January 20, 2023

Larsen Bay, Alaska, is a beautiful seaside village on Kodiak Island. It’s dominated by mountains as green as emeralds, and on sunny days, blue skies decorated by billowy clouds with patterns that stretch for miles.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Kodiak Island six times, and now that I have a son and grandsons there, I hope to visit many more times. Each time I go, I pick up a tip or trick that makes the visit more pleasant and comfortable.

First, get the Alaska Airlines credit card When you spend $3,000, you qualify for a free companion fare (you just pay taxes and service fees cq). On our last trip, my round-trip ticket was about $1,000, and my husband’s was about $200.

Alaska Airlines, by the way, provides terrific service – in the same strata as Delta, i.e. the planes are clean and on time, the crew members are friendly and professional, etc. it’s far and above better than discount airlines, and it’s pretty much your only option between Anchorage and Kodiak.

Many visitors spend a day or more in Kodiak before heading out to a village. There are harbors and museums to visit, and last-minute supplies to pick up. Our favorite hotel is the Kodiak Best Western. Food there is pretty good, and they have a free hot breakfast.

As far as gear to bring, everyone needs a pair of rubber boots that go about to their knees. Alaskans seem to prefer Grundens, but my Fleet Farm boots have worked just fine for five years, and look like they have plenty of use left. Since much of Kodiak is technically a rain forest, having a rubber jacket (and even rubber – or other waterproof – pants) will allow you to undertake more outdoors activities, even when it’s misting or raining. A bug net to keep gnats away on still days off the water isn’t a bad idea, either.

To get from Kodiak to Larsen Bay, you’ll need a reservation on Island Air, which is right across the parking lot from the city air terminal. Island Air operates small planes that deliver people, cargo and mail to the villages (most don’t have grocery or other types of stores). Passengers are charged by the pound for themselves, their luggage, and their groceries (if they bring them).