Homer Travel Guide + 14 Things to do in Homer
Updated December 2023, Homer Travel Guide + 14 Things to do in Homer was originally written in January 2020
Homer is an Alaskan favorite for both tourists and locals alike. Sure, this small coastal town can feel like a tourist trap in the summer, but as you descend into town you’ll realize why it’s so attractive with sweeping views out over Kachemak Bay.
Start here: The Ultimate Alaska Travel Guide
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Things To Do In Homer
Check Out The Homer Spit
The Homer Spit juts out into Kachemak Bay about 4.5 miles, making it the longest road into ocean waters in the world. Many of the attractions and things to do in Homer sit on the Homer Spit, from campgrounds, souvenir shops, the Homer Harbor, restaurants, hotels, and even the famous Salty Dawg Saloon.
Want an aerial view of Homer? Check out this heli tour by Spit Choppers
Take In The Scenic Views Of Kachemak Bay
Whether you just stop at photo stops along the Sterling Highway for scenic views or opt to explore Kachemak Bay by boat or kayak, you’ll soon realize Kachemak Bay is one of the most beautiful coastal areas in all of Alaska. A few companies even offer bay cruises.
Shop for different bay cruises here
Take A Water Taxi To Halibut Cove
Take a water taxi across Kachemak Bay to explore Halibut Cove. Halibut Cove originally began with herring salteries and from there has blossomed into a community. You’ll find a few cabins for rent here, a restaurant, hiking trails, and campgrounds. Halibut Cove is home to one of the floating post office in the US.
Grab a water taxi across the bay to explore Halibut Cove here
Go Out On A Halibut Charter
Going out on a halibut charter is probably one of the most popular excursions to go on in Homer. Many companies offer half and full-day halibut fishing trips.
Grab A Drink At The Historic Salty Dawg Saloon
The Salty Dawg is a Homer landmark, located on the Spit. It was originally built in 1897 and has served as a post office, railway station, grocer, mining office, and school. In 1957 it was converted to a saloon.
Do A Wine Tasting At Bear Creek Winery
Bear Creek Winery specializes in fruit and berry wines and its wines can be found for sale all over the state at local liquor shops. For $5 you can do a wine tasting here at the winery to sample 8 of their wines. In spring and summer, the grounds have a beautiful garden. It’s also possible to stay at the winery.
Take Yourself For A Walk Around The Homer Harbor
Best viewed in the early morning, head to the Homer Boat Harbor on the Spit and wander the docks.
Homer Farmers Market
The Homer Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, May-September. This is a great place to go to pick up local goods to bring home and try some local food.
Alaska Islands & Oceans Visitor Center
The Alaska Islands & Oceans Visitor Center focuses on Alaskan marine life through several exhibits. From June through August they also have naturalist lead walks on Bishop’s Beach. Admission to the Alaska Islands & Oceans Visitor Center is free.
Center For Alaskan Coastal Studies
The Center For Alaskan Coastal Studies offers naturalist lead walks of the area as well as a small headquarters office with a few displays on the local flora and fauna. They also rent out gear and have a small shop.
Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
The Kilcher Homestead Living Museum gives visitors the chance to see the homestead made popular by the reality tv show Alaska: The Last Frontier (to be totally honest, I’ve never actually seen a single episode!). For $20 per person, you can take a guided tour of the property.
The Pratt Museum serves as a natural history museum of the Kachemak Bay region. There are exhibits displaying native Alaskan culture and traditions, homesteading, local marine and terrestrial life, local contemporary art, a historical cabin, a nature trail, and even a botanical garden. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 6-18 years old.
Carl E Wynn Nature Center
The Carl E Wynn Nature Center offers several nature trails and boardwalks in a preserve atop the bluff that overlooks Homer.
Pier One Theatre
Every weekend residents put on plays at Homer’s Pier One Theatre, located right on the Homer Spit.
Want to make Homer part of your road trip? Check out my one week Kenai Peninsula road trip itinerary
Day Trips (or longer!)
Lake Clark Bear Viewing
Nearby Lake Clark National Park rivals the more well-known Katmai National Park for bear viewing. In summer there are daily flightseeing tours from Homer to Lake Clark National Park for bear viewing, of course, weather permitting.
Check out this Lake Clark bear viewing flightseeing tour with Sasquatch Adventure Co.
Seldovia is another small town across Kachemak Bay from Homer, accessible by water taxi or by air. If you’re looking to get away from it all, then Seldovia will likely be a highlight on your visit to Homer.
Hike In Kachemak Bay State Park
Kachemak Bay State Park is Alaska’s first state park. With countless hiking opportunities to explore the park’s mountains, glaciers, and beaches. There are plenty of great places to camp along the state park as well, making Kachemak Bay State Park a great place for multi-day trekking trips.
MacDonald Spit is one of my favorite places in all of Alaska, and in my opinion, among the most beautiful. This narrow sand bar just out into the sea separating Kachemak and Kasitsna Bays.
If you have a couple of days to spare on your visit to the Kachemak Bay and Homer area, I recommend booking a room in at Between Beaches. Between Beaches is a property right smack in the middle of MacDonald Spit offering unique and artistically decorated luxury cabins, as well as a Beach House for larger parties.
How To Get To Homer
By Car: Homer is about 4.5 hours south of Anchorage, reachable by taking the Seward Highway south from the city and then at the ‘Y’ or Tern Lake, take the Sterling Highway which will take you all the way to Homer.
By Air: Ravn Air has multiple flights per day between Anchorage and Homer.
Trying to travel Alaska on the cheap? Check out my guide to budget travel in Alaska
Where To Stay In Homer
Camping (tent & RV)
| City of Homer |
If you’re planning to spend the night in Halibut Cover, click here for a list of accommodations and here for campgrounds. In Seldovia, you can try the Sea Parrot Inn, or click here for more info on camping in Seldovia ($10/night for tents and $15/night for RVs).
Best Restaurants In Homer
- The Little Mermaid
- Fat Olive’s
- Cosmic Kitchen
- La Baleine Cafe
Have Any Questions About Visiting Homer?
Ask your Homer travel questions in the comments sections below.