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Travel Tip For Today

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Homer, Alaska

Alaska

Homer, nestled at the mouth of Kachemak Bay, has most of what people visit Alaska for: wildlife and spectacular views of mountains, glaciers and fjords. Kachemak Bay is the richest life-producing marine bay in North America, a resting place for millions of migratory birds. The surrounding land is home to moose and bears. An added attraction of the Homer area is that there are VERY FEW MOSQUITOS!

The Russians called Homer "Summerland" because of its temperate climate and lush beauty. The Aleuts knew it as "Smoking Bay" due to smoldering coal deposits. It is also known as the Shangri-La of Alaska because nowhere else in the 49th state do all the elements of Alaskan beauty come together quite so felicitously.

"The Spit" is a unique needle of land projecting 4-1/2 miles into Kachemak Bay, the focal point for residents, fishermen and tourists alike. If you're camping, find a good spot. Otherwise, park near the Salty Dog Saloon and walk around. This is the best time to make reservations for fishing trips and visits to Seldovia,Halibut Cove or other spots. If you're anxious to fish, try your luck off the beach in front of Land's End Resort for Dolly Varden and Halibut.

The natural gravel spit is the second-longest in the world. It sank 7 feet in the 1964 earthquake and has been washed out several times since. Spit denizens are known as "Spitters" or "Spit Rats." The spit is the lifeblood of Homer and pulses with activity all year long, but especially in the summer. The stunning views of Kachemak Bay and surrounding mountains make the spit an ideal camping spot.

Accommodations

Camp in town at the Homer City Campground, (907) 235-3170, at the top of Bartlett Street. Follow the signs. Facilities include rest rooms, picnic area and playground equipment. It's a little out-of-the-way, but quiet, and good for families.

You can also camp on city land on Homer Spit, wherever you see other campers. A nightly camping fee is charged. There are some portable lavatories, but water is available only in a few central locations. Spit camping affords great views across Kachemak Bay, good beachcombing and some surf fishing, as well as easy access to all the Spit attractions. Camping here is somewhat noisy and busy, though. Camp super-cheap in the 24-hour area on the Spit. You have to move from day to day, and it's crowded, but usually a fee is not collected.

There is a private campground at the end of the Spit. It's more expensive but has better baths. Showers, available for an extra fee, are also open to campers using the city campground areas. Very nice public showers are also to be found at the laundromat on Ocean Drive. They're clean, with lots of hot water, and of course laundry facilities are available there too.

Camping is also available in the meadow at Seaside Farm (907) 235-7850.

Consider spending the night on the way back to Anchorage at Stariski State Campground (the campground will be on your left shortly after the town of Anchor Point). Wake up to an incomparable view of the Alaska Range.

If you want a roof over you head, many different types of accommodations are available. The bed and breakfasts in Homer are the best way to go. Not only do you get a nice room-many of them are nicer than those offered by the commercial hotels-but you also get the advice of a local B&B host. The Homer B&B innkeepers are particularly enthusiastic, ready and willing to give guests the benefit of their familiarity with the area-everything from the best fishing grounds to dining recommendations.

Sightseeing Highlights


  • Pratt Museum: Located at 3779 Bartlett Street, (907) 235-8635, this excellent museum of natural history has won several awards. On permanent display are artifacts from the Eskimos and other Native Americans, as well as from early pioneers. There is also an outstanding collection of ship models, an aquarium with sea life from Kachemak Bay, and more. Open 10:00 to 5:00 daily. Small entrance fee.
  • Switchback Trail: Drive out East Road until you reach the end which says "Bus Turnaround," approximately 16 miles. Park there and head downhill along the trail (called East Road extension, wide and easily discernible). Meander downhill and eventually come to Switchback Trail, which ends at Swift Creek Beach. The two-mile hike affords fabulous vistas of Grewingk Glacier and the Kenai Mountains. This is prime photo country. The last leg of the trail goes by a homestead recently settled by Russian religious refugees. This trail is very steep in places, so we do recommend caution at all times.
  • The beach near the head of the bay is great for beachcombing. Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the area. Berry picking is good around here, too.

Food
Boardwalk Fish and Chips (907) 235-7749, on Cannery Row (the gray one) has good fish and chips and other things, like clam chowder. Inexpensive.

Sourdough Bakery, 1316 Ocean Drive, will be a good stop for those who love croissants and capuccino. All the pastries and other baked goods are excellent in quality. The owners even grind their own flour daily. Buy your picnic supplies here. They also pack picnic lunches for those heading out to the country.

Nightlife


Homer is a party town, with a lot of late-night music, especially in the summer season. It is easy to stay up late under summer's midnight sun. For foot-stomping rock'n roll, Alice's Champagne Palace, right on Pioneer, is open until 5:00 am. At Land's End Resort, you'll find a great view of the bay and a full restaurant and oyster bar.

Country is featured at the Bayside Lounge, right on Pioneer, and you'll find jazz at the Waterfront, located off the bypass.

Homer Family Theatre (907) 235-6728 shows movies, sometimes double features, in a fun, old-timey environment. They also have good snacks.

Other Homer and Katmai Tour Options


Homer has so many things to do, you could spend the rest of you vacation right here.

Kayaking is a popular sport in Kachemak Bay and Kachemak Bay State Park; however, due to rough and unpredictable seas and extreme tidal variation (as much as 28 feet), get some advice before you go do it. Try True North Kayak Adventures.

With its miles of paved roads and incredible vistas, Homer is prime bicycling country. Bicycle rentals come and go in Homer.

An attractive alternative in Homer is a luxury getaway at Mike and Diane McBride's Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge in China Poot Bay. The prices are in the deluxe range, with full personal service and facilities. This lodge is consistently rated as one of the world's best wilderness lodges. Mike is a member of the prestigious Explorers Club and has more than 20 years experience as a guide. The McBrides really know this area and its flora and fauna. Diane is an accomplished gourmet cook, and a sit-down meal in the main lodge room is a real treat.

Mike and Diane also operate Chenik Wilderness Camp, 100 miles southwest by air from Homer. The camp on Chenik Head faces Augustine Island volcano and is bordered by Katmai National Monument, the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. This awesome country has not seen human residents since prehistoric times. It is a place to photograph brown bear and much other wildlife. If you crave a true wilderness experience, this is it. Accommodations at Chenik Wilderness camp are available only as a 5-day package-arrival on Saturday and depart on Thursday. Contact the McBrides well in advance for reservations at either place: Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge, Box 956, Homer, AK 99603, (907) 235-8910.

If you've been dreaming about a raft trip in Alaska on a very fast-paced but fairly smooth river, the Kenai could be it. Raft trips are available from several services along the river between Sterling and Cooper Landing. Inquire-the vendors change from season to season (see rafting information in the appendix). Expect that most trips will last at least several hours.

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Carmel Valley, CA
United States

Here at Blue Sky Lodge our specialty is providing you with modern, comfortable accommodations in a restful and relaxing atmosphere.

Contact Information

10 Flight Road
P.O. Box 233
Carmel Valley, California
United States
831-659-2256
Toll Free Reservations: 800-733-2160
Fax:831-659-1632
General Manager:Roger Gardner
Email:bslrg@redshift.com
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