Interested in learning how to smoke fish, make rugs, or carve spoons—from a teacher who’s a local Alaskan? At the Homer Folk School, those locals pass along their unique skills, which come from a variety of traditions. Topics vary, but every class allows travelers and locals to get a deeper understanding of Alaska.
The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area is a place whose valleys and mountains, communities and people tell the larger story of a wild place and a rugged frontier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fascinating history. You’ll meet bigger-than-life historical characters like Alaska Nellie (as well as a few ghosts), see the original Iditarod trail, and learn about the creation of the Alaska Railroad.
A facet of life in Homer that can be watched on television is the "Deadliest Catch" about commercial crab fishing in Alaska's icy waters. Co-captains Johathan and Andy Hillstrand have produced a new book about their adventures, Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs. Anyone who has fished Alaska’s waters, whether winter or summer and for any species, know that it is a challenging and risky profession.
Visitors driving down to Homer (south west from Anchorage) find a perfect pull out rest stop on the right side of the highway on the hill above town. From this vantage, they get a preview of the pleasures to come. Fishing boats' windows twinkle out in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay, the Spit stretches half way across Kachemak Bay, and the snowy mountains on far side of the bay, embracing Kachemak Bay State Park, plus of course the the town itself.
Homer is known throughout Alaska as the state's premier artist community, home to dozens of galleries and artists. You'll find a convenient cluster of galleries worth visiting along "Gallery Row," the stretch of Pioneer Avenue between Main Street and Lake Street. Here are three we like.Picture Alaska
Picture Alaska (448 E. Pioneer Ave.) features original paintings and fine art More...
Sure, Homer's the "Halibut Fishing Capital of Alaska," but even non-anglers will revel in this end-of-the-road Alaska town. An eclectic mix of artists, fishermen, and outdoor lovers make up the lifeblood of Homer, drawn by its slow pace and postcard-ready setting by the clear-water bay. The heart of town is the Homer Spit, a long, narrow finger of land jutting into the bay.More...
The 125-mile water trail is intended to inspire exploration, understanding and stewardship of the natural treasure that is Kachemak Bay. People will take their own boats, kayaks, skiffs, or canoes on a mapped route which highlights the stops and the views along the way. On the website, you will find suggested itineraries.
Four quiet and secluded Russian Old Believer communities have been developed on the outskirts of Homer. They left their home country in search of freedom to worship in their own way. The first (and easiest to visit) Russian Old Believer community on the Kenai Peninsula was Nikolaevsk, located 10 miles east of Anchor Point on the North Fork Road, near the North Fork of the Anchor River. Privacy and preserving their lifestyle are important to Russian Old Believers. Keep that respectfully in mind when visiting one of their communities.
The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (aka The Fishing Hole) is a popular park with both locals and visitors. The lagoon is stocked with fry that grow up to provide sport fishing. The fishing hole has a handicapped accessible platform and ramp. King salmon return mid-May to early July followed by an early run of silvers mid-July to early August and a late run early August to mid-September.
When people visit Homer, they may like to spend a day or two going “across the bay”— taking a boat or air taxi across Kachemak Bay to explore the quaint villages that straddle the line between towns and wilderness.
Here you’ll find 375,000 acres of forest, fjords, mountains and ocean. You can hike along 40 miles of trails, fish for salmon or rainbow More...
In an area known for outstanding artists, Norman Lowell, whose studio is off in the wilderness north of town (near Anchor Point) several miles, is one of the best known and least visited because of his remote location. His work is exhibited in a very different gallery setting and it is presented in a personal way by the artist. Through his hanging arrangement, lighting, and sequencing of the work with thoughts on each painting, the viewer is drawn into the artist's work and is able to perceive the expressions of the artist.
A day trip across Kachemak Bay to the charming village of Halibut Cove offers you wildlife-viewing opportunities, an up-close look at a bustling bird sanctuary, and time to explore a tiny island community of artists, craftspeople, and anglers. Go there on the Danny J, a classic wooden fishing boat that ferries both visitors and residents across the bay, twice a day between Memorial More...
The Salty Dawg Saloon was originally one of the first cabins built here in 1897, just after the town was established. Today, a visit to the historic Salty Dawg Saloon on the spit will enhance your visit and put you in touch with many locals. Much more than a saloon, the Dawg has regular music performances and also serves light food.
A most spectacular view from the head of Kachemak Bay to Augustine volcano, this 180 degree panoramic view of ice, sea, mountains and sky makes a great backdrop for your souvenir Alaskan photos. The view changes season to season according to what wildflowers are in bloom and depending upon varying cloud, sky, and snow conditions.
Above Homer, up East Hill and right on Skyline Drive a mile and a half (a beautiful drive along the bluffs overlooking Homer), watch for the Wynn Nature Center, managed by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. You can stroll in the wilderness among the beautiful flora and watch for wildlife or take a tour guided by a well-informed naturalist.
The First Friday shows at the art galleries in Homer always present a great selection of art. All of the in-town shops (there are some art shops on the Spit that don't participate in First Friday) also host artists' receptions from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with refreshments (usually cookies, coffee, punch and tea) for visitors. Some of the artists also speak about their work. All of the galleries leave their featured artist's work up until the following month's first Friday.
Jean Keene, widely known as the Homer "Eagle Lady," shared her love and knowledge of eagles with visitors before she passed away January 13, 2009. She was 85. In 1977 Keene relocated from Aitkin, Minnesota to Homer, where she lived in a motorhome parked within a small enclosure, in the middle of a campground near the outer end of the Spit.
The Swiss Kilcher family came to this country on a boat in the 1940s escaping the horrors of World War II in Europe, blessing Homer with outstanding talents in the performing as well as visual arts. They homesteaded 600 acres at mile 12.5 East End Road, near the head of Kachemak Bay.