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15 Best Things to Do in Homer, Alaska

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If you are looking for one of the most spectacular places to visit in the United States, pack your bags and head to Homer, Alaska! This small town is located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, on Kachemak Bay, just 220 miles south of Anchorage. With its year-round outdoor activities and gorgeous scenery, Homer, Alaska, is a destination for everyone.

Anglers may recognize it as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, while others may know it as the City of Peonies. However, there’s something for everyone here: beaches, hiking trails, art galleries, museums, national parks, deliciously fresh seafood, and natural beauty.

You can be as active as you’d like with plenty of outdoor adventures, from deep sea fishing to whale watching and glacier hikes. Many of these outdoor adventures are at the beautiful Kachemak Bay State Park. You can also see brown bears on one of the many guided tours out of Homer!

If you’d rather spend your days skipping rocks on the beach, reading a book, shopping, and eating some of the best seafood, you can do all those things at the Homer Spit (which has absolutely nothing to do with actual spit, we promise).

Without a doubt, you won’t regret visiting this fishing town at the end of the Sterling Highway. As a matter of fact, most visitors miss Homer as soon as they leave. So, if you want to know more about this amazing part of the world, keep reading to find the best things to do in Homer, Alaska!


  • Most significant landmark – Salty Dawg Saloon
  • Best park – Kachemak Bay State Park
  • Free activity – Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
  • Activity for kids – Homer Spit
  • Activity for adults – Bear Creek Winery
  • Place to eat – Vidas Thai Food
  • Nightlife – Kharacters Alaskan Bar
  • Place to stayThe Lighthouse

Things to Do in Homer, Alaska

1. Kachemak Bay State Park

Kachemak Bay State Park Scenery

Location: Homer, AK 99603

If you put one thing on your Homer, Alaska, itinerary, it should be Kachemak Bay State Park and the adjoining wilderness park. Part of the Alaska State Park system, it is one of the best sights in Alaska, with almost 400,000 acres of ocean, glaciers, mountains, and forests. While it’s only accessible by plane or boat, there are plenty of charter services from Homer. 

It was designated as Alaska’s first state park in 1970 and has been one of the region’s top tourist attractions for over fifty years. You can be as adventurous as you want here, whether fishing, hiking, kayaking, boating, camping, stand-up paddle boarding, or swimming. However, those that want to relax may find bird watching, clam digging, whale watching, or seeing brown bears to be the best parts of the park. 

With roughly three-quarters of the park a wilderness area, visitors are almost guaranteed to see mountain goats, wolves, bears (black and brown!), and moose. Kachemak Bay is also full of whales, sea lions, otters, dolphins, and walruses. 

The most scenic areas include Halibut Cove Lagoon, Grewingk Glacier, China Poot Bay, and Poot Peak, but you’ll also find lush forests, alpine ridges, glaciers, and lakes within the park. Although the park has over 80 miles of trails, the most popular one is Glacier Lake Trail, a 3.2-mile hike to Grewingk Glacier. This popular trail provides stunning views of Glacier Lake.

Accommodations within the park include campsites, wilderness lodges, public-use cabins, and yurts. But, if you’re looking for a more luxurious stay, consider this Luxury Homer Villa in Halibut Cove! 

And if you’re interested in a relaxing small-group wilderness wildlife cruise instead of exploring the state park on foot, this incredible two-hour tour is a fantastic way to see Kachemak Bay marine life, such as humpback whales, birds, and sea otters. The tour conveniently departs from Homer Spit and is one of the best ways to explore Kachemak Bay!

Whichever way you explore the bay, this state park is easily one of the top three things to do in Homer, Alaska!

See Related: Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Alaska

2. Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park Scenery

Location: Port Alsworth, AK 99653

If you’re visiting Homer, Alaska, intending to find stunning parks with endless outdoor recreation, you must visit Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. There are so many options for outdoor fun in this remote park that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

This undeveloped national park is accessible from Homer by a one-hour charter flight. So you can make it a day trip with access to fishing, beaches, trails, and bear sightings. Visitors are usually amazed by the turquoise lakes, steaming volcanoes, foraging bears, and salmon runs.

