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Posted: January 1, 2012 - 1:00am

About an hour and half ferry ride across Kachemak Bay, about 15 miles southwest of the Homer Spit, lies Seldovia. The tiny community promotes itself as "Alaska's best kept secret" and invites visitors to "come and enjoy her pace and beauty along with 300 friendly locals and a few old crabs."

Visitors and locals rely on water taxis, airplanes and the Alaska Ferry System for transportation. In town, four-wheelers are just as likely -- maybe more so --as automobiles to cruise the streets.

Several bed and breakfasts, small lodges, shops and a couple of restaurants have sprung up along Main Street. Several halibut charters start their day in Seldovia. And the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce produces a map offering a self-guided walking tour of the historic town.

Visitors can check out a Russian Orthodox Church built in 1891, stroll the boardwalk along Seldovia Slough or hike the one-mile Otterbahn trail to the picturesque beaches outside of town. 

Salmon return to the slough each summer and can be caught along the shore or from the Seldovia Bridge. When the season is right, berry pickers can fill their buckets along the road to Jakolof Bay.

Relatively new attractions, such as guided ATV rides up to Red Mountain along a logging road, provide exceptional views of the Kenai Mountains. And hiking trails around town lead travelers to several area peaks.

Visitors comment on the laid-back and peaceful atmosphere of Seldovia even during the busiest summer months. That all changes on the Fourth of July, when thousands of visitors flock to town for festivities.

This all-day event starts with a breakfast early in the morning and includes a foot race, a parade and games of skill -- like the crowd favorite tug-of-war and canoe jousting. The first record of a Fourth of July celebration was in 1920.

In June the Seldovia Arts Council draws visitors and musicians to town with the two-day Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival. In addition, the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce hosts the Craft Invitational Chainsaw Carving Contest over Memorial Day Weekend.

Visit for more information.

Must-see in Seldovia

The locals will tell you to go take a hike - literally! Take a jaunt over to the Otterbahn, and old coastal trail that starts at the Susan B. English School and runs about a mile to a saltwater lagoon and Kachemak Bay beaches, perfect for exploring. Some areas are accessible only at low tide, so check the tide tables and be sure to bring appropriate footwear.

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