Need a mini vacation to a remote island? Well, Kodiak is the place for you. Although not exactly like going to Hawaii, Kodiak is nearly the same size as Hawaii's big island. Kodiak is a mountainous, forested gem set in the blue ocean. Getting to Kodiak Island is easy, scenic, and fun.
Drive from Anchorage to Homer and Ferry to Kodiak (+)
Drive from Anchorage to Homer and Ferry to Kodiak (-)
It's a scenic four-hour drive down the Kenai Peninsula from Anchorage to Homer, winding through the Kenai Mountains and along the world-famous Kenai River, then a picturesque nine-hour cruise on the Alaska Marine Highway, with the Aleutian Range on one side and Gulf of Alaska on the other. You can fly or take a bus to Homer and walk-on, or drive and bring a vehicle with you on the ferry.
Kodiak — Alaska Untamed (+)
Kodiak — Alaska Untamed (-)
Upon arrival, stop at the Visitors Bureau information center to get maps and recommendations from the friendly staff. If you bring or rent a car, driving is a great way to see the island’s beauty with only 100 miles of road. Drive 11 miles to the end of the road, where White Sands Beach still shows evidence of the ash fall from a 1912 volcanic eruption. Drive 42 miles in the other direction to Pasagshak and enjoy Fossil and Surfer Beaches or head out to Chiniak and explore WWII sites. Wherever you choose to drive, keep a camera or binoculars handy and watch for bald eagles, mountain goats, and bears. Kodiak is easy to explore without a car, too. Tour the downtown area on a walking tour of 26 visitor destinations and explore the many museums that focus on Russian history, Native culture, and WWII history. Bear-viewing is one of the most popular activities on Kodiak Island, and the best way to do so is in the company of a knowledgeable outfitter. Many charter boats are available for whale watching and fishing tours or fly out to a wilderness lodge for bear-viewing, fishing, or kayaking.
Homer — At the End of the Road, the Adventure Begins (+)
Homer — At the End of the Road, the Adventure Begins (-)
Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride back to Homer. Alaska offers spectacular opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife, and traveling on the ferry gives you an up-close opportunity to view the abundance of marine wildlife that populates the shoreline. Whales, porpoise, seals and sea otters can all be viewed from the decks of our vessels. Few places have the diverse beauty of Homer, having so many ways to experience and view the variety of abundant wildlife. Hike up a mountain, kayak by a glacier or in a protected cove, go horseback riding, ride a four-wheeler into the back country, or go fishing for an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Either spend the night in Homer to explore this unique community or visit another destination on the Kenai Peninsula before heading back to Anchorage.
If time allows, consider spending a couple of days in Port Lions. Plan your departure date from Homer just right and you can be in Port Lions for two days before heading to Kodiak. This makes the itinerary six days in duration, but adds a nice bonus to your trip. Port Lions is located in Settlers Cove at the north end of Kodiak Island, and like many small island villages in the Kodiak Island Archipelago, it's an excellent place for wildlife viewing, birding, fishing and more. The sheltered bays between Kodiak, Afognak and Raspberry islands are home to some of the richest fisheries in Alaska. Within town, a causeway provides foot and bike access across Settler's Cove while charter boat services offer access into the nearby coves and bays for wildlife viewing. The waters around Port Lions are an excellent place to spot whales, as well as sea otters, sea lions and seals.