Located in the park’s center is the fifty-mile Lake Clark, which provides spectacular fishing and kayaking opportunities. However, there’s much more to do in the park, including backpacking, hiking, camping, hunting, bear-watching, river rafting, and birding. There are also historic cabins, including the famed Proenneke’s Cabin, considered an icon of the Alaskan wilderness.

A trip to this park should definitely be on your Homer, Alaska, itinerary, as the stunning beauty of the lake and mountains is unmatched!

3. Kilcher Homestead Living Museum

Kilcher Homestead Living Museum
image by the4nn4/TripAdvisor

Address: 52916 Kilcher Rd, Fritz Creek, AK 99603

If you’re looking for something less adrenaline-heavy in Homer, Alaska, head to the historical Kilcher Homestead Living Museum. This 600-acre museum is preserved as a pioneer homestead. The original landowners were Yule and Ruth Kilcher, who moved to the shores of Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska, in the 1940s.

The family initially lived in the one-room Fox Farmer’s cabin on 160 acres of remote wilderness. This cabin didn’t have electricity, and they farmed and cleared land with a few hand tools and a team of horses. Eventually, they obtained more land and built a log house by hand.

Yule and Ruth made a documentary called “A Pioneer Family in Alaska,” which made their Alaskan homestead life known worldwide. And Yule was one of the first Alaskan delegates to write the Alaskan constitution in 1955.

Visitors to the museum can see the family’s photographs, lamps, farm equipment, hand tools, and schoolbooks that the Kilcher family used daily. There are also guided tours and hikes to explore the homestead and museum.

Or you can attend one of their fun workshops, including Making Wild Berry Jams, Building Fences, and Picking Mushrooms. Or, if you want to make a day of it, go to the Annual Homestead Games, where there are races, entertainment, and games for the whole family!

If you’re looking for things to do in Homer, Alaska, the Kilcher Homestead Living Museum is a hit for all ages. You’ll see life for the Kilcher family in this remote part of Alaska and learn about one of the first Alaskan delegates.

See Related: Museums in the US You Need to Visit

4. Katmai National Park

Bears in Katmai National Park

Location: King Salmon, AK 99613

If you are looking for a rugged wilderness adventure in the Homer, Alaska area, you will love Katmai National Park. Unfortunately, like other parks in the Homer area, Katmai National Park is only accessible by plane or boat. But plenty of flights and water taxis leave from Homer Spit, making it a convenient day trip.

This national park is located southwest of Homer on the northern Alaska Peninsula. It’s known for its abundant salmon runs in Brooks Falls, which draws a large population of brown bears. The landscape is rugged and wild, with mountains, tundra, volcanoes, lakes, and forests.

Visitors come from around the world to see some of the estimated 2,200 brown bears at Katmai. Summer is the best time to view bears, especially from the lookout platforms at Brooks Camp. However, local wildlife includes more than Alaskan brown bears; you can also see moose, beavers, caribou, wolverine, red fox, snowshoe hares, sea otters, wolves, lynx, mink, weasels, porcupines, and marten.

The park also has river rafting, kayaking, hiking, and camping opportunities. A favorite hiking spot is the Valley of 10,000 Smokes, while the Savonoski Loop is the place to go for kayakers.

Brooks Camp is the park’s summer headquarters, with a campground, kayak rentals, a restaurant and lodge, and the Brooks Camp Visitor Center. If you would rather participate in a ranger-led tour than backpack solo, sign up for a group tour in the Visitor Center.

If you’d like to spend many days exploring the park, there are campsites and lodging available at Brooks Camp. There are also a few fly-in lodges scattered throughout the park.

However, if you want to stay on the Naknek River for exceptional fishing, consider the popular Alaska Gold Creek Lodge, located on 16 acres of rugged wilderness. They also offer all-inclusive packages with heli-fishing charters and other customizable options!

