What does a girl who was born in Bogotá, raised in Miami and lived most of her adult life in New York do with her time in South Central Alaska? I’ll give you the answer in one perfect word: everything.
When my husband, our company’s founder, first told me he was from a rural town called Homer, I was somewhat at a loss. The only other Homer I knew was a Simpson; and as a self-professed city person, the world “rural” (in all honesty) kind of made me shudder. But it only took one visit to this magical place — often referred to as “the cosmic hamlet by the sea” — to not only completely recast every single one of my doubts, but also cause me to fall as madly in love with the place as I had with my husband. Located 218 miles southwest of Anchorage along the Kenai Peninsula, Homer is a small town with a huge personality. With this in mind, here’s my idea of what a perfect summertime day (which lasts twice as long as you think!) looks like in the halibut capital of the world:
Roll out of bed and head straight to Two Sisters Bakery for a cup of strong coffee and a pastry worthy of the gods, and then make your way over to the pebble-laden shores of Bishop’s Beach, where you can gaze at the kingly mountains across Kachemak Bay, and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of a beluga whale making a theatrical splash.
If it’s a Saturday or Wednesday, head to the Homer Farmer’s Market and pick up your provisions of choice from local vendors who offer some of the land of the midnight’s sun most impressive produce, flowers that look like they’ve bloomed in a whole other dimension, and homemade artisanal crafts and products that you’ll want to keep forever.
If outdoor activities are your thing, hop on a halibut charter; or see Homer from the water on a kayaking trip through the bay. And if you’re after some no-nonsense, real-deal, close encounters with nature, book a trip to the nearby Katmai Falls, where you can watch hungry grizzly bears guzzle up the sockeye with more gusto than our members do!
In the late afternoon, make sure you’ve reserved a spot on the beloved Danny J ferry, which gets you across Kachemak Bay to the enchanting and picturesque Halibut Cove, where you can hike through the environs and be met with unexpectedly charming little art galleries, and end up dining at everyone’s favorite water-side seafood spot, The Saltry.
Since the sun will still be shining well into your bedtime, why not indulge in a nightcap on the funky and spunky Homer Spit, where you can swill your adult beverage of choice at The Salty Dawg Saloon, a veritable institution; and then stroll over to the Seafarers Memorial, to give a moment of quiet to all the mariners who have lost their lives at sea.
Some folks also call Homer “the end of the road,” but as you can see, for me it was just the beginning of all kinds of adventures. I hope you get a chance to see it one day!
Pictured: Me, frolicing in the marshes and giddy with the euphoria upon seeing this cosmic hamlet by the sea for the first time, and at last understanding my husband Arron’s passion for his “Homer Sweet Home.”