Homer is on the Kenai Peninsula in Southcentral Alaska.
- Flying ~125$/35minutes~ is the best way to get in during the winter, with multiple flights daily from Anchorage on Era Aviation.
- Drive ~220 miles~ During the Summer months, a drive from Anchorage along the Seward Highway is well worth it. The scenery is breathtaking and it will give you a chance to visit some of the smaller towns on the Kenai peninsula that can't be visited by plane.
- Bus ~95$/5 hours~ The [Homer Stage Line] is a bus service driving a few times per week along the kenai peninsula from Anchorage-Seward-Soldotna-Homer.
- Rideshare [Craigslist rideshare] is a cheap way to find a ride from Anchorage.
- Hitchhike Your best bet for hitchhiking to Homer from Anchorage is either from the airport, or better yet from the turnoff to the town of Girdwood, at the Tesoro Gas Station (~40 miles from Anchorage), hold a sign that says "HOMER" to your captive, fuel-pumping audience.
There is no public transportation system in Homer, thus, your options are:
- Walk Homer is fairly spread out, but is walkable with enough time, the spit is 5 miles from end to end with a nice walk/bike path. The town has plenty of walking paths and sidewalks to get around safely. There is a nice, very short walk (less than 1 km) from the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center" to Bishops Beach.
- Bicycle rent/buy from Saw and Cycle, which is near the airport.
- Hitchhike Not too difficult in this town.
- Car Rental There are 3 car rentals in Homer, all near/inside the airport. Hertz, Adventure Alaska, and Polar. Hertz and Adventure Alaska are also in Anchorage, so you can rent a car in Anchorage and drive to Homer (220mile, 4-5 hour drive), drop your car off, and fly back to Anchorage (35 minutes).
- Taxi There are a few taxi companies in homer, you could ask the airlines attended to call one to the airport.
- Homer Spit, Open all year, however shops at the end of the spit generally close around mid September and re-open in April). A massive spit built out into the middle of the bay that claims to be the farthest west that is accessible via road on the north American continent. Spectacular wildlife can be seen along the spit being well known for the flocks of bald eagles that nest and feed there. A walk from the start to the end of the spit will take around an hour. A walk along the beach is a beautiful way to see the spit but be careful of the tide as the beach isn't always accessible at high tide.
- Skyline Drive, Open all year, is a beautiful way to see the spit from above (it's actually where most of the postcard photos come from). It is an easy 5 minute drive up a windy road to the lookout up the top, however walking up the road will take you about 45 minutes but provide you with lots of opportunities to stop and marvel at the surroundings (traffic is low and there are plenty of places to step out of the way of cars and trucks).
- Across the Bay, Kachemak Bay State Park - The jewel of Alaska, Kachemak Bay State Park was the first State Park in the Alaska. Inhabited by wildlife on land, in the air, and in the ocean, there is so much to see and do here that one could spend a lifetime exploring around. Mountain goats grace the cliffs of remote and beautiful Sadie Cove from the entrance and up to the wilderness lodge of the same name on the South facing shore. Black bears live high in the mountains and can also be seen in the springtime on the shores of the Park searching for the first foods of the new season. Bald Eagles fly above and in the ocean there are seals, sea lions, humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, sea birds, and more.
The Park has a plethora of well maintained hiking trails for the novice as well as the experienced hiker. Many guides in Homer offer adventure trips and the wilderness lodges offer an experience second to none for adventure luxe.
To get to the Park a person can hire any one of many water taxis from Homer and enter a new world away from the chaos of civilization. We recommend Red Mountain Marine at 907-399-8230 because they have a vey nice classic wooden boat and very knowledgeable, pleasant, accommodating, and courteous skippers. Owned by Tom Hopkins of Homer, Alaska.
- Public Library has free internet access, with 19 public use computers that can be reserved up to one day in advance.
- Kachemak Bay State Park for great hiking, it accessible across the bay via Water Taxi. Check out the Saddle Trail for an easy day hike to a lake at the base of a glacier!
- Halibut Fishing: Central Charter offers a great fishing trip for $200. The ship leaves at 4PM and arrives back the next day at 12PM. This charter usually has 30 people onboard but never feels overwhelming. Alaskan law only allows you to keep 2 Halibut a day so this overnight trip will let you bring home 4. The boat has bunks for you to catch a quick wink if you need it.
- Combined experiences An excellent option to experience many things Homer has to offer in one day would be to take Mako's water taxi "Seldovia Package," $150 and you get a boat ride, wildlife, a view across the bay looking toward homer, a visit to a small town, and a plane ride back toward Homer over the bay. Makos #:907-235-9055
- Pratt Museum
- Islands and Oceans Visitor Center Free visitor center open yearround with interactive exhibits and short films about the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Visitor center also has path down to beach with a lot of opportunities for seeing birds and other wildlife.
- Homer Visitor Center More information/ideas
Homer has an absurd amount of small businesses around, if you need something, chances are someone does it. Ask a local.
