After a long winter and a brisk spring, the urge to get outside and enjoy some fresh Alaskan air is undeniably attractive to locals and visitors alike. When it’s time to soak up the sun, the City of Kenai is a top-notch place to do so.
Whether it’s fishing for fresh Alaskan sea life, enjoying a picnic on a scenic hike, or appreciating the Kenai Peninsula’s extraordinary landscapes, no matter your preferred type of adventure or activity level, Kenai has something to offer for everyone in the summer months.
Here are top ten things to do in Kenai during the summer to get your body moving and your soul soaring.
Hit the Beach With a Kite in Hand
In 2019, the City of Kenai held their first-ever Kenai Kite Festival. Despite a setback in 2020 due to Covid-19, North Beach Kenai makes for a great afternoon of kiting, lounging, and grounding.
While Kenai Beach may be most known for dipnetting during the salmon run, it also offers stunning sunsets and a gorgeous mountain-filled backdrop for optimal relaxation. Fly a kite, roast some hot dogs, and ride a fat bike to get the most out of Kenai’s beaches in the summertime.
Enjoy Local Goods In Old Town Kenai
Formerly known as Kenai Saturday Market, Old Town Marketplace exhibits local businesses with a variety of vendors. Located in front of the Kenai Visitor Center, local artists, creators, restaurants, and more take over every Saturday throughout the summer. Grab some lunch, listen to music, and let the kids run around the park while supporting local businesses surrounded by fresh air and sunshine!
Take A Self-Guided Tour Through History
Starting at the Visitor Center, take a leisurely stroll through Old Town Kenai and visit several landmarks along the way. As the original town site on the bluffs overlooking the mouth of the Kenai River, you can expect to see a variety of historical sites. Some of these landmarks include old homesteaders’ cabins, the Holy Assumption Russian Orthodox Church built in 1894, and the Kenai Fine Arts Center, a building that was once the fire station and jail.
Play a Picturesque Game of Golf
What’s better than playing 18 holes on a beautiful summer day? Playing golf with a view. The Kenai Golf Course is a full-service 18-hole course with a clubhouse that offers rental equipment, merchandise, and a snack bar. In the midst of Kenai’s alluring surroundings, not only will you be captivated by the natural landscape, but you’re likely to see Alaskan wildlife during your game– Keep an eye out for moose, caribou, eagles, ducks, cranes, and possibly even a bear!
Go Fishing on a World Famous River
There may be plenty of other activities to do in Kenai during the summer, but for the most authentic experience, river fishing is a must. Unlike any other river in the world, the Kenai River has an incredible variety and consistency of fishing in the short summer season. Whether you’re an experienced angler, or a first-timer with your choice of fishing guides, you’ll enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Kenai River.
Exercise With a Purpose
Since 2018, TRASHercise has taken place every Tuesday through July and August. The weekly event is open to runners, walkers, or fat bikers to promote beach litter cleanup. Volunteers receive everything they need including supplies, training, and volunteer campsites. Not only will you get your move on, you’ll also enjoy spending time on Kenai Beach or Parks and Rec trail system.
View Kenai from a Different Perspective
Take part in one of Alaska’s most popular modes of transportation: an air charter. See your favorite sights from above on a sightseeing expedition flight with Kenai Aviation. You’ll be sure to see plenty of wildlife, mountain ranges, glaciers, and more! Want to get around the Kenai Peninsula without driving? Kenai Aviation also offers charters to just about anywhere your heart desires.
Have a Picnic on a Hiking Trail
With more than 5 miles of walking trails and 3.2 miles of Nordi ski trails connected to an 8.75 mile paved trail, you have options. Take a leisurely stroll through Erik Hansen Scout Park for an unforgettable view of Alaska’s annual fishing frenzy with bald eagles circling high overhead. Need a more accessible trail? The Unity Trail is an easy path that can take you from one city to the next.
Don’t be surprised by how much fun you have while bird-watching in the Kenai area. With over 120 species in the area, you’ll be fascinated by how many birds you never knew existed. For a truly marvelous birding experience, stop at Kenai River Flats. This state recreation site has convenient amenities including parking, picnic tables, outhouses, and more, making it easy to head to the boardwalk and look through the viewing telescope.
Win a Fishing Derby
End your summer on a high-note with the annual Kenai Silver Salmon Derby. Named “The World’s Most Responsible Fishing Tournament,” this annual September event helps raise funds for the Kenai River and conservation efforts while having a blast on the Kenai River. The Kenai Silver Salmon Derby is a family-friendly event for residents and visitors to enjoy the great outdoors before the season officially ends.