As the sister city of Kenai, the town of Soldotna is in many ways the heart of the Kenai Peninsula. As proof of its fishing mecca status, the 97-lb world record salmon was caught here; you’ll find more elevated fishing platforms here than anywhere else, which helps protect the waters for fish and anglers to come.
One hundred forty miles from Anchorage, Soldotna offers pretty much any activity that fits with the Kenai’s “playground” vibe, since a number of tour operators work out of Soldotna: you can go canoeing, horseback riding, berry picking, rafting and flightseeing.
The wildlife-spotting possibilities make up a greatest-hits list for Alaska, too: You can drive a few miles to the mouth of the Kenai River to watch for white Beluga whales, or dip into the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where you can see moose, caribou, bears, wolves and more. There are also plenty of modern diversions, from golf, movie theatres and a carousel carved from recycled, beetle-killed spruce.
Highlights of visiting here:
- Fishing mecca
- Visiting the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Center
- Bear viewing & flightseeing tours