Kodiak Island, or, as it’s often called, the Emerald Isle, is a unique little slice of seafood heaven in Alaska. Located just off Anchorage in the Gulf of Alaska, this island made up of seven communities is the second largest island in the United States. Bursting with a cultural blend of both Russian monuments and orthodox churches as well as strong ties to its native American communities, Kodiak Island looks very little like the rest of America. Wandering around the state parks and along its shorelines, remarkable wildlife, marine life and seabirds can be watched in their native habitats: whales, the famous Kodiak bears, and fish of an impressive variety hang out with the humans on Kodiak Island.
Accessible via seaplane or flights on Alaska Airlines and Era Aviation, Kodiak Island is an area that is really remote. Anchorage is 16 hours away by car, which includes ferry transportation, and ferries to and from the island are offered by the Alaska Marine Highway.
Beyond being a gorgeous and ecologically diverse area to camp, bike, or hike around, Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park adds some historical significance to a Kodiak trip. During World War II, several Aleutian Islands were occupied by Japanese forces and Fort Abercrombie was built to protect Kodiak from the very real threat of occupation. Walking around Fort Abercrombie, visitors can wander remnants of the coastal defence installation, like observational bunkers, ammunition bunkers and a plaque that commemorates its role in the war. Being a state park, Fort Abercrombie encourages tent campers, hikers, fishers and more around its forest and coastline.
Kodiak Island seems more concerned with their fish than tourists, which is a great thing for visitors who have a soft spot for sport fishing. The harbor is home to over 1000 fishing vessels, locals favor fishing boots to Uggs, and the smell of it is almost inescapable. It’s not hard to see why fishermen flock to the island; crab, salmon, dolly trouts, halibut, cod, and even rare greenling and black rockfish (which live in kelp forests) are found in the nutrient rich shores off Kodiak Island.
The Old Powerhouse Restaurant was once a real life power plant in its former life, but now the structure stands, jutting into Chenega Bay, as a Japanese seafood joint. Celebrated by locals and visitors alike, this restaurant serves, hands down, some of the freshest sashimi and Alaskan delights in the country, artfully arranged on a festive Japanese platter. The big windows around the Powerhouse give diners an opportunity to sit, relax and enjoy the fish on their plates as the boats go by the harbor outside to bring it to them. Those who enjoy melt-in-your-mouth sushi without minding a little wait to get to it (get ready for a crowd on the weekend) should definitely check out this unique little powerhouse of delicate delectable delights.