What are some of the best things to do in Homer, Alaska?
After all, when you think about the city of Homer, what comes to mind?
Well first off, it is a small city locted in Alaska with only about 5,000 people living there. But even for being a small city, it is known for quite a few things.
For instance, Homer, Alaska has long been known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World”.
It also has a few nicknames such as “the end of the road”, and more recently, “the cosmic hamlet by the sea”.
When visiting this city, you will actually find out that there is quite a bit of things you can see and do here. It sits on a long strip of land where you can find all kinds of art galleries, bars and restaurants, shops, and even cute little beaches.
The city of Homer is basically filled with a wealth of history and culture as well as beautiful spaces for you to roam around and explore.
From things like Kachemak Bay State Park to horseback riding tours or even visiting one of the most interesting museums around the area, Homer is a place that will definitely be of interest to you.
If you’re wondering exactly what are some of the best things to do in Homer, Alaska, then you are in luck.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Homer, Alaska.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Homer, Alaska
- Kachemak Bay State Park
- Visit The Pratt Museum
- Bishop’s Beach
- Homer Spit
- Eat At The Little Mermaid
- Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery
- Visit The Ptarmigan Arts
- Ride On The Seldovia Bay Ferry
- Visit The Seafarer’s Memorial
- Take An Eco Tour Safari
- Eat At Two Sisters Bakery
- Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
- Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
- Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
- Go On A Kayak or Canoeing Tour
- Bear Creek Winery
- Go Fishing For Halibut
- Eat At Cafe Cups
- Look At Some Volcanoes
- Visit Salty Dawg Saloon
- Homer Public Library
- Visit Homer Farmers Market
- Bunnell Street Arts Center
Things To Do In Homer, Alaska
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Homer, Alaska.
Kachemak Bay State Park
One of the most interesting and unique State Parks you’ll be able to find in Alaska, is one called Kachemak Bay State Park.
This park is the first park in Alaska to be designated as a State Park.
It covers a whopping 400,000 acres and is filled with plenty of things for you to see and do. And fun fact, the only way to get to this park is by plane or boat. There are no roads or trails here which means this state park is literally an actual Wilderness Park.
Here you can see some of the most marvelous views ever known to man. From things like a glacier filled lake, majestic waterfalls, and just overall amazing scenic views from all around the area.
Kachemak Bay State Park is also known for its various quality recreational areas you can find all along the way. Visitors to the park will be able to find opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping and various kinds of mountain sports.
Not only that, but Kachemak Bay is also a critical habitat area for many species of wildlife. For instance, some of the land mammals that live here include things like moose, black bear, mountain goats, coyotes and wolves. You can also find plenty of marine life here as well with things like sea otters, seals, porpoise and whales all being a common sight to see.
If you are wanting to visit this amazing park, you’ll have to either rent a boat or take a water taxi across the bay. It makes for a fantastic place to roam around and explore and the experience will be so surreal.
Just be careful because most of the park is underdeveloped, which means you’ll have to handle most emergencies yourself.
Visit The Pratt Museum
If you love visiting different kinds of museums and learning some really interesting things, then you will absolutely love the Pratt Museum.
This museum is a great regional museum where visitors are able to learn about all the local culture and history of the Kachemak Bay region.
Inside this museum you can find various kinds of collections that are put on display for visitors to see. Many of these collections are items and artifacts found from around the surrounding area and play an important role in shaping the culture of Kachemak Bay. You’ll also find various kinds of exhibits and guides which detail the history and stories of the surrounding region as well as what makes the small town of Homer such a beautiful place to live.
But aside from that, you can also find many other things as well.
For instance, this museum even has a “Marine Gallery”, where you can learn all about the marine life living in the region. This gallery contains over 75 species of fish, birds and mammals that live in and by the sea. You can find things like octopus’s gliding around, sea star creeping over an edge, to even the rare Bering Sea Beaked Whale, Steller Sea Lion, Beluga Whales and more are all readily available for you to learn from.
