If you’re looking for an outdoorsy, nature-filled place full of wildlife for your next vacation, head to Soldotna, Alaska. There are so many activities you can partake in as you explore the breathtaking land. Popular choices include fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, and hunting. Make sure to take your camera along as you explore the beauty of places like the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Soldotna Creek Park, and Centennial Park.
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1.Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
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The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which in whole protects over 150 million acres of Alaska’s awe-inspiring land, waters, and all the wildlife that resides within them. At the refuge, you will be able to see, do, and learn so much about the inspiring and wild spirit of your surroundings. Visitors can partake in various outdoor adventures such as hiking, cross country skiing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, and of course, world class fishing. You will make memories of a lifetime as you explore the refuge, hiking high into the alpine tundra or canoeing on the emerald waters of the Kenai River.
1 Skihill Road, Soldotna, AK 99669
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2.Soldotna Historical Society & Museum
© Soldotna Historical Society & Museum
The Soldotna Historical Society & Museum is an outdoor space comprising a historic log village. Groomed paths will take visitors through several of the log structures such as the large territorial school which was built in 1958; you can still see the hanging gas lanterns which provided light to study by. Another structure is Damon Hall, which has an amazing mural and a large collection of wildlife mounts. You will come across several photographs and artifacts in a structure that was once the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce log tourist center. If you keep following the trails, you’ll be taken toward the Centennial Campground where you’ll see panoramic views of the famed Kenai River.
461 Centennial Park Rd, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-3832
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Centennial Park and Campground offers a little bit of Alaskan wilderness right in the heart of the city. The heavily wooded park runs alongside the Kenai River and houses approximately 176 designated campsites. Many of the campsites may be fitted with, or have access to, restrooms, boat launches, fish cleaning stations, picnic tables, and fire pits. Even the day visitors can enjoy picnicking, boating, and fishing for some of the best red, silver, and king salmon on the entire river. You can even go fishing without a boat as the park has over 650 feet of elevated boardwalk that has access to the river.
349 Centennial Park Rd, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-5299
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4.Soldotna Creek Park
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Often called “the community backyard”, Soldotna Creek Park is where residents and visitors head to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors. You will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery as you walk the park’s boardwalks and gravel paths. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it with a blanket, at their large pavilion, or on the benches overlooking the gorgeous view of the azure Kenai River, the hills of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. There are many events and concerts held there throughout the year, including the award-winning, family-friendly Frozen Riverfest. Their weekly Wednesday Market attracts craft and food vendors from all over the area, making it a great place to try some local foods and purchase a souvenir or two.
251 States Ave, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-3151
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With amenities such as playgrounds, green space, pavilions, and restrooms, Farnsworth Park has become a popular place to spend a day when in Soldotna. The park’s main focus is on being an imaginative and inspiration place for children to play and be worry-free. Children never want to leave as they swing, slide, and climb atop the many playground structures - which is a great way for them to be outdoors and get some fresh air. Plan a day of fun, pick a nice grassy area, and have a picnic to ensure that everyone in the family has a wonderful time on one of Alaska’ long sunlit days.
148 S Birch Ln, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-3151
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6.Tsalteshi Cross Country Ski Trails
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Nordic skiing is a fun way to enjoy yourself while getting a workout on your own or with the family, and that is exactly the reason why the non-profit Tsalteshi Trails Association opened up the Tsalteshi Cross Country Ski Trails. There are two trailheads, which lead to over fifteen miles of groomed trails that you can take advantage of in the winter. The excitement doesn’t stop when there’s no snow, as both residents and visitors flock there to go on a run, hike, or explore the trails on their mountain bikes. If you’re a first timer or looking to improve, the Tsalteshi Trails Association does offer programs to youth and adults who want to learn how to ski.
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7.Soldotna Regional Sports Complex
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Housed along with the City Parks & Recreations Departments is the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Visitors will be able to partake in a number of activities while there, including ice skating on the Olympic-sized ice rink during designated public-skating hours. There are many skating programs and ice skating classes for visitors of all ages, from two years old onwards. If you’re in Soldotna for an extensive amount of time, you may like joining their Production Team which puts together several performances on ice. The sports complex also has walleyball and racquetball courts, as well as an extensive walking path that you can use; these are available to guests during normal building hours.
538 Arena Ave, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-3151
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8.Alaska Kenai Fishing for Fun
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Go on a professionally-guided fishing adventure on the pristine Kenai Peninsula with Alaska Kenai Fishing for Fun. It’s sure to be one of your most memorable experiences during your visit to Soldotna as your guides takes you to all the best spots to catch Sockeye salmon, King salmon, Coho salmon, Dolly Varden, and Rainbow Trout. Your adventure is personalized to your preference and can be a walk/ wade fishing trip, a float trip, or a fly out trip. Everything you need, such as a drift boat, fly rods, fly reels, boots, bait casters, tackle, and fish cleaning services are included with your tour. For an additional fee, Alaska Kenai Fishing for Fun also offers vacuum packing and overnight FedEx shipping.
Soldotna, AK, Phone: 406-581-5567
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Alaska Berries is a famed farm and winery in Soldotna and was the very first winery in the state to be certified as ‘Alaska Grown’. You can visit their farm and see where the origin of all of their products, whether it be wine, jams, or syrup, starts from. The berries are top quality and picked during the peak of ripeness; they even sell many varieties of berry plants that have proven to thrive in Southern Central Alaskan conditions. You can purchase a berry plant or a berry-based product and tour their winery during your visit to Alaska Berries.
