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 narrated, 30 minute visit to Gull Island, a bird sanctuary in the bay that's home to nine nesting species, including red-faced cormorants, puffins, and gulls, as well as numerous migrating visitors. The birds are very used to a human presence, and they will swim in the water right alongside the boat. The Danny J gets so close to the island that at high tide that you'll have a bird's-eye-view down into the nests. Bring your camera and binoculars for the K-Bay marine wildlife too: seals, humpback whales, and porpoises.

The Danny J docks right below Halibut Cove's first and only restaurant, the Saltry. Unless you pack a picnic lunch, you'll need to make a reservation here (this is a requirement for the evening, a.k.a. dinner tour). The fare is hard to resist: hearty chowders, fresh-baked bread, fresh-picked salad, and of course, the catch of the day from Kachemak Bay, hot off the charcoal grill. The menu also includes fine wines, microbrews, and desserts. Lunch and dinner seatings are coordinated with the Danny J runs. What to Bring Binoculars and camera gear are a must. Dress warmly and casually. Raingear is provided aboard the boat if needed, as all the best views are from the outside seats. Bring a sack lunch or make lunch or dinner reservations at the Saltry.

You can also explore halibut cove on a guided kayaking tour with local operator Three Moose Kayak Adventures. They offer a 1/2 day and 3/4-day kayaking trip in the area. One just explores the cove, and the other explores the cove and also takes guests on a guided hike to a nearby glacial lake.

Getting There

Homer, AK 99603
Driving Directions