And depending on when you decide to visit, they also have rotating exhibits that change every once in awhile to showcase new information for people to see.
Overall it is a fantastic place where you can learn so much about the history and culture of the surrounding area. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this experience!
If you want to get away from all the city life, and just want to surround yourself with some water fun, then you absolutely have to head to the beach.
And one beach in particular is especially popular here in Homer, and that beach is Bishop’s Beach.
Locals and tourists alike all flock to this beach as it makes for a really relaxing time. There are so many things for you to see and do here, as well as being surrounded by nature in all corners of the area.
For instance, one of the most popular things to do here is to simply check out a tidepool. Which can happen at various times of the day. Or you can do things like beachcombing where you’ll shift through sand and mud trying to find that perfect gem of an item hidden in plain sight.
You’ll also notice that there are plenty of trails here for you to roam around in and explore. It’s one of the best ways to take in nature and see some of the most scenic sights possible. And if you take the Beluga Slough Trail, you can even find your way to the “Islands and Ocean Visitor Center”. Plus you’ll be in close walking distance to many shops, restaurants and art galleries in Old Town.
Bishop’s Beach makes for a great way to explore nature at its finest as well as see some of the most unusual things possible. It’s an experience you definitely want to have and if you ever have time, I would highly suggest making plans to visit this area.
One of the most iconic places you can ever visit here in the city of Homer, is a place called Homer Spit.
Now the name might not be that attractive, but once you come here, you will absolutely be astonished.
Homer Spit sits on a long, narrow finger of land that stretches for about 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay. Here you’ll be able to find various kinds of restaurants, businesses, shops, and more all catering to visitors and locals alike.
This place is a haven for recreational activities as there is simply so much you can see and do.
For instance, some of the most popular things to do here includes fishing for some amazing fish or even beachcombing through the sands. You can even go on a kayaking trip, take a boat tour around the area, ride a ferry across the bay and more. Plus it’s one of the best places to take pictures of boats returning back to dock after a long day out in the waters.
This place is also a fantastic place to go Eagle watching as you’ll find hundreds of eagles flocking to this area, especially during the winter to be fed by a special person called the “Eagle Lady”.
If you only have a limited time to stay in Homer, Alaska, then this place is an absolute must visit place as you’ll find most of the fun and entertaining things are placed here at this location.
Eat At The Little Mermaid
One of the most iconic places you can eat at here in the city of Homer, Alaska is at a place called the “Little Mermaid“.
And no it has no relation to the Disney movie with the same name.
But what it does have is some of the best foods you can ever find in the city.
From things like “French Fry Cone to Rockfish Tacos or even Thai Fish Cakes and Pizza”, you can find it all being served here at this restaurant.
Plus you’ll notice that the restaurant uses local ingredients from all around the area to create their culinary masterpieces from scratch while also supporting the local chain of producers and businesses.
No trip to the city of Homer is complete unless you have eaten at the Little Mermaid. Each and every bite you take will get better and better, and will leave you absolutely speechless.
Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery
If you love looking at art and seeing how talented some artists truly are, then you’ll be glad to know that the town of Homer has a gallery where you can look and see all these wonderful pieces.
The Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery is considered to be one of the best places to view art in the town of Homer.
You can already tell by the name, but the Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery is a place where you can see all the works and pieces done by the artist Norman Lowell. This place is designed to lead the viewer through an experience of Norman Lowell’s artistic vision of the state of Alaska.
This gallery holds the Permanent Collection, which features over 300 paintings, the Artifacts Collection, featuring hundreds of sculptures and artifacts of artistic or historical value that has been collected by Norman Lowell, and the Sales Room, featuring rotating displays and original paintings for sale to any visitors that want to buy.
But the best part about this gallery is that entrance to this building is absolutely free. So you can just roam right on in and explore some of the finest art pieces the town of Homer has to offer.
