Homer, on the southeast side of the Kenai Peninsula, is one of the best cities to visit for a sampling of Alaska's finest. A short distance (in Alaska terms) from Anchorage by road, Homer is not only accessible but also a great staging point for exploratory trips around Kachemak Bay and Katmai National Park. It's cultured yet civilized, wild yet well-trod; Homer is an Alaskan cliche.
Boasting some of Alaska's big fish, bigger bears and a sampling of some of the biggest scenery in the United States, most find it hard to find something small to say about Homer. Take on record-breaking halibut at the annual derby, fly-fish the afternoon away anytime of year or cast off for more cash at the winter king salmon tournament in March. Sea kayak along the Kachemak Bay, then rest your paddles and dip into some of best cultural offerings around in Homer town or simply hang out at the beach. Camping can be noisy around Homer and not entirely pleasant—here a cabin or guest house might be the best way to pass an evening.
Other things to try: do some bear hunting with your camera on a scenic cruise or flight over to Katmai National Park; bike along the Homer Spit's paved bike path—crowded in summer but frequented by bald eagles in winter—or take a scenic drive out around Homer to get a glimpse of brilliant fireweed in late summer or snow in late spring.
If you want a taste of culture and art other than that provided by wild-artist nature, Homer has long drawn a community of skilled craftsmen and deservedly earned a reputation as Alaska's art capital.
For a quick but satisfactory get-a-way, head across Kachemak Bay to Halibut Cove for more history, culture and vistas, or visit somnolent fishing village Seldovia. Accessed once a week by ferry from Homer or daily by guided tours, Seldovia offers hikes, glaciers and remote cabins.
Homer is 225 miles south of Anchorage by road.