Are you on the hunt for the top things to do in Homer Alaska? Here I give you 20 unique options to add to your things to do in Homer Alaska planning list.
Situated 218 miles SW of Anchorage, Alaska overlooking Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains is the delightful city of Homer.
It’s unlike other cities/towns in Alaska, often being referred to as the “cosmic hamlet by the sea” because of the eclectic vibe the local fishermen, farmers, artists, and crafters foster.
Homer’s nickname is “the end of the road,” because it is the southernmost town on the Alaskan highway system. This history of Homer is truly fascinating and there are so many facts about Homer to learn about during your visit.
Whether you visit Homer (named after Homer Pennock, a gold miner in the 1890s) to hike, to kayak, to eat or to shop, there’s plenty to do in Homer, AK.
If you are planning your first trip to Alaska read my 9 things to know before traveling to Alaska.
20 Unique Things To Do In Homer Alaska
One Of The Best Free Things To Do In Homer Alaska Is To Visit The Homer “Spit.”
What is the Homer Spit? It is 4.5 miles of land protruding out into Kachemak Bay and tops the list of things to do in Homer Alaska. On the Homer Spit, the mountains of the Kenai chain stand at attention before you and the waters of the bay surround you.
If you are looking for accommodations as you plan your Alaska itinerary, read about the best Alaska Airbnbs.
Read here about planning the Perfect Alaska Itinerary.
Explore The Beaches Of The Homer Spit
There are beaches galore to explore on the Homer Spit.
The beaches in Alaska in general and Homer specifically are pebbly. (Not sandy as you may be accustomed to.) They are great places to explore for treasures. The Homer tides are remarkable.
If you meander out onto the beaches at low tide, you can walk out a long distance and discover all sorts of marine life.
The Homer Alaska beaches are a great place for stretching and getting in a nice walk. And how about enjoying the sublime Kenai mountains that surround you!?
Read here: The Perfect Alaska Cruise Packing List
Keep Your Eyes Open For All Kinds Of Marine Wildlife!
While driving along the Homer Spit, or walking along the beaches, keep your eyes open for whales, otters (so cute!), and even sea lions. The waters of Kachemak Bay are teeming with all sorts of marine wildlife. If you are patient you are sure to find some.
Wild bald eagles can often be seen flying overhead. Homer is no stranger to bald eagles. Now deceased, the ‘Eagle Lady’ Jean Keene, started a tradition of feeding wild bald eagles. Today the eagles still frequent Homer.
Keep On The Lookout For Wildlife In Unusual Places In Homer Alaska!
As this is Alaska, wildlife rule! So keep a lookout for wildlife roaming the fields and even the streets of Homer. It is not as unusual as you might expect!
Make Sure To Explore The Eclectic Shops Along The Spit
When I travel, I make it my personal goal to buy souvenirs made by the ‘locals’ of the community I am visiting.
Along the Homer Spit, you will find an abundance of quirky shops filled to the brim with handmade wares made by local artisans. Purchasing from them supports the entire local community.
The eclectic shops galore are found in an eerily familiar Cape Cod setting.
Consider Camping Along The Spit
There really is not much more of a perfect location to be one with nature, than camping along the lapping waters of Homer’s Kachemak Bay.
You can witness firsthand Homer’s incredible tides and the epic stories of the wildlife. Searching for marine treasures at low tide is always exciting!
An equally impressive alternative is staying at an Air BnB or hotel along the Spit. The Homer Alaska Spit vibe is so energetic, and there is so much to do just a few steps away.
It is 10 to 20 degrees cooler down at the Homer Alaska Spit than it is on the mainland. You will want to have some warm weather clothes on hand for this difference. Something like this women’s hooded lightweight and waterproof hiking jacket would be perfect.
Because it is lightweight it will not take up much space or be too heavy/bulky to carry along. It is very reasonably priced and comes in some nice colors. Sometimes all you may need is something like this lightweight hooded waterproof rain jacket to put over your cardigan to keep off the chill of Homer Alaska.
Best of all, it is foldable and comes with its own pouch. You can drop it in your purse or backpack, it would not take much room in your luggage, and it is very affordable.
If You Are Looking To Get Outdoors, There’s Plenty of Hiking in Homer Alaska
If you want to hike/bike/run/walk in Homer Alaska, you will not be disappointed as there are lots of options.
Anything from Homer Spit Trail to a plethora of Kachemak Bay Trails may reward you with a bear or moose sighting!
As a traveling athlete, my hiking/running choices are often determined by the amount of time I have, the local weather conditions, or distance to the trail.
When last in Homer I ran the Spit trail, which is a totally flat paved 4+mile trail, from one end of the Spit to the other, along the waterfront, next to the Boardwalk where the numerous shops and restaurants were beckoning me to enter. Def not boring!