It’s a great place to be inspired by art and see just how talented the artist Norman Lowell really is.
Visit The Ptarmigan Arts
Another great art place you have to check out if you are ever visiting the city of Homer, is one called Ptarmigan Arts.
This place which opened up back in 1984 has immediately been a safe haven for artists all around the city.
For instance, this gallery offers artists all around the city a place to display and sell their artwork while also providing locals and tourists alike a place to purchase some really good quality artwork. You’ll find that this place carries all kinds of artwork from established Homer artists to even the newcomers who are just starting to break into the art scene.
Inside you can find things like ceramics, woodworking, glass, photography, paintings, etchings, stone lithographs, jewelry, sculptures, and fine art prints and more are all readily available for you to see and buy.
There is even a space in the shop where they host a range of exhibits that change out every other month.
But best of all is that the owners of this place are also artists themselves who help run the shop. They’ll be able to answer any and all questions you may have pertaining to the art pieces in a really deep and generous manner.
Overall, Ptarmigan Arts is a fantastic place for you to pick up some truly authentic art pieces as well as supporting the community of Homer. You will definitely learn a lot about art when coming here as well as maybe gaining a deeper insight into the world of art.
Ride On The Seldovia Bay Ferry
One of the best things you can do while visiting the city of Homer, is to simply take a day trip over to seldovia.
And the best way to do this is by a ferry.
You can find that the Seldovia Bay Ferry provides this service as it’ll take you on a 45 minute journey that is fast, friendly and also comfortable.
You’ll b e able to ride a custom-built Kachemak Voyager that has been built to accommodate up to 150 people comfortably aboard its ship. While on board, you can also purchase some light snacks and drinks if you want that will make the experience so much more enjoyable. Coffee and tea are provided free of charge.
The ferry will leave the docks of Homer and drop you off at Seldovia where you can walk to most of the places you might want to see over there. You can enjoy things like the visitor center, wooden sculptures, or even look at the colorful harbor and waterfront boardwalk.
But the best part about this ride is that you’ll be able to relax to the fullest while you just sit back and enjoy the ride while watching some of the waves rock back and fourth putting you in a serene blissful moment.
Visit The Seafarer’s Memorial
While also being located on Homer Spit, there is a special and unique place where visitors can pay their respects.
After all, every time a commercial fishing boat leaves the harbor, loved ones left standing behind know that one of two things will either happen. The fisherman will return home safely with a bunch of caught fish, or they’ll never bee able to see them again.
Called the “Seafarer’s Memorial“, this is the memorial that has been dedicated to those friends and family who have been lost at sea.
You can find around 70 names, along with their vessels and dates that they have died being engraved on plaques mounted on the inside of the pillars of the memorial. In fact, many of dates you’ll see inside the memorial goes as far back as 1934 all the way to present day.
The memorial is an ongoing project, and even today you will still find many photographs and memorials being placed here by the local people who are remembering those who have been lost.
It’s definitely a place you’ll want to visit and stop by to pay your respects.
Take An Eco Tour Safari
As you know, the area of Homer, Alaska is filled with an abundance of wildlife and nature for you to see and explore.
And one of the best ways to enjoy the entire experience is to simply go on a safari tour adventure.
You can find many kinds of companies offering this type of service in the city of Homer, Alaska. The most popular company that people tend to choose is one called the “Seaman’s Ecotour Adventures“.
There you can choose from various types of tour packages for you to go on, and depending on your circumstances, you can even do some custom tours too. Most of the tours last anywhere from a few hours up to seven hours long which will give you ample time to see all the amazing wildlife surrounding the areas.
Depending on which tour you go on, you’ll be able to see many different kinds of animals. From bears roaming around catching fish to whales jumping out of the water or even sea otters playing around, you will have an absolute blast seeing all these creatures in their natural habitat playing around.
With guided hiking, wildlife and sightseeing tours, and photo safaris with a marine biologist and cultural specialist, guests receive a personal, educational, and memorable experience exploring Alaska’s marine and coastal ecosystems.
