The Cosmic Hamlet By The Sea
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Homer, Alaska, has been called the “cosmic hamlet by the sea” for as long as we can remember. But don’t worry, the town really does live up to the hype of its nickname. You see, Homer isn’t like all the other towns along the way. This special place at the “end of the road” offers a priceless setting with scenery that is out of this world. An article published by The Seattle Times quoted that Homer is, “... a sort of Key West in a parka.” But more recently, Homer was named one of America’s happiest seaside towns by Coastal Living Magazine. [caption id="attachment_7968" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Damian Manda[/caption]
Overall, we would describe the feeling that we get in Homer as euphoric. [caption id="attachment_7970" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, NOAA Public Library[/caption]
It’s a unique place with relaxed vibes, bucket-loads of good karma, and an addicting personality.[caption id="attachment_7957" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Keith Cuddeback[/caption]
From the epic halibut fishing … [caption id="attachment_7956" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Travis[/caption]
…to the ultimate rush you get reeling in feisty silver salmon from the lagoon on the Homer Spit. [caption id="attachment_7962" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Isaac Wedin[/caption]
If you want to fuel your inner fishing fanatic, Homer offers a variety of excellent options to get you out on the salt and ON SOME FISH! [caption id="attachment_7953" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Keith Cuddeback[/caption]
Keep in mind; Homer is so much more than just fishing. [caption id="attachment_11687" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Renee Gilbert Photography[/caption]
Stay at Alaska Luxury Adventures Second Star property and realize that "overnight accommodations" can mean more than just a place to sleep. Named for the location of Neverland in the beloved book, Peter Pan, this is certainly a magical luxury rental property. This 17,000-square-foot home is situated on 3.5 acres of oceanfront property overlooking the majestic Kachemak Bay. Eight luxurious bedroom suites, each with its own unique theme, can accommodate up to 30 overnight guests. Perfect for you own getaway, friend or family reunion or wedding venue. [caption id="attachment_11683" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Alaska Luxury Adventures Second Star in Homer, Alaska[/caption] When not sleeping, you can take advantage of the 3,000 foot wrap around deck with endless views, outdoor fireplace & pizza oven or stroll to the beach with the direct beach access. Inside you can relax with the sauna, steam room, hot tub and swimming pool. The kids won't get bored with the game room or custom movie theater that has plenty of space for everyone. You can always explore the 2,000 sq foot Neverland themed room (which you can actually sleep in!) [caption id="attachment_11682" align="aligncenter" width="960"] The 2,000 sq ft Neverland themed room within the Alaska Luxury Adventures Second Star property[/caption]
In town you’ll find art galleries clustered on Pioneer Avenue near the Pratt Museum. Observe local historic artifacts such as this rustic pioneer cabin. [caption id="attachment_7971" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Flickr, Ruth Rainey[/caption]
Or, head to the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to view incredible wildlife exhibits. This is a great place to bring the kiddos on a rainy day! [caption id="attachment_7949" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, J. Stephen Conn[/caption]
The Homer Spit offers lots of fun entertainment to keep you busy all day long. [caption id="attachment_7966" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Brian[/caption]
At the Seafarer’s Memorial visitors can pay their respects to the many brave men and women who have lost their lives at sea. [caption id="attachment_7973" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Keith Cuddeback[/caption]
Walking the docks is a way to submerge yourself into the local feel of things. [caption id="attachment_7959" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Travis[/caption]
Walk through the fun shops featuring lots of locally made items, book an excursion, or just explore at your own pace. You never know what kind of stunning panoramic will greet you as you twist and turn through the town streets.[caption id="attachment_7961" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Lisa Matlock[/caption]
Homer is also a foodie’s nirvana. It has everything from highly adored local bakeries to tiny eateries by the sea, and even historic watering holes that are impossible to ignore. [caption id="attachment_7972" align="aligncenter" width="938"] Flickr, Keith Cuddeback[/caption]
In the summertime you’ll find the “spit” lined with people camping (both in tents and RVs), flying kites, surf-casting, building sand castles, having beach fires… [caption id="attachment_7965" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Christopher Griner[/caption]
…walking the dogs, surfing, kayaking, kite-surfing and more. [caption id="attachment_7967" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Emma Forsberg[/caption]
