Enjoy Wildlife and the Great Outdoors
1. Take a walk down the Kenai River Classic Fish Walk located just down the steps from the Soldotna Visitor Center; drop a fishing line, watch for local birds- sometimes, seal and river otters, or continue the walk as it loops back to the visitor center.
2. Visit the interactive, wildlife displays at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, watch hourly Alaskan wildlife films, step inside historical cabins, or take guided or unguided walks along marked trails to Headquarters Lake with its wildlife viewing platform.
3. Enjoy the picturesque Kenai River from the Soldotna Creek Park Fish Walk. There’s also over 300 feet of wide trail/ramp that is accessible for users of all abilities (with assistance). Bring binoculars and your camera!
4. Visit the Cooperative Extension Service for numerous books and other resources on berry identification, picking and preserving. In August, 13 species of berries peak on the Kenai Peninsula!
5. Forage for mushrooms in areas of charred earth left from forest fires. Visit the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for maps and more information on these areas.
6. Fish the popular Kenai River access area behind the Donald E. Gilman River Center. Need a break from fishing, visit the Center’s library for books and materials about the natural and cultural history of the Kenai Peninsula.
7. Look for wildlife like moose, porcupine, and caribou down some of the following Soldotna roads (look for moving, horizontal lines and you just might see a creature or two): Funny River Road, Mackey Lake Road, Echo Lake Road, and Community College Drive.
8. Swimming, picnicking, and eagle watching happen at A.R.C. Lake; it’s a stocked lake, so bring a fishing line, too.
Let’s Get Physical
9. Dribble your basketball on the NEW outdoor basketball court located in Soldotna Creek Park.
10. Swim, fish, boat, or Jet Ski on Sport Lake. This public access lake has a small parking area and sandy boat launch; it’s stocked with rainbow trout and silver salmon fingerling.
11. Bike, jog, or walk along the miles of paved trail known as the Unity Trail that connects Soldotna to Kenai. Bring a camera as you never know what hooved wildlife may be seen nearby!
12. Karen Street Park, also known as, the skateboard park, is open during daylight hours (May through September). Bring your BMX bike or scooter to enjoy the ramps and boxes on this paved park!
13. Bring the Frisbees and friends or family to Farnsworth Park on Birch Street. This park hosts a grassy lawn and a playground, but don’t forget to pack a lunch for either the picnic tables or the covered pavilion, too.
14. Throw a disk at one of the 19 disc golf baskets at the River City Disc Golf Course located on the Squirrel Loop of the Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview Middle School.
15. Run, jog, walk, mountain bike, leashed dog walk, or cross country ski along the 15 miles of groomed trails known as Tsalteshi Trails.
16. Join local, Yoga enthusiasts every June through August in Soldotna Creek Park for mindful movement in the great outdoors; rain or shine!
Museums and Other Cultural Offerings
17. Visit the Soldotna Visitor Center for free wildlife exhibits, including Les Anderson’s World Record Kenai River King Salmon.
18. Glimpse early Soldotna life at the Soldotna Historical Society Museum with its homesteading cabins, boats, and the last, Alaskan Territorial Schoolhouse displays.
19. Visit Soldotna’s First Post Office which has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior. It’s located off Coral St.
20. Take the stairwell down to the Denali Room at Central Peninsula Hospital to visit historical, medical displays featuring one of Soldotna’s first doctors, and listen to a soothing waterfall as you do so.
21. Watch aircraft land and take off along a 5,000 ft. runway at the Soldotna Municipal Airport. See the Plane on a Pole roadside attraction.
Arts and Entertainment
22. Listen to a variety of music every Wednesday, June- August, for Music in the Park- a summer concert series held in Soldotna Creek Park; a beer & wine garden, as well as food vendors, are available.
23. Navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then look for geocaches in Soldotna; there are over 100 of them, and one is near the Soldotna Visitor Center.
24. Grab a course catalog from the Soldotna Community Schools Program during the fall and spring semesters as there are always a few free classes available!
25. Support Alaskan produce growers and Alaskan artisans by visiting some of our summer, open- air markets; the Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market falls on Saturdays, the Farmers Fresh Market on Tuesdays, and the Soldotna Wednesday Market on Wednesdays.
26. Hunt for colorful, painted rocks around town on public property or hide some of your own- it’s the latest craze in community scavenger hunts! Local rock hound groups can be found on Facebook like #Soldotna ROCKS!
