Isolated and quaint, Halibut Cove is a small village of about 90 permanent residents nestled on the east side of Kachemak Bay.
About Halibut Cove
There are no roads to Halibut Cove – in fact there are no roads in Halibut Cove. The community is only 12 miles across Kachemak Bay from Homer and the famous Homer Spit, which makes it an interesting side trip for anyone visiting Homer.
Halibut Cove’s peak years date back to 1911 when it supported 42 herring salteries and a population of more than 1,000. After the salteries closed, most residents left and today the community is an enclave of artists, craftsmen, commercial fishermen, and the operators of one very fine restaurant. Halibut Cove extends across 12 blocks of boardwalk that skirts the water’s edge and provides a scenic view of the mountainous east side of Kachemak Bay.
Things to do
To get to Halibut Cove, visitors can take one of the ferry services that cruise daily from the Homer Spit. Along the way ferries swing past Gull Island, home to some 16,000 nesting seabirds including puffins, kittiwakes, murres, and cormorants, and boat operators offer tours of the island for those interested in birding. Scheduled ferry departures leave plenty of time to explore the art galleries that display painting, pottery, and sculpture from more than a dozen local artists, or to dine at an excellent restaurant featuring fresh-caught seafood.
To make Halibut Cove an even more interesting side trip, spend the night at a lodge or cabin. A day spent kayaking the protected coves of Kachemak Bay State Park, hiking its many trails, or beachcombing along the shore are great ways to experience Halibut Cove and its surrounding area.
The most popular attraction of Kachemak Bay State Park is Grewingk Glacier, with the trailhead to the glacier accessible via a short boat ride from Halibut Cove or Homer. Hiking out to view the glacier is a popular activity that involves an easy one-way hike of 3.5 miles on the Glacier Lake Trail, or a longer 6.7 miles on the Blue Ice Trail for views overlooking the glacier.
With dozens protected coves and bays, Kachemak Bay State Park offers numerous opportunities for kayakers. In Halibut Cove, some lodges include use of kayaks with accommodations. Paddlers can also rent kayaks in Homer and bring them over on a water taxi.
Staying & Eating in Halibut Cove
Halibut Cove is home to two wilderness lodges that offer luxurious accommodations with stunning ocean and mountain views. There’s also a variety of guest houses, cottages, and cabins. Halibut Cove also offers a truly unique dining experience at the Saltry, a fine dining restaurant focusing on local fare and seafood perched right over the water on Ismailof Island. Reservations are required and include round-trip ferry service from Homer.