Occasionally you might even have a cute little visitor pop up and greet you. Homer is filled with these magical moments! [caption id="attachment_7963" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Adventures of KM&G-Morris[/caption]
An abundance of natural beauty makes the area perfect for those who enjoy world class eco-tourism opportunities such as kayaking, photography, wildlife viewing, hiking, glacier viewing and more. [caption id="attachment_7960" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Manuel W.[/caption]
After horseback riding in Homer, you’re guaranteed to be ruined for life. It’s the most surreal experience imaginable. Panoramic views, bright fields of wildflowers and a perfect dose of the local farm country. [caption id="attachment_7974" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Facebook, Trails End Horse Adventures[/caption]
Everyone should explore the massive 13-mile-long Grewingk Glacier at least once in their lifetime. Located in the Kenai Mountains in Kachemak Bay State Park, this is one of the area’s highest rated attractions. Plus, there are lots of great hiking trails![caption id="attachment_7954" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Dave Bezaire[/caption]
Homer also offers an excellent little marine hub with ferry and water-taxi access to enchanting coastal oases across Kachemak Bay. [caption id="attachment_7950" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Cody Wellons[/caption]
Visit Halibut Cove and experience stunning vistas as far as the eye can see. Spend the day kayaking while viewing humpback whales breaching in the distance, or catch a concert on the floating amphitheater. [caption id="attachment_7955" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Loomis Sage Marketing[/caption]
Alaska Luxury Adventures offers Siren Song, Four cabins that offer you a totally unique Alaskan experience. Captains Quarters, The Bear’s Den, Silke Loft, or Bayview Cabin await and are perfect for those who are wanting a relaxing getaway or for those on their grand Alaskan adventure who want to be as close to the action as they can. Halibut Cove is situated on the Kachemak Bay Water Trail and is only accessible by boat or float plane. [caption id="attachment_11689" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Alaska Luxury Adventures "Siren Song" guest cabins in Halibut Cove[/caption]
Or, go explore the charming waterfront community of Seldovia. Don’t leave town without taking a walk on the Ottorbahn. [caption id="attachment_7975" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Francois Philipp[/caption]
Long story short; a trip to Homer is always a good idea. [caption id="attachment_7951" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Flickr, Scott McMurren[/caption]
Looking for more where that came from? Hop on The Alaska Life’s treasured tiny towns road trip and be led through the most spectacular amounts of scenery. Also, check out these Alaska ghost towns that you've probably never heard of.
Homer, Alaska, is a happy place that brings out the best in us all. Do you have amazing memories in Homer already? If so, be sure to let us know (in the comments below) about all your favorite past times. If you love getting outdoors and experiencing all the charming small towns that The Alaska Life has to offer, we want to live vicariously through you! Share your favorite small-town Alaska moments with us on our Facebook page by clicking HERE, and they might just end up being featured in one of our next blog posts.
Written by Courtney Dowd-Stanley
My opinion is Spring, that is when the land is most coloriful with blooming flowers: lupin, and the evasive dandylion. Late Summer is nice too, when the hills and meddows are literally covered with blooming magenta fireweed.
If you fish, check with the city to find out the best time for halibut fishing, trout and salmon, Nothing is tastier than Alaska fresh fish!
The art gallery and studio scene is just as impressive.
Its been a minute since I was there, but for fast good food: Cosmic Kitchen, Cups is fun, explore all the cafes and restaurants, gourmet chiefs are aplenty there.
I was hired in 1975 by the KPBSD as an art teacher. Soon I heard a lot about Homer and that early fall with blooming fireweed our family made our first trip to the “hamlet.” We loved the visit and as we were driving out, up Baycrest Hill, I viewed the panoramic view in the rearview mirror and thought to myself, someday I will move us here. In 1980 I was hired as Homer’s Pottery/Art teacher. It was a wonderful 15 years.
Hi Gary! Remember the Homer Jazz Ensemble? My husband, Steve, put together the band at the Porpoise Room and played drums. Those were some fun times back when you were mayor and the place was full of young, adventurous, long haired hippies! Hope you are good…We left in 1987 for ten years, then returned.
I remember the drive down there from your home in Anchorage. The Beluga whales we saw as we drove Close to the water, the mountain goats on the hills/mountains on the other side and Homer itself where we boarded a cruise boat to travel up the fiords and to the site of the glaciers and their calving activity. I also remember the flight we took with you From Moose Pass over the ice fields and through the valleys seeing bears and eagles from above. I have wonderful memories of my stay in Alaska. I love you both for those experiences. ❤️❤️
That’s way cool. I knew it was a base for monitoring but never herd any stories about it. Growing up as a kid born in 84 we always used to party on the foundation of the old base.
