Alaska State Parks
Four units of the Alaska State Parks system on the Kenai Peninsula are found near Homer: Kachemak Bay State Park (which was Alaska's first state park and turns 50 in 2020), Eveline State Recreation Site, Diamond Creek Canyon State Recreation Area, and the Anchor River State Recreation Area. Of the four, only Anchor River SRA has wheelchair-friendly features--its five campgrounds are easy to drive to, have beautiful settings beside or near the Anchor River, and four have ADA restrooms: Silverking, Slidehole, Steelhead, and Halibut campgrounds.
Two of the State Parks cabins at Halibut Cove Lagoon campground in Kachemak Bay State Park are theoretically wheelchair accessible from a boardwalk, the Overlook Cabin and the East Cabin, but access to the boardwalk itself is not wheelchair friendly. It involves going up a metal ramp from the public boat dock, and this ramp is very steep at low tides. From the top of the ramp, rough wooden ramps lead up to the boardwalk. These wooden ramps are VERY challenging for a wheelchair because of their slopes and uneven surfaces. Once on the boardwalk the two cabins and a wheelchair-friendly outhouse can be accessed. Efforts are underway to replace the challenging wooden ramps with ADA-compliant ramps.
Art and craft shops and galleries
A good (but not comprehensive) map of art and craft shops and galleries can be found at this link: http://www.homeralaska.org/the arts.html. Contact particular shops and galleries to check on accessibility features you need. Contact information for a number of galleries is provided on this page: https://web.homeralaska.org/The-Arts/Art-Galleries-Studios.
The three banks/credit union in Homer are ADA compliant
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, 135 Sterling Highway, 907.235.5161 (no Homer-specific webpage)
First National Bank Alaska, 3655 Heath Street, Homer, 907.235.5800 (no Homer-specific webpage)
Wells Fargo, 88 Sterling Highway, Homer, 907.235.8151
Cycle Logical -- A tandem bike is available for rental; tandems offer a fun way for someone with low vision or other challenges to get out on Homer's bike trails with a companion.
Cycle Logical -- Friendly staff at Cycle Logical can tell you about the different kinds of trails in town. The Spit Trail is a classic.
Kachemak Bay Birders -- This volunteer organization can provide information about local birding locations and trips.
City of Homer Port and Harbor
Homer has two micro breweries; both have wheelchair-height outdoor tables but no indoor wheelchair-height tables. Restrooms are not wheelchair accessible.
Grace Ridge Brewing Company
Homer Brewing Company
The Homer Chamber of Commerce list of RV parks and campgrounds is accessed at this link: https://web.homeralaska.org/Accommodations/RV-Parks-Campgrounds.
Privately owned campsites in the Homer area may be found through Hipcamp (https://www.hipcamp.com/about#our-story/), which is the camping equivalent of AirBnB or VRB0.
The City of Homer's four campgrounds are not included in the Chamber of Commerce list. They are:
- City of Homer Fishing Hole campground (RV park), see https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/fishing-hole-campground; this campground is adjacent to the Fishing Hole on the Homer Spit (officially called the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon), which is stocked by Alaska Department of Fish and Game with both silver (coho) and king (chinook) salmon; the campground offers wheelchair-accessible restrooms [double check]
- City of Homer Karen Hornaday Park campground, see https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/hornaday-park-campground; wheelchair-accessible restrooms can be found in nearby Karen Hornaday Park
- City of Homer Mariner Park campground, see https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/mariner-park; at this time, there are no wheelchair-accessible restrooms at Mariner Park
- City of Homer Tent Areas 1 & 2, see https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation/tent-area-1-2, these are unimproved tent sites on the beach across from the Fishing Hole; Tent Area #1 does not allow for vehicle access due to significant coastal erosion in recent years; campers on foot or parked in another location can still find beautiful campsites available. Tent Area #2 can still accommodate vehicles under 20 ft in length, as well as many soft tent sites. A plumbed restroom is available across the street near the Fishing Hole [is this wheelchair accessible?].
City parks and city parks map
The City of Homer Parks and Recreation Department maintains 18 city park areas, from pocket parks like WKFL on the corner of Pioneer Ave. and Lake St. (WKFL stands for Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, and Love) to the 275-acre Diamond Creek Recreation Area. Many of these parks have wheelchair-accessible restrooms. To find out more about each park click on the link above and then click on the name of each park. Special features to note: Karen Hornday Park has a beautiful playground.