As you can see, hiking/biking/running in Homer Alaska is exciting and unpredictable, and so rewarding and should definitely be a consideration on your things to do in Homer Alaska itinerary.
Read about driving from Anchorage to Seward here.
You will certainly do a lot of walking in Homer Alaska, which calls for some sturdy closed toe shoes. These women’s slip-on walking shoes/casual running sneakers will be perfect for an afternoon of exploring Homer Alaska.
They are very reasonably priced and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. I love these Skechers Go Joy walkers. They are slip-on, so no worries about lacing up your shoes, come in various colors, and are affordable.
These men’s Skechers Go Walk 4 Incredible walking shoes are lightweight and come in various colors and sizes.
If you are going on a hike, you will need to stay hydrated. Bringing along a nondisposable water bottle for hydration is a necessity.
This collapsible silicone BPA-free water bottle will be easy to pack/store when not in use, but a perfect nondisposable alternative for your activities.
It is affordable and comes in several colors to select from. If silicone is not your thing then this stainless steel insulated option is right for you.
It comes in three sizes for you to choose from, a ton of cool colors, and is reasonably priced. And it has a clip to hand on your backpack.
Along with your hydration, you may want to bring along a snack, or an extra sweater when hiking in Homer Alaska. This lightweight foldable backpack comes in some pretty pastel colors and folds into its own case when not in use! Perfect for packing.
If pastels are not your thing, here’s another large waterproof foldable backpack that comes in darker muted colors.
It is a great choice for hiking, camping, and traveling. this multipurpose backpack has a laptop compartment as well.
Step Back In Time With A Day Trip To Seldovia
Literally across the bay from Homer, there are two ways to reach Seldovia, by ferry or airplane. Luckily there are inexpensive ferry boats that leave Homer for Seldovia.
Only a little more than 200+ people call Seldovia their home. It is small yet charming. There are quaint and enticing restaurants perfect for afternoon brunch or lunch.
A small museum is a great way to learn the history of the area. And a boardwalk is great for viewing wildlife of all kinds.
If you are adventurous, there are spectacular hikes throughout Kachemak Bay State Park.
Read about Seward Alaska here.
Take A Stroll Through The Homer Marina
I love walking thought marinas. All the boats headed out or coming back from wonderful trips.
(DISCLAIMER: Yes, Homer is the Halibut Capital of the World. And yes, you can charter a boat to head out. As a vegan, I do not cover this sort of thing.)
The marina is where you can grab the ferry to Seldovia or board for a whale-watching journey.
There are lots of wonderful opportunities for adventures to be found at the Homer Marina. Or a stroll around in the fresh air is so invigorating!
Take The Kids To Alaska Islands And Oceans Visitor Center
Mom and Dad will appreciate that admission to the Homer Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center is FREE. Yes, it is free.
It is a very impressive place dedicated to Alaska’s marine wildlife. And there are not too many museums these days that are free. The kids and the young at heart will be engaged by the award-winning movies presented in the Center’s theater.
There are interactive exhibits explaining Homer’s maritime surroundings. The knowledgeable staff can offer you suggestions on wildlife viewing and points of interest in Homer.
You can take a self-guided tour of the visitor center to learn about the area through recreations of wildlife and their natural habitats. There is a bookstore as well.
If you happen to experience a rainy day and are looking for things to do in Homer, Alaska, visiting Alaska Islands and Ocean’s Visitor Center would be the ideal choice!
Explore Outdoor Trails Leading To Bishop’s Beach
A popular activity heading out from the Visitor Center is exploring Bishop’s Beach. You can do this on your own, or participate in an educational ranger-led tour.
Either way, the outdoor trails through the wetlands take you on a journey from the visitor center out to the beach. You can hike down to explore and look for treasures by the sea!
If you are traveling with children, and you do encounter a rainy day, this unisex waterproof hooded rain jacket will keep them dry!
If the adults want to bring along a rain jacket when visiting Homer Alaska, I like this unisex rain jacket because it is reusable, has ventilated sides, a hood, and pockets.
When in Homer Alaska The Salty Dawg Saloon Is A MUST!
The Salty Dawg Saloon is such an icon, that even the locals revere it by wearing its memorabilia!
The Saloon is located on the Homer Spit and has been around, in one form or another, since the 1890s and seriously must be added to your things to do in Homer Alaska list.
You do not have to purchase an alcoholic drink to wander in to see the inside of the Saloon. It consists of long-plank tables and benches, and what looks like thousands upon thousands of dollar bills signed by visitors and tacked on the walls and ceiling.
