Just a quick one hour flight from Anchorage, Kodiak Island is a true Alaskan paradise. With much of its natural beauty intact, the island draws thousands of visitors every year, where they can enjoy hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and exploring the surrounding areas.
Kodiak began as a hunting and camping site for the Alaska Native peoples. In the 1700's Russian traders discovered the area and a trading post was established at St. Paul Harbor in 1792. Kodiak was the first capital of Russian America and operated as an established fur trading center for quite some time. During World War II, this small island became a staging area and the population jumped to over 25,000. Kodiak today has a population of just over 6,000 people and supports a strong commercial fishing industry, along with tourism.
Activities in Kodiak include fishing, whale watching, bear viewing, kayaking, biking and camping. There are also several museums to explore, from the Alutiiq Museum which has one of the largest collections of native artifacts and artwork, to the Baranov Museum which offers both permanent and temporary exhibits that display the culture and history of the island. The Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church gives visitors a glimpse of the heavy Russian influence of Kodiak's early days.
One of the main events in Kodiak each year is the Kodiak Crab Festival, which takes place on Memorial Day weekend. People come from all over to enjoy the festivities, which include food, carnival rides, art exhibits and demonstrations by the Coast Guard rescue.
Lodging is plentiful, as there are a wide assortment of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and smaller inns. Those wishing to check out shopping and dining opportunities will not be disappointed, as there are plenty of gift shops and restaurants in the downtown area, and golfers will enjoy the Bear Valley Golf course.
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