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Kodiak Travel Guide, Alaska

Kodiak is the perfect place for those who want to be in the middle of wilderness and still have some accommodation with modern day facilities. The town is kind of isolated from the rest of the towns in Alaska, but surprisingly enough that doesn’t stop it from being prosperous and have everything it needs for its well being.

At the beginning it was a little settlement probably chosen by native people for the riches the area provided then it became a Russian settlement. There are still some buildings to remind people of that period. In fact it is here that you can find the oldest Russian building in North America. The Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church was founded in 1794, although the present building dates only to 1945, when the original church burned. And had the 1964 Good Friday earthquake not wiped them out, you would have been able to see many more. Anyway the town has recovered from that disaster and even if there are some reminders, things are going on well, even with some improvements, I might add.

Still you can’t say it is a very touristy place; in fact there are few tourists to be seen around even in summer season. Most of those who come here come especially for the outdoors, the gravel beaches, the protected rocky inlets, and the beautiful landscape and appreciate a place that has not been modified by mass tourism. Fishing is excellent, you don’t have to be an expert to catch at least one salmon as they just clog unpopulated bays, the mountains invite you to hike and you can even encounter some bears as you have to know that this is “their island“. They must like it here and that’s probably why their number has grown. In such a place you feel a peace of mind and tranquility you will never find in a big city.

I am sure people here rarely go to the psychiatrist, the peace of life is slower and they enjoy the gifts of life, the simple things, fresh air, and beautiful views and why not, the thrill of fishing, as it is the main way they earn their living.

Downtown Kodiak has few, but nice places to visit. You can cover all of them in one day. Among the ones worth mentioning are the: Fishermen's Memorial where you can read all the names of fishermen who died at sea, the Kodiak Star, the last World War II Liberty Ship; the Kodiak Maritime Museum with interesting nautical topics and the Kodiak Island Brewery, where you can taste some organic beer.

You can taste other types of beer too, along with some delicious meals at a various number of restaurants. What you must definitely try is the local seafood and the Kodiak sea burger made of salmon, crab, shrimp, and cream cheese, and other ingredients. If you want to go for a romantic dinner, the Sea Breeze yacht is the answer. You will have delicious seafood while cruising in the picturesque waters near Kodiak's harbor.

So even if you are not an adventurous person, you can also have a great time in town. But of course nothing compares with a flight over the island and visiting the remote part of the island while staying at one of the many wilderness lodges. And while you are on bear territory it would be a pity to miss seeing them in their natural habitat. You can get to see them if you get on a plane that will land on water and if you are lucky you won’t have to go on land and see them from near the plane. Anyway the necessary equipment should include Binoculars and telephoto camera lenses as it is not wise to approach the bears too closely. There are many air services that can take you bear viewing, the prices vary and you should get informed on what they offer as there are many options on hand depending on what is your prime interest: view the bears closely, determine where the plane goes, and stay at a lodge for a full day of viewing or an overnight. Information on bear viewing can be found at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

The Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park is also worth visiting for the World War II ruins and The Buskin River State Recreation Site is perfect for camping and hiking.

If you really want to feel and experience the way people live here you need more than one day but you are sure to be satisfied to have discovered the undiscovered gem of Alaska.
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