When traveling to Alaska, there are certain must-visit towns that you can’t leave without seeing. Homer, Alaska is one of those towns. It’s definitely not a drive-thru place. With so many interesting shops and adventures to take part in, you’ll want to stop and tour awhile. We hope this guide containing the best things to do in Homer, Alaska will help you make the most of your visit.
About Homer, Alaska
Homer, Alaska sits on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. The most recognizable feature of Homer is the Homer Spit, which juts into the ocean 4.5 miles. Homer is the final southern town on the Alaska Highway system.
The population of Homer is around 6,000 people. They endure about 50 inches of snow on average annually. The temperatures vary, but it’s generally on the chilly side. However, only about 7 days per year drop below 0 degrees. In the summer, the average temperature is 55 degrees, but the highest recorded temperature was 81F.
Homer is a vibrant fishing community that welcomes visitors and encourages them to stay and learn about this unique area.
Things to Do in Homer, Alaska
Here are 15 of the best things to do in Homer, Alaska:
1. Visit Katchemak Bay State Park
Price: If you stay in a cabin in the state park, you will pay around $75 per night. There are no other fees to enter the park.
Why You’ll Love It: The scenic vistas from every vantage point are breathtaking. Access to the Park is by boat or airplane. Visitors to the park can enjoy a number of outdoor recreation activities. Fishing, boating, camping, and hiking can be done within the park. There are more than 80 miles of trails and access to the beach. Not to mention, there are roughly 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, oceans, and forests to explore in this state park. The tides have a swing of 15 feet up to 28 feet on extreme days, which visitors should be aware of so they don’t wind up in the water.
Address: GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude) 59.5615, -151.195 59°33’41.4″N, 151°11’42″W
PO Box 1247, Soldotna, AK 99669
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.5/10. Accessibility is an issue for some, but once you’re there, it’s magical.
2. Camp on Homer Spit
Price: You’ll pay $50 per night for full hookups right at the end of the Homer Spit. Other sites are cheaper.
Why You’ll Love It: Camping 4.5 miles down a spit of land in Alaska is a lifetime highlight. The campground has few trees or anything that keeps you from your neighbors, but no one is looking at the people next to them – they are watching the ocean for whales, fish, and other wildlife. There are restaurants, galleries, and gift shops all within walking distance from the campground. The Homer Trolley will take you on a tour of the Spit and downtown with hop on and off service. It’s a fun way to get around.
Address: 4535 Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.5/10. It’s a great experience that everyone should have.
3. Explore the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska
Price: $15 for ages 13 and up, discounts for active duty military, children under 5 are free.
Why You’ll Love It: The Pratt Museum creates a relationship between the people of the area and the places of Kachemak Bay. Through stories and displays of art, natural history, homesteading, fishing, native cultures, and marine life, visitors will learn about the Homer area. There are also outdoor exhibits. In this museum, you can imagine what it would have been like to come to this remote area and settle. You’ll learn about the native people who created a culture around the sea and the isolation of Alaska. Over 30,000 visitors stop by the Pratt Museum yearly.
Address: 3779 Bartlett Street, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.5/10. If you’re a history and sociology lover, this unique place to visit is sure to pique your interest.
4. Go to Bishop’s Beach Park
Price: The only price at Bishop’s Beach Park is the charge for reserving a fire pit, BBQ grill, and picnic table. This costs $25 for 4 hours or $50 for the full day. If the space has not been reserved, you can use it free of charge.
Why You’ll Love It: Take a break and walk the beach, about a 2 to 2.5-mile one-way stretch of land. Some people take time for beachcombing and others pick up pieces of coal to heat their house over the winter.
Brave visitors and locals dare to take a dip in the frigid ocean. Additionally, there is the Beluga Slough Trail for hikers of all abilities. Note: There is no camping at Bishop’s Beach Park.
Address: At the end of Beluga Place, you’ll find Bishop’s Beach Park. You can drive right to the parking area on the beach or hike in from the visitor’s center on Sterling Highway.
