.Known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World”, Homer is a charming town on Kachemak Bay overlooking the mountains and glaciers. Besides the fishing, it is famous for hiking, sailing, kayaking, the beaches and photography. The latter comes to no surprise; as the Alaskan capital of ecological tourism, Homer takes a good amount of pride in maintaining the beauty and diversity of its water and land. This small town of 5390 residents on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula is surely one that you will never forget.
Without hesitation, you have to experience the Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. It is located on the other side of the bay and covers a land area of 350,000 acres. This park is a paradise for hikers, campers and other outdoorsy-adventurous souls. To reach the park, you can take a water taxi and maybe spot whales, seals or sea otters along the way. Once in the park, you can hike for hours and observe caribou, bears, coyotes, mountain goats, wolves and moose.
If you visit Homer stop at the Homer Spit, a 4.5 mile long strip of land that stretches across Kachemak Bay. This strip is filled with life and tourists during the summer, and you will find plenty of restaurants, boutiques, bars and beach-campers along the way.
We stopped at Mike’s for breakfast, and we weren’t disappointed! They offer various subs and sandwiches but also tasty tacos as well as all day breakfast. Make sure to try one of their gluten free coconut macaroons, they are delicious! Their address is 158 W. Pioneer ave Suite E. Homer, Alaska and they are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Another great spot to try out is La Baleine Café. It is closed in the winter but opens again from May to September. They bring you fresh and local ingredients and even offer cooking classes. Make sure to try the ‘Musher Meal’ for breakfast or try out one of their deli sandwiches or hot sandwiches with fresh Alaskan salmon or crab! La Baleine Café is located on the end of the Homer Strip, and is open from 5:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Last but not least, stop at the Little Mermaid. They offer fresh and local food and everything is made from scratch. They are also closed in the winter and open again in May. When you go, try out the Kachemak Bay Mussels, the Local Rockfish Sandwich, the Alaskan Fish Chowder, their Stone Bowl or their Fish and Chips. The Little Mermaid is also located on the end of the Homer Spit, at 4246 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603, and is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
When in Homer you absolutely have to stop for a drink at the Salty Dawg Saloon. The cabin that hosts this one-of-a-kind bar was one of the first cabins built in Homer, back in 1897. Today, it is known for the thousands of dollar bills hanging on the walls, ceilings, and basically anywhere they can find a space. The tradition of sticking a dollar on the wall started years ago when one man stuck a bill on the wall telling the bartender his friend would come by later. Today, most of the money collected goes to various fundraisers and environmental causes. The bar is located on the Homer Spit at 4380 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, Alaska.
When I visited Homer, I absolutely fell in love with the Mermaid Den Airbnb I was staying at, and you will definitely do too. The house is located on top of the hill, with a spectacular view on Kachemac Bay and the Homer Spit. The room, which offers this panoramic view, is located downstairs. It comes with a private bathroom as well as your own coffee machine. I spent mornings staring at the mountains and the water. At night, we would often spot caribou in front of the driveway and in the backyard on the hill. On top of that Kelly was the most hospitable host, and gave us plenty of awesome recommendations.
By plane: You can take a 35 minute flight from Anchorage
By Car: Homer is approximately a 4 hour drive from Seward, and a 5 hour (200 miles) drive from Anchorage. It is the end of the Alaska Highway 1, and passes through Soldotna and Clam Gulch along the way.
By Ferry: You can reach Homer by ferry through the Alaska Marine Highway System. For more information or reservations click here