Web posted Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Shopping opportunities abound for everything from trinkets to treasures

Those who would rather spend a day shopping than just about anything else will find plenty of opportunities in Homer and its surrounding areas, but the unique nature of the shops makes a tour of local stores an adventure for all.

You won't find any big-box department stores or mega-malls in the Homer area, but rather a plethora of smaller shops offering the basic amenities and more. You'll find virtually everything from replacement parts for your car or boat to silverware, picture frames, china and home decor. If you have weddings to attend in the near future, Homer might be just the place to find something unique. The town has several bookstores, clothing shops that feature everything from work clothes to Homer-style evening wear and toy stores. Souvenirs and Alaskana items are found in many gift shops, and of course there are a multitude of art galleries around town.

You may find it interesting to visit some of the commercial fishing stores in the area, just to see how Homer's oldest industry does business, or the stores that specialize in providing Homer residents the tools and supplies they need to live far off the beaten path and miles from the nearest superstore. Garden supplies and greenhouses are busy all summer, and filled with people who love what they're doing.

Many stores are family owned, and if you catch the owner at a quiet time you may find out a little about this area and what makes it so attractive for residents. Shops are concentrated in Homer's downtown area and on the Spit, although there are a few out East End Road, in Anchor Point and other surrounding communities. In the summer, the Spit is a bustling area for shoppers with seasonal stores on the boardwalks as well as temporary merchants in trailers and make-shift storefronts.

Most stores maintain regular hours, but Homer still reverts occasionally to the casual ways of yesteryear. Don't be surprised to find a "Back in half an hour" sign posted on a door.