A fishing center and artists' colony on the Kenai Peninsula, Homer sits on Kachemak Bay 226 mi/361 km southwest of Anchorage among some of the most beautiful scenery in south-central Alaska.

The area is well-known for fishing: Homer lands more halibut than any other port in North America, and salmon fishing—both commercial and sport—is also important. Many charter companies offer fishing trips. The boats leave from the harbor on the Homer Spit, a long, thin peninsula that extends more than 4 mi/6 km into the bay. Cruises and ferries leave from there and cross the bay to Halibut Cove and Seldovia.

The town is home to the Pratt Museum, an excellent natural history museum, and the kitchen of Alaska Wild Berry Products, which is a good place to shop for locally made fudge, jellies, candies, smoked fish and Alaska souvenirs. There are some wonderful art galleries that exhibit the work of local artists.

To get a good look at the area scenery, take Skyline Drive, which runs atop high bluffs near the town: It provides a view of several large glaciers on the other side of Kachemak Bay. When you're ready to head back toward Anchorage, you may want to allot some extra time for your trip. Consider stopping at Anchor Point (about 23 mi/37 km north of Homer) for excellent razor clam digging. A good negative tide brings out quite a group of diggers; pop by just to watch if you don't have the gear.

About 12 mi/19 km farther north is the little town of Ninilchik. It has a beautiful Russian Orthodox church built in 1901 that is still in use.

You should plan to stay two nights or more on your trek to Homer to fully explore the area.

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