Homer is one of Alaska’s most picturesque towns with easily accessible beaches and classic Alaskan charm. In the summer, Homer is a popular travel destination for Alaskans and visitors alike. Accessible by the road system and by sea, you will want to make sure to visit Homer on your travels around the state.
Top Free Activity To Do In Homer Is To Visit The Homer Spit
The Homer Spit is a long strip of land at the end of the highway. This area hosts most of the action in town including art galleries, local shops, seafood restaurants, bars, and of course, the famous Homer beaches. The bustling fishing industry adds another draw to the Spit and you can walk the docks and sample the fresh catch at the local eateries.
Homer is a little town that packs a big punch. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore all the fun things there are to do. From beach excitement to peaceful art galleries, unique experiences abound in this Alaskan gem on the sea.
These 17 fun things to do in Homer are just a sampling of what the town has to offer.
1.) Hop Along the Homer Spit
The Homer Spit is a 4.5-mile strip of land that curls into the Kachemak Bay. It’s easy to find, just head to the very end of the road. This seaside area contains a variety of options for Homer fun including shopping, sight-seeing, dining, and other beach-side fun.
The waterline is lined with charming shops offering local artisanal wares. There are a wide variety of dining options for fresh seafood and more from fine dining to a quick seaside bite. Art galleries are also very popular in Homer and you can find a quiet moment to enjoy local art, and stay out of the Homer drizzle.
2.) Gaze at the Seafarer’s Memorial
Located right on the Homer Spit, the Seafarer’s Memorial is dedicated to those who have been lost at sea. Loved ones memorialize those they have lost with photos, shells, rocks, and other keepsakes with names written on them.
Spend some time at this easily accessible memorial to honor those who were lost at sea. You can admire the incredible power of the ocean and take in the gorgeous Kachemak Bay.
3.) Kayak out to the Horizon
Spend an afternoon on the water, having the adventure of a lifetime. Many locals and adventure travelers head out on the Kachemak Bay in ocean kayaks. Rentals are available for everything you need, including guided tours for beginners.
There is nothing like feeling the vastness of the ocean beneath you as you paddle toward the horizon. Bring a waterproof camera as some Alaskan wildlife, and ocean life, are bound to make an appearance. There are also several lakes near Homer that can be explored by kayak.
4.) Wine with a View
The Bear Creek Winery offers an Alaskan take on the vineyard wine experience. Using Alaskan flavors from rhubarb to blueberries, they bottle a variety of wines with their own flair. Tastings are available to try the whole collection.
You can also stay at the winery in their glorious hillside location in Homer, the view spreading out as you sip your wine on the deck. Any time of year, this a wonderful escape to a luxurious and rare experience for Alaska. The gardens and outdoor hot tub add to the elegant atmosphere.
5.) Sail away to Seldovia
The tiny town Seldovia lies across the bay from Homer, and is a popular destination for a day trip. Take the Seldovia Bay Ferry to the charming, boardwalk village where you can stroll and take in the colorful sights of an Alaskan seaside community.
Don’t miss the Seldovia Visitor’s Center which offers a wealth of information about the area. You’ll also want to take stroll through the wooden sculpture garden. A visit to Seldovia is a Homer day trip you won’t soon forget. The boat trip across the Kachemak Bay provides ample opportunity to spot ocean life.
6.) Stroll by a Waterfall
Nearby Homer lies the Kachemak Bay State Park, a stretch of wilderness that is only accessible by air or sea. You can rent a boat or take a water taxi both ways. Bring a guide for a hike through this Alaskan wonderland for a true taste of the wild.
Find glacial lakes glittering in the sun, gorgeous views and waterfalls tumbling while American bald eagles soar above. The park is home to a huge variety of local wildlife
including seals, sea otters, puffins, dolphins and whales. Make sure you schedule plenty of time to see this slice of Alaskan perfection.
7.) Ride a Horse on the Beach
Take a ride on a horse along the Homer beaches for a dream come true. Local guides and their very well-behaved horses offer opportunities to ride along the beach. The experience is truly magical as the views of the bay and the wide empty beaches all combine to make an unforgettable horseback riding experience.
A horseback tour in Homer consists of training and guidance so everyone will feel comfortable on their ride. While you explore the beach, the guides can tell you all about life in Homer, the local flora and fauna, and the history of the area. Horseback riding on the beach in Homer is definitely not to be missed.
8.) Feast on the Daily Catch
Homer is a fishing town and everywhere you look, docks are full of boats unloading the finest Alaskan delicacies. If you love seafood, you’ll want to sample the clams, mussels, scallops, King crab, and the famed Kachemak Bay oysters, among all the other fresh catch options.
Restaurants across the Homer Spit and in town offer a variety of fresh seafood options. Deep-water halibut has a firm texture and is excellent fresh from the sea, and of course Alaskan salmon makes an appearance on local menus. If you are a seafood lover, you’ll be in heaven dining on the daily catch in Homer.
9.) Comb the Beach
Bishop’s Beach Park is a great place to explore the shore and spot wildlife. Just two blocks from old town, this accessible beach park lies at the end of Beluga Place. Check the schedule and visit the beach at low tide for maximum fun.
