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These twin towns are situated on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. Soldotna (pop. 4,000) straddles the Sterling Highway for a mile or so, and is a popular stop for food and supplies. The broad mix of businesses includes a large Fred Meyer store, fast food restaurants, hotels, grocers, and fishing supply shops. A bridge over the Kenai River is on the west end of town, with a large visitor center right on the riverbanks. The river is especially popular for salmon fishing in the summer months, and local businesses offer guided float trips and other activities. The town of Kenai (pop. 7,000) is 10 miles to the north. Established by ...

These twin towns are situated on the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage. Soldotna (pop. 4,000) straddles the Sterling Highway for a mile or so, and is a popular stop for food and supplies. The broad mix of businesses includes a large Fred Meyer store, fast food restaurants, hotels, grocers, and fishing supply shops. A bridge over the Kenai River is on the west end of town, with a large visitor center right on the riverbanks. The river is especially popular for salmon fishing in the summer months, and local businesses offer guided float trips and other activities. The town of Kenai (pop. 7,000) is 10 miles to the north. Established by Russian fur traders in 1791, Kenai has a couple of historic structures from that era, and a beautiful beach backed by low dunes. Twenty-five miles north of Kenai is a pleasant place to explore: Captain Cook State Recreation Area. Stop by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Soldotna. The refuge (a few miles to the east) has outstanding hiking, camping, and fishing, with hordes of salmon fishermen lining the Kenai River banks all summer.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is when everything happens, especially during the peak of the salmon run in July and August.