Area: 10.6 square miles
Population: 3,946 (2000 census)
County: Kenai Peninsula
Things To Do
Homer - It's a humble name for a little town that is anything but ordinary. Named for Homer Pennock, a gold miner who established the first development on the Homer Spit in 1896. Today's Homer is a thriving community of approximately 4,000 residents, most of whom came to this area for one reason: it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Homer is blessed with a view to the south that is stunning in its beauty and grandeur. Across the sparkling waters of Kachemak Bay, the rugged Kenai Mountains spread east, west, and south. Soaring snowcapped peaks overlook massive glaciers crawling toward the sea. Along the coastline, the steep mountain valleys form narrow fjords. The waters within rise and fall with the tidesâ€”witnessed at times only by a bald eagle soaring overhead, or a black bear prowling the shore. The mountains have a thousand moods, depending on the time of day, the sun, the clouds, rain, snow, and wind. It is one of the few places in the world, if not the only one, where several glaciers and active volcanos can be viewed at the same time.
Homer is at the southwest tip of the Kenai Peninsula on Kachemak Bay. The town lies 225 paved highway miles from Anchorage and is easily accessible by highway, sea, or air. Temperatures range above zero in winter and summer sends temperatures up to a pleasant 62 degree average.
Homer's picturesque setting, mild climate and great fishing (especially for halibut) attract thousands of visitors each year. In addition to its tourist industry and role as a trade center, commercial fishing industry is an important part of its economy. Homer is sometimes called the "halibut fishing capital of the world."
Rising behind the town-site are gently sloping bluffs which rise to 1,200 feet to form the southern rim of the western plateau of the Kenai Peninsula. These green slopes are tinted in pastel shades by acres of wildflowers from June to September; fireweed predominates among scattered patches of geranium, paintbrush, lupine, rose and many other wildflower species.
Homer has endless activities throughout the year for the whole family. As summer season blossoms kayaking, art galleries, day-trips to Katmai to see brown bears and flight seeing are just a few of the activities which can fill your day in Homer. Fall gives a harvest of wild berries. With winter comes skiing, both alpine and cross-country. Dogsledding, skijoring and ice skating vie for attention among locals and "soft adventure" winter tourists. Wildlife cruises and king salmon fishing are offered throughout the winter months and of course, nothing is more exciting than seeing the beautiful Aurora Borealis.
With spring around the corner gearing up for both commercial and sport fishing begins and before we realize it, summer is upon us once again, and it is time for 19-hour days and nonstop fun.
Homer was founded in 1896 by gold seekers. Among these early adventurers was Homer Pennock, from whom the town took its name. Near the turn of the century, coal mines were developed; and eventually, one of Alaska's first railroad was built to haul coal to waiting ships anchored off Homer Spit. The mines and railway shut down during World War II.
The original town at the end of Homer Spit burned down when an exposed coal seam caught fire, and the town was rebuilt on the present town-site. Homer became a city in 1964.
The town's economy is based on tourism, farming, fishing and seafood processing.