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Things to Do in Homer Alaska 2019

Just across the Kenai Peninsula from Seward lies a quaint little Alaskan fishing town that you will love. There is not a shortage of  things to do in Homer Alaska. Aside from the sheer beauty of the mountains and the Kachemak Bay, visitors can enjoy the grandeur of Alaskan nature and wildlife. Enjoy self-guided activities or go all out and charter an adventure guide for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

My First Visit

My first trip to Homer took place on my seventh trip to Alaska in 2016.  That year I first took my two oldest children (13 and 9.) The excitement began long before we arrived in this small lazy fishing town 220  miles south of Anchrorage. On Alaska State Highway 1, within a 30-minute drive out of Anchorage and along the banks of the Turnagain Arm, the opportunities were almost endless. Along the way we had the opportunity to visit Portage Glacier, the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church, and many other fascinating sights. And that’s not to mention several roadside stops to photograph moose and bald eagles. We also climbed up the roadside cliffs that make this a gorgeous half-day drive to Homer.

Our Arrival to Homer

things to do in homer alaska

After arriving to the little fishing village we discovered the Homer Spit on the very southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula. The spit isa narrow strip of land that juts out about 4.5 miles into the Kachemak Bay. It is home to up to 1500 commercial and pleasure boats in the peek times of the year. As soon as we arrived, my 2 children and I found a spot on the side of the spit. We had a great view of the Kenai Mountains to the South and some picturesque views of old half sunken boats to the East. We climbed on the rocks and found a place to enjoy our sack lunches and soak in the crisp July air of the Kachemak Bay. As we ate our lunch, we watched sea otters rolling and diving just a dozen yards out.

The Homer Boat Harbor

Things to Do in Homer AlaskaAfter a brief lunch, we stopped and strolled the docks at the Homer boat harbor. The boats docked in the harbor were a joy for the kids as they walked the dock. They went from boat to boat admiring the wildness of life as a fisherman in the “Last Frontier.” We enjoyed a little shopping at the various gift shops along the harbor.

We even got to take a peek at the world famous Salty Dawg Saloon housed in an old cabin built in 1897. The building served as the first post office, a railroad station, a grocery store, and a coal mining office for twenty years. Of course the kids had to view it from just outside the door since it is a working bar. The actual Salty Dawg itself was opened in 1957. One thing that makes the Salty Dawg so special is the thousands of dollar bills from around the world that hang from the ceiling, cover the floor and are attached to every bare spot of wood inside the Salty Dawg. That has been a tradition there for many years.

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The Wildlife and Sealife in Homer Alaska

One of our favorite experiences in Homer was to see the abundance of wildlife and sea life. From the multiple moose we spotted (even right beside our car) to the soaring bald eagles and octupus and starfish, we were amazed at how nature surprised us. The wildflowers also made us feel like we were in a different world. They were bursting with vibrant purples, yellows, whites and blues. The colors were spectacular. Beachcombing the shore of the spit was like treasure hunting for wildlife and we had a blast walking the beach of an overnight campground.

Below are several other fun things to do in Homer, Alaska.

Starfish Hunting in Homer Alaska

The inter-coastal tide pools of Homer are home to millions of brightly colored starfish. It is one of the best places in the world to be awed by the glowing starfish. The best time to view the starfish is during low tide when the receding water reveals a myriad of sea life. In addition to the starfish, you may see sea stars, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins-and maybe even an octopus. We found an octopus dead on the campground beach, which made a great photo opp for the kids.

Bald Eagle Sightings in Homer Alaska

Homer has one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles on the planet. If you don’t see a bald Eagle in Homer, you probably had your eyes closed! Some of the best spots for viewing Bald Eagles include the Homer Spit Trail, the Homer Bypass Active Eagles Nest, and Ninilchik, just north of Homer on Alaska Highway 1.

Kachemak State Park

Kachemak State Park is Alaska’s first state park containing about 400,000 acres of recreation land. The park includes ocean, mountains, glaciers and forest. The park has some great hiking trails and plenty of land to roam and explore. The only catch to the Kachemak park is that there is no road accessibility. This means you get there by plane or water taxi. There are several options at the harbor. However, you can expect to spend a minimum of $75 to get to the park.

Bear Viewing Tours

For the adventurous traveller willing to invest more money into their trip, Homer has some of the best bear viewing in all of Alaska. You can take a short flight to Brooks Falls or one of many other bear viewing areas. Bear viewing is a breathtaking trip if all goes well. You can expect to pay a minimum of $600 and up for a good bear viewing flight. Check out this LIVE cam of Brooks Falls that can be watched on Youtube 24-7.

