Sterling Hwy., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 260-5751

Buckets Sports Grill
Address: 43960 Sterling Hwy., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 262.7220


Holy Assumption Russian Orthodox Church
Address: 1106 Mission Ave., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-4122


Kenai Public Library
Address: 163 Main St. Loop, Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-4378


Car Rentals:

Hertz, Avis, Budget & Payless @ Kenai Airport

Alaska Cab
Phone: (907) 283-6000 (Kenai)
Phone: (907) 262-1555 (Soldotna)


Kenai Municipal Airport
Address: 427 N. Willow St., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 283-7951


Central Peninsula General
Address: 130 S. Willow St., Kenai, AK
Phone: (907) 262-4404


The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is the ideal place to see animals of all species; birds, fish and mammals all take up residence in this habitat. Whether it's black bear, brown bear, moose, coyote or mountain goat, the Refuge is full of creatures big and small. While many may prefer the more easily accessible spots for animal viewing, taking a nature hike or hoping in a canoe will take you closer to the action, where less trafficked areas make for easier viewing.

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