27. Pick up a list of local Art Murals & Statues to tour from the Soldotna Visitor Center. Take your camera to document some inspiration for your next art project!
28. In July, tour over 16 businesses that host a quilt on display, manufactured by a local artisan. Pick up a Quilt Tour Passport (map) at the Soldotna Visitor Center.
29. Several restaurants host open mic nights, karaoke, and storytelling. Check out the Soldotna Visitor Guide Directory for a list of restaurants. Most restaurants have a Facebook page with their events listed.
30. Visit the Alaska-themed garden near the entrance to the Soldotna Community Memorial Park. Visit the Veteran’s Memorial, the bronze Iron Mike statue, the river overlook, and the tranquil paths in this local park.
31. Enjoy the Pioneer Garden and the Purple Heart Memorial Garden at the Soldotna Creek Park for a beautiful array of flowers. Bring a butterfly net.
Mix With the Locals
32. During Soldotna Progress Days, held every fourth weekend in July, watch a community parade, visit arts/crafts vendors, and try a dish or two at the many food kiosks.
33. Bring the kiddos and sand toys to the Soldotna Community Playground located next to Soldotna Creek Park; a favorite for kids’ birthdays or even just a relaxing and fun Saturday afternoon.
34. Book aficionados can visit the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library, which hosts free, weekly programs and a number of other services.
35. Many local churches in the area offer parent meet-up groups, Vacation Bible Schools, or garage sales. Most of the local churches run Facebook pages where they post their schedules for events.
36. Celebrate the Kenai River, every June, during the Kenai River Festival. The KWF Kids Zone hosts hands-on, educational, activities for kids while all ages can enjoy the live, stage music, food and artisan vendors, and the river views from Soldotna Creek Park.
37. Meet a new, furry friend or bring your four-legged pal to the 3 Friends Dog Park on North Aspen Drive. To enter the park, there is a double gate system that provides extra security, as well as a tall fence that lines the park’s perimeter.
38. Done your green for a jovial St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March. The parade is held during afterschool hours and travels along the Spur Hwy. For more details, call the Soldotna Chamber.
39. Participate in the Annual Spring Cleanup held in May. Pick up free, yellow bags at the Soldotna Visitor Center and pick up trash and litter from our beautiful roadways.
Shopping and Dining
40. Take a walk through Soldotna and visit one of our many local shops for that unique gift item or souvenir. Many of our businesses have fish and wildlife displays, so bring your camera.
41. Help support young entrepreneurs in grades K-12, by visiting the many Lemonade Day Alaska stands at local businesses around Soldotna in June. Check out Lemonade Day Alaska online for the date! If you’re a student who wants to host a stand, contact the Soldotna Chamber for more information!
42. Listen to a variety of local and state presentations at one of the Soldotna Chamber Luncheons, held every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. Find a schedule on visitsoldotna.com. It’s free to attend and listen, but there is a fee if you choose to eat lunch.
43. Several galleries host local art like ivory and jade carvings, fur accessories, paintings, and photographic prints. Make your itinerary for an art walk, and don’t forget to stop in a local coffee shop or sandwich shop, as many of these have rotating art by local artists adorning their walls!
44. Alaskans like to craft! Visit one or more of the several seasonal craft & vendor shows. Check the community calendar on visitsoldotna.com for dates.
45. Gardens, farms, and nurseries oh, my! Take a local tour of a peony farm or visit a nearby nursery for native plants and flower displays.
46. Be a kid at heart and make friends and family sledding. Check out Redoubt, K-Beach, or Soldotna Elementary schools for their snow hills next to their recess areas!
47. A classic winter experience when the ice is thick (usually mid-November through March) is to go ice-fishing. Sport Lake, Longmere Lake, and Scout Lake are local favorites for ice-fishing for stocked lake trout.
48. In winter, take a sled, snowboard, snowshoes, or cross country skis to Skyview Middle School. Behind the school, is a hill for sledding and an entrance to lit, manicured trails (Tsalteshi Trails) for outdoor, winter recreation!
49. Ring in the New Year by bringing the family and skates to the outdoor, ice-skating path at Soldotna Creek Park.
50. Attend Christmas in the Park in early December for the community tree lighting. Don’t forget, the visit from Santa, as well!