Kodiak Island, Alaska
It may get a bad rap here and there due to harsh weathers and isolated villages and towns, but there is plenty of beauty to be had in Alaska, especially on Kodiak Island. Separated from the Alaskan mainland by the Shelikof Strait, Kodiak Island is the second largest island in the United States, sporting an area of 3,595 square miles or 9,311 square kilometers. Home to the small town of Kodiak, Kodiak Island once belonged to the Sugpiaq, an Alutiiq nation of Alaskan Natives. Today, visitors to Kodiak Island will find an expanse of green vegetation and the majestic Kodiak brown bears that can be observed. Whale watching and fishing are among the many activities for visitors, but 6 tiny villages with populations ranging from 87 to 224 beg to be explored. Despite the many tragedies that struck, from the eruption of Mt. Novarupta in 1912 to the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, Kodiak remains a beautiful sight to behold.