Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

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Kenai

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Kenai

Located in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai has long been defined at least in part by its river, the Kenai River, which continues to draw thousands of people to its shores each year to harvest its bounty of salmon.

Four volcanoes stand sentinel

Kenai's rare beauty is set like a jewel in a historically significant and activity-rich region.

Catch a fish and a cultural lesson

Located in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai has long been defined at least in part by its river, the Kenai River, which continues to draw thousands of people to its shores each year to harvest its bounty of salmon.

While salmon fishing — be it with a hook or a net — will always be a big part of Kenai’s culture, there’s more to this city than fish. Start your visit at the Kenai Bicentennial Visitors and Cultural Center and you’ll start to see why.

The center, constructed in 1992, offers visitors a look at the many creatures that call this area home, from caribou to musk ox. The center is a good starting spot for an exploration into the Dena’ina Athabaskan culture, which has thrived in the Kenai area for thousands of years. The Dena’ina population, still present in the area, was about 1,000 people strong in 1741 when Russian fur traders first made their way there.

From the visitors’ center, a walking tour through Old Town Kenai is highly recommended. The historic area overlooking the river mouth is home to buildings dating back to the arrival of Russian traders, including a Russian Orthodox Church built in 1894. Several homesteader cabins are also in the area, giving visitors a taste of what early life was like for Kenai’s hardy settlers.

Once you are well versed in Kenai’s history, there are plenty of present-day activities to keep you busy. Kenai’s beach and riverfront offer lots of strolling opportunities with scenic vistas of volcanoes across Cook Inlet. Toward the middle of July, the area becomes a hotbed of activity as Alaskan’s vie to harvest around 100,000 sockeye salmon from the river with nets. The subsistence fishery is open to residents only but a must-see if you are in the area during that time.

For those wishing to try their hand at fishing with a rod and a reel, anglers can target fish including the world’s largest salmon, the king salmon, which can weigh up to nearly 100 pounds. Information about permits and regulations can be found at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website, and there are also many guided fishing trips available in the area.

Kenai is also a hub community for many outlying areas and as such provides ample shopping, dining and accommodation options as well as festivals and events throughout the year.

KENAI ATTRACTIONS

THE KENAI VISITORS & CULTURAL CENTER
A hub for information and cultural, historical and wildlife education.
Where: 11471 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai
When: Year-round. Memorial Day-Labor Day: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Labor Day-Memorial Day: Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sundays and Monday.
Cost: Free except ticketed events
Phone: 907-283-1991
Web: www.visitkenai.com

OLD TOWN KENAI
A free map for a self-guided walking tour can be picked up at the Kenai Visitor Center.
Where: Map begins at the Kenai Visitors& Cultural Center, 11471 Kenai Spur Highway
When: Year-round
Cost: Free
Phone: 907-283-1991
Web: www.visitkenai.com

HOLY ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970, it is said to be the oldest standing Orthodox church in Alaska.
Where: 1106 Mission Ave.
When: Year-round; Memorial Day-Labor Day 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; call for other visitation times
Cost: Free (donations accepted)
Phone: 907-283-4122
Web: On Facebook as Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church Kenai
AK

KENAI RIVER FLATS /BIRDING PLATFORM
A 360-degree saltwater marsh observation deck with a telescope and views of the Kenai River, Kenai Bluffs and volcanoes.
Where: Bridge Access Road, Kenai and Port of Kenai
When: Year-round
Cost: Free

CAPTAIN COOK STATE PARK
A 3,460-acre park 25 miles north of Kenai with lakes, rivers and Cook Inlet and featuring many outdoor activities, including camping
Where: Milepost 36, North Kenai Road
When: Year-round
Cost: Parking fee, $5; overnight camping,$12 per campsite
Phone: 907-262-5581, camping information 907-511-8368, 907-748-2553
Web: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/captcook.htm
For information on other parks and charts of the services available at each one, visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspbro/charts/kenkenai.htm

KENAI EVENTS CALENDAR

“CELEBRATION OF WILDLIFE ART” SUMMER SHOW
An exhibit of more than 100 premier wildlife paintings by more than 30 top American wildlife artists.
When: April 27-Labor Day
Where: Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center, 11471 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai
Cost: $5 for adults; $3 for seniors; kids under 18 free
Phone: 907-283-1991
Web: www.visitkenai.com

KENAI PENINSULA BIRDFESTIVAL 2013
Events and activities celebrating the extraordinary birds of the central Kenai Peninsula
When: May 2013
Where: Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center,
11471 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, and other locations for events during the three-day festival
Cost: Free; call to register and sign up for special activities
Phone: 907-260-5449, Kenai Watershed Forum
Web: www.kenaibirdfest.com

KENAI PENINSULA AIR FAIR
Fun Flight runs among eight different airports, ending in Kenai with a barbeque.
When: June 8, breakfast 8-11 a.m., barbecue 1-3 p.m.
Where: Starts at Soldotna Municipal Airport and ends at Kenai Municipal Airport
Cost: Varies according to participation, see website for details
Phone: 907-283-7951
Web: www.kenaiairport.com

THE KENAI FOURTH OFJULY PARADE
A parade, fireworks, fun and food for the whole family.
When: July 4 (call or check website for event times)
Where: Main Street Loop, Kenai Green Strip Park
Cost: Free
Phone: 907-283-7989, Kenai Chamber of Commerce
Web: http://www.kenaichamber.org

KENAI RIVER MARATHON
Annual marathon to improve city parks and bring recreational activities’ awareness to the community. Registration required.
When: Sept. 29
Where: Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center
Web: kenairivermarathon.org

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