Forgive me for plagiarizing a decorative sign but it’s true, there really is no place like Homer. Also known as the “Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea” and the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World,” folks love Homer for many reasons. What’s not to love? Located at the end of the Sterling Highway, surrounded by majestic mountaintops and a distant active volcano (Mt. Redoubt), and set on the shores of Kachemak Bay, you’ll find a thriving artist community and many galleries, great restaurants (ones that even cater to vegan and gluten-free diets), noteworthy museums, beautiful beaches, wildlife and scenery, and access to one of the most remarkable bays in the world.
For places to stay, Land’s End is unmatched for its waterfront location at the tip of the Homer Spit. The rooms in the main building are pretty basic but the views and beach access remarkable. For our family of four, we preferred the additional space and amenities found in the “Lodges” which are really beachfront condos set alongside one another. Each unit is decorated in a different style, depending on the owner’s taste, but all of the first floor units (numbered in the 600s) have small kitchenettes with a mini fridge and microwave. Upstairs, the larger rooms (in the 700s) have anywhere from 1 to 3 bedrooms, a living room, and kitchen.
Next time we’d like to try one of the more affordable but very comfortable-looking suites offered at Two Sisters Bakery, within walking distance to the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center (another Homer must-see). While noise could potentially be a problem from the very popular restaurant (a worthy destination on its own), I think the irresistible scents coming from the kitchen and accessibility to the delicious bakery would make up for it. Besides, when you’re in Alaska, you don’t end up spending most of your time in your room anyhow.
Another much-loved local restaurant is the Cosmic Kitchen, just as casual and funky as the name suggests. In this land of fish and chips (not that we’re complaining about that menu item) the mix of Mexican and Greek-inpsired dishes is a welcome change of pace but you can also get traditional favorites like grilled cheese for the kids.
Some of the best art galleries are in the Cosmic Kitchen neighborhood and you’ll also want to visit the Pratt Museum while you’re there. One of the favorite exhibits is the Gull Island Remote Camera where visitors can aim the camera in various directions to see the Alaskan birds up close and personal on this outcropping in the bay.