See Related: Things to Do in Wasilla, Alaska

5. Pratt Museum and Park

Pratt Museum and Park
image by SueinSalem/TripAdvisor

Address: 3779 Bartlett St, Homer, AK 99603

If you want to take a break from adventurous outdoor recreation and learn about the Homer, Alaska, area, head to the Pratt Museum. This regional museum highlights the life of people in the Kachemak Bay area through natural history exhibits and collections of art, science, and culture.

Visitors to the museum will enjoy the main exhibit, which displays life around Kachemak Bay from historical to contemporary. In addition, you can see these photos, videos, and interactive exhibits to learn about the area’s history.

The Marine Gallery is another popular collection, with octopi, sea stars, sculpins, and more. In addition, visitors will see more than 75 species of marine mammals, birds, and fish in the area, such as the Beluga whale, sea lion, Bering Sea Beaked Whale, and Sperm Whale.

One of the museum’s newest exhibits is Salmon Culture, which celebrates the connection between salmon and the Native Alaskan peoples. In addition, visitors to this collection will see contemporary Alaskan art by local artists. This gallery celebrates the importance of salmon as a resource that has nourished the Alaskan community spiritually and physically for thousands of years.

When you visit Homer, a trip to the Pratt Museum will teach you all about the area from a historical and cultural perspective. It’s the perfect activity any day of the week, but especially on a rainy day when outdoor adventures aren’t possible.

See Related: National Parks to Visit in November

6. Homer Spit

Homer Spit Aerial View

Location: Homer Spit Road, Homer, AK 99603

The 4.5-mile-long Homer Spit is easily one of the best attractions in Homer, Alaska. And although you may be thinking about “saliva,” a “spit” is another name for a landform off the coast or a lake.

The Homer Spit is on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula and juts into Kachemak Bay. You’ll also find Homer Harbor at Homer Spit.

A paved trail follows the east side of the Homer Spit and is a perfect year-round spot for runners, walkers, skaters, and bikers. And while most people know that Homer is known as the Halibut Capital, it’s also known for having the second longest Spit worldwide.

Visitors to the Spit will find restaurants, shops, beaches, and recreation opportunities. In addition, anglers from all levels will enjoy fishing here with its variety of fish, such as Pacific cod, halibut, sculpins, Chinook salmon, and walleye pollock. During some parts of the year, you can even view bald eagles! And, when there is extremely low tide, you can see some cool flora and fauna.

The Homer Spit is also the place to book a fishing charter, a sea kayaking trip, or a ferry to Halibut Cove. And you can also reserve a water taxi to Kachemak Bay State Park, Seldovia, and other awesome destinations.

When visiting Homer, you must visit Homer Spit. You can drink at the historic Salty Dawg Saloon, where almost every spot is covered with dollar bills attached by visitors, but you can also take a fishing trip or boat ride from Homer Harbor. In addition, visitors can see bald eagles, play at the beach, remember those who perished at sea at the Seafarer’s Memorial, and eat some halibut tacos!

If you want to be in the middle of the fun, stay at the end of Homer Spit at Land’s End Resort, where you are close to everything and have access to the resort’s private beach and indoor pool!

7. Bear Creek Winery

Bear Creek Winery in Homer, Alaska
Courtesy of Bear Creek Winery

Address: 60203 Bear Creek Dr. Homer, AK 99603

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend your afternoon in Homer, Alaska, consider trying one of the delicious handcrafted wines at Bear Creek Winery. In the 1990s, the founders experimented with raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, and rhubarb wine in 5-gallon carboys, and in 2003, they officially opened the winery.

Today, 250-gallon batches have replaced 5-gallon carboys, producing over 20,000 gallons yearly. Bear Creek Winery now offers nine core varietals and five seasonal wines in their tasting room.

The award-winning wines stem from carefully handpicked berries in the gardens facing Kachemak Bay. Visitors can walk the gardens when they visit the winery and see the fruit grown for the wines.