They actually take them down every year and donate them
Ah Homer! Land of the homeroids!
Homer is where we plan to vacation next summer or fall. To the locals….. what season would you suggest to first timers, to plan a vacation? Cant wait to go!!
If God had a place to retire, it would be here. Love our Homer friends and time spent there ???
Brother Isaiah coined that term Cosmic Hamlet by the sea, in his writings in Homer News. He was one of the original barefooters,
who lived at the head of bay, and didn’t wear shoes. I think they built some log buildings, including Alaska Wild Berry bldg, if still there… they had a branch in california, called Fountain of the World,
used to take dates there to see ex bikers perform biblical plays up in canyon near Chatsworth until it got dynamited. . but back to Brother Isaiah he was a very enlightened man and and positive. Had been a fighter pilot in WW2 and sometimes reflected on his near death experiences from that time in Homer News. He is the one who said, “Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea.” I lived there for about 8 or 9 years, and it is a very special place, all of kachemak bay, and Alaska for that matter. did 15 years in Alaska. Worked hard, made some mistakes, but enjoyed my time. subsistence net for salmon, picked coal, enjoyed all the creative events there. Miss it.
Love many people there, and think of them. Including Brother Isaiah. He was the Cosmic one for Homer, used to hang out at the Sterling Cafe at the coffee table with many other colorful homeroids. lol Best, Jay
It’s a beautiful place to live. If you dont have to work 2 jobs to be here. The police pick and choose who they will protect. The lawmen are gossip mongers. The locals are great.
Thank you Nina, for highlighting the values we have! Standing up for those values has built a beautiful community. We can’t have people thinking that a place like Homer exists without great values, vission and community action.
Have been lucky enough to call this beautiful place home for the past 40 years. Can’t imagine living anywhere else! ?
Those who have a longer memory of the origin of the phrase, " cosmic city by the sea" will know that the “cosmic” part of the appellation was penned by Brother Asaiah Bates.
Lived in Anchor Point from 1995-2006 and think you represented Homer quite nicely! Beautiful pictures!
Amazingly beautiful place, and not just because of the scenery. The people are top notch and so hospitable and nice. Fortunate enough to have caught a halibut and saw humpbacks breaching oh so close to our boat in Kachemak Bay. This is a little paradise.❤️
I lived in Homer in the mid to late 70’s. 40 years ago sitting in the “Parfait Shop” listening to “Long Cool Woman” on the Juke Box makes me homesick. Population was about 2000, Salty Dog Saloon was always popular. Maybe 2 stop signs, dirt/gravel roads. East end and brown bears! Snow machines and dirt bikes. Remembering the Cannery at the end of the Spit. And of course the USCG Cutter “Sedge”. I’m going back some day! Good people good memories ❤️
Homer is special because its residents have worked hard to protect its wild, scenic qualities, its quiet beauty across the Bay in the fjords; and have pushed back against big development like oil and gas drilling in the Bay, clear cut logging in the State Park across the Bay, navy home-porting, coalbed methane development, jet skis in the Bay, trans- shipment of PCBs, and more. We are pushing back against the Pebble Mine because it is the “wrong mine in the wrong place” and it could have serious impacts to Cook Inlet as well as Homer. This place is unique because the community has chosen to avoid the boom and bust development that has ruined so many other places. I love Homer, “a place of quiet beauty,” that I am proud of because it has chosen to embrace the natural qualities that so many people who live here and who visit here have touted as the qualities that make Homer such a great place to live or visit. Homer truly is an incredible seaside town.
Best school system. Blue Ribbon and Silver schools.
I love Homer and all of our resident’s. The culture in our community is made up of many great organizations all providing incredible services.
Homer is definitely my second choice as a home in Alaska second only to Kenai. Fish there every summer and looking for our first trip back soon. This was a nice story and great pictures. Thanks for the memories.
I am thinking about accepting a teaching job in Homer, Alaska. Any thoughts/advice?
You’re kidding, right?
While in Homer check out the 125 mile Kachemak Bay Water Trail, a water route from the Homer Spit around the bay to Seldovia. Forty three sites to camp, hike, relax, view the wildlife and enjoy Kachemak Bay State Park.
Search Kachemak Bay Water Trail and Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park.
Google images of the inside of Salty Dawg. The whole place is filled with $1 bills. They’ve been there so long they’ve turned yellow…