48660 W Poppy Ln, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-252-8511
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10.High Adventure Air
© High Adventure Air
Having flown Alaska’s backcountry for over thirty years, High Adventure Air are the expert professionals you want to take you around on an immersive tour of Soldotna. They have tours for a number of outdoor activities that are popular in the area such as fishing, bear viewing, hunting, and touring the surrounding glaciers. Their packages can be personalized to what you want to see and do, and their service is designed to ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime. You’ll get to meet the people behind the family-owned and operated business and feel comfortable in their knowledge of Soldotna’s vast and extensive surroundings.
38675 Longmere Lake Court, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-5237
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© Natron Air
Family-owned, Natron Air is operated by pilot Tim Pope who flies a 2002 GA-8 AirVan that is designed for passenger comfort and the ability to easily view the wildlife and scenery you’ll come across. The fly-out tours offered by Natron Air are often described as the best part of a vacation to Alaska by many of their guests. There are many tours and trips to choose from based on your interests; you can even combine and personalize it, so you get the most out of your experience with Natron Air. Choices include bear viewing tours, salmon fishing trips, and flightseeing over Alaska’s rugged mountains, glaciers, and wilderness.
619 Funny River Rd, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-8440
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12.Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurant
© Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurant
Senor Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant offers an authentic dining experience, from the ingredients used in their meals to the furniture and art which was imported directly from Mexico. The owner, Pancho Rodriguez, has a history of offering delicious Mexican cuisine to the people of Soldotna with his previous restaurant Playa Azul. Having moved due to location, Senor Pancho’s quickly grew to be a family favorite with patrons. All of the items on the menu are made with carefully-chosen ingredients and use recipes that have been passed down in the Rodriguez family for generations. Their popular salsa bar has a range of delicious, freshly-made salsa diners can enjoy.
44096 Sterling Hwy, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-260-7777
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13.Kenai River Brewing Company
© Kenai River Brewing Company
The Kenai River Brewing Company is a renowned local microbrewery which specializes in handcrafted ales. Their fresh brews are the perfect thing to pair after a day of hiking or fishing in Soldotna. You can visit their on-site tap room which always has a rotation of twenty different beers on tap. Some of their most popular drinks are the Peninsula Brewer’s Reserve, which is a light, crisp ale with very subtle hops, and their Sunken Island IPA, which is an aromatic amber beer. The tap room kitchen has a variety of foods that pair perfectly with your drink such as their beer mac and cheese, grilled chicken sandwich, and hot wings tossed in locally-famed Kenai Peninsula Brewers Reserve wing sauce.
308 Homestead Lane, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-262-2337
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© Odie's Deli
Known for their soups, sandwiches, cookies, and caffeine, Odie’s Deli serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner, right beside the Kenai Peninsula. The atmosphere is fun and relaxing, and the food is delectable, with options such as their hearty breakfast burrito or their homemade soup of the day. You can build your own sandwich or choose from one of their six signature sandwiches; the Club Special with turkey, ham, and bacon, as well as their Chicken Cashew Salad Sandwich are some of the favorites with their everyday patrons. Be sure to add an extra dollop of Odie’s Sauce to make your sandwich amazing.
44315 Sterling Hwy, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-260-3255
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15.St. Elias Brewing Company
© St. Elias Brewing Company
St. Elias Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated brewpub and full-service restaurant. Visitors and residents flock to the fun and friendly atmosphere to feast on their quality cuisine and drink their handcrafted ales. The restaurant has a full menu of sandwiches and Neapolitan-style pizzas perfectly cooked in their stone-fired pizza oven. Their kitchen also serves huge gourmet salads as well a rotation of mouthwatering house-made desserts. Be sure to pair your meal with one of the quality house ales from their seven-barrel brewhouse. Some of their famed permanent ales are the American-style Puddle Jumper Pale Ale and their malty specialty, The Farmer’s Friend.
434 Sharkathmi Ave, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 907-260-7837
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16.Buckets Sports Grill
© Buckets Sports Grill
Buckets Sports Grill is a rambunctious restaurant that kids, families, and couples of all ages love to hang out at. The atmosphere is casual and can get crowded and boisterous on nights when sporting events are on. It’s a wonderful place to socialize with friends, meet the many resident of Soldotna, and have a nice, cold beer with a hearty, flavorful meal. The restaurant is known for several items on their menu including their world-famous hamburgers and bucket fries as well as the hottest hot wings in town. There are separate menus for kids, those who prefer to dine gluten-free, and a variety of lighter options on their ‘Dieter’s Choice’ menu.
43960 Sterling Hwy, Soldotna, AK 99669, Phone: 800-980-7421
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16 Best Things to Do in Soldotna, Alaska
- Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: Courtesy of latitude59 - Fotolia.com
- Soldotna Historical Society & Museum, Photo: Soldotna Historical Society & Museum
- Centennial Park, Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia - Fotolia.com
- Soldotna Creek Park, Photo: Courtesy of igzotic - Fotolia.com
- Farnsworth Park, Photo: Courtesy of cegli - Fotolia.com
- Tsalteshi Cross Country Ski Trails, Photo: Courtesy of Svetlana - Fotolia.com
- Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, Photo: Courtesy of Alena - Fotolia.com
- Alaska Kenai Fishing for Fun, Photo: Courtesy of Dmytro - Fotolia.com
- Alaska Berries, Photo: Courtesy of Dee - Fotolia.com
- High Adventure Air, Photo: High Adventure Air
- Natron Air, Photo: Natron Air
- Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurant, Photo: Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurant
- Kenai River Brewing Company, Photo: Kenai River Brewing Company
- Odie's Deli, Photo: Odie's Deli
- St. Elias Brewing Company, Photo: St. Elias Brewing Company
- Buckets Sports Grill, Photo: Buckets Sports Grill
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of wildnerdpix - Fotolia.com