If you visit on the weekends, they offer complimentary guided tours on Saturdays at noon. However, you can walk around the botanical gardens any day of the week.

The winery also offers lodging on-site for romantic getaways or small groups. If you stay on the winery grounds, you can access free wine tastings, the koi pond, a fire pit area, and a stone hot tub. The Bear Creek Winery is fun for adults, with its unique wines, beautiful gardens, and complimentary guided tours.

See Related: Things to Do in Talkeetna, Alaska

8. Guided Airboat Tour

Airboat Tour in Homer
image by Viator

Address: 59217 East End Rd, Homer, AK 99603

This five-star airboat tour is easily one of the best things to do in Homer, Alaska! So, if you’re looking for a unique experience that takes you to the rivers at the head of Kachemak Bay, this airboat tour is it! This half-day tour is fun for all ages, with minimal physical demands.

Starting in Homer, the tour will take you on a drive along the shoreline of Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains. Then, you will drive past the Russian village of Voznesenka, where the tour operator’s AirRanger and Argo are kept.

Then, you will take a short ride in the Argo across the tide flats so you can hop on the airboat. The airboat travels along three rivers, the Bradly, Sheep, and Fox, to spot eagles, seals, and moose.

This tour is unique because no other tour operators share this area with visitors, making this area relatively peaceful and serene. In addition, the maximum number of occupants on tour is six, keeping the group small and intimate.

While the airboat tour is roughly two hours, the total time, including the drive from Homer and a short trip in the Argo, is about four and a half hours. So, if you’re looking for a small guided tour in the beautiful wilderness of Kachemak Bay, look no further than this unique guided airboat tour!

9. Ptarmigan Arts

Ptarmigan Arts Building
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Address: 471 E Pioneer Avenue, Homer, AK 99603

If you want to experience art and culture while visiting Alaska, stop by locally-owned Ptarmigan Arts. This local art gallery showcases numerous types of art, from sculptures, stained glass, paintings, prints, woodwork, and pottery. In downtown Homer, Ptarmigan Arts is a short walk to restaurants, shops, and other art galleries.

Since 1984, this art gallery has been a fun place to go year-round, with scheduled shows and exhibits like the First Friday receptions. What makes this gallery unique is that it’s owned and operated by the members, so not only do they create the art, but they staff the facility as well.

This art gallery is one of many in the area, so if you’re looking for others to visit, try the Fireweed Gallery, Bunnell Street Arts Center, and the Art Shop Gallery. 

See Related: Things to Do in Seward, Alaska

10. Bishop’s Beach

Bishop's Beach Sunset

Location: Homer, AK 99603

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing afternoon in Homer, Alaska, head to Bishop’s Beach. Located just two blocks from Old Town, Bishop’s Beach is at the end of Beluga Place. The seemingly endless shoreline is a 1.25-mile-long peninsula that juts into Kachemak Bay.

The beach is a destination for tourists and locals, with mountain views, diverse marine life, beautiful blue water, and lush greenery. Visitors to the beach love to explore the tide pools to find tiny jellyfish and crabs when there is low tide.

It’s also fun to hunt for shells while combing the beach. In addition, the beach is also a fantastic birdwatching spot, with opportunities to see bald eagles, harlequin ducks, or herring gulls.

If you’re visiting Homer, Alaska, during summer, you can hike the Beluga Slough Trail, a 1.2-mile scenic loop. This loop is the perfect trail for all levels, from beginner to expert, and has beautiful city views.

Stop by the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center for more information about the local wildlife. The employees at the Visitor Center offer advice on points of interest and tips on viewing wildlife. You can also walk through the Visitor Center on a self-guided tour to learn more about the most remote wildlife refuge in the United States.

