Nicknamed the “Halibut Capital of the World,” this Alaskan town also has splendid arts, wildlife and outdoor recreation activities.
Whether you’re already skilled at game fishing or want to try it for the first time, head to Homer, where the halibut are abundant and salmon are present year-round. Come for the fishing and stay for other cultural and outdoor experiences.
Begin your visit with a flight-seeing tour of this area on the Kenai Peninsula. From your aerial vantage point, look down on the mountains, forest, waters and glaciers that make Homer a recreational wonderland.
Kayak or sail off the Spit, a narrow 4.5-mile (7-kilometer) strip of land jutting into the bay. Take a water taxi across the bay to the very large Kachemak Bay State Park, where you can camp, view glaciers, hike on more than 80 miles (130 kilometers) of backcountry trails and look for wildlife. Moose, bears, goats, wolves and coyotes inhabit the lands, while birds fly overhead and marine animals swim just offshore.
Homer is a primary starting point to access the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Look for puffins and auklets, including some rare species. See whales and otters cavorting in the waters.
Throughout the year, fish in Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet and the stocked Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Enter the summer halibut derby for a chance to win prizes for your big fish. In March, join the King Salmon Tournament.
Watch musical and dramatic stage performances at the Pier One Theatre or see the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra at the Mariner Theatre. On the first Friday of the month, many of Homer’s numerous art galleries offer the opportunity to meet the artists. Visit the outstanding Pratt Museum, which features arts, science and culture, with lectures and educational and community events throughout the year.
Drive to Homer from Anchorage in about 4 hours along a scenic highway through the Chugach National Forest and along the Alaska Gulf coastline. Alternatively, fly to Homer Airport or cruise along the Alaska Marine Highway. Rent a car or bike to get around the area once you have arrived.