Kenai Peninsula: Alaska’s Playground

By Dave Knospe



Jutting forth from the southern coast of Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula offers a diverse landscape of mountains, lakes and coastal areas along with a full-scale growing season, which is missing in much of the state. The Cook Inlet is to the west, the Kachemack Bay to the south and the Gulf of Alaska to the east.



The Kenai Peninsula includes several of the most populous towns in the southern part of the state. Along the Gulf Coast, the town of Seward is situated near the Kenai Mountains with Soldotna and Kenai on the opposite side of the region along the inlet. The town of Homer is down on the bay near the villages of Seldovia, Port Graham and Nanwalek.



Two of these towns are well-known in Alaskan transportation as Homer famously marks the terminus of the paved highway system of North America. Many travelers from the lower 48 states drive to the area making this a popular tourist destination. Similarly, Seward serves as the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad.



A hunter’s and fisher’s paradise, tourism is a major industry for this part of the Last Frontier along with the natural resources of coal, petroleum and natural gas. The region has positive economic news based on a solid housing market and increasing employment figures. With growth in the construction sector, unemployment rates are down 3.5% in the past two years.



Seasonal activities and events fill the calendar for residents and visitors of the Kenai Peninsula. The grand scale of diverse natural beauty captivates outdoor lovers here. From the ice fields and Kenai Mountains to Fjords National Park and four active volcanos, recreation abounds for hikers, campers, dog sledders, horseback riders and those on flight seeing excursions. Want to play golf with the moose and caribou? There are five challenging courses that provide breathtaking natural views.



All types of water activities are possible with boating, canoeing, rafting and kayaking available on the numerous lakes, rivers and beaches of the area. One of the most popular spots for canoeing is the Swan Lake/Swanson River Canoe Trail System. Rafters flock to the Upper Kenai River between Kanai and Skilak Lakes, with the most adventurous trekking to Six Mile Creek for its’ towering rocky cliffs and huge waves. Kayakers tend to choose the Resurrection and Kachemack Bays for their recreational fun and views, while avid fisherman enjoy many of these areas along with the popular Russian River.



While the area has excellent schools and healthcare, most of the Kenai towns are within sixty miles of Anchorage and enjoy the amenities of that area, as well. Higher education needs are met via campus classes or distance learning from Kenai Peninsula College, a community campus of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.



Why not live where others visit for an exciting vacation?


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