This 4.3-mile stretch of land reaches out into Kachemak Bay like an arm waving hello to the Kenai Mountain Range on the opposite shore. Part of an underwater moraine from an extinct tidewater glacier, Homer Spit provides a hub for adventures of every sort from tidepooling and kayaking to bear viewing and halibut fishing, along with 360-degree views of the turquoise-blue waters, glaciers and bluffs surrounding the spit of land. Here, you can watch boats—commercial, charters, cruise liners, ferries on the Alaska Marine Highway and even U.S. Coast Guard vessels— dock and load while bald eagles circle overhead. It’s as picturesque as it gets and only a short 226-mile drive from Anchorage.
1 Land’s End Resort and the Chart Room Restaurant and Lounge
At Land’s End, every room offers a view of the bay and first-floor units exit right onto the beach. Watch from your balcony as otters and seals float by, along with Dall porpoise, orcas and even humpback whales. For some of the best dining in homer, the chart house at land’s end serves up gourmet fare of fresh, local seafood. A lunch favorite: try the halibut club paired with an Alaskan Amber. lands-end-resort.com
2 Salty Dawg Saloon
Where the chart room offers elegance, the Salty Dawg Saloon is where dive bars go to die. This homer institution started out as one of the first cabins in the townsite of Homer in 1897 acting as a post office, grocery store and schoolhouse. In 1957, it moved to the spit and became a saloon. Dollar bills line the walls and ceiling, tables are etched with initials of the besotted and life preservers hang from the rafters for those drowning their sorrows. It’s a rough-hewn, whiskey-slinging, fish-story swapping kind of place, but daring tourists are always welcome. saltydawgsaloon.com
3 Public Tent Camping
talk about a room with a view! Beach your nylon hotel on the western shore of the spit and wake to the ocean out your front flap. No reservations. First come, first served. $10 per tent per night. cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/campgrounds.
4 ak starfish co.
Bring home the simple yet bold graphics created by these authentic Alaskan designers. From signature hoodies and tees to etched pint glasses and dog bandanas, they’ve got you covered. akstarfish.com
5 The Little Mermaid
Sit outside and watch the boats in the harbor or snuggle into a booth inside. This bistro uses local, fresh ingredients to create meals plated and brought to your table as culinary works of art. Bonus: the food tastes as good as it looks. littlemermaidhomer.com
6 Homer Spit Trail
Runners, walkers and bikers need not worry about surprising bears or moose along the Homer Spit trail, as the animals rarely venture down the narrow, treeless strip next to the busy road. This 4-mile path lines the eastern side of the spit, which is flat and paved and offers fantastic opportunities for viewing seabirds and other marine life.