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 7.5/10. For those who like beachcombing, this will be an awesome stop!
5. Visit Seldovia On the Bay Ferry
Price: Riding the ferry costs $40 one-way for adults 13 to 64 years old. On the Fourth of July, there are festivities in Seldovia, and reservations are required. The cost on that day is $70 round trip for adults.
Why You’ll Love It: This is a 45-minute ferry ride to Seldovia, a small village that can only be reached by boat or plane. The residents are a mix of Dena’ina Athabaskan Native American and Alutiiq Eskimo. There are fewer than 300 residents year-round. You will also hear about the 1964 earthquake, a 9.2 magnitude quake that dropped the land in the area six feet, swamping many homes and a boardwalk.
You’ll love exploring the local trails, the shops and restaurants, and local museums to learn about this quaint remote town.
Address: Lot 21 – Freight Dock Road System 6, Dock JJ, Homer Small Boat Harbor, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.5/10
6. The Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
Price: $10 per person to go into the cabin. Overnights are available with reservations.
Why You’ll Love It: If you’re a fan of Alaska: The Last Frontier, you must see the actual location and possibly meet the cast behind the popular TV show. See a working homestead and imagine living off the land there – hunting and fishing, gardening and sewing – to make and catch everything you need to live.
Address: Latitude: 59.717205 Longitude: -151.310263, Kilcher Road, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10. If you’re a fan or have seen the show, it’s almost required that you visit the homestead.
6. Shop Till You Drop at Alaska’s Homer Spit Shops
Price: The price depends on your budget and the space in your vehicle! 😉
Why You’ll Love It: Right on the water, these unique shops provide exclusive items and Alaskan memorabilia as a reminder of your trip. From t-shirt places and local art to bait shops, you’ll find plenty of souvenirs and memorabilia along the spit.
Tip: Don’t forget to stop by the Flagship Creamery for ice cream and savory crepes, like spinach, bacon, and alfredo!
Address: 1554 Homer Spit Road to 4474 Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/10. Find unique art and gifts to bring back home at any number of these shops along the spit.
8. Visit Bear Creek Winery
Price: Bottles from $18 to $30. Plus, there are discounts for purchasing more bottles.
Why You’ll Love It: While Bear Creek Winery doesn’t grow any grapes locally, they’ve figured out a way to put a uniquely Alaskan spin on some traditional varietals imported from other areas. If you’re a wine connoisseur, you’ll love the variety of berry wines and unique flavors created by mixing in local berries and fruit to the wines.
Try 2016 Glacier Bear Rhubarb, Raspberry Rossa Wine, Alaskan Port, or Toasted Caramel Dessert Wine – so many choices!
There is a tasting room and lodging in a secluded atmosphere with great views of Kachemak Bay. Live music can also be heard at some of the events held at the Winery.
Address: 60203 Bear Creek Dr., Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10. The winery has something for everyone!
9. Float Plane Tour to Katmai National Park to See Alaska Brown Bears Up Close
Price: $895 per person for a flight to Brooks Falls and 5 hours to explore once there. A guided expedition into Katmai Bush is $945 per seat.
Why You’ll Love It: One of the most sought-after sightings in Alaska is the brown bears. And float plant tours are a great way to see bears in action as they fish for their food. You will be met by a ranger who will go over bear safety and lead you to the viewing platform.
You can also attend a ranger-led program or walk along the beach. Brooks Lodge has hot meals and beverages for sale as well. The dates of operation are June 12 to August 10, for the self-guided Brooks Falls trip.
If you’re up for a bit more of a wild adventure, the Bush trip will get you to a remote area of Katmai where you hike to view bears stationed along the river fishing for salmon. This is the trip we went on when we visited Homer through Bald Mountain Air.
Address: 1344 Lake Shore Drive, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/10. This is the best way to guarantee you’ll see Alaskan brown bears in the wild!
10. Learn About Seabirds at Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
Price: Free, but donations are accepted (and encouraged!).