Saint Augustine Episcopal Church -- This church has a wheelchair-accessible, circular labyrinth, though you may need someone to help push you if the ground is soft.
Farm and ranch tours
- Bay Ridge Ranch offers wheelchair-accessible visits with horses; sessions are facilitated by Devony, who is certified in Equine Equine Guided Education. Wheelchair users interact with horses from wheelchair-accessible decks that put seated individuals at about a horse's shoulder height. For information call 907-299-3244.
- Kilcher Homestead Living Museum: Contact the Kilcher Living Museum at 907-235-8713 to sign up for a tour introducing life on the 600-acre homestead. It's even possible to arrange to spend a night in the original homestead cabin. For information about lodging go to: http://kilcheralaskacabins.com/KILCHER_HOMESTEAD_LIVING_MUSEUM/About_Us.html. No part of the homestead is wheelchair accessible, but you may be able to arrange to see the original cabin and some of the homestead from a car by prior arrangement with museum staff. Note, the road to the homestead is unpaved and rough; it is impassable during spring break-up and after drenching rain storms, so contact staff before heading out to the homestead.
- Homer Farmers Market operates on Saturdays and Wednesdays from late May through late September (and some vendors sell produce and crafts even later in the season). The market is accessed across a gravel parking lot that is virtually impassable to manual wheelchairs. Power chairs MAY do better. The Market board is looking at ways to improve market accessibility. For more information, go to the HFM website or contact the Market Director or Market Manager at 907-299-7540 or manager@HomerFarmersMarket.org.
Two ferries operate out of Homer:
- The Seldovia Bay Ferry (often called "the Fast Ferry) offers daily non-stop trips to Seldovia from May (Memorial Day weekend) through mid September. A one-way trip takes about 45 minutes.
- The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) operates the 296-ft MV Tustumena twice weekly (Tuesday and Sunday) into and out of Homer during summer and occasionally during winter. The trip between Homer and Seldovia takes about 2 1/2 hours. Check the AMHS webpage for schedules and fares (https://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/). [As of December 2019, schedules were not available beyond December 2019; the AMHS agent was hopeful that the Tusty would start operating again in May, but state budget uncertainty precluded definite information.] The Tustumena connects Homer, Kodiak Island, and villages on the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands, ending in the town of Dutch Harbor. The "Trusty Tusty" has one wheelchair-accessible stateroom. The Tustumena's elevator loading system necessitates strict weight and size limitations on vehicles. This and other information about the MV Tustumena can be found on the previous Tustumena link and at this link, http://www.alaskaferryvacations.com/Vessel_Tustumena.htm, which accesses a tour company's ferry itineraries.
- Discounted fares on the AMHS: Persons with permanent disabilities or U.S. veterans who have a service connected disability can receive a Disability Discount Pass for the Alaska Marine Highway System; the pass entitles the holder to a 50% discount of the standard adult passenger fare on AMHS ferries. If an attendant is recommended by a physician, then the attendant may also receive the discounted fare when s/he accompanies the pass holder. This pass is good for travel between Alaskan ports on all AMHS ferries; travel to and from Bellingham, WA, and Prince Rupert, BC, is not eligible for discounted travel under the disability discount pass program. The application for the Disability Discount Pass can be downloaded from: http://veterans.alaska.gov/Documents/AMHS/DisabilityDiscountPassApplication.pdf. Please allow a minimum of 14 business days for processing an application.
- Coal Point Seafood Company sells fresh and frozen seafood and processes catches for take-away or shipment. Coal Point also serves seafood and coffee and sells tourist items. The store/cafe is wheelchair accessible, but the bathroom is not. Most indoor seating is at bar height, but there is a small dropdown counter that can be used by someone in a wheelchair. Outside tables are standard table height and are suitable for wheelchair users. Coal Point owner, Nancy Hillstrand (yes, a member of the Time Bandit Hillstrand family) came to Alaska on her own at 17 and has been contributing to community and environmental health ever since. If you have special needs, contact Coal Point; they make every effort to be accommodating.
- Homer Fish Processing provides custom fish processing and seafood sales. [check accessibility]
This list of 4-wheeler (ATV) tours is maintained by the Homer Chamber of Commerce: https://web.homeralaska.org/Adventure-Ecotourism/Four-Wheeling.These tours cross rough terrain, and vehicles may tip and bounce with considerable force; riders need good upper-body strength and balance; steering requires good hand, wrist, and shoulder strength; wheeler gears are generally shifted using one's feet, which requires good ankle mobility and strength [do any tours include side-by-sides that could accommodate taking as a passenger someone with a disability?]