Stay nearby at the highly-rated property, The Lighthouse, which is beachfront and offers a fantastic hot tub for relaxing at the end of the day. Or, if you’re traveling with an RV, stay at the Driftwood Inn, a beautiful RV park with lodges located on the bluffs above Bishop’s Beach. This RV park has gorgeous mountain views and is convenient for coffee shops, art galleries, museums, and restaurants.

11. Alaska Ultimate Safaris

Alaska Ultimate Safaris Adventure
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Address: 3720 Faa St, Homer, AK 99603

If you are trying to find adventurous things to do in Homer, Alaska, a trip with Alaska Ultimate Safaris should be on your itinerary, especially if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Whether you want to take a helicopter to see bears, active volcanoes, or glaciers (or a combination of all!), Alaska Ultimate Safaris will give you a lifetime memory.

Located at Homer Airport, this tour company will take you to private areas on the Alaska peninsula to see brown bears. Helicopters provide the perfect bear viewing, with unlimited visibility from any seat and the ability to land virtually anywhere.

There are also glacier safaris where you can get above the treeline to see and explore the Harding Ice Field. This ice field is at least thousands of years old and 500-1000 feet deep. You’ll also get amazing views of the Gulf of Alaska and Kachemak Bay from the air.

If you want to explore volcanoes, you can take their Volcano Safari, where you’ll land at the summit of an active volcano to view Alaska’s Garden of Eden.

The Homer area is filled with so much natural beauty that figuring out how to enjoy it all can be hard. However, a trip with Alaska Ultimate Safaris is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Homer, Alaska, to see much of Alaska’s natural world!

Stop by the Homer Brewing Company after leaving the airport for an Old Inlet Pale Ale, China Poot Porter, or Odyssey Oatmeal Stout, and share your wildlife tour stories with the other patrons! This is the perfect end to a perfect day! 

See Related: Things to Do in Anchorage, Alaska

12. Seldovia Ferry

Homer Seldovia Ferry
image by Ann B/TripAdvisor

Address: Ramp 7/ JJ Dock, Homer Harbor, Homer, AK 99603

If you want to visit the neighboring city of Seldovia, hop on the Seldovia Ferry for a 45-minute ride to the small town on the Kenai Peninsula. Since no roads connect it to other cities, all visitors must fly or ride the ferry.

The ferry is an easy and fast way to explore the neighboring city, and you can also appreciate the views of Kamechak Bay and the mountains on your way to Seldovia. Although a short trip, you can enjoy a complimentary cup of hot coffee or tea while on the ferry. You can also purchase snacks and soft drinks at the ferry’s snack bar.

The catamaran has indoor and outdoor seating and is built to accommodate 150 passengers. At 25 knots (or 28.8 mph), the ferry only takes 45 minutes to get to Seldovia from Homer. You can transport kayaks, bicycles, and light freight, but checking the weight restrictions before booking your trip is a good idea.

Most people visit Seldovia for the small-town charm, with biking, kayaking, fishing, birding, photography, and shopping. However, you won’t need a car in Seldovia, which has access to local taxis and ATV rentals. It’s also very pedestrian-friendly.

Once you’re in town, visit the Seldovia Visitor Center and Museum for ideas on things to do. A trip down the Boardwalk is also fun, with homes, shops, old bridges, and beautiful scenery.

13. Downtown Homer

Downtown Homer Scenery

Location: Pioneer Avenue, Homer, AK99603

Although downtown Homer isn’t large, there is still plenty to do in the area, from dining, art galleries, historic buildings, and a museum. Most of the downtown area is located along Pioneer Avenue and is very pedestrian-friendly. 

Start your day at Captain’s Coffee Roasting Company for an Alaska Chai and a breakfast bagel. Or, if you want something more substantial for your first meal of the day, stop at Very Good Breakfast Company for eggs and potatoes or biscuits and gravy. 

Then, you can walk to one of many local attractions: the Pratt Museum and Park, the Homer Public Library, Ptarmigan Arts, or the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. And if you’d rather sit back and relax, you can take in a show at the Homer Theater. 

