The beauty of Kodiak is addictive and enduring for those who participate. It’s called the “Emerald Island” for a reason. Kodiak’s beauty is unsurpassed. How could it not be when the Kodiak Island landfill was chosen as the most scenic in America? My time in Kodiak has exposed me to a diverse and influential group of people who have contributed professionally and culturally as leaders in their fields. The Kodiak Arts Council is very active, sponsoring local productions as well as bringing in interesting and entertaining performers. Access to Kodiak Island is only available by air or boat. Kodiak is the home to one of the most highly trained and dedicated rescue forces in the world. The men and women of Coast Guard’s Air Station Kodiak regularly put their lives on the line in support of all who visit and call Alaska home.
1.) Island trails network
What began as deer, bear and local trails has been continually expanded to provide a myriad of opportunities for the casual stroller, active hiker, equestrian and avid ATV rider. From Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park to Saltry Cove Road, all trail enthusiasts will be fulfilled.
2.) History and culture
There are several museums that visitors to the island will find enthralling. The Alutiiq Museum and Archeological Repository (215 Mission Rd., 907-486-7004) allows you to explore 7,000 years of Kodiak’s history. The Baranov Museum (101 Marine Way, 907-486-5920) covers history from Alutiiq culture and the Russian colonial period to the early American era and World War II. Located at Miller Point in Fort Abercrombie State Park, the Kodiak Military History Museum (907-486-7015) is located in the Ready Ammunition Bunker at Miller Point and covers the history of Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands during World War II. More information concerning Kodiak’s history and wildlife can be found at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (1390 Buskin River Rd., 907-487-2626). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Kodiak Laboratory Aquarium and Touch Tank (907-481-1711) on Near Island provides unique opportunities for hands-on exposure to our aquatic critters.
3.) Fly-out bear viewing or flightseeing tour
Of course, flying is what I do and a trip to Kodiak is not complete without seeing the beauty of the island from the air. Island Air Service (1420 Airport Way, 907-487-4596 or 800-478-6196) offers a four-hour fly-out bear-viewing trip from June through September. Flying to the destination is half the fun. Flying over the 1.9-million-acre Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (Visitor Center: 402 Center Street, 888-592-6942) will allow you to not only appreciate the beauty of Kodiak but will also give you a sense of the raw ruggedness of this wilderness. Upon arriving at the Katmai Coast or Frazer Lake at the south end of Kodiak Island, the opportunity to see and photograph bears in their natural habitat is the experience of a lifetime.
4.) The Galley Gourmet
The Galley Gourmet (1223 W. Kouskov Rd., 907-486-5079) offers an evening dinner cruise with food that defines the term “gourmet.” Aboard a 42-foot yacht, your hosts, Marion and Marty Owen, serve up organic and local produce and seafood. After leaving the dock, Marty navigates between islands and through Kodiak’s narrow passages. While munching on Marion’s fabulous appetizers you will see and photograph a variety of Kodiak’s marine wildlife. The combination of great food, fabulous marine sightseeing and fine company is a recipe for a relaxing evening in Kodiak.
5.) Other Opportunities
In attempting to choose the most desirable activities available I’ve had to leave out many others. Kayaking or fishing with a charter boat, or at one of our many lodges are things not to be missed. There are opportunities for all ages and budgets. The Kodiak Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (100 Marine Way, Suite 200, 907-486-4782) is a great place to start planning your trip to Kodiak. Kodiak Adventures Unlimited (105.5 Marine Way, 907-486-8766) is available to make reservations for your adventure travel.