Tradition has it that long ago a patron waited for a friend who never showed up. A dollar was left with the bartender to buy that friend a drink upon their arrival. And it has continued.
I visited the saloon on my last visit to Homer Alaska. I had a drink and pinned up a personalized dollar bill. It was quite fun and such a festive place, and one place I will visit again on my next trip to Homer Alaska.
Treat Yourself At One Of The Many Restaurants In Homer
Everyone from anglers to those with eating restrictions will find something to eat that pleases them in Homer.
The staff at all establishments will be happy you are there and will aim to please you. From the spectacular scenery afforded on the Spit to the eclectic options in town, do not miss the opportunity to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner when visiting Homer Alaska!
Homer’s Farmers Market Is Not To Be Missed.
You don’t have to be a vegan foodie like me to be drawn to the Homer’s Farmers Market. Everyone likes fresh colorful flowers, and the freshest of vegetables the earth has to offer and this is a wonderful destination to add to your things to do in Homer Alaska itinerary.
The local farmers descend from the mountains and farms and bring the freshest of the fresh that they have to offer, and local crafters and artisans bring their homemade wares for you to ooh and ahh over!
The Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the season and gets quite crowded. You might order a delicious sandwich for lunch or stock up on the local in-season freshly picked produce.
Wear sturdy shoes (not your pretty vacay sandals!) because you will be parking in a mostly dirt parking lot and walking on dirt pathways. A small sacrifice to make for such a unique experience. I visit the Homer Alaska Farmers Market every time I am in Homer Alaska. Wouldn’t miss it.
These athletic slip-on walking shoes would keep your feet protected and stability as you negotiate the dusty parking lot.
If you are just not into the athletic shoe look, these natural comfort walking loafers would be a great choice. I like them because they come in loads of colors, and many sizes.
Visit The Pratt Museum To Learn The History Of The Surrounding Community
Located in the town of Homer (not on the Homer Spit) is the Pratt Museum.
It is a regional museum with exhibits that aim to show the history of the area’s communities, people, and ecosystem.
There is an admission fee to enter, but the self-guided tour is easy and fun to do. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to assist you and answer questions.
Read next about the most picturesque towns in Alaska.
Take A Gallery Row Walk In Downtown Homer Alaska
Along with its eclectic and bohemian vibe, beautiful beaches, and killer vibes, Homer has an outstanding artist community.
Located downtown Homer along Pioneer Avenue you will find Gallery Row, a collection of dozens of artists and galleries. It is nestled in between Main Street and Lake Street.
View An Epic Sunset From Skyline Drive Overlook
Located right outside of town, head to the overlook on Skyline Drive. It is less than one mile out of Homer to view the ever-changing spectacular views of Kachemak Bay.
Depending on the season you might see blooming wildflowers or brilliant fall leaves, but you will always have the same 180* of jaw-dropping views of Homer and Kachemak Bay.
How To Get To Homer Alaska
The majority of people get to Homer Alaska on their cruise ship, or fly into Anchorage Alaska, and rent a car and drive down to Homer.
There are so many wonderful things to do in Homer Alaska which makes it a popular tourist location.
Be aware, driving directly from Anchorage to Homer on the Seward Highway would take you between four to five hours.
Why not make the road trip more interesting, stop to view unbelievable breathtaking sights, and learn some Alaskan history along the way?
Consider stopping at Turnagain Arm and watch the bore tides, or stopping at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
There is a fifteen dollar entry fee, but I really think it is worth it. The center takes care of injured, orphaned or sick animals, mainly those who cannot care for themselves in the wild.
When I visited bison, bald eagles and big bears were there. Both of these locations are a few miles outside of Anchorage. The charming towns of Soldotna, on the Kenai River, and Cooper Landing, would be great choices to stop for lunch or dinner.
An affordable option if you did not want to rent a car, or aren’t a local and own your own vehicle, is to take the bus.
You will not have the hassle of driving and definitely can enjoy all the stunning Alaskan views. Make sure to check the bus schedule out of Anchorage, and it is best to purchase your ticket online to reserve your seat.
If you are under a time crunch, Raven Alaska Airlines makes the forty-five-minute flight to Homer from Anchorage frequently every day.
Check online for dates and times that fit your schedule and your budget. There are also many private plane charter companies available for hire to transport you to Homer.
How To Get Around In Homer, Alaska
When I stayed in Homer. It was summertime and I walked mostly everywhere I wanted to go, even though I stayed on the Homer Spit. Walking is great exercise and a great way to get around.
If the weather is inclement, or cold, and walking is not an option for you, renting a car may be a better alternative for you and those in your party. There are two locations in Homer to rent a car: at the Homer Airport, or in the town of Homer.
