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Your Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove is a dream nestled into the mountains of Kachemak Bay State Park. Learn more about what there is to do, how to get here and more with this handy guide!

Getting to Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove is only accessible by boat or floatplane from Homer, Alaska. Several water taxis and charter services operate in the area, providing transportation to and from the island. Have questions about how to get to Halibut Cove? We're more than happy to help you arrange your water taxi over to the island.  It's recommended to make reservations in advance during the summer.

Weather in Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Be prepared for variable weather conditions, including rain, fog, and wind. Dress in layers, pack rain gear, and check local weather forecasts before heading out. In the afternoon, we tend to get a strong day breeze off our beach. However, we are also westward facing. During the long days of summer, our beach is the perfect place to sit on a sunny afternoon, grill up some burgers or the catch of the day, and get a tan.

Activities & Outdoor Adventures

Halibut Cove offers a wide range of activities to satisfy every adventurer's desires.  Some popular options include:

Hiking Trails Near Halibut Cove

  • Halibut Cove Lagoon Trail: A scenic 3.5-mile trail offering panoramic views of the lagoon, cliffs and wildlife

  • Grewingk Glacier Trail: A 7-mile round-trip hike through lush forests leading to a magnificent glacier

  • Saddle Trail: An entrance to a number of hikes in Kachemak Bay State Park, including a shorter but initially steeper trek to Grewingk Glacier, the Alpine Ridge Trail, and more. It's about a 45-minute paddle from the beach at Halibut Cove Cliffside Cottages to the head of the Saddle Trail, or you could have a water taxi pick you up off our beach and drop you at the popular trailhead

Wildlife Viewing

Directly off the beach at Halibut Cove Cliffside Cottages, you can sometimes spot whales, seals, sea otters and bald eagles all in their natural environment. Nearby Gull Island, which you can pass on your way to Halibut Cove on a water taxi, is the best place to observe diverse bird species native to this area, including puffins, gulls, and numerous shorebirds.​

We also have a few mating pairs of bald eagles who live on our property. If you're lucky, you may be able to spot their babies in their nests as you explore or get a show when the parents land on the beach with a fish they caught.

Kayaking

Explore the tranquil waters of Kachemak Bay, discovering hidden coves and encountering marine life up close. Halibut Cove is the best place to explore by water, getting up close to the rocky cliffs to see mussels, kelps and even many-legged sea stars at low-tide. There are parts of the island that are tricky to access by water at different tides, so be sure to check a tide chart before you head out on your paddling adventure.

 

We have kayaks available for rent at Halibut Cove Cliffside Cottages. We also have life jackets, spray skirts and paddles that come with the rentals. If you'd like to stay with us, just let us know if you'd be interested in renting kayaks and we can provide more information.

Fishing

Kachemak Bay offers world-class fishing opportunities for the following kinds of fish and more:

  • Salmon

  • Halibut

  • Rockfish

  • Pacific Cod

While there are no fishing charters located in Halibut Cove at this time, it's easy enough to jump on a charter from the Homer Harbor to maximize your chances of a successful catch. It's possible to ship your catch back home, but we recommend saving a fillet or two to bring back to your cabin in Halibut Cove to grill up for dinner on the beach!

Restaurants and Dining in Halibut Cove

Indulge in the local flavors and fresh seafood of Halibut Cove. The Saltry Restaurant is currently the only restaurant on the island. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation for lunch or dinner during your stay and eat a fresh, gourmet meal on their outdoor patio with a glass of wine. It's an unparalleled experience!

Stop by the Halibut Cove Coffee Shop for an amazing cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream, situated on a sheltered sunny corner of the boardwalk across the isthmus from our cabins. They're open from 9am - 5pm daily.

We do not offer food for our guests at Halibut Cove Cliffside Cottages, so be sure to stock up on groceries while you're in Homer for your stay.  If you forget something, just let us know and we may be able to help.

Alaska Shellfish Farms also has a boat tied up about halfway between our beach and the head of the Saddle Trail where you can purchase fresh oysters and mussels from their farm in Halibut Cove and it's easily accessible by kayak. Try fresh Glacier Point oysters with a squeeze of lemon while looking out at the waters where they were cultivated, or try some of our favorite recipes for mussels!

Arts & Entertainment in Halibut Cove

Halibut Cove is home to a number of artists across a variety of mediums.  The peace and quiet afforded to us in our remote island allows the mind to wander and creative pursuits to be explored. While visiting Halibut Cove, meandering between the different art galleries is a favorite past-time and allows visitors to take in the beautiful artwork created by the locals.  Some of their art is even available to purchase and you can take home your own unique souvenir of your Alaskan adventure.  Below are some of the available galleries for you to peruse on your trip to the Cove.

The Experience Gallery

Located along the boardwalk, the Experience Gallery features the fine arts, jewelry and pottery of 16 local artists working in a wide range of mediums.  Open daily between 1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m

The Cove Gallery

The Cove Gallery, founded by one of the founding members of the Halibut Cove community, Diana Tillion, centers around a memorial retrospective collection of her paintings and sculpture as well as the works of other Halibut Cove artists.  Open 1 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 9 p.m. daily

Halibut Cove Live

Halibut Cove Live events are intimate gatherings featuring world-class musicians in Halibut Cove, Alaska. Relax under a canopy on the deck and enjoy gourmet, healthy cuisine while you listen to performances from the floating amphitheater. Proceeds benefit The Homer Foundation. 

Practical Information for Your Visit to Halibut Cove

Cell phone coverage can be limited in some areas on the island. Most people have excellent cell phone service at Halibut Cove Cliffside Cottages, as we have a direct line of sight view to the Homer Spit and the mainland.

We also have free WiFi available at our cabins for your use during your stay so you can choose to stay connected while you're here.

Our cabins have running water, which is collected via rain catchment, desalination, and a natural spring on our property.  The water goes through multiple levels of purification and is perfectly safe to drink. We also have flush toilets and showers available in most cabins.

Halibut Cove is a treasure trove of natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. This guide serves as your comprehensive companion, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this enchanting destination. Embrace the serenity, immerse yourself in the wild landscapes, and create lifelong memories in Halibut Cove, Alaska.

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