This is one of the best ways to spend your time sightseeing here in the city of Homer, Alaska.
Eat At Two Sisters Bakery
Ever since its creation, Two Sisters Bakery has instantly climbed in popularity to becoming one of the best bakeries the city of Homer has to offer.
Almost everyone who visits this city has to make a stop by here and get some of the best baked goods they have ever seen.
Here you’ll find that they take quality to the next level as they make sure all the cakes and cupcakes are made fresh to order from scratch and will even allow you to choose from an array of homemade frostings, fillings, and even decorations.
This place is so famous that they have even been recognized nationally and have been featured on things like the Lonely Planet, National Geographic and even the New York Times.
From things like the irish cream, pumpkin cheese cake, flourless boca negra and more, you will instantly fall in love with everyone of their creations.
However the only downside is that you’ll have to let them know at least 48 hours in advance of what you are wanting to eat, because they make everything from scratch and to order. But this mild inconvenience is totally worth it as the food is just so amazingly delicious.
This is one spot you definitely can not miss out on.
Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
Have you ever seen the show “The Last Frontier”?
If you have, then this place might look very familiar.
After all, this house was featured on “The Last Frontier” and has since become one of the most popular places to visit here in the city of Homer. But even if you have never seen the show, you will still get some quality enjoyment when visiting this place.
It was built back in the 1930’s and is considered to be a living museum. All around the cabin you can find many old photographs, old utensils, schoolbooks, lamps, and farm implements that the family who once lived here have used in their early day to day lives on the Homestead.
While you are here, you might even run into the son or daughters of the couple who built this house. They’ll be able to be your guide and give you some really interesting facts and information about the history of the house as well as the surrounding area.
So if you are a fan of the show “The Last Frontier”, or just want to see a real live living museum, then you should definitely come visit this spot as it will be very entertaining.
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
If you want to learn all about the natural surroundings of the area as well as information about the animals that live in this region, you will absolutely want to visit the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
This place is open for people of all ages who are wanting to learn more about the region. You can find that they offer plenty of opportunities for people to connect with the outdoors through guided walks, tours, educational programs, overnights, school programs and more.
For instance, you can visit Kachemak Bay where one of the guides from the center will show you around and offer some expert advice and knowledge about the beaches, trails and even wildlife that lives in the region.
Their mission is to foster responsible interaction with the natural surroundings in the area and to help add knowledge of the unique marine and coastal ecosystems of Kachemak Bay through science-based environmental education and stewardship.
It’s a fantastic way to learn about the area of Homer and if you have kids, they will really love every minute of this experience.
Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
We mentioned this earlier, but located right next to Kachemak Bay, you can find one of the largest seabird refuges in the world here in Homer.
Called the “Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center“, this is a place dedicated to understanding and conserving the marine environment.
You can find both indoor and outdoor exhibits for you to venture around with and explore.
For instance, their indoor exhibit features a Bering Sea Bird Rookery in the Seabird Theater, dramatic re-creations and Aleutian artifacts, and a field camp where you can dive into the amazing work of biologists.
If you opt for the outdoor adventures, you will be guided down through many different trails where your specialty guides will give you some detailed information about the beach. Plus along the way, you might even run into certain wildlife like moose or eagles. The center also guides hikes down through the wetlands to Bishop’s Beach where you can watch for sea life like whales, otters, sea lions and more.
Plus inside the center you can find the Alaska Geographic Bookstore where you can see an array of books, nature guides and children’s items for you to take back with you on your trip.
Overall it is a great experience where you can learn so much. You’ll be able to pick the brains of biologists that work here as well as see nature at its finest. Definitely an experience you have to try.
Go On A Kayak or Canoeing Tour
You can’t say you have visited Alaska unless you went on a real Kayak or canoeing adventure down in the waters around the area.
