Beluga Lake Lodge Homer
BEST WESTERN BIDARKA INN Homer
HALCYON HEIGHTS BED AND BREAKFAST Homer
LANDS END RESORT Homer
PIONEER INN Homer
THE OCEAN SHORES Homer
HOMER , 226 miles south from Anchorage, is the Kenai Peninsula's southernmost road-accessible town.
It commands a truly magnificent setting, spread beneath gently sloping verdant bluffs with a four-mile finger
of land - The Spit - slinking out into the dark waters of Kachemak Bay, into which flow crystal-blue glaciers,
framed by dense black forest. With abundant activities, a lively nightlife, and a varied, youthful population
that supports a thriving arts community, it's so appealing you'll probably want to scrap your itinerary and
linger a few days extra.
Russians, drawn by the abundance of coal, were the first whites to reach the area, and by the mid-1800s
several American companies had followed suit. In 1896, Homer Pennock , a gold-seeker from Michigan,
set up the community that still bears his name. Every summer in recent years, young people from the Lower 48
have arrived here in droves to work on the halibut boats or in the cannery, many living in an impromptu tent
city on the beach.
The downtown Pratt Museum , 3779 Bartlett St (daily 10am-6pm; $6), features high-quality works by local
craftspeople, as well as Inuit and other Native artifacts, aquariums and historic Homer oddities. Many of Homer's
most popu-lar activities, however, revolve around the Spit. To Alaskan anglers, Homer is " Halibut Central ": a
full day's fishing excursion with any of the charter companies begins at around $140. If you don't mind joining the
crowds, it's cheaper and simpler to visit the Fishing Hole , a tiny bight on the Spit, which is stocked with salmon
and offers good fishing from mid-May to mid-September.
The prime tourist attraction in the Homer area is exploring the 250,000 acres of forested mountains, glaciers,
pristine fjords and inlets that comprise Kachemak Bay State Park , directly across the bay from Homer.
Bird species here include puffin, auklets, kittiwakes and storm petrels, and marine creatures such as seals, sea
otters and whales are also plentiful. Rainbow Tours on Cannery Row (tel 907/235-7272) operates two-hour
sightseeing cruises ($20) to Gull Island - a 15,000-strong rookery. The most popular destination is the gorgeous
hamlet of Halibut Cove , where boardwalks link art galleries and The Saltry restaurant: the Danny J Ferry
(tel 907/235-7847) makes two daily trips to Halibut Cove, on the south shore of the bay, via Gull Island rookery.
The area's best trails, most of them manageable in a day, are those in the Kachemak Bay State Park on the
south side of Kachemak Bay: pick up the park's hiking trails leaflet ($1) and other information from the Alaska
National Marine Wildlife Refuge , 202 Pioneer Ave in Homer (tel 907/235-6546). The most-traveled route, up
to Grewingk Glacier , is an easy three-and-a-half-mile trek above the spruce and cottonwood forest to the foot
of the glacier, from where you get splendid views of the bay.
OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN ALASKA
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Denali National Park