Bird flying over mountains

5 Fun Facts about the History of Homer – Alaska’s Best Kept Secret!

Are you looking into a trip to Homer, AK? It’s always important to get to know your vacation destination before you arrive. Homer’s rich history is surely something to appreciate!  

After you’ve explored the history of Homer, AK, take some time to explore the area. Not sure where to start? Access our FREE Vacation Guide to view the best restaurants, activities, shopping, (and more) to start planning the perfect trip to the Kenai Peninsula. 

1. Homer Has Indigenous Roots

Homer’s original inhabitants were the Inuit tribe, followed by the Tanaina tribe. If you’d like to learn more about Homer’s indigenous tribes and traditions, be sure to visit the Bunnell Street Arts Center. They are committed to decolonizing and acknowledging the indigenous land, and they do a fantastic job of portraying Native stories and amplifying Native art forms and traditions. 

2. The Town of Homer Is Named After a Real Person

Homer got its name from its founder, Homer Pennock, a gold prospector, mining company promoter, and con man who officially founded the town in 1895. The town was a booming coal mine until the mining ventures failed shortly after, in 1902. Owing to that failure, the town became largely abandoned until its next industry boom: fishing and canning. 

3. Fishing Is Homer’s Largest Economic Industry

Nicknamed the “Halibut Capital of the World,” Homer is a prime destination for seafood lovers. Fishing has been Homer’s longest sustained industry since its start around 1910-1920. According to PBS, “Five-hundred and twenty residents hold commercial fishing permits, and every summer, the town is flooded with seasonal workers coming to staff the many salmon canneries.” That’s a lot of fishermen and women!

Are you interested in the marine life dwelling on and around Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula? Visit the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and participate in the Creatures of the Dock Tour. This Homer Harbor dock tour is guaranteed fun for everyone in your group! 

4. Kachemak Bay State Park Is Alaska’s First State Park

Homer’s Kachemak State Park is the first official State Park of Alaska. The park was officially added to the National Parks list in 1970, and at 400,000 acres, it’s one of the nation’s larger parks. Kachemak Bay State Park is a must-do itinerary item for Homer visitors, with activities ranging from fishing to hiking to bear viewing

5. Jewel Kilcher, AKA “Jewel,” Was Raised on the Outskirts of Homer

Singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy-nominated artist, Jewel, spent many years in Homer, AK, living with her father. With over 30 million albums sold, Jewel has mesmerized audiences with her unique style and tone and hits like “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me,” and “Foolish Games.”

bears grazing in front of a mountain ridge

Now that you’ve learned about the History of Homer, AK, you’re ready to book your trip to discover it for yourself! At the Driftwood Inn, we have accommodations for all types of travelers. Lodging options include a historic inntwo distinct lodges that overlook the beacha seaside cottage, our downtown Woodside Fishing Lodge Suites, and a small RV park.