Homer, Alaska is a beautiful destination, complete with interesting culture, stunning nature, and amazing food. Just a 4.5 hour drive from Anchorage, it can feel far away, however, I can assure you the destination is worth the effort. Also, the drive through the Kenai peninsula is not too shabby either! Wondering what to do in Homer, Alaska? Check out these highlights from the area, so you don’t miss a thing.
Pro tip: For a comprehensive view of what to do in Alaska, check out The Alaska Roadtrip Itinerary.
Fish for Halibut
The number one tourist attraction in Homer is definitely fishing for halibut. There are plenty of local charter companies, which are easy to book. If you have time, I recommend visiting the end of the Homer spit in person to pick your favorite charter. If you are a newbie (like me!) the main decision you’ll need to make is how long you’d like to be on the boat. The minimum is generally half a day, but they can run until past dinner time if you do not specify.
Why opt for a longer trip? The longer you are on the boat, the more fish you can catch. It’s worth noting that while there is no guarantee of catching any fish, most charters know the area well enough to help you snag at least one. Additionally, the charter company will take care of cleaning, freezing, packing, and shipping your fish back home. If you’ve never tried fishing in saltwater, this is definitely the place to dive in.
Stay on the Kilcher Homestead – the most unique thing to do in Homer, Alaska
Another, lesser-known destination in Homer is the Kilcher Homestead. Established in the 1940s from the Homestead Act, this 160-acre homestead is still running according to its original charter. The subject of the Discovery show, Alaska: The Last Frontier, this destination has recently enjoyed increased interest from around the world.
I chose to camp on the property during my stay in Homer. My campsite provided beauty and seclusion that far exceeded my expectations. Each of the 8 Kilcher children owns plots of land on the homestead, but only a few host guests. I found a tiny cabin on Stellavera Kilcher’s land plot by searching on Hipcamp. The option to stay on the homestead is not well-publicized, however, with a small amount of research on Hipcamp or Airbnb, it’s easy to get a spot.
Once you are a guest on the property you’ll also gain access to the private beach overlooking Kachemak Bay and the ability to explore the property on your own (outside guests must be accompanied by a resident at all times). If you are a fan of the show, I’d also recommend taking a guided tour of the property for a small fee. You can easily book a tour directly with your host.
Explore the Homer Spit
Perhaps that area that Homer is best known for is the Homer Spit. This is a little strip of shops, bars and restaurants sandwiched between a marina and the open ocean. During my time in the area, I particularly enjoyed browsing for the perfect Alaskan sweater at Better Sweater and eating fresh fish tacos from the Tickled Pear.
Visit Bishops Beach – the most picturesque thing to do in Homer, Alaska
Located just west of the Homer Spit, I’d also recommend spending some time at Bishops Beach. Sitting at the end of the Kenai Peninsula, this beach features the most dramatic low tide I have ever experienced. As such, the area is known for magnificent tide pools and photo opportunities that are truly Alaskan. Make sure to watch the tide schedules as the tide can come in very quickly, depending on the cycle.
In conclusion, whether you are looking for fishing, shopping, or searching for a little slice of history, the charming town of Homer Alaska has something for everyone. Don’t miss this destination on your Alaskan vacation.