Napa, Carquest, Oreilly's
Ulmers, SBS, Gear Shed/Redden Marine
Kachemak whole sale, Save-u-more, Safeway
Homer Jeans, Gear shed, Salvation Army
Homer has many unique and delicious types of fresh local food. During the summer almost all food is local, during the winter primarily local seafood is served. Specials at restaurants will generally be local seafood catches. Most Alaskan towns do not have as good of food as Homer does, this food is passionate and artistic, other towns have "classic diner" style food, or chain restaurants, in general. You can buy fresh seafood like halibut, salmon, cod, mussels, oysters, etc. down on the spit above the docks.
Food on the spit is generally more expensive and aimed toward tourists. As the spit itself becomes quite sleepy during the winter, these restaurants close down. However, Lands end restaurant remains open year round. There are many, many restaurants in homer considering its size. Your best bet is to ask any local where they eat and they will happily make a suggestion based off what your looking for.
- Cafe Cups makes excellent food, seafood, steak, and intricate nightly specials, they cook it right. It has the best burger in homer.
- Wasabi's is an asian themed steak and sushi restaurant, local seafood, full bar. Finer food, Dinner.
- Little Mermaid is a well priced option on the spit for food in the summer. Local beers on tap, burgers, seafood, pizza
- Cosmic Kitchen on the main drag is an eclectic little restaurant with fair prices for Alaska and excellent service. Burgers, Mexican, tap beer.
- Finn's Pizza is on the spit. It has a nice view of the water from the back deck. Great pizza and local beer.
- Starvin Marvin's is near the airport and offers great Pizza. 2 Large 2 topping pizzas for $30 great food and is located right along the water before you hit the Spit.
- Two Sister's is a wholesome bakery with delicious pastries, cookies, sandwiches, soups, biscuits & gravy, coffee, lemonade, and a very pleasant atmosphere with personable staff. Year round, local favorite, near the beach,
Year round restaurants such as Fat Olives, Cups, and Wasabis, among others, deserve extra credit as they entertain the people of Homer all year long.
The Alibi, Alice's, Kharacters, and The otter room are well within walking distance of one another on the main road in homer, thus your closest bet to a pub crawl.
Down east is out east end road about 5 miles.
Salty dawg is at the end of the spit, about 7 miles from town/other bars.
- The Salty Dawg Saloon on the spit is a colorful place to get a beer, including Homer Brewing's beers. Bring cash The Salty Dawg saloon does not take credit cards, has atm. No beers on tap.
- The Alibi food served until last call, being the latest place to find food in town. It draws a younger crowd, popular music. Non smoking
- Kharacters is a crusty bar of locals, generally the latest open, often live music, smoking inside, pool table.
- Alice's Champagne Palace just reopened, it is non smoking, food served, often live music, good dancefloor, burger & brew Tuesdays. Best atmosphere.
- Otter Room Part of Best Western hotel, food served.
- Down east saloon has a large variety of beers on tap, often has local music, has pool/pinball and often activities. Has an outdoor porch with tables and benches, stage and lawn, smoking allowed inside however it doesn't smell as bad as kharacters. The stage is an appropriate distance from the bar, so you can hear your friends when music is playing. Its location is inconvenient if you can't drive, or don't live out that direction.
As with most accommodation in Alaska it is best to ring ahead and book a place a few nights in advance during the spring, summer, autumn (fall) tourist season.
- Camping, Plenty of wilds here, go forth into the woods or down the beach, just pack out what you pack in. Or, pay for camping on the spit, or at Hornaday park, or some other park.
- WWOOF, Loads of WWOOF farms in homer, do work trade on an organic farm in Homer for room & board, plus you meet and live with locals (opens up doors).
- Couchsurf, Many couchsurfers here. Homer is a worldly community, people here know how it is to travel and are willing to let you into their lives if you're respectful, many couches available.
- Seaside Farm Hostel. Nice little hostel maybe 5-10 minutes outside of town. It is a working farm and contains a hostel plus rooms and cabins that you can sleep in. A room for 3 is about $80, while the hostel price for the dorm is around 20-30. Great people who run it. You need a car for this, 6 miles out of town.
- Alaskan Suites, 3255 Sterling Hwy., 907-235-1972, . Located just before the well-known scenic pull off on the hill above Homer. The view looks into Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet and includes the volcanoes of Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Illiamna, Mt. Augustine and Mt. Douglas.
- Kenai Peninsula Suites, 3685 Sterling Highway, 907-235-1866, . Located a couple of miles from the heart of town. Cottages, subterranean units, and yurts, all equipped with modern amenities.
- Alaska's Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge, LLC, Halibut Cove (Across Kachemak Bay from Homer), ☎ (907) 296-2217 ([email protected]), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 10AM. A Kachemak Bay wilderness lodge capable of housing up to ten people in Halibut Cove with an on-site oyster farm. Rooms have private baths, WiFi, housekeeping, and free laundry services. Hosts can arrange activities such as brown bear photography, trophy salmon and halibut charters, fly-fishing for rainbow trout, hiking, and bird-watching. $500 pp/pn. (59.5991,-151.2185) edit
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