And here in Homer, you can find many different companies offering this type of service where you can rent out a kayak or canoe and just explore nature at your own leisure.
Many of these places will offer guided tours where you’ll have somebody bring you along while you trek through the waters and will tell you all about the history as well as the geographical nature of the region.
Or you may opt to do the tour yourself where you can simply stroll around at your own pace and enjoy all the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.
There are many destinations you can take take your kayak and canoe to. For instance, you can row to the nearby islands or even elephant rock where you can see some of the most beautiful views ever.
Renting a canoe or kayak is definitely a great way to experience nature at its finest as well as learn all about the surrounding areas.
Bear Creek Winery
If you love trying out different kinds of wines, then one place you definitely have to check out is a winery called “Bear Creek Winery”.
Bear Creek Winery is a country winery that is famous for making fruit wines and fruit-grape wine blends. You’ll notice that the wines here are a bit sweeter than normal wines and re more suited for a dessert type dishes than more bolder wines.
Their famous wines are all handcrafted using some of the best berries in the world. Each one of their berries are carefully handpicked and processed to help create a really unique and interesting array of products.
But the best part about this place is that it is also a lodge. Visitors who come here may stay here for a night or two and be able to enjoy all the picturesque views surrounding the area. Not only that, but you can also tour the facility where you are able to better understand their techniques and processes on how they make their wines.
So if you love drinking wines, or just want to enjoy nature at its finest, this winery is definitely the place to visit.
Go Fishing For Halibut
We mentioned above that Homer is considered to be the “Halibut Capital of the World”, and for good reason too.
You’ll find that the waters around the city of Homer are filled with tons and tons of wild Halibut that is just ready to be caught.
Which is why you’ll notice that fishing is one of the most popular things to do here in this city because of just how much fish is readily available for you to catch.
But it’s not just Halibut you can find here, in fact there are plenty of other fishes too.
For instance, depending on what area you decide to fish in, you can find things like Sole, Flounder, Pollock, Cod, King Salmon, Silver Salmon and more.
It is literally a treasure trove full of amazing fishes.
Plus there are also many boats out there that will take you with them on a fishing adventure which is simply amazing.
So if you love to fish for some of the freshest fish possible, or just want to have a fun and relaxing time, fishing is one of the most fun things you can do here in Homer.
Eat At Cafe Cups
Although not as famous as some of the other restaurants in this list, Cafe Cups is a place that provides a nice change of pace to things.
Here you’ll find that they offer an intimate, family-friendly setting for locals and visitors alike to enjoy some truly fresh and delicious meals to eat.
You can find that the portions are very generous here and being offered at a reasonable price.
From things like fresh local seafood to pastas or even juicy and tender steaks, they have it all here at this restaurant. They want to make sure the diners will always be able to enjoy something to eat no matter what taste they may have.
Plus what’s good about this place is that a lot of their ingredients are being supplied by local producers and businesses. Same goes for the wines and craft beers on their beverage menu as well.
It’s a healthy little place that will definitely rock your socks off once you take a bite into their delicious meals.
Look At Some Volcanoes
If you didn’t know, the city of Homer is surrounded by various jaw-dropping volcanoes for you to see and explore.
After all, Homer is part of the Ring of Fire, so you’ll be able to see many of these volcanoes up close and personal.
Although you can’t really go up to the volcanoes, you can still enjoy them from a pretty close distance. And here in Homer, there are quite a few companies who will provide tours for you to see these amazing beasts.
For instance, the “Augustine Volcanoe” is a 4,025 foot high island volcano that can be seen from the comforts of your log cabin. It is hard to miss because of how big it really is. Other volcanoes include “Mt. Douglas, Illiamna, and Redout” are all around the area as well for you to enjoy.
Most of these tours last for about 2 hours or longer and will provide you with enough views of the volcanoes to last you a life time.
So if you ever have the chance and want to see something truly spectacular, I would highly recommend booking a volcano tour so that you can explore these things in their own nature.
