Generally known as ‘the Spit,’ this long needle of land – a 4.5-mile sandbar stretching into Kachemak Bay – is viewed by some folks as the most fun place in Alaska. Others wish another earthquake would come along and sink the thing. Regardless, the Spit throbs all summer with tourists.
They mass here in unimaginable density, gobbling fish and chips, purchasing alpaca sweaters, arranging bear-watching trips, watching theatrical performances and – oh yeah – going fishing in search of 300lb halibut. The hub of all this activity is the small-boat harbor, one of the best facilities in Southcentral Alaska and home to more than 700 boats. Close by is the Seafarer’s Memorial, which, amid all the Spit’s hubbub, is a solemn monument to residents lost at sea.
Beachcombing, bonfiring, bald-eagle watching (they seem as common here as pigeons in New York City) and observing recently docked fishers angling for cute tourists at the Salty Dawg Saloon are all favorite activities. You can also go clamming at Mud Bay, on the east side of the Spit. Blue mussels, an excellent shellfish overlooked by many people, are the most abundant.
If you’d rather catch your dinner than buy it, try your luck at the Fishing Hole, just before the Pier One Theater. The small lagoon is the site of a ‘terminal fishery,’ in which salmon are planted by the state and return three or four years later to a place where they can’t spawn. Sportsman’s Supply & Rental, close by, rents out rods ($10 to $20) as well as rakes and shovels (each $5) for clamming.