Hoben Park in Seward is on the National Register of Historic Places and deserves a stop among the historic attractions on the Kenai Peninsula.

Any road trip south of Anchorage should include a visit to some of these historic attractions on the Kenai Peninsula.

The historic attractions on the Kenai Peninsula listed below are from more recent Alaska history, after the state was purchased by the United States from Russia. Though short compared to indigenous history or even other U.S. states, Alaska’s modern history is filled with rich stories of gold rush frenzy and frontier settlers.

Hope & Sunrise Historical Mining Museum

Hope historic district buildings
Hope Historic District. Photo courtesy Enrico Blasutto.

The historic and scenic community of Hope sits on the south side of Turnagain Arm at the end of the Hope Highway. The local historical society maintains a museum on Second Street in Hope that holds a collection of historic photographs, documents, and artifacts from the communities of Hope and Sunrise.

The gold rush in Hope predated the Klondike. Gold frenzy in the area was at its peak in 1896. The gold fever was short-lived, as most miners moved on to chase riches in the Klondike. But the city, which was named after prospector Percy Hope, lived on. Hope’s historic district includes the 1896 store, which is now Seaview Cafe & Bar, and the 1902 log social hall.

Crow Creek Historic Gold Mine

Crow Creek Mine was once one of the largest gold mines on Turnagain Arm. It had an estimated production of about 700 ounces of gold per month. The mine is near present day Girdwood and is accessible off the Alyeska Highway. Visitors can view old mining structures and equipment and even try their hand at panning for gold.


The picturesque waterfront town has lots of historical attractions. Start your historical exploration with a visit to the Seward Community Library and Museum. The combined library, museum, and archives gives visitors a chance to look into the area’s past.

From there, explore some of the structures in Seward on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ballaine House, owned by the brother of Seward’s founder, now houses a bed & breakfast. Hoben Park is a quaint waterfront park added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Cooper Landing Historic District

Located on the Sterling Highway on the west end of Kenai Lake, Cooper Landing is a community of about 250 most popular for its access to fishing. The area also has a rich mining history.

Stop in the Cooper Landing Museum, which is comprised of the old school house built in 1955 and a cabin from 1920. The buildings house a full brown bear skeleton, artifacts from frontier life, and information about the area’s natural history. It’s a fun stop for the whole family.

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