• Driver Berkly Davis entertains with stories, history, humor
By Randi Somers
Interested in seeing what all Homer has to offer, but don’t feel like searching for parking places? Beat the traffic, and take in all kinds of Homer history this sumer with the Homer Trolley.
Both visitors and locals can ride on the Homer Trolley to visit highlights in Old Town, downtown and the Homer Spit from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Along the way, Homer sourdough driver Berkly Davis offers up a colorful narrative of just what Homer is all about. Tours start Friday, (June 14), and run throughout the summer.
Passengers can hop off and on as many times as they wish to visit the Pratt Museum, downtown art galleries and restaurants, Old Town Homer (more art and fine dining and a short stroll to Bishop’s Beach), Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, the Homer Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays and Saturdays), a bald eagle’s nest and a variety of Spit attractions, including more art shops and dining. Bay excursions may also be booked from several locations on the Spit.
Just viewing the street art on Pioneer Avenue — check out the great mural wall in front of Nomar — is a pleasure in and of itself. Having a driver who is a long-time resident makes it a fun, interesting and lively tour.
Davis relates history and colorful stories about the local residents and events. And even locals who have been here for years discover more Homer delights by playing tourist for a day on the trolley.
“I really like it when local folks ride because they tell me things I can add to my spiel,” Davis said. “They also say they learn more about their own town.”
The trolley tour got its start in 2010, when 14-year-old Alex Knudtson developed the idea for a Homer trolley tour while he was on a Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool, England. Friends of the Homer Library were conducting a city-wide “business idea” contest and Alex was one of three winners. His cash prize went toward starting the tour.
Knudtson assists his mother Sally Oberstein, owner of Generous Adventures Travel Auctions, on winter guided tours in other parts of the world.
“I consider these to be my school field trips,” Knudtson said, referencing his homeschooling. “You learn a lot more about ancient civilizations by going to the Great Pyramids, the Coliseum and Machu Picchu than by reading a book.”
Knudtson, who was raised in Homer, designed the trolley route and wrote the initial script for the tour. His local knowledge and tours abroad provided him with the ingredients of an entertaining, exciting and educational tour.
“It is our goal to connect visitors with our community and our online directory,” Oberstein said. “It’s a free directory for all Homer businesses.”
Oberstein said the website has been quite busy since “Alaska at a Glance” travel writer Howard Hilan mentioned it in multiple publications.
“The best way to see this picturesque town is by taking the ‘Hop-on, hop-off trolley,” he wrote.
The trolley operates seasonally from June 14 – Aug. 18, Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is also available for private charter.
To book a tour, or for more information, call 235-2228.
Tickets can be purchased at Oceanview RV Park, the Driftwood Inn, Central Charters or Land’s End Resort, and are also available from the driver upon boarding the trolley.
A one-day pass is $12 for adults or $10 for children under 12 and seniors.
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