Introduction to Kenai, Alaska
Kenai, Alaska, in Kenai Peninsula county, is 63 miles SW of Anchorage, Alaska.
The Kachemak people were the earliest inhabitants of the place now known as Kenai, and had settled in the area around 1000 BC. The Dena'ina Athabaskan people removed them around 1000 A.D. Kenai is named after Kenai Peninsula. It is possibly derived from the Russian word "Kenayskaya," which means "flat barren land." However, according to other sources, the place was named after the local Athabaskan tribe. Russian fur traders first reached Kenai in 1741. Alexander King, a prospector, discovered gold in the region in 1888. In 1940, a number of farmhouses were opened in Kenai, and in 1951 the first dirt road was constructed. A military base opened in 1953, and it served as a major post for communication. Oil was discovered near Kenai in 1957, and, with this discovery, Alaska witnessed a period of major growth.
Kenai earby Attractions
- Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center
- Pratt Museum
- Beaver Creek
- Alaska SeaLife Center
- Captain Cook State Recreation Area
Things To Do In Kenai
The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center houses museum exhibits and features Russian, Athabaskan, and Aleut cultural artifacts. Located in the Kenai Peninsula county, the city of Kenai also offers easy access to the Pratt Museum. The Kenai Fine Arts Center offers studio space and hosts art exhibitions. The Kenai Community Library provides more information on the historical and cultural heritage of the region. The Alaska SeaLife Center features exhibits related to the marine ecosystems of Alaska. In addition, the 3,460-acre Captain Cook State Recreation Area offers facilities for boating, canoeing, and fishing.
Air transportation is provided by Kenai Municipal Airport.
Kenai Higher Education
Residents of Kenai have easy access to the University of Alaska - Anchorage, and the Alaska Pacific University.