Kenai has plenty of natural wonders and wildlife, but behind its beauty lies a community full of rich history and cultural assets. If you love to learn about history and culture, This Alaskan city will surely delight you. Explore Old Town Kenai to discover its hidden gems and what made the city of Kenai the thriving coast it is nowadays.

From Old Town Kenai’s origins as the original village site of the Dena’ina people to the 20th Century influences and the Russian presence, Old Town Kenai does not fall short of rich cultural charm. Take a look at the best places to explore in Old Town Kenai.


Kenai Fine Arts Center

Kenai Fine Arts Center used to be Kenai’s Firehall and Jail, built in 1955. In 1973, after operating for around 20 years, the Kenai Police and Fire Departments moved to their new facility. Since then, this site has been renovated into a gallery that showcases local artworks like paintings, clay sculptures, drawings, and more. 


Saint Nicholas Chapel

Saint Nicholas Chapel was built in 1906, and it is one of the most highly recognized structures on the Kenai Peninsula. With the help of its two assistants, Fater Nikolai was in charge of bringing the smallpox vaccination to the Kenai Peninsula. Saint Nicholas Chapel is located northwest of the Rusian Fur Trading Post of Fort St. Nicholas. Today, this chapel is used for memorial services and its annual St. Nicholas Day and Thanksgiving Service.


Kenai Cabin Park

This park consists of 5 historical cabins that feature memorabilia of historical significance. The Kenai Historical Society members recently restored Kenai Cabin Park, and it was established to preserve the Kenai history village era, with all of its cabins nearing 100 years in age. Kenai Cabin Park is open to the public during summer, offers tours, and is free of charge.


Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

This 10,000-square-foot facility is home to the Kenai Cultural Exhibit. Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center displays a collection of cultural, historical, and wildlife artifacts on Old Ton Kenai’s outskirts. After your visit, explore gift items, Kenai’s signature clothing, and reference materials.


Fort Kenay

Fort Kenay offers a unique experience with its military fort replica, where more than 100 American Civil War soldiers are stationed. This place was constructed in 1869 by the U.S. army and was reconstructed as part of the Alaska Centennial celebrations in 1967; this series of barracks was abandoned after almost a year and a half when soldiers were sent back to assist in an Indian upspring quelling.


The Parish House Rectory

The Parish House Rectory is home to the Russian Orthodox Church priest and is believed to be the oldest original building in the Kenai Peninsula. The Rectory was built in 1881 along the Russian Orthodox Church, and it houses a copy of the 400-year-old Our Lady of Kazan, Kenai’s oldest non-native art.


The Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1894, and it is the oldest Orthodox Church on mainland Alaska. Learn how Russian fur traders influenced the history of Old Town Kenai at the quaint. This National Landmark is still used for regular services to this day.