Frisbee (disc) golf
Jack Gist Park, maintained by the City of Homer, includes a disc golf course; [can the course be navigated in a wheelchair?]
Halibut Cove community
Two trail ride vendors offer horseback rides in the Homer area; your ability to participate will depend on the nature of your disability. Contact the vendors to discuss your particular situation--both Mark Marette and Ron Wilhoit try to be accommodating.
- Trails End Horse Adventures takes trail riders to the end of East End Road, down a steep switchback unimproved road, and out across the Fox River Flats; leave a phone message with Mark Marette at his East End Road ranch: 907-235-6393. These rides require standing and getting into and out of a saddle.
- Alaska Draft Horse takes trail riders across the rolling hills north of Chakok River in the Anchor River watershed; Ron can take two riders on his "gentle giant" Percheron draft horses: 907-299-2163. These rides require standing and getting into and out of a saddle, Ron has a step stool to aid in getting on his tall horses. Contact Ron Wilhoit--see his website--for more information
Bay Ridge Ranch offers wheelchair-accessible visits with horses; sessions are facilitated by Devony, who is certified in Equine Guided Education. Wheelchair users interact with horses from wheelchair-accessible decks that put seated individuals at about a horse's shoulder height. For information call 907-299-3244.
South Peninsula Hospital is located in downtown Homer on Bayview Ave. The hospital offers a wide range of services and has both a 22-bed acute care facility and a 25-bed long-term care unit.
Many kinds of indoor recreation are offered in Homer, including basketball, fitness training, indoor walking and running, martial arts, swimming, ice skating, yoga, dance, and more. The TRAILS inclusive recreation program can answer many questions about recreation in Homer (call 907-235-7911, ask for Michael or Devony). Information on recreational activities may be found from a number of sources, including the following. You can also do an online search for a particular activity of interest.
- Alaska Training Room -- not wheelchair accessible; individuals with other kinds of disabilities can call Mary Jo at 299-8505 to discuss individual needs.
- City of Homer Parks and Recreation -- some activities are wheelchair accessible; many activities can accommodate individuals with other disabilities depending on venue; for information contact Mike Illg at 235-6090 or click the link beginning this entry.
- Kevin Bell Arena (ice rink) -- this facility is wheelchair accessible; it operates during the winter as an ice rink and has ice hockey sledges that can be borrowed.
- SPARC (South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center) -- We invite visitors to check out SPARC. It is almost completely handicapped accessible. Most aspects of our programs are great for wheelchairs, strollers, canes, etc. Classes and activities are listed at: http://sparchomer.org/activities/, which also provides a link to the current monthly schedule (it's always fun to see all the activities going on). For more information call 299-5115.
Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding
A listing of nature tours/ecotours is maintained by the Homer Chamber of Commerce at https://web.homeralaska.org/Adventure-Ecotourism. This list includes only Chamber of Commerce members. Be sure to contact individual vendors to discuss with them your particular accessibility needs.
Skating (ice and roller)
Skiing, ski trails, ski equipment
Social service organizations and agencies
Independent Living Center, 265 E. Pioneer Ave., Homer, 907.235.7911 or 800.770.7911 -- The ILC provides a variety of services to those experiencing aging or disability; the ILC TRAILS inclusive recreation program maintains the accessible* Homer website.
Sports equipment retailers
Two swimming pools are found in Homer. One pool, in the Katie Kuhns Aquatic Center at Homer High School, is 25 meters long and is available for public activities as scheduled. The fee to use the pool is $5.00. The second pool is at the Homer Bay Club and is available for Bay Club members only.
Theaters--movie and performing
Trails for walking or rolling
Transportation--taxis, car rentals, bus service
Wellness activities and businesses
Wheelchairs--trails and where to borrow
Wildlife viewing locations--see also Nature tours
Bear Creek Winery, 60203 Bear Creek Dr. Homer, 907.235.8484 -- Get more information about Homer's only winery by checking out more details in Table 2
A number of organizations offer after-school and/or weekend programs for youths of various ages.
- Boys and Girls Club
- Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
- City of Homer Parks and Recreation Department
- The R.E.C. Room