Points of Interest
Volcanoes not only shaped the face of Alaska but also make for spectacular sights. Here are the top volcanoes to look for and photograph during your Alaska vacation.
Here’s our list of places to see wildlife on the Kenai Peninsula, as well as tours to get you to the good spots.
Quick: what’s the longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America? It’s the Anderson Memorial Tunnel, and you’ll drive through it on the scenic and historic drive to Whittier. 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… ...more
The Homer Spit is a long, narrow finger of land jutting 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay. Dotted with businesses, the area caters to visitors and provides numerous recreation opportunities, from fishing and beachcombing to shopping and boating.
As you head down the Homer Spit, you’ll see a collection of grounded boats. Some are occupied, and others are abandoned. All add to the charm of the Homer Spit.
An amazing array of invertebrates (animals without backbones) live within Homer’s intertidal zone-between the water’s reach at high tide and the water’s edge at low tide. All you need is a pair of rubber boots and a tide book to explore their world.
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. ...more
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 prints by notable local artists. This diverse gallery also… ...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 ...more
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 ...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.
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. ...more
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 ...more
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 Day and Labor Day. During the noon cruise, enjoy a… ...more
Below the Bypass and accessed mainly from Main Street, the district was once the heart of Homer. It is still a vibrant area that draws locals and visitors for beach walks, dining, entertainment and art as well as basic needs like help with computers.
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.
Close to Anchorage and endowed with abundant recreational opportunities, central Kenai is Alaska’s playground. Two highways, numerous trails, and several major rivers slice through the spine of the Kenai Mountains. World-class fishing, hiking, river rafting, and canoeing – plus alpine lakes and gold history – make for an ideal day trip or week-long vacation.
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.
Everyone wants to explore a tidepool, don’t they? This is a must for the kids — even that little kid in those slightly more mature visitors. Here’s the perfect spot. Bring a towel and let’s have an intertidal adventure.
Although this can be a busy spot, it is a lot less congested than the Homer Spit. Things to do here include: taking small day hikes, paddling in the lagoon, camping, staying at one of the three nearby public use cabins, and the most popular, fishing for Kings during the month of June.
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.
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.
You don’t have to go into the art galleries (although that’s a good idea) to enjoy art in Homer. Many of the businesses, especially on Pioneer Avenue, adorn their buildings with outstanding outdoor art works.
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.
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.