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Kodiak - Alaska

Kodiak Island - tundra, forests and fishing

What to See & Do -- Alaska Hotels

Kodiak is Alaska's largest island and the second largest in the U.S.: 6,000 square miles of fjords, spruce forests, and alpine tundra, with cool, wet weather. The town of Kodiak receives 75 inches (190 cm) of rain a year.

Russian fur traders discovered Kodiak Island in 1763. The sea otter trade flourished after Alexander Baranof arrived in 1764 to manage the Russian America Company and the colony on Kodiak. By 1800, the sea otter population had been decimated. The 8,000 Native inhabitants were reduced to fewer than 4,000 through massacres by the Russians and by disease. The 1912 eruption of Novarupta on the mainland covered the island with ash and foul air, necessitating the removal of the population in a dramatic rescue.

During the Second World War, the island was a first line of defense for the U.S. military, with submarine bases, gun emplacements, and other fortifications. King crab took over the economy after the war. Then another natural disaster devastated Kodiak. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake flooded the town with several tidal waves, sweeping half the town from its foundations. Kodiak was rebuilt, and fishing -- for salmon, halibut, shrimp, herring, cod, and other species -- has become the prime industry. Tourism is attracting visitors who explore the islands of the archipelago and the Katmai coast.

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How to Get There

Kodiak Island is the only easily-accessible part of Southwest Alaska. The island is 250 air miles from Anchorage, and 84 nautical miles from Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. The car ferry runs to Kodiak from Homer three times a week. It is possible to take a ferry to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians every three weeks. Daily Alaska Airlines flights connect Kodiak with Anchorage (55-minutes), as well as the outside world.

Practical Information

The Visitor Information Center is at Center Street and Marine Way, at the ferry dock, (907) 486-4070. It's open year-round, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. The center provides a self-guided tour map, along with information on local busses and charters, as well as hunting and fishing opportunities.

The Alaska Marine Highway (ferries) office is in downtown Kodiak, (907) 486-3800, with service to and from Homer and Seward. The cruise from Homer takes about ten hours, and the ride from Seward takes 13 hours. You may also reach the ferry system by calling 800-526-6731 (U.S.).

Local Transit:Kodiak Driver Express runs hourly to the air port, and to Fort Abercrombie State Park.

Where to Stay

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Best Western Kodiak Inn
236 Rezonof West - Kodiak, AK 99615
Conveniently located in downtown Kodial, the hotel is close to shopping, dining, and other attractions. The hotel has a restaurant: the Chart Room, and a bar. Rooms are equpiied with free WiFi and pillowtop mattresses, complimentary continental breakfast, business center, and outdoor Alaskan hot tub.

Comfort Inn Kodiak
1395 Airport Way - Kodiak, AK 99615
Located On The Banks Of The Scenic Buskin River, the hotel is ia short walk from the airport, and a few minutes' drive to downtown. The hotel ofers WiFi access, free breafast, and refrigerators in all rooms, plus a free shuttle to your Fishing Charter, airport or downtown.

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