Filed under: Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, The Road Less Traveled, Uncategorized
Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska
Do you ever visit a destination and then wish that you had started your visit exactly where you ended up? That’s how I felt when I visited Homer, Alaska last week.
After spending about a mere 36 hours in this seaside town, I decided to dash into the alluring Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center. Unfortunately, I did this on my way to the airport! It was early Saturday morning, and I wanted to sneak a couple more sights in before we departed. Hence, I pulled into the nearly vacant parking lot of the visitor center and doubted that the place was open. Much to my delight, it was.
Located on a bluff with walking trails down to the beach, the visitor center celebrates the local marine environment and acts as a window to educate visitors about the largest seabird refuge in the world. My daughter and I marveled at the massive Steller Sea Lion sculpture prominently placed inside the entrance, but without a doubt, what impressed us the most was the Seabird Experience Theatre. When we walked into the dark cave-like theatre we were immediately immersed in the the sights, sounds, and smells of life in a remote seabird colony. The theatre is meant to replicate the heart of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the largest seabird refuge in the world. The impact was impressive. My daughter even noticed that the seagulls had their heads cocked in that typical quizzical fashion.
If we had more time, we would have hiked down to the beach or spoken to the ranger and asked his advice. So, if you find yourself in Homer this summer, be sure to START your visit with a stroll through their fabulous local resource! If you have curious children who enjoy science, then you might have them earn a badge by participating in the Junior Biologist Program.
Photo by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer