Where I Live
|View of the Old Ninilchik Village|
Ninilchik, Alaska, at milepost 135 of the Sterling Highway, is a fishing village about 180 mile south of Anchorage along the bluff of the Cook Inlet on the Kenai Peninsula. As Ninilchik is our home now, we’re a little biased…but we think it’s a darn nice place to be. Ninilchik is home to: a K-12 school; a small general store affectionately called “The General”; a Tesoro gas station with mechanics and Napa parts; a medical clinic; a library; a volunteer fire station; two or four restaurants (depending on time of year); a post office; and the Kenai Peninsula State Fairgrounds. Not to leave out my daughter Destini’s coffee shop, Hooked!
Ninilchik is also strewn with halibut and salmon charters so if you’re after a fish, this is one of the best places to visit.
Ninilchik is immensely popular in the summer months for clamming, fishing, off-roading and site seeing. In the winter, it is a popular destination for snowmobile enthusiasts bound for the Caribou Hills at the end of Oilwell Road.
As you enter Ninilchik from the north at mile 135 of the Sterling Highway, you’ll cross the Ninilchik River Bridge and immediately to your right is the road that leads to public beach access, the Ninilchik Village and the small boat harbor. The Village is quite a site, lots of old cabins and reminiscent of the older way of life. But remember, people live there. If you ever visit, please respect their privacy and consider if you would want someone walking through your back yard.
Continue along the highway, up the hill, and you’ll come to the short stretch of highway where the town center lies. Blink and you’ll miss it. Kingsley road, to the left, leads to a Post Office, medical clinic, and fire station and circles back to Oilwell Road. Turn right and you’ll return to the highway. Along the main stretch on the Sterling Highway is the school, store, gas station, restaurants and numerous charter businesses.
|This is how they launch the boats in Ninilchik|
Virtual Video Tour of Ninilchik: Google Street Map-Ninilchik (Find the little orange man, drag him to a highlighted street, and a video tour will commence! Very, very cool!)
History Established in the late 1800′s as a Russian fur trading village, Ninilchik hasn’t changed much as far as it’s small town feel. The Russian Orthodox church is a local favorite. It sits atop the hill overlooking the Ninilchik River and Cook Inlet, and has been operating since it’s construction in 1901. The first English school in Ninilchik was established with the arrival of school teacher, Alyce Anderson, in 1911. The current school was built in 1951. Many current residents make their living from the land (or sea) by operating private fishing charters, commercial fishing boats or set-net sites along the local beaches. Ask around and you’ll find there are still many members from the original Ninilchik area homesteaders. The numbers of those who hang around after all these generations is testament to the desirability of the area. There is much history here.
The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope. John Buchan
Ninilchik has two major fishing havens running within a mile of each other, right through town as well as being situated on the bluff overlooking Cook Inlet, world famous for it’s abundance of Salmon and Halibut. The Ninilchik River and Deep Creek are both sought after for kings, silver salmon and several varieties of trout. With hundreds of fishing websites out there, and that not being our main focus, we’ll defer to the experts on the subject.
Things To Do
Kenai Peninsula State Fair occurs every third weekend in August for a three day run. The Ninilchik Fair has an elaborate 4-h program with animal showings and sales, dozens of booths selling unique local Alaskan items as well as information and gaming booths. The fair hosts a rodeo, quilt show, produce contests, animal barn and the ever famous piglet race!