One of the most scenic cities on Kachemak Bay, Homer, AK offers a wealth of things to see and do. You can explore Kachemak Bay, which is one of the richest marine estuaries in the world, or head into the wilderness of Katmai National Park to experience the most densely populated brown bear area in the world.
1.Kachemak Bay State Park
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Kachemak Bay State Park is a 400,000-acre oceanside park that was the first one designated as such by the Alaska State Park system. Since there is no road access to the majority of the park, many visitors access its hidden beauty by flying in or by boat. The park’s extensive biodiversity makes it home to black bears, moose, sea lions, sea otters, whales, and several other sea and land animals, which you may come across during your exploration. If you choose to hike through the mostly wild land to higher areas, you’ll be able to get a bird’s eye view of the dense mountain forests, sandy beaches, icefields, and glaciers.
Homer, Alaska 99603, Phone: 907-262-5581
2.Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
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The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies can be found in beautiful Kachemak Bay. Visitors of all ages will be able to connect with the Alaskan outdoors via their many tours, guided walks, educational programs, and overnight events. The Wynn Nature Center is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the boreal forest as you gaze at the wildflowers and keep an eye out for bear, moose, lynx, and other animals that call the wildlife preserve home. The Peterson Bay Field Station is a laboratory on the south shore of Kachemak Bay that is only accessible by boat – if you happen to make it over there, keep an eye out for diverse wildlife like harbor seals, octopus, and sea otters.
708 Smoky Bay Way, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-6746
© Ptarmigan Arts
Ptarmigan Arts is a local cooperative gallery on Pioneer Avenue that has been around since 1984. Owned and operated by the artists, the gallery is a platform for you to explore the many pieces of work on display and to get to know the people behind them. Works include acrylic and watercolor paintings, photographs, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, woodworks, arts prints, and much more. The gallery is open year round and has become a popular base for artists to display and sell their work while also giving visitors a platform to purchase local handcrafted items and quality artwork. There are many shows and exhibits scheduled there as well – their First Friday gallery receptions are a fun way to spend the evening.
471 E Pioneer Ave, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-5345
© Pratt Museum
Located on the shores of Kachemak Bay, the Pratt Museum houses several indoor and outdoor exhibits that focus on art, Native Alaskan cultures, natural history, marine ecology, fishing, and homesteading. The museum has a lovely botanical garden that is filled with local flora, a nature trail through the forest, and the historic Harrington cabin. There are several exhibits, some of which rotate throughout the year; their art gallery has a diverse collection of contemporary, Native Alaskan, and Alaskan art. Their Kachemak Bay: An Exploration off People and Place exhibit is a popular aspect that comprises community-based photos, videos, and more.
3779 Bartlett Street, Homer, AK 99603
5.Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
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Located right beside Kachemak Bay, the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center is one of the largest seabird refuges in the world. Visitors of all ages will love exploring the past and present of the refuge. In addition to seeing the many exhibits on the interpretive trail, you’ll be able to pick the brains of biologists and learn about what they come across when they sail to remote islands. Kids will love completing various activities in the visitor center to earn their Junior Biologist Badge. Don’t forget to stop the Alaska Geographic bookstore located within the center for an array of books, nature guides, and children’s items to take back with them.
95 Sterling Hwy, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-6961
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The Homer Spit is a long, narrow sliver of land that extends for almost 5 miles into Kachemak Bay. It’s a great place with stunning panoramic views of crystal-clear water and glacier-studded mountains. The area is filled with businesses, shops, and restaurants that you can enjoy. Recreational fun such as beachcombing the endless miles of sand, boating, and fishing are abundant in the area. Test out your sea legs with fishing charters or go on a guided kayaking trip to get to know the place in a unique and special way. There are many boat and walking tours conducted by knowledgeable guides for you to enjoy while learning about the area’s history and little-known facts.
Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603
7.Bishop's Beach Park
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Bishop’s Beach Park is an endless expanse of beach that stretches from Old Homer to Beluga Slough. The sand and mud beach is extremely popular with residents and visitors for tide-pooling, gathering coal, and dog walking. You’ll be sure to come across many migrating shorebirds, bald eagles, herring gull, and harlequin ducks. Kids love coming across crabs and clams burrowed in the sand. Other amenities at the park include restroom facilities, picnic shelters with grills, and its proximity to the many shops, restaurants, and galleries a short distance away in the Old Town.
Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-6090
Aldea at Tlaquepaque, Phone: 480-625-2534
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8.Seldovia Bay Ferry
© Seldovia Bay Ferry
The Seldovia Bay Ferry is a fast and friendly way for residents and visitors to cross over between Homer and Seldovia. The comfortable passenger and light freight service takes 45 minutes one way and is an important mode of travel for the locals. It’s also a wonderful way to explore your surroundings and appreciate the bodies of water and mountains that surround the area. There is a food service available on the ferry, so you can enjoy tea, coffee, water, soft drinks, and beverages during your ride. Be sure to stop by and enjoy this unique and fun thing to do while you’re in Homer.
Ramp 7/ JJ Dock, Homer Harbor, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-435-3299
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Being the fishing town that it is, Homer is home to many men and women who risk their lives to head out to sea. They willingly go, knowing that they may come back with a fresh seafood payload or that they might never see safe harbor again. Situated on the Homer Split, the Seafarer’s Memorial is a lovely tribute to the people who have lost their lives at sea. It is not limited to those in commercial fishing, but also remembers people who passed away while kayaking, canoeing, or in any other type of vessel. There are around 70 names, along with the dates they died and their vessels, engraved on plaques that are mounted on the pillars. The sight will show you a different side of Homer and the people that reside there.
4535 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603
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10.Homer Public Library
© Homer Public Library
Serving the Southern Kenai Peninsula, the Homer Public Library originated in the 1940s in an old school building. In 1950, the library was fully built with thousands of books donated by Alaskan politician Anthony Dimond. With its growing popularity and service to the community, the library was relocated to a much larger building – its current home – in 2006. The library started an initiative in 1987 that accepts, publishes, displays, and makes available manuscripts from the community; it is called the “Top Drawer Collection” and is a great aspect of the library that you should check out when there. The library now houses a variety of books, hosts many events and workshops, and is an integral part of the community and is well worth exploring while visiting Homer.
500 Hazel Avenue, Homer, AK 99603
11.Grace Ridge Brewery
© Grace Ridge Brewery
Grace Ridge is a family-owned and operated brewery that has been lovingly maintained by the Stead family. The brewery started as a Christmas gift in the form of a 5-gallon homebrew kit back in 1988. Though it started small, it soon gained popularity with friends and members of the community and now provides rich and flavorful fine craft brews using recipes that have been tried and tested over the years. Their malt is milled in-house and adds a smooth flavor to each batch, along with the freshest hops available. Visiting them is a must when in Homer; be sure to stop by and talk to them about their history, their process, and the brews.
3388 B St, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-435-0601
12.Alaska Ultimate Safaris
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Alaska is filled with so many things to see and do, and there’s no better people to do it with than the fun and professional staff at Alaska Ultimate Safaris. There is a variety of safaris to choose from, ensuring that you have a once in a lifetime trip while in Homer. Their volcano safaris are extraordinary as you fly over active volcanoes, landing at the very top of the summit to take in the awesome view of Alaska’s “Garden of Eden.” Walk on the glaciers at Harding Ice Field and see the amazing waterfalls on their Ice Safaris. For something really exhilarating, go on the one-of-a-kind Bear Tour, which flies you over Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks so that you can get up close and personal with the bears of Alaska.
3720 Faa St, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 888-696-2327
13.Bunnell Street Arts Center
© Bunnell Street Arts Center
The Bunnell Street Arts Center is an amazing platform that brings together a variety of artists. Head over there to explore the different aspects, such as their Artist in Residence program, which features many local and national artists who are there for month-long residencies and with whom you can engage. They rotate their visual art exhibitions every first Friday of the month, and the artist’s reception also includes a lecture and workshop that the public is invited to attend. Other events held throughout the year include readings, talks, performances, dances, concerts, screenings, and theater performances. Their community-wide events are a great way for locals and visitors to get up close and personal with the artists of Alaska.
106 W Bunnell Ave, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-2662
14.Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
© Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
The Kilcher Homestead Living Museum is a wonderful way to experience life in Alaska in the early 1940s. The family migrated there from Switzerland, when the 160-acre land besides Kachemak Bay contained only a one-room cabin without electricity and modern conveniences amidst the wilderness. You’ll be able to experience their lifestyle firsthand, including the way they caught salmon for food, tended their own garden, and churned their own butter. The homestead museum is filled with a lot of artifacts such as school books from when they were homeschooled as well as home decor and photographs of the family in their pioneer log cabin. If you want an extended experience of Kilcher, stay in the cabin overnight and enjoy a delicious homestead-style breakfast that is cooked on the original coal stove.