If you do not need a car for a long period of time, hiring a taxi or securing an Uber to drive you to any of the things to do in Homer Alaska is a very wise choice.
Finally, bicycling is an option many do not consider. Riding a bike is a fun and enjoyable way to get around. You will probably notice things on a bicycle you would never notice if you were in a car! There are several bike rental shops around, on the Homer Spit or in the town.
Things To Bring To Homer Alaska
I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your trip to Alaska and help you remain organized while there. Here are some tips on how to pack lightly for your Alaskan adventure as well.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring during your visit to the towns and glaciers in Alaska. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors.
It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.
This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have.
And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use.
It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too!
You will want to consider a waterproof case for your cell phone for your Alaska trip, and this premium universal waterproof cell phone case is a great choice. Not only is it affordable, but it is also dustproof, snowproof and shockproof as well!
I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now!
I always use luggage locks when I travel. These TSA-approved luggage locks are affordable and come in many colors and combination choices. Unless I am at a place with access to a lockable safe, I always lock my luggage!
Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your trip to see the pretty towns in Alaska. This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days. And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time.
This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
For any hiking, good sturdy closed-toed shoes are a must. These Dakota Drifter waterproof trail shoes make a great choice. They are priced modestly and being waterproof is important.
If offseason is when you will be visiting Alaska, you will definitely require a winter coat that can stand up to Alaska’s legendary cold temperatures. I wear a Columbia winter jacket with the Onmi-Heat lining, similar to this Columbia 3 in 1 full-length jacket.
With all the options of this jacket, you will certainly have all the choices you will need to keep warm under lots of weather conditions. To keep your head warm, this Columbia beanie hat with microfiber will do the trick! It comes in great colors and it is not that expensive.
Lastly, these thermarator gloves for your hands will keep your fingers warm during any harsh or cold weather you encounter.
Once you choose the things to do in Homer Alaska that interest you, you will want a backpack or daypack to store an extra sweater, your water and snacks, and your phone when you head out. This lightweight packable backpack is very affordable and comes in many colors to choose from. It folds up into a smaller bag which will make your packing easier.
It is chilly in Homer Alaska and a waterproof/windproof jacket is a must-have item. This North Face waterproof jacket is reasonably priced and has breathable mesh. It would be a perfect selection!
The weather must be considered when taking any hike, but much more seriously in Alaska. Rain gear is essential. This unisex adult raincoat/waterproof poncho has its own carrying case and can even be used as a picnic mat or tablecloth as well, making it very versatile.
If you are looking for a jacket instead, this unisex easy carry wind and rain poncho coat is lightweight and will offer great protection against any sudden rain showers you would experience.
Water-resistant or waterproof shoes are a really important consideration. The weather is unpredictable in Alaska and you need to be prepared for anything that comes your way weather-wise.
These waterproof hiking all season outdoor shoes would serve you very well while in Homer Alaska. They are fashionable and very affordable.
And let us not forget the beach shoes for Alaska’s pebbly beaches. These quick dry slip on aqua shoes are a great selection. They come in a ton of bright colors for men, women, and children.
You will need to dress in layers while considering things to do in Alaska due to the unpredictability of the Alaskan weather. Thermal underwear has come a long way. Advanced technology has given us warm layering pieces that are not bulky or heavy. I personally wear 32 degrees underwear.
When we hiked around Alaska we always had a canister like this bear spray with its own camo holster with us on all hikes. Making noise is one of the top ways to ward off a bear encounter.
It is very important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays, and sunglasses are an important item to have when visiting Homer Alaska. These unisex polarized sunglasses are fashionable yet not expensive and will cut out the glare of the waters of Kachemak Bay all around Homer.
While you are visiting Homer you may encounter motion sickness during one of the things to do in Homer Alaska things you have selected to do. Or perhaps you or someone in your party came down with motion sickness on the car ride into town. Read here about staying healthy while flying to Alaska so your trip is not impacted.
I personally tend to frequently suffer from motion sickness. These natural anti-nausea wristbands could be helpful, as well as these motion sickness relief patches. Homer has many shops and pharmacies that sell Bendaryl if you need it.
Homer Alaska’s motto is: “Where the land ends and the sea begins.” The mountains rising up directly from the sea present breathtaking views not easily forgotten.
Homer has its own hip vibe which you will immediately feel when you are there. Add restaurants, shops, museums, and beaches, and the things to do in Homer Alaska are not to be missed!
If you came to this post to learn about fishing in Homer Alaska or to go fishing in Homer Alaska, you won’t find that information here. As a vegan, I don’t participate in fishing or hunting.
Have you been to Homer Alaska? What is your favorite memory of your visit? Please post in the comments section below. Any questions about Homer, please ask away! Post in the comments section below.