Old Harbor (Population: 224)
Among the most picturesque of Kodiak Island villages, Old Harbor is nestled on a narrow strip of beach at the foot of a steep, grassy mountain. To the northeast is an awe-inspiring view of jagged, precipitous mountains which rise up at the end of a small bay. Old Harbor often claims the winning fish during the annual King salmon derby and draws anglers from across the map to its abundant waters. It is also a great destination for wildlife viewing with large sea mammal haul-outs and the archipelago’s largest puffin colony, which is nearby on Flat Island. Old Harbor is also rich in history. The Alutiiq people settled Old Harbor more than 7,000 years ago; the community is the site of the first Russian colony in Alaska. Just south of Old Harbor is Three Saints Bay, site of the first Russian settlement. Refuge Rock, site of a pivotal battle between the Alutiiq and the Russians, was recently rediscovered. Long dormant, Port Hobron served as the last commercial American whaling station through the 1920s. Historic Three Saints Russian Orthodox Church is a hub of community activity and the striking centerpiece of the village. Local charter boat operators offer custom sightseeing, kayaking, fishing and hunting excursions. Other visitor services include lodging accommodations. Old Harbor is accessed via air or water.