On a quiet, misty summer day, it doesn't take long to fall for the charm of Halibut Cove.
Houses and art galleries built on pilings, a restaurant with an open air fireplace and a boardwalk linking it all makes this hideaway cove a must-see for any visitor.
Located just 6 miles from Homer on the south side of Kachemak Bay, the small town seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Homer Spit in the summer.
Tucked away in Kachemak Bay State Park, Halibut Cove is accessible only by boat or floatplane and is home to nearly 30 residents. Most of the town is on Ismailof Island, but other homes are on the mainland or small islands.
Long known as the perfect getaway for folks looking for quiet and seclusion, the town was pioneered by Clem Tillion, a commercial fisherman and nine-term state legislator, some 50 years ago, and still holds dear that do-it-yourself spirit.
Many of its residents are artists, and their work can be viewed or purchased at galleries along the boardwalk.
Other residents in this close-knit community mostly work in construction or commercial fishing.
Most visitors to Halibut Cove rely on water taxis or a voyage on the historic M/V Danny J a 34-passenger fishing boat turned ferry.
The town's first and only restaurant, the Saltry, specializes in seafood, fresh baked bread, pastas and chowders. Lunch is available from 1-3 p.m. and dinner is served in two seatings from 6-9 p.m. during the summer months. Reservations are required.
Short hikes, including a majestic view of Kachemak Bay, can be taken on paths leading off the main boardwalk. Respect private property and keep gates closed for horses and other livestock grazing in pastures.
Trips to Halibut Cove usually stop off at Gull Island, a seabird rookery and preserve located just 20 minutes from the Homer Boat Harbor. Wildlife such as whales, porpoises and sea otters are often viewed during the ride.
Several lodging choices for overnight stays also are available in town.
Halibut Cove Lagoon has a public boat dock that offers access to trails and public use cabins in Kachemak Bay State Park. A system of trails at the lagoon leads to adventures throughout the park.