Once you’ve finished sightseeing, stop at Vida’s Thai Food for some Tom Kha soup, Pad Kee Mao, and Thai iced tea. The deliciousness is sure to warm you up on a cold day! Or, have a specialty pizza, steamer clams, and local oysters on the half-shell at the Twisted Goat. 

You can also stay downtown at one of the hotels, such as the highly-rated Pioneer Inn, which is just two minutes away from the Pratt Museum and mere minutes away from numerous kayaking, fishing, and hiking opportunities. If you want to end your day with a cold beer in a local hangout, stop by Kharacters Alaskan Bar. This local dive bar is casual and often has live music. 

Downtown Homer hosts many events, such as the 4th of July Parade and the Winter Carnival Parade. 

See Related: Things to Do in Icy Strait Point, Alaska

14. Seafarer’s Memorial

Seafarer's Memorial

Address: 4535 Homer Spit Rd, Homer, AK 99603

Located at the Homer Spit, the Seafarer’s Memorial is a sad memory of those who have perished at sea. The memorial includes around 70 names that are engraved on mounted plaques inside the memorial’s pillars.

One of the earliest plaques is from 1934, but the monument is ongoing. Family members can purchase additional bricks through the North Pacific Fisheries Association.

The monument, located toward the end of the Homer Spit, is twenty feet wide and fifteen feet tall. The hexagonal structure showcases a tall, rugged mariner statue ready to throw a line in the water. A three-tiered copper dome protects this statue.

The Seafarer’s Memorial includes various vessel types, from canoes to skiffs and kayaks to commercial ships. In addition, the memorial holds a blessing for the fleet every May. Whether you know commercial fishermen or not, this memorial reminds visitors of the industry’s danger and the significance of fishing in Alaska.

15. Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
image by Will3642/TripAdvisor

Address: 708 Smoky Bay Way, Homer, AK 99603

If you want to learn more about Alaska’s marine life, you would love a trip to the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. There is much to explore in the Homer area, especially in Kachemak Bay, one of the most diverse Alaskan coastal areas.

Their tours include hiking along the beach and trails at Wynn Nature Center or exploring the rainforests and tide pools at Peterson Bay. In addition, the center offers personalized experiences, depending on what you want to see in the area. With only nine guests per tour guide, it’s an intimate experience with the space to ask questions.

The center offers natural history tours for all ages, including overnight yurt accommodations. In addition, they offer more difficult guided hikes if you are an experienced hiker. Finally, if you want to see a moose and a sea star on the same day, book their Creatures of the Dock tour!

Places to Stay in Homer

1. The Lighthouse Top Recommendation

The Lighthouse has garden views, free WiFi and free private parking, situated in Homer, less than 1 km from Homer Airport. All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and hot tub. Some units also have a kitchen equipped with a dishwasher, an oven, and a stovetop. The aparthotel offers a sun terrace. Guests at The Lighthouse can enjoy hiking nearby, or make the most of the garden.

2. Seafarer Suites

Seafarer Suites offers comfortable self-catering accommodation in Homer. It features a furnished outdoor terrace and views of the garden. All rooms have a kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator and dining area. A TV comes with satellite channels in each room at Seafarer Suites. The en suite bathrooms are fitted with a shower and a hairdryer. Guests can prepare meals in the shared lounge or large kitchen.

3. Best Western Bidarka Inn

The Best Western Bidarka Inn is a charming hotel situated close to the beautiful Homer city centre. With its panoramic views of Kachemak Bay and close proximity to the magnificent Bishops Beaches, it's a great base for exploring the area. This cosy Alaska hotel offers a range of amenities including free Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant and bar, meeting rooms and laundry services.


What is Homer, Alaska, known for?

While Homer, Alaska, is known as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, it’s so much more than that. People worldwide visit Homer for the nearby Kachemak Bay State Park, national parks, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. This small town at the end of the Sterling Highway is a destination for everyone, whether you’re an angler, hiker, mountain biker, shopper, or ultimate relaxer.

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