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Whales, Birds, Otters, and Mountains Rising From the Sea: Kachemak Bay and Homer (Alaska)

islands, mountains, Happier Place, Kachemak Bay, Alaska

Combining the stunning landscape and abundant wildlife of Kachemak Bay with the outstanding food scene, culture, and people of Homer, makes this corner of the world an ideal Happier Place destination.

The quaint town of Homer is one of those unique and highly beloved places that people visit from all over the world and then never forget. Quite a few people simply just stay for good.

About a 4-hour drive (220 miles / 355 km) south of Anchorage, Homer sits on the furthest tip of the Kenai Peninsula. If that wasn’t far enough, there is the skinny landmass called Homer Spit that stretches another 4.5 miles (7.2 km) into the sea.

Homer Spit from above, evening, sunset, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Homer Spit stretches into the bay

During the extra-long days of the northern summer, Homer Spit is where people camp along the rocky beach, fish for salmon at an artificial “fishing hole”, eat at restaurants where only the views beat the food, and to take a boat out into Kachemak Bay.

People dancing on the beach, Homer Spit, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Dancing on the Homer Spit Beach

While Homer is known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” with lots of commercial fishing boats calling Homer Harbor home, we like to think of it as the “Gateway to Kachemak Bay”.

Kachemak Bay is a 40-mile long arm of the Cook Inlet that is fed both by the sea and by numerous rivers coming down from the surrounding mountains. It’s home of Alaska’s first state park: Kachemak Bay State Park – which can only be reached by boat or plane. Along the bay are lots of smaller and larger coves and inlets, like Halibut Cove and China Poot Bay. Other worthy sights include Grewingk Glacier and Gull Island.

Common murres on the water, puffins in flight, kittiwakes (gulls) all over the rocks of Gull Island, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Common murres on the water, puffins in flight, kittiwakes (gulls) all over the rocks of Gull Island

The Kachemak Bay wildlife is abundant year-round: whales, porpoises, otters, seals, eagles, gulls, puffins, cormorants, murres and on and on and on.

Here are a few of the views we collected around Kachemak Bay…

Bald Eagle near Homer Harbor, Alaska
Bald Eagle near Homer Harbor
sea otter, gull, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Gull trying to get a little something, something from an otter in Homer Harbor
China Poot Peak, baby, boat, snow, green, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
China Poot Peak, islands and many coves right across the bay from Homer, Alaska
house, beach, Halibut Cove, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Houses and cabins can be found along Halibut Cove and other inlets
Rock hole, looking rock, cove, inlet, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Through the “looking rock” into the next cove
Mountains rise from the sea and through the mist in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Mountains rise from the sea and through the mist in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
tall rock, water reflection, Gull Island, birds, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Little side rock next to the main rocks that make up Gull Island
Black and white Common Murres on Gull Island in Kachemak Bay
Black and white Common Murres on Gull Island in Kachemak Bay
birds, Gull Island Arch, Rock Window, Hole in the Rock, kittiwakes
Gull Island Arch – or Rock Window? – Hole in the Rock?
puffins, swimming, feather, back, side view, Kachemak Bay
Sea otter waving
Sea otter waving (this photo is available as a postcard and greeting card)

Some of our Alaska photos are featured on Happier Place postcards and other products listed below.
Check them, get them, send them – make someone happier (including you).

Humpback whale blowholes look like a nose, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Humpback whale blowholes look like a nose, a manatee nose!
humpback whale fin, boat, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Humpback whale swimming through Kachemak Bay
Humpback whale tail fin, Homer, Alaska
And finally, the humpback whale tail fin
Grewingk Glacier
Grewingk Glacier
murres, puffins, birds, swim, mountains, island, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Murres or puffins swimming before steep mountain in the mist – probably Poot Peak.
Rising out of the mist, cove, colorful rocks, green, tall trees, Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Colors on a misty day
Tall and skinny Black Spruce, Common pine tree in Alaska
Tall and skinny Black Spruce
Pink fireweed wildflower blooming in the Alaskan foothills
Pink fireweed wildflower blooming in the Alaskan foothills
Salty Dawg Saloon, sign, light, lighthouse, Homer, Alaska
… and now for a drink at famous Salty Dawg Saloon, which may have coined the phrase “a quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem”

Save your favorite images to Pinterest.

Kachemack Bay and Homer Alaska, whales, otters, birds, mountains rising from the sea
Kachemak Bay and Homer, Alaska, mountains, islands, sea otter
Kachemak Bay and Homer Spit, Alaska, USA, cliffs, forest, cloud
Kachemak Bay and Homer Alaska where you can see puffins, eagles, murres, sea otters, and whales - and mountains rising from the sea. #HappierPlace #Alaska

All photos were taken by Luci Westphal – except maybe the whale pictures were taken by Scott Solary, while Luci was recording video. It all happened so fast.

If you want to see more photos of Homer itself, check out this post from Luci’s blog. On her new website, there are also more photos from the Kenai Peninsula.

15 thoughts on “Whales, Birds, Otters, and Mountains Rising From the Sea: Kachemak Bay and Homer (Alaska)

  1. These pictures are really incredible MashaAllah I would love to visit Alaska someday.

    1. Thank you so much. Hope you can make it there one day.

  2. The place has galleries and cluster on Pioneer Avenue, near the Pratt Museum, which shows local art and artifacts, including a pioneer cabin. The Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center has wildlife exhibits.People get attract from this place.

  3. I’ve read about this part of Alaska before and it’s always sounded like it would be a beautiful place to visit and have an adventure! These shots make the scenery look truly spectacular! I can’t wait until lockdown is lifted and we can travel again!

    1. It really is a beautiful corner of the world. Fortunately, it’s a bit more accessible than so many of the wonders of Alaska. But still enough off-the-beaten path that it doesn’t feel totally overrun. Thank you for your kind words about my photos. Hope you get to have wonderful travels once we can all get out there again!

  4. What a beautiful place! You’re photo’s are amazing. I’ve never been interested in going to Alaska but the gorgeous landscapes and nature shown here are making me think maybe!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Actually, I never had Alaska on my list either. I went up there to film an interview for a documentary. After arriving and seeing the incredible landscape and abundant wildlife, I can’t recommend a trip up there enough. (And I was already living in Colorado, so I know of mountains and wildlife.) If you ever get to go, please report back 🙂

  5. I’d love to see the views from the restaurants if they’re as nice as you say. This is somewhere i’d really love to go when I can. Luci and Scotts photos are amazing!!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie. You know, I don’t think we took any photos of the views from the restaurants – the good food and simply enjoying the views must have been too distracting. 😀

  6. You have really gorgeous photos here! Alaska is a beauty! It’s the perfect ruminating place for me.

    1. Thank you! And in the summer you can ruminate even longer – since the sun doesn’t set until long after midnight.

  7. Alaska is beautiful I have heard. I love places like these. They are so peaceful. I love the pictires you have shared here.

    1. It does seem like places with less people and more untouched nature are more peaceful, doesn’t it. Food for thought…

  8. This is beautiful and much needed, right now. The landscapes are stunning. Thank you for inspiring me.

    1. Thank you so much for writing this. It does feel a little awkward to be posting about travel destinations during this time. But also one of our big driving factors with Happier Place is that “seeing nature can make you happier”. Ideally, we want to inspire people go outdoors. Right now, we just hope to give people a short break and make people a little bit happier for a while. So your comment is extra appreciated.

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