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Top 9 Things to do in Homer Alaska for Your Next Getaway

There’s really no better place in the U.S. for outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, and nature lovers of all types than Alaska. It boasts everything from world-class fishing and hiking to the chance to witness animals–like bears, moose, mountain goats, and whales–that most people only see on a screen. 

Those who want to explore rich culture will find plenty of fascinating museums and art institutions. Anywhere you go, the food is likely to include plenty of local ingredients, with a focus on the abundance of fresh seafood. 

Of course, there’s a lot of territory to cover in the 49th state, making it difficult to choose a base. But there is one place that truly stands out–Homer. 

It’s quintessential Alaska, bringing the chance to experience nearly everything the state has to offer–complete with an incredible panorama of soaring peaks, striking blue waters, driftwood-strewn beaches, and sparkling glaciers. An artsy town bursting with creative energy, it’s the ecotourism capital of Alaska and a cultural hub. Here are the top 9 things to do in Homer, Alaska. 

 

1. Explore Homer Spit 

The 4.5-mile-long, narrow piece of land that juts out into Kachemak Bay is known as the Homer Spit. It’s the remains of an ancient glacial moraine which is continuously being reshaped by the ocean currents. Used by people since long before recorded history, today it’s referred to as the “end of the road,” serving as a center of activity for tourists and locals alike.

What to Expect

A road runs right alongside the Spit, lined with fishing spots, camping, beaches, boat launches, a ferry terminal, restaurants, galleries, restaurants, and more. Beachcombing is always fun or simply wandering the harbor to find out what the fishermen are catching. There are local artists to chat with and plenty of fresh-caught seafood to enjoy at eateries built on stilts high above the shore. 

 

2. Go Fishing

Fishing is a highlight in Homer, known across the globe for outstanding halibut and salmon fishing. That’s something else you can do right from The Spit. The Homer Fishing Lagoon–or “Fishing Hole”–is a favorite place to cast a line on your own. Or, book a half-day, full-day, or multi-day charter right from the harbor that will take you to a prime fishing spot. 

What to Expect

Homer is Alaska’s halibut capital with catches averaging between 25 and 35 pounds, although it’s possible to hook one that’s a whopping 100 pounds or more. If you book a charter, all you’ll need is your fishing license, equipment, rain gear, and boots. Drinks and snacks are typically included. While there is a limit of two halibut per person, they can be released until you catch the size you want. 

 

3. Walk the Beaches

The mile of beaches that make up The Spit is one of Homer’s most appealing features. It’s really just one long, epic beach called Homer Spit Beach, ideal for long strolls, letting the dog splash through the surf, combing for treasures, or casting a line. 

Bishop’s Beach is often named among the very best in the entire state. Accessed via a short trail from the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, it also offers one of the most dramatic coastal walks as per Alaska.org.

What to Expect

The best time to visit the Homer beaches is at low tide. Head down to Bishop’s Beach, China Poot Bay, or Jakolof Bay and search through the tide pools, turning over rocks to discover colorful starfish, hermit crabs, sea urchins, and various other interesting sea creatures. 

 

4. Take a Bear Tour 

One of the country’s most remote national parks, Katmai, is close to Homer and densely populated with brown bears. Bear tours depart right from Homer, by boat or by plane, with the 1.5-hour scenic flight across Cook Inlet the best way to go for a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking landscape below.

What to Expect

Soar over glaciers, mountains, and volcanoes before touching down for an unforgettable day of watching the bears in their natural habitat, feasting at Brooks Falls or along the coastline. You might see the massive animals doing everything from nursing a cub to catching salmon that jump up the falls. It’s a photographer’s dream and a great way for anyone to fill their Instagram feed.

 

5. Take a Hike 

Homer is a hiker’s paradise with trails in the hills that bring magnificent views of the mountains across Kachemak Bay, with Kachemak Bay State Park home to more than 80 miles of trails. You can hike to mountain lakes, glaciers, and even the miles of uninhabited beaches by taking the 20-minute water taxi.

What to Expect

As Kachemak Bay State Park can only be reached by plane or boat and there are no roads, it’s hard to beat for a true wilderness experience. But if you’re looking for something closer and a bit less adventurous, the 4.5-mile path that runs along the entire Spit is the perfect option. No matter where you are here, the photo-ops will be practically endless.

 

6. Hit the Water Kayaking and Canoeing 

Paddling through the glistening blue waters off Homer’s shores is another memorable way to experience the area. You can rent a kayak or take a kayaking tour at Kachemak Bay, paddling while surrounded by remote fjords, dramatic mountain peaks, and abundant wildlife–porpoises, sea otters, or even whales. 

What to Expect

There are guided tours to nearby islands, the glacier lake, elephant rock, and other destinations. Head out with a knowledgeable guide for kayaking or canoeing through Alaskan waters and you’ll not only get some great insight about the wildlife you’re seeing, but the experts understand the tides and can help you navigate through the tour. Plus, you might get some fresh, homebaked goodies too.

 

7. Hop on a Water Taxi to Halibut Cove 

There are no roads to Halibut Cove or in Halibut Cove, but it’s worth the water taxi ride across the bay to experience this storybook hamlet.

What to Expect

Halibut Cove is a fishing village made up of boardwalks and homes perched on stilts above Kachemak Bay. A remote artist community, it’s home to one of the only floating U.S. post offices while the local eatery serves highly-acclaimed chowder along the water’s edge.

 

8. Enjoy a Drink

Whether it’s beer or wine you’ll after, you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy a refreshing drink. There are two breweries in Homer, Homer Brewing Company and Grace Ridge Brewing, as well as a fabulous wine tasting venue, Bear Creek Winery.

What to Expect

Wine enthusiasts can enjoy touring and tasting at Bear Creek Winery with 15 varietals available for sampling, including the tasty Alaska Chardonnay featuring rhubarb. Grace Ridge Brewery produces flavorful craft brews with a malt milled right in-house. Owned by the Stead family, they enjoy talking to visitors about the ingredients and processes used. At Homer Brewing Company, there are sample flights and pints that can be sipped in the taproom while you watch how the brewery works. 

 

9. Enjoy the Best Accommodations 

Homer offers a wide range of accommodation options but the only hotel on The Spit is Land’s End Resort and it’s the perfect place to be–facing the beachfront. There’s a waterfront hot tub for soaking as you watch the boats head out to sea, a spa for indulging in massages, facials, herbal wraps, and more. You’ll also be perfectly placed for meals at one of Homer’s top restaurants with the Chart Room right on-site, featuring menu items like halibut, salmon, and oysters. 

What to Expect

The friendliness and local knowledge of the staff is almost like having a family member living in Homer that’s there to ensure you make the most of your stay. You’ll have numerous choices when it comes to the room. Whether you want a luxurious lodge, cabin, large room overlooking the bay, or a city view, Land’s End Resort has it all. We’re happy to help advise you on things to do in Homer to make your stay special.

 

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