If you visit the Kenai Peninsula on the way to the Kenai Fjords National Park, you might want to consider including the small town of Homer in your trip planning. By extending your travel by a few days, you will experience what we felt was the essential Alaska travel adventure. So head with us to the “end of the road” and see what to do in Homer Alaska for a few days.
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City of Homer
The small town of Homer is at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, and gained its nickname of “End of the Road”. A departure point for many fishing trips, Homer is also known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.”
Homer Alaska Map
What to Do in Homer Alaska
Given the location by the Kachemak Bay, it’s no surprise that water activities are in high demand. Fishing is one of the most popular things to do in Homer Alaska, but there are other outdoor sports available.
Homer Alaska Hiking
There are dozens of hiking trails around Homer, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. Among the top hikes are:
If you are by the Homer Spit, the 4-mile Homer Spit paved trail leads to the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.
The 7-mi Homestead Trail at Rogers Loop Rd is considered one of Homer’s top hikes, providing panoramic views of Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay. The 3-mi China Poot Lake Trail is short but takes you to a lake for a refreshing dip in summer. If you are looking for glaciers, check the 3-mile Grewingk Glacier Lake Trail that will take you to views of the same name glacier.
Kachemak Bay State Park
An arm of Cook Inlet, the state park can only be reached by boat or plane, most of which from Homer. Take a water taxi and head to Glacier Lake Trail, and explore the large roadless wilderness. An awesome location for wildlife watching, including puffins and eagles, moose and black bears, sea otters, seals, whales, and porpoises. In addition to backpacking on rustic campgrounds, it is possible to book via the Kachemak Bay State Park overnight stays in cabins and yurts.
In addition to hiking, the area is known for awesome kayaking and canoeing opportunities thanks to the 125-mile Kachemak Bay Water Trail that runs from Homer Spit Alaska, up to the city of Seldovia.
Homer Alaska Fishing
Deep-sea fishing is one of the big draws. If you are into halibut, Home is the place to be. Many Homer Alaska fishing charters operate from the Homer Spit.
River fishing is also popular in one of the numerous rivers on the Peninsula. Three different salmon species return every summer and make for impressive fishing opportunities. Permits are required depending on the rivers, the seasons, and the salmon species you are fishing.
Homer is a great base for bear-watching tours, as you can board one of the flightseeing tours to Katmai National Park. The park features the famous Brooks Falls where brown bears gather in the summer months to catch salmon going up the Brooks River. We took a full-day tour to see Katmai bears, which turned to be one of the highlights of our Alaska trip.
Homer Alaska Kayaking
Kayaking in Homer Alaska is another local favorite. The Kachemak Bay is home to caves and fjords, which make for exciting kayaking trips. Watch for the Kenai tides before you head out.
Homer Alaska Restaurants
The Homer Spit is where you will find most restaurants, but there are also a couple of options in Homer proper.
Here are some quick suggestions for your Homer foodie experience:
Seafood: Little Mermaid | Oyster Bar: Jakolof Bay Oyster Co. | Bakeries: Two Sisters Bakery | Quick Snacks: Cosmic Kitchen | Steakhouse: AJ’s Oldtown Steakhouse & Tavern | Espresso Bar: Shore Brew Espresso | Saloon: Salty Dawg Saloon | Ice Cream: Carmen’s Gelato | Fine Dining: Wasabi’s
Homer Alaska Lodging
Places to stay in Homer Alaska vary in range and prices.
Homer Alaska Hotels & Cabins
You can find hotels scattered in and around town, and by the Homer Spit. You can see here some recommendations based on budget and amenities:
Renting of whole cabins in Homer AK is a budget-friendly option for travelers coming in a group and staying more than a few days. These self-catering lodgings usually allow you to cook and might come with an outside patio where you can chill and enjoy your Alaska stay.
Homer Alaska Campgrounds
Some campsites are close to downtown Homer; others by the Homer Spit. In the peak months of summer, book ahead to reserve your Homer campsite spot.
Homer Alaska Weather
Thanks to a moderate subarctic coastal climate, the temperatures are milder in Homer than compared to the Alaska interior. Winters are snowy but not as cold as the rest of Alaska.
How To Organize Your Homer Travel Plans
Home is 225 miles from Anchorage, and driving there would take around five hours straight. However, the beautiful scenery will have you stop more often than not. Plan for longer drive time and enjoy the scenic drive!
Another option is to fly from Anchorage into Homer Alaska airport (HOM). The flight lasts around 40 minutes, and there is usually at least one flight per day.
There is no train between Anchorage and Homer. However, a train goes to Seward, a 4-hour ride from Anchorage. From there, you can either rent a car, take a taxi or a bus.
Homer Travel Tips
- Weather can change fast in Alaska. Come prepared with layers and a good waterproof jacket.
- Get a copy of the Lonely Planet Alaska Travel Guide and an Alaska National Geographic Adventure Map to prepare your road trip.
- Most Kenai travel will start in Anchorage. Spend some time there to organize your itinerary.
We hoped you find this Homer post useful. Have you been to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula? What did you think about the area? Please leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!
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