Homer is an awesome little town. Towns really don’t get much more awesome in fact. From the knock-your-socks-off views, to the sea plane lake to the second longest spit in the world, Homer has plenty of unique attractions. But, Homer is also a great jumping off point for TONS of other adventures. Located at the end of the road on the Kenai Peninsula, Homer is the portal to many places you can’t get to by driving. If you are planning a trip to Homer, the things that you can do from Homer are just as important as the things you can do in Homer. And I have compiled them into a neat little list for you. How nice of me.
5. Take the ferry to Seldovia
The ferry from Homer to Seldovia is a great way to spend the day. It costs $45 per person for the round trip ticket, which includes your trip over, about 4 hours in the town of Seldovia, your trip back, all the coffee you can drink (a big plus for Justin) and an unadvertised whale watching tour. Find out more about the Homer-Seldovia Ferry here.
4. Take a glacier tour
(Photo by Justin Hayes)
I wasn’t lucky enough to go with Justin when he hiked to the glacier but he described it as “probably the best day ever”. No matter where you are in Homer, you have a great view of at least two different glaciers. If you have the time and the physical capability, you can take a water taxi across the bay and hike to these glaciers. There are no silly rules here about not being able to touch them or walk on them like there are at Exit Glacier, so it’s way cooler. If hiking just isn’t your thing, you can also take a glacier tour from the air, which I’ve heard is really cool too.
3. Stay at Otter Cove
Another hidden gem across the bay from Homer, Otter Cove is a charming wilderness lodge with the most epic location in the world. When you stay at Otter Cove, you can go kayaking (kayaking in Otter Cove was actually featured on the show Sarah Palin’s Alaska), clamming, see all sorts of starfish and sea creatures, watch for otters, pick mussels, fish, or hike. It is tucked away in its own little bay, so you really feel like you are all on your own in the wilderness of Alaska. The best part is, Otter Cove only costs about $80 per night! Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Visit their website here.
2. Go Halibut fishing
Halibut fishing is like a prerequisite of staying in Homer (it is the Halbut fishing capital of the world, after all). There are about three hundred charter companies to choose from, but we went with Homer Ocean Charters because they’re the best (which we really learned on our day fishing, they made sure EVERYONE caught fish before heading home). Fishing for Halibut was way harder than I thought it would be, but so much fun and now we have a ton of fish to send home! Read more about our adventure here.
1. Katmai National Park Bear Viewing Adventure
I saved the best for last here, as you might imagine. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I, Payje Bier, would ever fly in a sea plane to a remote national park where I would hang out 5 feet away from giant grizzly bears. Just never thought that would be part of my life. But it was, TWICE! If it’s not something that you have ever thought about doing, then you should start! Especially if you’re planning on visiting Homer. It can be a little bit scary, but there is a trip for everyone (even people who can’t walk too far) and it is really, truly a once in a lifetime experience. Bald Mountain Air Service is the best in the business (yes I work here but it’s still the truth, ask any local in town and they will steer you towards Bald Mountain). When you’re researching your bear tour, you may be taken aback by the cost of the trip. These are my words of advice: if you have the money, or even could possibly have the money, IT IS WORTH IT. You will never forget this experience. It will be the best experience you have while you’re in Alaska, I guarantee it!