Full disclosure: I have stayed at Between Beaches both at my own expense and in exchange for photographs and this article on Adventures of Nicole.
The Perfect Coastal Alaskan Winter Getaway: Between Beaches
Updated September 2021, The Perfect Coastal Alaskan Winter Getaway: Between Beaches was originally published in March 2021.
After two visits, one in early fall and another just after New Years’ to Between Beaches, I can honestly say it’s my favorite Alaskan getaway for a long weekend, especially in the winter. Located on MacDonald Spit, bisecting Kasitsna and Kachemak Bays, this little cluster of cabins is set in arguably one of Alaska’s most scenic spots.
Owned and operated by longtime Alaskan Kristi McLean, Between Beaches was born out of Kristi’s childhood home. The Pioneer Cabin that she has perfectly remodeled and now rents out was the original cabin her family homesteaded in on MacDonald Spit after they moved to Alaska in 1955. Kristi is also a well-known Alaskan artist and you will see countless pieces of her works incorporated into the decor of the cabins.
Starting to plan your Alaskan adventure? Check out my Alaska travel guide
How to get to Between Beaches
- Water taxi: From Homer, the journey usually takes a little more than a half-hour. Prices run $80 roundtrip + 7.85% sales tax per person. Contact Mako’s Water Taxi to schedule.
- By air: Alaska Air Taxi offers flights between Anchorage and Seldovia. Rates are $180 one way and $360 round trip.
Check out all the things to do and see while you’re staying on MacDonald Spit
The Between Beaches Cabins
Between Beaches offers five rustic cabins and one larger house on the property. All cabins have outhouses, small indoor kitchens, and outdoor barbeques. The Beach House has indoor bathrooms and a kitchen, as well as a barbeque on the deck.
Pioneer Cabin dates back to 1959 but has been more recently renovated, offering perfect views out onto Kasitsna Bay.
Blending old and new, the Fisherman’s Cabin was constructed more recently but incorporates wood, doors, windows, and details from a 1914 salmon cannery over in Kenai. The cabin faces out toward Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet, offering perfect views of the Alaska Range.
Similar to the Fisherman’s Cabin, the Cannery Cabin was also built using doors, windows, and details from the same salmon cannery in Kenai. Sitting right next door to Fisherman’s Cabin, Cannery also offers the same lovely views of the Alaska Range as it towers over Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet from a distance.
From the large windows that decorate the front of the Tidepool Cabin watch epic sunsets over Mount Redoubt, Mount Augustine, and Kachemak Bay. There are also tide pools at low tide right out front, so take a peek at the tide book and go searching for ocean life just steps away from your front door.
The Beachcomber Cabin is perfectly cozy with views through evergreen branches out onto the calm waters of Kasitsna Bay. Just a few steps down from the cabin will bring right onto the sandy Kasitsna Bay Beach.
The Beach House is the perfect option for larger parties and is unique from the other cabins as it spans the width of MacDonald Spit giving you both perfect views and easy access to both the Kachemak Bay and Kasitsna Bay sides of the spit. In the fall of 2020, the Beach House was remodeled.
Wood-Fired Hot Tub & Sauna
There is a wood-fired hot tub and sauna that is centrally located on the Between Beaches property.
Kristi is a well-known ceramics artist in Alaska and has a gallery right here on the Between Beaches property, where you can view and purchase some of her works.
What to Pack for your stay at Between Beaches
- Rubber boots
- Hiking boots (only if you plan to hike)
- Rain jacket and rain pants
- Warm clothing that can be layered. Heavy winter jacket, snow pants, hat, and gloves are recommended for a winter visit
- Headlamp (fall, winter, early spring)
- Food and beverages
Other Random Info
- Call in advance to schedule your water taxi. Know that delays are possible due to weather.
- Air taxis can be delayed and canceled to and from Seldovia due to weather, more frequently in winter.
- There is a small store in Seldovia.
- There is mobile reception on MacDonald Spit. You should have 3G or LTE.
Where to Stay in Homer
Planning to spend the night in Homer before and/or after your stay at Between Beaches? Here are a few options:
- Budget: Camping (tent & RV) for those visiting in summer on a tighter budget. Visit the City of Homer for campground details.
- Midrange: Beluga Lake Lodge is right smack in the middle of Homer. Shop for rooms on Booking.com and Hotels.com.
- Splurge: Lands End Resort located right at the end of the Homer Spit is probably my favorite place to stay in Homer. Check rates on Booking.com and Hotels.com.
Plan your stay in Homer: The Homer travel guide