Kilcher Rd, Homer, AK 99603
15.Homer Farmers Market
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Since 2000 the Homer Farmers Market has been aiding the development of the local agricultural community. With goals to make them more sustainable and benefit the greater community of the Kachemak Bay area, the market has flourished. You’ll be able to purchase excellent farm and garden products, while also being able to meet and socialize with many of Homer’s local residents. There are produce, craft, and food vendors, including renowned local companies such as Seafoods of Alaska, Homer Hilltop Gardens, Karol Kahn Miller, Stain Glass INC, and Granma’s Jam. Additional events held at the farmers market include community potlucks, kids vending day, and the annual Zucchini Festival.
1155 Ocean Dr, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-299-7540
16.Hallo Bay Lodge Bear Viewing
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Established in 1994, Hallo Bay Lodge Bear Viewing offers you an incomparable Alaskan wildlife and wilderness experience. It’s famed for getting you up close to bears as they roam through their natural environment. There are day trips and overnight trips that will take you along the Pacific Coast of Katmai National Park. The day trip is approximately five hours long, three of which will be spent with the bears. The overnight tour can be for one or two nights and includes a two-person tent, professional naturalists to guide you, meals, and bush plane airfare. More adventurous visitors might prefer to take their raft tour, which can go through Glacier Lake or Volcano Lake.
17.Manns Charter Service
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Have the fishing trip of a lifetime with Manns Charter Service. You can climb aboard their vessel, the Arctic Addition, and head further out to the Kenai Peninsula for a fishing experience of a lifetime. The full-service charter focuses on safety and provides the best fishing gear on the market, earning themselves a five-star rating rom the United States Coast Guard. All you need to bring is your fishing license, as they have all the gear as well as additional boots and rain gear, drinks, and snacks. Fish species that are popular on the waters include rockfish, halibut, and salmon.
Homer Harbor, Slip K:35, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-260-5860
© Little Mermaid
No trip to Homer is complete without a meal at Little Mermaid. The restaurant uses local ingredients so that they can create their culinary concoctions from scratch while also supporting a chain of local producers and businesses. You can taste all of the dedication and passion Little Mermaid has toward creating mouthwatering cuisine in each bite you take. Their brick oven pizzas are renowned and offer so many different choices for patrons with a diverse palates. Other items on the menu that shouldn’t be missed include their stuffed dates, the Alaskan fish chowder, Kodiak scallops, and their wild prawns topped with house-made peanut satay sauce.
4246 Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-399-9900
19.Two Sisters Bakery
© Two Sisters Bakery
Two Sisters Bakery has gained so much popularity since it opened that no trip to Homer is complete without trying their amazing baked goods. The cakes and cupcakes are made fresh to order from scratch, and you can choose from an array of homemade frostings, fillings, and decorations. They are recognized nationally and have been featured by Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and The New York Times. Due to the goods being baked to order, you’ll have to let them know at least 48 hours in advance. Other dessert favorites include the flourless boca negra and their vanilla cheesecake flavored with berry swirl, pumpkin, chocolate, espresso, or Irish cream.
233 East Bunnell Avenue, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-2280
20.The Bagel Shop
© The Bagel Shop
The brainchild of Gabe Chapin and Mikela Aramburu, the Bagel Shop started in their kitchen with late nights of kneading, boiling, and creating schmears. They decided to take their culinary concoctions for a test spin with a pop-up tent at the local farmers market. Due to the overwhelming number of people who loved their food, the couple decided to open the Bagel Shop in the heart of Homer’s industrial/boatyard area. They’re committed to using the highest quality whole food ingredients available, and their plain bagels are 100% vegan. The menu is constantly changing to add fresh, seasonal ingredients, but items that are constant throughout the year include their toasted bagel with smoked salmon and their BLT with thick, peppery bacon and Roma tomatoes.
3745 East End Road, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-299-2099
21.Bear Creek Winery
© Bear Creek Winery
Bear Creek is a country winery that is famed for making fruit wines and fruit-grape wine blends. Their award-winning wines are handcrafted using some of the best berries in the world. Each of the berries were carefully handpicked and processed to create their unique array of products. Visitors are invited to walk the gardens and enjoy the picturesque views of Kachemak Bay. You can tour the facility and better understand their techniques and process or try some of the end product in their wine tasting room. Visitors who want to have a romantic getaway can choose to stay in their intimate and lovely lodging right there in the winery.
