With extended daylight during the summer’s, there’s always an adventure to embark upon in Homer, Alaska. One our of favorite adventures, in addition to halibut fishing, is Homer AK Kayaking! With several companies to choose from, we dive into the in’s and out’s of exploring all Homer has to offer via kayak!
Homer, Alaska is wildly scenic and also one of the most quaint towns situated on the Kenai Peninsula. With a population of just under 6,000, Homer is full of artist’s, delicious eateries, and most of all, offers endless adventures during the summer months! Aside from Alaska salmon fishing, one of our personal favorites is exploring off-shore via kayaking! For those who are interested, we cover all the details on companies to choose from, areas to explore, and exploring on your own!
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Homer, Alaska offers endless opportunities for wildlife viewing and adventures off the mainland. Nothing is more exciting that paddling thru Kachemak Bay State Park and being in close distance to groups of sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and occasionally, even groups of whales! Even with being year-round residents, this experience is still serene and breathtaking every time we go. Additionally, you get to explore beautiful coves, glaciers and even a few incredible restaurants that are only accessible via boat, plane, or you guessed it- kayaking!
Whether you are new to kayaking or an expert, this adventure can be fully customizable to any skill set! There are three recommendations for Homer AK Kayaking companies that offer fully guided tours and or rentals for self-exploring. These companies include:
Rental vs. Tour
There are two options for your experience. If you are knowledgeable of the areas and can get across the bay, renting is the perfect option for you! With this option, you would usually need to inquire with a water taxi service to get you to and from the mainland. Recommendations for water taxi companies are listed below. Both companies are knowledgeable of areas for dropping off and always have great recommendations for your experience!
If you are new to the kayaking experience, we highly recommend picking a tour and going with a guide! Though we have kayaked on our own before, we really enjoyed this experience and usually prefer it over just renting! The guides are super friendly and knowledgeable of the areas. Most importantly, guides are there to help in every situation. Their goal is to always make sure you are comfortable, while enjoying a memorable experience!
SUP vs. Kayaking
Homer offers both stand-up paddle board (SUP) tours and kayaking tours. Knowing the difference is key to a memorable experience! Stand-up paddle boards are similar to surf boards, where you would not be enclosed. Stand-up paddle boards are perfect for those who enjoy the challenge of paddling and maneuvering, while standing! Kayaks, on the other hand, are enclosed similar to a canoe. Kayak’s are perfect for those wanting to have a more laid back experience with paddling and maneuvering, while sitting. Most companies also offer tandem kayaks, which allow two people kayak together in one kayak. This is especially fun for couples or families who want a partner in their kayaking experience.
Whether you are renting or choosing a Homer Ak kayaking tour, we highly recommend being prepared with the appropriate gear! These are the recommendations we were given that made our experience the most comfortable and safe.
- You will want to stay warm and comfortable while out on the water, so we recommend wearing breathable layers.
- Nothing is worse than having cold feet all day, so we always recommend having on warm socks.
- Since the sun is up longer in the summers, you’ll want to make sure you wear your sunblock!
- The best part of our adventure was snacking during our tour and while exploring coves.
- We also recommend storing personal items in a waterproof sack if you plan to bring them along- which we recommend doing also!
- Don’t leave your camera behind, as there will be endless photo ops in beautiful places!
- The water is typically colder than most are used to. For this reason, we recommend a dry suit. If you don’t have one personally, I would inquire with the touring company, as most of them offer them!
Regardless of renting or touring, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with safety precautions. Each Homer Ak kayaking company will always provide life jackets, spray skirts, and all necessary safety equipment for your adventure. Additionally, they are all great at going over safety and the important do’s and dont’s. If you have any questions, ask away prior to take-off!
With exploring off-shore, you gain access to some of the most breathtaking coves and thrilling wildlife that is unavailable on the mainland. Some of our personal favorites for exploring are:
Halibut Cove is stunning with landscapes and a local population of porpoises! This little community is full of local artists who enjoy life off the mainland. Additionally, there’s our favorite restaurant called The Saltry. This dining experience will surely rattle your tastebuds and give you a locally sourced, farm to table, experience unlike any other! Lastly, ff you’re looking to stay overnight, Halibut Cove also offers a variety of rentals thru airbnb or VRBO!
Grewingk Glacier Paddle and Hike
This adventure is by far our favorite! With this tour, you’ll get to paddle board and also hike in 3 miles to a breathtaking glacier known as Grewingk Glacier. The glacier is scenic with ice and snow year-round, making for memorable photos every time! The hike itself is moderate and offers stunning views of Kachemak Bay and Halibut Cove. For this tour, don’t forget a day pack with your hiking boots!
Looking to go a little further? Then Elephant Rock is definitely a fan favorite! You’ll want to use a touring company or plan for a water taxi, as it’s just outside the bay and around the corner of Yukon Island near Port Graham. This unique area allows you to paddle thru rock structures and gives you access to server al marine wildlife such as sea otters, eagles, sea lions, whales, and more! This tour is a leisurely and magnificent!
Lastly, no matter your level of experience, planning a Homer AK kayaking trip is definitely a must for all ages. When planning, if you are unsure which location or touring option is best for you, always reach out to your touring company! The tour guides are always eager to make sure you and your family select the best trip possible and are comfortable along the way!
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