Marina of boats on Homer Alaska spit
Homer is married to the sea and the number of boats shows it

Walk the rugged and exposed Homer spit out on Kachemak bay in Alaska. It was a rainy day for our virtual walk but no matter. We still get to see a lot of the fishing heritage of the area. Now also a tourist destination, most shops are closed due to the late season. Still, we get to see a very special and unique place in the latest of our Alaska virtual tours of cities.

Homer Alaska Walking Tour – City Walks – Virtual Walking tour of Homer Spit – Marina and Shops

After our earlier walking tour around the old center of Homer, I take you out to the Homer Spit. I believe it is actually the original location of anglo settlement. We were told the native peoples who lived here originally tended to live on the other side of Kachemak bay. This makes sense, since the spit has very little shelter or food sources on land. Alaska has some pretty harsh weather and I can only imagine what it must be like out on this spit in winter.

The Homer Spit is the tourism center of Homer with its marina. There is a ferry terminal and a hotel as well as little shops on stilts and restaurants as well as water taxi services and Halibut charters. Known as the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World, lots of folks come out here to try and land one of these large, flat, flounder-like fish. We will also pass a shipyard where large commercial ships are in dry dock.

Shop on stilts on beach of Homer Spit
With big tides and big weather, stilts are a must for buildings

Homer has a population of about 5500 in 2020 and has the reputation as the Halibut Capital of the World. You can take a water taxi across the bay and hike up to a glacier lake and then get picked up on another beach. We did this hike to the Grewingk Glacier and it was fantastic. You can see more of our Alaska Adventure on the TravelingMel channel or read about it on the Blog.

Watch more Alaska Walks:
Anchorage, AK Downtown Walking Tour
Anchorage, Alaska Walking Tour – Ship Creek to Museum
Harding Ice Field in Kenai Fjords National Park – Hiking Scenery
Seward, Alaska Walking Tour
Homer, Alaska Virtual Treadmill Walk
Homer Alaska – Walking Tour of the Spit in Kachemak Bay
Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska

Shipyard on the spit of Homer, Alaska
Virtual Tours of cities like this one from Homer sometimes include industrial areas

Wikipedia: Homer  is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage, AK. As of 2010, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World”, Homer is also nicknamed “the end of the road”, and more recently, “the cosmic hamlet by the sea”.

Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor. Much of the coastline, as well as the Homer Spit, sank dramatically during the Good Friday earthquake in March 1964. After the earthquake, very little vegetation was able to survive on the Homer Spit.

Tiller digs indicate that early Alutiiq people probably camped in the Homer area, although their villages were on the far side of Kachemak Bay. Coal was discovered in the area in the 1890s. The Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company built a town, dock, coal mine, and railroad at Homer. Coal mining in the area continued until World War II.

Homer got its name from Homer Pennock, a goldmining company promoter, who arrived in 1896 on the Homer Spit and built living quarters for his crew of 50 men. However, gold mining was never profitable in the area. Another earlier settlement, Miller’s Landing, was named after a Charles Miller, who homesteaded in the area around 1915. According to local historian Janet Klein, he was an employee of the Alaska Railroad and had wintered company horses on the beach grasses on the Homer Spit. He built a landing site in a small bight in Kachemak Bay, where supply barges from Seldovia could land and offload their cargos. Miller’s landing was legally considered a census-designated place separate from Homer until it was annexed in 2002, but has always been locally considered part of Homer.

Guided Halibut and salmon fishing, along with tourism and commercial fishing dominate the economy. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve co-host a visitor center with interpretive displays known as the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, and a cultural and historical museum there is called the Pratt Museum.

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