9440, 60203 Bear Creek Dr, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-8484
22.Homer Brewing Company
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After a day of hiking, surfing, or kayaking around Kachemak Bay, head over to the Homer Brewing Company to quench your thirst with a refreshing beer. The brewery has been an integral part of the community since 1996 and offers unfiltered, unpasteurized traditional country ales. The five beers in their flagship lineup are available all year long; be sure to try the Old Inlet Pale Ale or the Red Knot Scottish while you’re there. Their seasonals and specialties, like the Oktoberfest lager, have become extremely popular as well. If you’re not a beer drinker, not to worry as the Homer Brewing Company also produces two styles of teas: The Alaska Chai and the Zen Chai.
1411 Lake Shore Drive, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-3626
23.Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery
© Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery
Norman Lowell is a talented artist who came to Alaska over 60 years ago to paint the wild north country. He was so inspired by the natural beauty that surrounded him that he chose to stay there and paint the various panoramas of the land. The Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery exhibits over 300 of his works in various mediums. In addition to the paintings, there are also sculptures and artifacts – all of which have been personally presented by the artist, from the hanging arrangement and lighting to the sequencing of the work. Below each painting, you’ll also see a description of the artist’s thoughts and perceptions about his work.
Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-7344
24.Art Shop Gallery
© Art Shop Gallery
The Art Shop Gallery is the ultimate destination for viewing and purchasing authentic Alaskan art. Stop by and view their expanded gallery, which houses several authentic works from local artists such as Annie Brace and Byron Birdsall. In addition to the lovely works of art, you’ll also be able to browse and purchase fine art posters and limited edition prints. There are hundreds of Alaskan gifts that you can purchase for yourself or as souvenirs for friends and family back home, such as Alaskan Christmas ornaments, jewelry, glass works, Alaskan ivory and bone carvings, Native crafts, and pottery pieces by local artists from Birch Grove Studios.
202 W Pioneer Avenue, Suite A, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-7076
© Cafe Cups
A whimsical dining destination in downtown Homer, Cafe Cups offers an intimate, family-friendly setting for locals and visitors to enjoy a fresh, delicious meal. Specializing in friendly service and healthy portions, Cafe Cups is hard to miss as the exterior is covered in teacups of varying sizes and colors. Their menu is filled with mouthwatering steaks, fresh local seafood, pastas, and more, ensuring that diners with various tastes will find something that they’ll love eating. A lot of the ingredients used are supplied by local producers and businesses, as are the wines and craft beers on their beverage menu.
162 West Pioneer Avenue, Homer, AK 99603, Phone: 907-235-8330
25 Best Things to Do in Homer, Alaska
- Kachemak Bay State Park, Photo: Courtesy of tonawilliams - Fotolia.com
- Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Photo: Courtesy of LoweStock - Fotolia.com
- Ptarmigan Arts, Photo: Ptarmigan Arts
- Pratt Museum, Photo: Pratt Museum
- Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, Photo: Courtesy of Henryk Sadura - Fotolia.com
- Homer Spit, Photo: Courtesy of ricktravel - Fotolia.com
- Bishop's Beach Park, Photo: Courtesy of latitude59 - Fotolia.com
- Seldovia Bay Ferry, Photo: Seldovia Bay Ferry
- Seafarer's Memorial, Photo: Courtesy of latitude59 - Fotolia.com
- Homer Public Library, Photo: Homer Public Library
- Grace Ridge Brewery, Photo: Grace Ridge Brewery
- Alaska Ultimate Safaris, Photo: Courtesy of ronm - Fotolia.com
- Bunnell Street Arts Center, Photo: Bunnell Street Arts Center
- Kilcher Homestead Living Museum, Photo: Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
- Homer Farmers Market, Photo: Courtesy of eqroy - Fotolia.com
- Hallo Bay Lodge Bear Viewing, Photo: Courtesy of ronm - Fotolia.com
- Manns Charter Service, Photo: Courtesy of Andrea Izzotti - Fotolia.com
- Little Mermaid, Photo: Little Mermaid
- Two Sisters Bakery, Photo: Two Sisters Bakery
- The Bagel Shop, Photo: The Bagel Shop
- Bear Creek Winery, Photo: Bear Creek Winery
- Homer Brewing Company, Photo: Courtesy of bravissimos - Fotolia.com
- Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery, Photo: Norman Lowell Studio & Gallery
- Art Shop Gallery, Photo: Art Shop Gallery
- Cafe Cups, Photo: Cafe Cups
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Julie Flavin - Fotolia.com