Why You’ll Love It: The visitor center is a resource for community members and visitors to learn about the work and research on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, the largest seabird refuge in the world!
There are exhibits, videos, educational programming, and Ranger-led walks that reveal these islands’ tumultuous history. From invasive species decimating the fragile bird mating grounds to overgrazing, and even nuclear testing, you’ll be moved by the restoration efforts to return this incredible area back to its original glory.
Address: 95 Sterling Highway #1, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.5/10. This is a great stop if you want more information about the amazing wildlife and sealife you witness while in Homer.
11. Visit Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center
Price: There is no fee, but you should investigate if you need to fill out a permit for what you plan to do in the refuge.
Why You’ll Love It: This visitor center holds all of the information on the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which was designed as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1968.
It comprises 2,400 islands, headlands, rocks, islets, spires, and reefs in a total of 4.9 million acres. It has a variety of seabirds and animals. If wildlife viewing or bird watching is your jam, this is an amazing place to visit!
Address: 95 Sterling Highway, #1, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10. This visitor center is in the same location as the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. You can easily visit both of them in the same trip!
12. Visit the Seafarers Memorial
Why You’ll Love It: Visit this ongoing memorial to the men and women who risk their lives to go to sea to provide for their communities and families. Sadly, some never return. There is a six-sided structure with the sculpture of a mariner throwing off his bowline inside. A bronze plaque gives a poetic tribute to the seafarers.
If you arrive in May, there is an annual blessing of the fleet held at this location. Bricks can be added to the apron around the memorial for a fee. The money goes to the children of fishermen lost at sea.
Address: 4535 Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10. Solemn and moving, a place to stop and show tribute, but not to spend a lot of time.
13. Learn at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Price: Varies depending on what you would like to do. The Ocean Connection Tour starts at $125. Guided tours are $10.
Why You’ll Love It: If you love the ocean, this center offers opportunities for everyone from adults to children to learn through guided walks, tours, educational programs, overnights, and more.
It concentrates on teaching science-based environmental education and stewardship. It also has a strong volunteer program.
Address: 708 Smokey Bay Way, Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10. This would be a great place to take kids to learn about the environment and taking care of it.
14. Take a Tour with Alaska Ultimate Safaris
Price: Each safari has a different price. The ice safari is $450 per person, the fire safari starts at $670 per person, and a helicopter hiking adventure is $450 per person.
Why You’ll Love It: Alaska Ultimate Safaris offers you the chance to check off more items on your Alaska bucket list. Bear Safaris, Ice Safaris (walk on Harding Ice Field), Volcano Safaris (fly over an active volcano), or stay at one of the adventure lodges.
Address: 3720 Faa St., Homer, AK 99603
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10. A fantastic, unique experience and an adventure you’ll never forget.
15. Halibut Fishing in Homer Alaska
Price: The average price is $300 for an 8 to 12-hour fishing excursion. Plus, you need an Alaska fishing license and snacks, meals, and drinks for the day.
Why You’ll Love It: Homer is the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World! So if you’re a fishing fiend, you will love being on the open water on the quest for halibut, which are very large fish. Imagine the pictures you’ll have with your trophy!
You have two options when considering how to take your fish home. You can have it filleted at the dock and put it in your cooler with ice that you bring. Or, you can have it processed at a local fish processing plant, where they will fillet it and flash freeze it for travel. There is an extra fee for this service – but well worth it to preserve your hard-earned catch!
Address: There are at least three different companies leading trips from the Homer Spit to fish for Halibut.
Homer, AK Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.5/10. Fishing can be hard work and the weather can be a challenge. If you’re prepared and love to fish, you shouldn’t miss this opportunity!
Homer, Alaska: A Place for People Who Love the Outdoors
Homer, Alaska doesn’t have amusement parks, huge shopping malls, or fancy entertainment. However, it is a magical place for those who love the outdoors and the ocean.
From camping on the edge of a spit of land to exploring different cultures and communities, Homer is ripe with enough experiences and education to last a lifetime. Be adventurous and stop in Homer for a day or two to understand all it has to offer!
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