Weather

In the summer months, the Homer area averages a low temperature of the mid-40s to a high in the mid-60s. Homer only gets about an inch of rain per month in the summer. You can expect a high probability of cloudy skies. The beauty of Alaska in the summer is the long days. Homer gets about 18 hours of full sunlight per day in July.

Plenty of Things to Do in Homer Alaska

Homer is not one of the most popular spots in Alaska. However, it provides the summer visitors with an authentic Alaskan experience. If Homer is one of your destinations, you will see a huge variety of sea life and wildlife. You may not see these in other parts of the state. The locals are super friendly and the scenery is some of the best.

Let me know if I can answer any questions as you prepare to make your Alaskan vacation an epic adventure!

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10 thoughts on “Things to Do in Homer Alaska 2019

  • April 13, 2019 at 7:40 am
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    Hey Kevin. I really enjoyed reading your article. It is just what I need.

    I will be travelling to Alaska this July and I am gathering all the information I need so I could have the best possible vacation and exploration of this beatiful part of the USA. Homer looks like a really nice place to be.

    I am mostly interested in nature and wildlife. I would definitely go on a bear seeing tour and visit bald eagle sightings.

    Also, it is good to know the weather will be nice, since I will be visiting in summer time.

    Thank you.

    Strahinja

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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      I  am so glad you enjoyed the article and I hope you have a wonderful time if you get to travel to Homer. It is a beautiful place wiith lot of things to do. Let me know if you have any questions about your travel.

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 7:49 am
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    Hi Kevin. This is a very nice post and very interesting one.

    I’m a nature enthusiast and lover. Though I have explored many parks but a friend suggested Homer Alaska to me and how rich its wildlife is. I have started making plans to make it my next vacation destination. Based on your post here, I’ve been well oriented on what possibly could be the estimated budget.

    But, I would not mind you giving me from your experience the estimated budget for 3persons going on such an adventurous trip.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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      That is a great question RoDarrick. As with any trip, the budget can be wide ranging depending on your airfare, what type of lodging you choose, what time of year you go and what you like to eat. It would be virtually impossible to determine without knowing some of those factors. Homer in particular is a very seasonal destination. Going early in the Sring or early in the fall would be the most inexpensive time to travel there, unless of course you want to experience the cold Alaskan winter, then you can travel very inexpensively in the winter. On average, with average loding and food and excluding travel, I would budget approximately $300 per day per person if you go in the middle of summer and would like to do some activities. But again, it is a broad range.

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 7:51 am
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    I love sea life and wildlife animals ,it been a long time I actually travelled down to a place where I could actually see both in different varieties. Going through your post I think Alaska Homer will be the best place to visit after my wedding, my husband and I have been thinking of a conducive environment to visit. He will definitely like this place as he loves natures ,I already bookmark your page so he can see your beautiful posts. I am very sure we will get nice hotel around to lodge. Mere, reading your post makes me crave to be there. 

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 3:21 pm
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      It is very unique in Alaska that you get to see exotic land animals and sea life. It is also unique to see the huge mountains right along the coastline. If you would like to see the huge variety, you should check out the Seward Highway heading east and then south out of Anchorage. This is also the road that takes you to Homer, so if you like variety, it is the perfect trip for you. Here is some more information about the Seward Highway. https://thingstodoinalaska.us/activities/turnagain-arm-the-best-place-in-the-world-to-kill-some-time/

      I hope you get to travel to Homer!

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 7:56 am
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    Hello, Alaska. I’d like to travle to the palce where has too many pople, so that to get closer to nature. After reading the introduction, I want to have a journey to Homer. I saw Homer is near the sea from the google map. I have made a deep understanding of the Homer. It is really a good place for me to travel. Thanks for your introduction.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 3:22 pm
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      I hope you get to travel to Homer. It is a wonderful vacation for a family! There are a lot of things to do in Homer, expecially for the nature lover.

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 8:04 am
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    My family would definitely be thrilled about the possibility of visiting Alaska in the summer during my annual vacation. I would share things about your adventure I’ve read here with them,  I guess this would make them more excited to experience Alaska for the first time. I have read about  Alaska, and I look forward to visiting this summer soon. Thanks for bringing the attention of the entire world to the tourism potentials of Alaska.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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      Yes! Alaska during the summer is a wonderful family destination. There are many wonderful family activities and other things to do in Homer. There are many other great destinations too. As a matter of fact, one of the greatest experiences is driving from town to town, so try to make your Alaska vacation one where you get to visit several different places.

      Reply

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