You’ll want to wear rubber boots, the preferred local footwear, as the beach is more of a rocky shoreline. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to explore rock pools. You’ll find crab, eels, jellyfish, starfish and more in their natural habitat. The shoreline is rich with wildlife and you can spend hours exploring.
10.) Rent a Boat
Walk along the piers at the Homer port and rent a boat for the day. If you don’t have enough experience, guides are ready to help you find some nice spots to explore along the water’s edge in Homer.
Even if you only have a short time in Homer, take a stroll and look at the boats. Many people spend more time at sea than in their homes on land, especially during the fishing season. Getting out on the water is key to enjoying all Homer has to offer.
11.) Take a Trip Back in Time
Head out to the Norman Lowell Art Gallery, a piece of history overlooking the Anchor River near Homer. On the original homestead property of the Norman Lowell family, the gallery houses extensive collections of artwork by painter Norman Lowell.
The gallery is open during the summer season for visitors to see paintings by this local master artist. The paintings are large, vivid images of the wild north country and the gallery provides a peek into the peaceful life of Norman Lowell, painting the natural beauty of Homer from this lovely homestead and studio.
12.) Learn about the Islands and Oceans
For an in-depth look at the current science of the local coastline, Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor’s Center is the perfect place to spend some time. Displays range from local scientific projects on-going in the region to informative exhibits on the local plant and animal life.
The Kachemak Bay is the largest seabird refuge in the world and you can find out all about these fascinating creatures through exhibits, informational videos and the knowledgeable rangers. On the Sterling Highway, the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor’s Center is an excellent place to explore Alaskan science in a fun way for all ages.
13.) Have Breakfast on the Beach
Two Sisters Bakery is a staple in Homer and when you taste their offerings you will know why. The local, family-owned bakery provides daily fresh-baked pastries and breads as well as made-to-order menu items. Head to this local treasure to pick up breakfast and enjoy it nearby on the beach.
No matter what time of year, the beach in Homer is a vision of Alaskan beauty, the water as busy with boats, people and sealife as the land. Enjoy the local flavor of Two Sisters Bakery and the fresh air of a morning alongside the Kachemak Bay.
14.) Examine the Art
Ptarmigan Arts is Homer’s only cooperative art gallery and features the work of a number of different local artists. This is a great place to find unique gifts made by Alaskans as well as pieces to beautify your life.
Lying on East Pioneer Avenue, the gallery displays paintings, photography, woodworking, glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, lithography, etchings and prints. The artists of Homer are truly inspired by the incredible natural beauty of the land and sea in the area. A visit to this vibrant art cooperative will refresh your spirit. Take home a memory of your visit to this beautiful seaside town.
15.) Visit a Classic Alaskan Homestead
The Kilcher Homestead Living Museum is a 600-acre pioneer property that allows visitors to see the Alaska of a simpler time. Head out to Fritz Creek to see the cabin and farmland. The homestead is from the 1930’s and holds years of family history and memories that are displayed on the tour.
The Kilcher family and the Homestead were featured on the reality show “Alaska: The Last Frontier.” Find out more about the process, the land, and the history of life in Alaska in a beautiful location. You’ll have no trouble understanding why generations of the family have treasured this homestead.
16.) Watch the Wildlife
The Kachemak Bay is a jewel of Homer’s crown and there are endless ways to enjoy a day on the water. In downtown Homer, there are a number of options for tours from an hour-long jaunt to a full day. Pick an option and head out on the waves to see what the locals love about life on the water.
During a day on the water you may see humpback, gray and beluga whales as well as pods of orcas, porpoises and dolphins gracing the waves. Along the shores, eagles, seabirds, sea otters, sea lions and seals are all residents of the area. Explore the great outdoors and the wilderness that Alaskans love and protect.
17.) Learn at the Museum
A stop at the Pratt Museum is well worth the time on your Homer adventures. This cultural museum is full of informative exhibits about the people and history of the Kachemak Bay area. Aside from the long-standing historical exhibits, there are also new exhibits regularly opening.
Check out the community events calendar as the Pratt Museum is a center for the arts and culture in Homer. No matter what is currently on offer, you’ll have an enjoyable day at the Pratt Museum. Check out the photographic exhibits of Alaska through the years, as well as the education programs the museum regularly hosts
Carey Seward has written about travel for the Jeju Weekly News (South Korea) and The Cardamom Diaries Blog (Guatemala). Seward is also a
multidimensional artist who writes, directs, produces and performs original works in theatre, film, music and on the page. Theatrical projects written, directed and produced in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has also produced, costume designed and performed with the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre since 2000, most recently performing as Music Director and Band Leader for Macbeth (2019), as well as leading the company as Executive Director from 2017-2019. As a teaching artist, Seward works as an Artist in the Schools (2004-2019) teaching
drama, playwriting and Shakespeare. In 2021, pursuits include Theatre Alaska’s AK Writer’s Workshop 2021, a student at Primary Stages ESPA and On the Page Screenwriting Studio, publishing the “With Love” Travel Romance series and writing for The Alaska Frontier.