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.
People from the Lower 48 come here because they’ve heard it’s quirky—and it is—but Alaskans love to come here because it offers such great fishing. You'll have to go out of your way to get here, but we recommend you do, and try to spend a couple days at least—it's one of Alaska's best small towns.
Here are the main highlights of coming to Homer:
See Fish. Kachemak Bay, among the richest marine estuaries in the world, is one of the things that make Homer so special. Go “tidepooling” with a sea kayaking outfitter and check out the starfish, octopus, and other brilliantly colored creatures. You'll paddle past remote islands and visit seabird rookeries.
Go Fish. You'll find some of the world's best halibut fishing just an hour's boat ride away. Look for migrating whales while you drop your lure many hundreds of feet deep in search of monster halibut that can top the scales at several hundred - yes, hundred - pounds.
Hike. Discover some of Alaska's best hiking in Kachemak Bay State Park, with trails to glaciers, mountain lakes, and miles of uninhabited beaches.
Bear Viewing. Homer is close to Katmai National Park, one of the most densely populated brown bear areas in the world. Experienced air taxis fly floatplanes to remote bear-viewing areas where it's not unheard of to spot 30 bears fishing for salmon or digging for clams.
Venture Across the Bay. Take a water taxi or ferry across Kachemak Bay to the tiny villages of Halibut Cove, Peterson Bay or Seldovia, where you can beachcomb, fish, bicycle or go four-wheeling.
Other Highlights of visiting here:
- Stroll “Gallery Row” on Pioneer Avenue between Main and Lake Streets.
- Visit the Pratt Museum, with high-tech exhibits on Kachemak Bay, plus local art, an aquarium, and the story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
- At the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, experience life in the remote Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
- Savor exquisite views of wildflower meadows, glaciers, and peaks from hiking trails overlooking Homer.