Old Town Kenai
Old Town Kenai information
From the visitors center, follow Overland Ave west to what locals refer to as ‘Old Town’ – an odd amalgam of historic structures and low-rent apartments, all stupendously situated high above the mouth of the Kenai River. You can pick up a free Walking Tour pamphlet at the visitors center.
Near Cook Inlet, the US military established Fort Kenay in 1867 and stationed more than 100 men here. What stands today is a replica constructed as part of the Alaska Centennial in 1967. It’s not open to the public.
Across Mission St from the fort is the ornate Russian Orthodox Church , a white-clapboard structure topped with baby blue onion domes. Built in 1895, it’s the oldest Orthodox church on mainland Alaska. It was renovated in 2009. Staff at the visitor center can call to check the hours for you. West of the church overlooking the water is St Nicholas Chapel , built in 1906 on the burial site of Father Igumen Nicolai, Kenai’s first resident priest.
Head southeast on Mission St, and you’ll be traveling along the Bluff , a good vantage point to view the mouth of the Kenai River or the mountainous terrain on the west side of Cook Inlet. Look for belugas in the late spring and early summer.