Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Homer located? Homer is located on Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula in South Central Alaska. Homer is 232 road miles (370 km) south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. It is 120 miles (190 km) by air.
What's there to do in Homer? Hiking, fishing, kayaking, whale watching, art galleries, museums, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, relaxing, people watching, nightlife, movie theater, community theater are a few. See our HOMER INFO page. See homeralaska.org for links and more info.
How long do most people stay? The average visitor stays here 3 days. Some move here and stay years (like me), some come back year after year, and some stay shorter and wish they'd stayed longer. I hope you can stay at least 3 days to fully get the Homer vibe. If you can only stay 1 day I might suggest coming another time when you can stay a bit longer and enjoy.
How can I get to Homer? There is daily bus service from Seward and Anchorage in the summer on the Homer Stage Line (homerstageline.com). You can fly Grant Aviation (flygrant.com) and ERA Aviation (flyera.com). The Alaska Marine Highway (www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/) stops here Many people hitchhike here. You can rent a car and drive too. People also come by biking and walking too. The drive is very beautiful!
How long does it take to get to Homer from Anchorage or Seward? The highway from Anchorage and Seward are good two lane roads. From Anchorage you can do it in about 4 hours but I suggest taking 5 or 6; stop along the way and enjoy the ride. About ½ way, right after Cooper Landing, there are many nice trails to take a walk on and stretch your legs. Just look for the signs. Also look for Beluga Whales in Turnagain Arm. There is also a bore tide here. See http://alaska.org/bore-tides.jsp to learn about this phenomenon. Seward is 175 miles (280 km) so can be done in 3 1/2 hours; however, once again I suggest taking a few more hours and taking your time. Watch for moose on the road! Occasionally you might see a bear on the way too.
How far is the “Homer Spit” from town? The beginning of the spit is 1 ½ miles (2 km) away and is 3 ½ miles (6km) long, so it is 5 miles (8km) to the end of the spit. You can walk, rent a bike, hitchhike, take a taxi, drive, ask around the hostel and see if anyone’s going that away.
What’s the weather like? In the summer, it doesn’t rain too much. Usually a little bit every few days. It can sometimes rain in the morning and by noon be sunny or vice-versa. However, there are times (usually 3-4 per summer) when it will rain quite a bit for a few days in a row. It rains more in June than in May. It rains more in July then in June. It rains more in August and September than July. Dress in layers. It can be cool in the evenings and warm during the day so be prepared. It can also rain anytime so be prepared. If you are on the water it will feel cooler. Check weather.com (http://www.weather.com/outlook/homeandgarden/garden/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/99603?from=36hr_bottomnav_garden) for averages.
How much sunlight do you get? In June and July it is never dark enough to see the stars. The sun sets at about 11pm and comes up at about 4am with a long twilight between sunset and sunrise. On the Equinoxes (March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23) we get 12 hours of daytime along with the rest of the world. On Winter Solstice (Dec 21 or 22) we get about 6 hours of sun and about 1 hour on either side of that of twilight.
Will I see northern lights? Not in the summer- it’s too light. In the winter we see them occasionally but they are seen more farther north. They are really, really spectacular. I hope you get to see them sometime. I describe them as like looking up from underwater with the water shimmering above. Usually they look white when I’ve seen them; but sometimes light green or red too. Or like looking at smoke in a wind tunnel. Or like looking at a laser light show. BUT – they are big, they take up the northern half of the entire sky or sometimes the whole sky! They're magical. They're never the same.
Does Jewel live here? Jewel Kilcher grew up in the Homer area but isn’t around much anymore. Her Dad Atz Kilcher is an awesome musician and songwriter and her brother Atz Lee too. They play in Homer frequently. Some other awesome and fun bands around town are 3 Legged Mule (www.threeleggedmule.com) and Yellow Cabin. We also get bands from around Alaska and the US and the world who come here. Fun stuff!
What can I eat? There are great places to eat out around town. You can catch or buy seafood (not cheap though) and barbecue here. There is a health food store, there are 2 discount stores. There’s a Safeway grocery open from 6am til midnight. My favorite - there is an awesome farmers market which start in June with some stuff like potatoes from last year. Then it peaks in July with lots of salad stuff and stir fry stuff. Then apples in the later summer. There are also locally made crafts and sometimes music too. The farmers market is on Saturday from 10-2 and during the middle of the season it’s on Wednesday too from 3-6. There are edible plants certain times of year and wild berries too certain times of the year.
The Wynn nature Center (www.akcoastalstudies.org/wynn.htm) has a potluck a few times a year when people share edible plant recipes and food (food or donation requested)
Why is Homer called the ‘cosmic hamlet by the sea’? Come find out – the answer is different for everyone.
304 West Pioneer Avenue
Homer, Alaska 99603