Homer Winter Activities
You won’t visit Homer with near-guarantees of seeing the northern lights like other Alaska winter vacation hot spots. Instead, visiting Homer in winter is perfect for unplugging in a cozy ocean-front town. You might be surprised what adventures are available when the snow flies!
Fishing & Cruising
Water taxis, like Coldwater Alaska, operate year-round. Enjoy spectacular sightseeing tours out on Kachemak Bay, or take the taxis over to the wonderfully remote cabins and yurts across the bay. These trips are weather-dependent, but October and March/April are the most reliable times for wintry but pleasant weather.
And while you’re there, try some winter fishing! We’re not just talking about ice fishing. O’Fish’ial Charters and Maverick Charters can get you out to fish for Winter Kings (October–March) and Tanner Crabs, also known as snow crabs (October–February). The full-day trips last from 6 to 8 hours. You’ll be plenty warm in the boats’ heated cabins between reeling in catches. The company can also arrange fishing packages with lodging.
There’s no bad time of year to see Alaska’s landscape from above. Book a 45-minute or 1-hour flightseeing tour with Smokey Bay Air to soar over snow-covered mountains and icefields, with towering volcanoes looming in the distance.
Hiking & Cross-Country Skiing
There’s no better way to experience Homer like a local than by hitting the trails, whether on foot or skis. This is how Alaskans recreate in the winter, and the scenery won’t disappoint! Trails at the Wynn Nature Center are open year-round for hiking and snowshoeing. They’re not cleared or groomed, but the most popular ones are often well-packed from use. These include the 1.5 mile Lutz/Fireweed Loop and the ¾ Dogwood Loop. Both start from the main cabin, where you’ll also find a large trail map of the area. Come on Sundays from January through March for some extra fun: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies hosts a Wynnter Sunday Funday event from 1–3pm, often complete with s’mores and hot dogs! The center also rents snowshoes: They’re $5 for 3 days and can be checked out from the Coastal Studies headquarters at 708 Smoky Bay Way, or from the Wynn Nature Center during a Sunday program.
You can also sample Homer’s impressive system of groomed ski trails maintained by the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club. Trails are clustered in three main parts of town; you can view the trail systems on their website.
Most hotels in Homer are open year-round. In-town options include the Driftwood Inn in the heart of Old Town Homer or Seafarer Suites on the main street of downtown Homer. Baycrest Lodge offers private rentals at the edge of town set high on a bluff overlooking Kachemak Bay. Their saltwater hot tubs are the perfect place to warm up on a cold winter day. For accommodations with a home-away-from-home feel, Paula’s Place B&B and Cozy Cove Inn are favorite local B&Bs.
Across Kachemak Bay, most wilderness lodges close in the winter, but Between Beaches in Seldovia stays open year-round and makes an idyllic winter retreat. These cozy cabins are dry in winter, but provide waterfront views, outdoor fire pits, and a wood-fired sauna and hot tub!
O’Fish’ial specializes in saltwater halibut and king salmon charter fishing experiences out of Homer, as well as Long Range trophy fish hunts. Owner Chad has spent countless hours with seasoned Alaskan fishermen who shared time-tested advice – and their fishing hotspots – with him. He combines this knowledge with a customer-service focus and passion for sharing all the excitement and adventure Alaska fishing has to offer.
Out on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, at (literally) the end of the road, sits the quirky town of Homer — the ecotourism capital of Alaska. Artists, adventurers, and foodies all come to experience the town’s creative energy, great restaurants, and gorgeous wilderness. And at the entrance to town, just off the Sterling Highway, you’ll find the Homer Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.
Whether you’d like to go on a personalized boat tour of the Homer area or take a water taxi to the Alaskan backcountry, Homer is an ideal place to launch from, and Coldwater has the boats and expertise to get you there. Explore places like Kachemak Bay State Park, the small town of Seldovia, and picturesque Halibut Cove.
Watch bears digging for clams, wandering the sedge grass, or nursing their young – all in a short flight from Homer to Katmai or Lake Clark National Park. Smokey Bay’s bear tours last about five hours total — including flights and about three hours on the ground. On any given day there will always be a morning outing (leaving at 8 a.m. at the latest) and possibly one that leaves around 2 p.m.
Go fish! Cast your line for iconic Alaskan salmon and halibut — as well as other species — as you explore the shimmering waters around Homer with the passionate fishing pros of Maverick Charters. The stunning area is one that many travelers don’t get to explore, and all ages can enjoy this unforgettable outing — no experience necessary!
Ever gone ice fishing? Caribou lake is a great place to enjoy this cold and unique experience. You can spend a quiet day to yourself, fishing for Dolly Varden and Kokanee. Or if you’re feeling more competitive, you can participate in the Snomad’s (Homer’s snow machine club) annual ice fishing contest. (Either way, dress in warm layers and be prepared to sit or stand in the cold!)