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May to September: 907-235-3633; October to April: 907-345-2571
Tent lodging costs $85 per person per day, all meals included, or $58 with breakfast only.
Rare is the Alaska lodge where a whole family can afford to stay long enough to let a day unfold without a hyperactive do-it-all plan. While other places on Kachemak Bay, near Homer in south-central Alaska, can cost three times as much, Across the Bay is more like a deluxe camping community where families sleep in platform tents and join together for shared meals harvested from the backyard gardena modern commune.
The lodge sits among giant Sitka spruces before a steep mountain on the edge of Kasitsna Bay, and it's most easily accessible via a 30-minute boat ride or a float plane from Homer. Accommodations are straightforward: five canvas-wall tents with cots, plus a main wooden lodge, a dining room, two outhouses, and a bathhouse. Those aren't without comforts or elegance, thougha piano, board games, books, and hot chocolate in the lodge, and framed art hanging near stained glass in the, um, outhouse. There's also a wood-fired sauna with stained glass by a creek.
On a typical afternoon, my three oldest kids played in the tide pools, collecting mussels and arranging sand dollars into castles. Later, guests gathered at the shore for grilled salmon and vegetables. A more adventuresome day could include renting the lodge's mountain bikes to explore an abandoned road up to Red Mountain, eight miles south, or going on a guided kayak tour along the shoreline, visiting the Herring Islands to watch sea otters and whales.