Visitor Center

IOVC Entrance Sign Wood Base Large

Your window to the largest seabird refuge in the world, with all of the wonders of Kachemak Bay right outside its doors!

Hours of Operation
As of September 3, 2021, our current status is:  CLOSED 

You can visit us virtually 

We are committed to doing our part to ensure public safety and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we continue to follow public health authority guidance and monitor local conditions.  


    Upcoming Events
    • Check out our  CALENDAR for a list of upcoming events at Islands & Ocean    
    • Daily Ranger Programs offered June 7- August 20 (2021 Summer Season).

    News Release

    September 3, 2021                                                                               

    Contact: Lora Haller, Visitor Center Manager, 907-235-6961,,

    Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, 95 Sterling Hwy #1, Homer, AK 99603                                                    

    Refuge Visitor Center Closes for the Season


    After September 4, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center will no longer operate an outside station for visitors due to colder temperatures. The outside station has been available to the public since July 27, when the visitor center was closed out of concern for the health of visitors, employees, and volunteers. The visitor center will remain closed due to on-going health concerns.

    According to the data collected by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the current spike of Covid cases in the area is higher than at any other time during the pandemic. This is true in many places around the nation. These high Covid numbers led Refuge Manager Steve Delehanty to the painful decision to close indoor spaces to the public.

    “We will continue to monitor local conditions and evaluate how best to safely increase public access to the visitor center as the number of cases declines,” said Delehanty.

    The refuge, as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Visitors may get information by calling (907) 235-6961; or by checking the Alaska Maritime Refuge website for updates:

    Facebook users can follow at: Virtual visitors can experience a 3-D interactive tour of the visitor center online: .

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit


     Volunteer Today!

    Visitor our volunteer page to get involved! Travel in your RV and stay 3 months in Homer or volunteer locally.


    The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (known locally as Islands & Ocean) takes you on a dramatic journey through the refuge's past and present . . . surrounds you with the sights, sounds - and even the smells of a seabird colony . . . and invites you to follow biologists as their research ship sails to remote islands each year. 

    Guest Amenities & Accessibility

    Restrooms, sitting areas and drinking fountains are conveniently located. A limited number of wheelchairs and strollers are available at no charge to loan to on-site guests. All exhibits are accessible by wheelchair. The Visitor Center offers ample parking, including bus and RV spots. No overnight parking is allowed.

    Jr. Biologist - Kids Earn Your Badge!
    Kids can earn their Jr. Biologist Badge.

    Pets are not allowed inside the Visitor Center but are allowed on the trails while on a leash. To avoid disease being passed to wildlife, owners must pick up after their pets.

    Located inside the Visitor Center, the Alaska Geographic bookstore offers an exciting selection of nature guides, children's items, and books. Alaska Geographic is a partner of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and other Refuges and Parks in Alaska. Their website offers membership and an online bookstore with many helpful items for travelers planning to visit Alaska. Purchases made at Islands & Ocean support educational programs at the Visitor Center. Members receive a 15% discount on most purchases.

    Plan Ahead & Enjoy the Trails
    Stroll through inside exhibits and explore interpretive trails on the Center's sixty-acre site. If you intend to enjoy the trails, consider bringing sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, gear for windy or rainy conditions and appropriate shoes or boots to explore the beach.

    Birding & Wildlife Watching on Kachemak Bay

     Meetings and Partner Events
    Is your government agency, non-profit, or professional looking for a place to host a meeting or event? From Labor Day through mid-April, we may be able to offer you a space. Check out our use policy for more information or to request use of the facility.