Fun fare in Ninilchik

Fishing, clamming, history and ‘Biggest Little Fair in Alaska’ await

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2006

Centrally located on the Kenai Peninsula, 38 miles southwest of the city of Kenai, Ninilchik offers visitors a friendly, small-town atmosphere.

Ninilchik extends north and south along the Sterling Highway from mile markers 134 to 138.

A popular attraction is the Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church that overlooks the Ninilchik village, within which still stand many old buildings built by some of the first settlers.

Commercial fishing, sportfishing and tourism are Ninilchik’s primary industries and attractions.

Salmon, trout and halibut fishing in three main fishing areas — Cook Inlet, Ninilchik River and Deep Creek — provide a piscatorial paradise. Check current regulations prior to fishing, though, since king salmon fishing in these rivers is typically restricted to Saturday, Sunday and Monday, beginning Memorial Day weekend.

Ninilchik offers world-class angling for halibut, and with no marina, people who have paid for a flatfish charter will get to experience being launched by a tractor from the beach as part of the trip.

Tasty razor clams also abound on the beaches for those willing to do a little digging during the seasonal low tides.

Wildlife is abundant in Ninilchik, as well, particularly bald eagles that spend their summer in the area and can be seen perched in trees, soaring in the sky or scavenging fish carcasses on the river banks. Moose also can be seen fairly often as they wander around the area feeding on young trees during the summer.

Since 1951, Ninilchik has been home to the Kenai Peninsula State Fair, held the third weekend in August. Frequently referred to as the “Biggest Little Fair in Alaska,” folks from miles around bring their garden-grown goodies, homemade crafts and livestock to the fair. There are many foods to sample, exhibits to enjoy and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Visitors can find further information about Ninilchik by calling the chamber of commerce at (907) 567-3571, and by visiting the chamber’s Web site at

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