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“Informative, well presented” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center

Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
95 Sterling Highway, Homer, AK 99603
907.235.6961
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Ranked #2 of 45 things to do in Homer
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center is a partnership between the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. Built in 2003 as a resource for the community and visitors to Homer, Alaska, the building houses interpretive and interactive exhibits and displays describing the important work and research of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve.Located at 95 Sterling Highway, there are opportunities to enjoy the exhibit hall, informative videos, regular educational programming, and Ranger/Naturalist-led walks and presentations.The Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center is your window to the largest seabird refuge in the world, with all of the natural wonders of Kachemak Bay right outside its doors!
Chicago,IL
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Informative, well presented”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Nice exhibits, short films, rotating art/photography exhibits, day trips. We've been to Homer several times and always stop in here.

Visited August 2013
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225 reviews from our community

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Kodiak Island, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“great kids place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

If you are looking for somewhere to take your kids that is fun and interative with some great learning this is it. My kids had a blast. They got to a learning scavenger hunt and the people were sooo friendly and ready to answer any questions. we had alot of fun.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homer, Alaska
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Another great visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

This is the visitor center for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. The building houses both of their offices--upstairs and out of the way--and a set of exhibits about both organizations. There is a large theater showing films: 1 about the research vessel for the Refuge, the Tiglax, and another about Kachemak Bay and the Research Reserve. Both are short and well worth the time to watch and learn more about Alaska and Homer.

The main exhibit hall is a horseshoe-shaped loop that takes you through the Refuge and their history. It turns out that the Refuge is really old and really spread out. Most Refuges I have been to are easily accessible. Turns out that this one isn't, and the exhibits provide a virtual tour of the land and the seabirds they study.

There is a short hallway with some younger kid-friendly exhibits and some more explanation of what the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve does.

A bookstore is on site, the familiar Alaska Geogeaphic stores you see in visitor centers in Portage Valley, Exit Glacier/Kenai Fijords National Park and Denali National Park. Nice books. Includes guidebooks, bird books, and more.

Staff is friendly and provided more and better information about Homer and what is going on in town. From getting to know the layout of the city, to finding out where to eat or hike, the volunteers and Rangers are doing a great job.

Guides walks happen every day in the summer. Ranger talks happen every afternoon, and are a great way to learn more and pass some time doing something meaningful.

Admission is free, but a donation is welcome, as they did a great job providing a resource for Homer.

If it is hands on stuff you want, they had a "Discovery Lab" where you can learn all about different topics. It was hosted by the Refuge, the Reserve, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and Lake Clark National Park. Pretty cool stuff for kids AND adults.

This isn't a place like Seward's Sea Life Center, or Homer's Pratt Museum. However, it has a great set of exhibits that could take you 15 minutes and a bathroom break, or 3 hours and lots of fun learning and interactive displays. Others who claim it isn't interesting are clearly not paying attention! This was really neat, and I enjoy dropping by as often as I can. It is always a treat!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peachtree City, Georgia
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
82 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
“Interesting Free Visitor Center”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

The exhibit is free so why not stop. There is ample parking as well as a gift shop inside. The exhibits are interesting but not extensive. There are several films through out the day. The day I visited it was raining so I did not take any walks thus my review might not be as positive as if I had gone on some of the trails. I thought the exhibit was limited so am glad that there was no charge.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good for first timers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This museum contains unique information not available in other museums.
It is housed in a beautiful newer big building. The actual content information is somewhat small. I think that they are still developing the museum content.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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