Visit Salty Dawg Saloon
Salty Dog Saloon is somewhat of a cultural icon as well as being a historical landmark for the state.
After all, this present building was first built here on the grounds as a simple cabin back in 1897 when the region was first being explored.
However it has since been transformed to being one of the most visited saloons in the entire city of Homer. Locals and tourists from all over make it a point to come visit this saloon for all it has to offer.
Here you can enjoy some of the tastiest adult beverages you have ever had, as well as being around a crowd of entertaining and fun people who will simply please you for hours on end.
But while you are here, you might also want to take part in a tradition that they have. And that is to simply write your name on a dollar bill and to staple it somewhere along the interior walls of the saloon.
The only downside about this place is that it is cash only, so if you don’t have cash then you are well out of luck coming to this saloon. But don’t worry, they are open late all the way till 4 am so you can go run and get some cash quick and make your way back for some amazing fun.
Homer Public Library
Now I know what you are thinking…
Why would anybody visit a public library when they are visiting some place new?
Well first of all, the Homer Public Library originated back in the 1940’s in an old school building. However since it started to grow in popularity, it has since moved to its now permanent location in a much bigger building.
Inside this library, you can find something truly amazing to see. And that is, back in 1987 the library started an initiative where it accepts, publishes, displays, and makes available manuscripts from the community. This was essentially called the “Top Drawer Collection” and is a great thing for you to check out and explore.
Other than that, the library is filled with a massive collection of books for you to see and read. They also play host to a variety of events and workshops that teaches you certain aspects of life and the surrounding areas.
It’s truly an integral part of the community and one that everybody should appreciate.
So if you ever have some spare time and want to check out something interesting, this library should be one of the first places you should visit while being in the city of Homer.
Visit Homer Farmers Market
Established back in the year of 2000, the Homer Farmers Market has essentially grown to be part of the community.
You’ll find that locals and tourists from all around will flock here to see all the amazing produce that they have to sell each and every day.
Now if you never heard or seen what a farmers market is, then you are in luck.
A farmers market is basically a collection of vendors who are all farmers or growers that’ll get together and sell their home grown produce to the public. But it’s not just home grown items, as you’ll also be able to find people selling cooked items as well.
Not only that, but certain local companies are also here participating as well. For instance, you can find companies like Seafoods of Alaska, Homer Hilltop Gardens, Karol Kahn Miller, Stain Glass INC, and Granma’s Jam are all eagerly excited to sell to the public.
Plus you can usually find a variety of events that happen alongside the farmers market which includes community potlucks, kids vending day, and even the annual Zucchini Festival!
From honey to fruits and vegetables or even cooked meals like hot dogs and other things, the Homer Farmers Market is definitely the place to be for all things good and delicious.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
Another fantastic place where you can see some truly amazing art pieces is at “Bunnell Street Arts Center”.
Their mission is to spark artistic inquiry, innovation and equity to strengthen the physical, social and economic fabric of Alaska. Which is why you can see locals and tourists alike all come to this place in order to see some truly good art pieces.
You can head on down here and explore many different aspects of art. For instance their “Artists in Residence Program” features many local and national artists who are there for month-long residencies and with whom you can engage in conversations with and learn from them as well.
You’ll also notice that they will have a type of visual art exhibition on display that rotates every first Friday of the month.
And depending on when you come, you might be able to run into one of their many other events held all throughout the year. From things like readings, talks, performances, dances, concerts, theater performances, screenings and more are all happening here at this center.
Overall it is a great place to learn about all things art and be able to communicate with like minded artists as well.
Overall, the city of Homer, Alaska might not be the largest city out there. But it does have quite a bit of things for you to see and do.
So hopefully this post about the “23 Best Things To Do In Homer, Alaska” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Homer, Alaska, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:
- Essential steps for planning a trip
- How to find cheap flights
- There is no such thing as a perfect time to travel
Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.
Hope you have a safe and fun trip~