I visited Kodiak August 3-11th, 2006; meeting my husband, who was in port, for our 14th anniversary Once the sun came out, the fun began. Everywhere I looked was breathtaking scenery. Here are some highlights of our trip as well as recommendations of Kodiak summer "must-dos!"
1. Take the "Galley Gourmet" Dinner Cruise: Casual, fine dining with Marty (the local harbormaster) and Marion, longtime residents of Kodiak, Alaska. Keep a look-out for humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters, puffins and other wildlife while cruising to Long Island where you'll anchor for a memorable dinner featuring local, fresh ingredients. Visit their website for further information. http://www.kodiak-alaska-dinner-cruises.com/.
2. Fishing for salmon......anywhere/everywhere! We caught our allowance of 10 pink (humpy) salmon between the two of us. It was our first experience fishing in a river and we can't tell you how wonderful it is. The views from the Olds River are enough to distract you from the fish! Of course, King and Sockeye are the salmon of choice, but we had a ball with our "pinks!"
3. Kayaking Anton Larsen Bay. Hands down, this was our favorite experience. The sun was shining, the water calm, puffins and gulls were flying around us everywhere! I though I was in heaven when sea otters began swimming under our kayak and "popping up" to say hello. We packed a picnic and ate on our own private island. It was like something out of National Geographic. Truly inspiring.
4. Viewing a female Kodiak Brown Bear and her three cubs! We saw these majestic creatures from the safety of the back deck at the Beaver Creek Bed and Breakfast. Ron Eller (owner of the B and B) shared his knowledge of the area and the wildlife. What a thrill to view and photograph these creatures.
5. Hiking in Ft. Abercrombie State Historical Park. Unbelievable views and TONS of birds are to be seen here. An old military fort comes to life with beautiful, easy hikes through forest and beaches.
6. Stellar Sea Lions! See these very large creatures up close and personal on the "Galley Gourmet" dinner cruise or a private kayaking adventure of your own on St. Pauls Harbor. Keep your distance though! They look cuddly, but they like their space....
7. Pyramid Mountain Hike. Not for the timid, but the views are well worth the effort. Pick a nice, clear day and get ready to weep as you view Alaska from the heavens.
8. Walking Fossil Beach in Pasagshak. What an adventure. Visit during low tide and "fossil hunt" while buffalo roam the beaches and surrounding area. Hike up Narrow Cape and keep an eye out for harbor seals! Nice spot for a picnic lunch.
9. Beaver Creek Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Hospitality at its best. Ron and Judy Eller provide every comfort of home including a hot tub and gourmet breakfast served daily upon request. Packing and shipping of fish and meat available. See website for details: http://www.bclodgekodiak.com/
10. Drive up Pillar Mountain for fantastic views of Kodiak.
11. Visit the Baranov Museum. Oldest Russian structure in Kodiak. Includes history on the Russian colonial period as well as Alutiiq culture. Good for a rainy day!
12. There's even a winery in Chiniak and a local brewery to visit on a rainy day. And don't forget to visit the bank downtown to see the largest Kodiak bear ever "taken." It's HUGE!
We will definitely be back to Alaska; visiting the mainland, or Katmai National Park to see Kodiak Bears (Brownies) feeding on salmon. A cruise through the Inside Passage even sounds delightful. Once you've experienced Alaska, you're changed forever. You're soul will feel it has been touched by the hand of God.
Safe and Adventurous Travels,