The “Last Frontier”, “Land of The Midnight Sun”, or even just “the Biggest State”…whatever you refer to it as, Alaska is truly breathtaking and it’s also where this city girl spent her birthday!
My Alaskan adventure was technically a last minute trip, but even without ample planning, it certainly didn’t disappoint. My husband grew up in this wilderness, and before he went into the business world he worked as a commercial fisherman and on the oil rigs. So, when family matters brought us to Alaska, he was more than excited to show me a little of what his state has to offer.
For our long weekend in Alaska, we stayed in the heart of downtown Anchorage for 4 nights at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa. This small city of just 300K surprisingly had a lot to offer, good food (one of my highest prioritizes), decent shopping, vibrant bar scene, and amazing views almost anywhere you looked.
Dining & Bar Recommendations:
Snow City Cafe 1034 West 4th Avenue
The best breakfast/brunch in town with large portions to fuel your day! Recommendations – pretty much anything on the menu!
Crow’s Nest @ Captain Cook Hotel 939 W. 5th Avenue
Fine Dining with amazing cocktails hand crafted cocktails. Recommendations – Foie Gras Semifreddo or any of their seasonal cocktails
Kincaid Grill 6700 Jewel Lake Road
Upscale Restaurant with an impressive wine list where I dined on my birthday. Recommendations – Cippino (seafood stew) and the Roasted Beet Salad
Mooth’s Tooth 3300 Old Seward Highway
Some of the best specialty pizza’s I’ve had! Recommendations – Fiesta Shrimp or Chipolte Steak
Williwaw Roof Top Bar 601 F Street
Great stop to grab a drink under the midnight sun of Alaska. Recommendations – Go into one of the old school phone booths and ask for Cliff for entrance to the secret Speakeasy within the complex!
Aside from the “city” life, I was looking forward to experiencing views you can’t see in the “Lower 48”. For that we took a day trip to Whittier, the smallest town ever, boasting a full time population of just 214 people. This bustling metropolis was named after poet John Greenleaf Whittier and housed a military facility in World War II.
Having recently found an interest in photography, I was very eager to break in the new 18-105 lens for my Nikon D3300, complements of my mother for my birthday. Our first stop along this day trip was at McHugh Creek, where we were able to do a little hiking and capture some picturesque images of the waterfall and surrounding areas.
Along the way we stopped at Beluga Point, which of course is named for the Beluga whale watching you can enjoy there. One of the first native habitations in Alaska, this beautiful area has some of the most breathtaking views.
Before arriving in Whittier, our next stop was at Portage Glacier to bask in the mountainous glory, and of course for my husband to recreate his famous iceberg plunge with daughters in tow (yes, the water is freezing)! Located in Chugach National Forest, this area is a perfect place for a short boat cruise to get up close to the Glacier.
Once only accessible by train or boat, my husband was actually part of the mining crew who widened the tunnel, the longest in North America, to enabled cars to travel to Whittier. With excellent hiking, kayaking and scuba diving it makes for a nature lovers dream. Thanks to its location, day cruises out of Whittier are among the best in Alaska. A variety of boats, large and small, depart from the boat harbor into the rugged and steep fjords that line the sound, many of them featuring glaciers deep inside. Fishing is a popular summer activity in Whittier due to the rich supplies of halibut, salmon, and rockfish found in the area’s nearby waters. Click thru my photo gallery below for highlights!
Busy Wife Travel Tips:
Overall, I would recommend Alaska for anyone looking to escape their city life to get a huge dose of nature! The air is fresh, the summer sun never sets and it’s a landscape photographer’s dream. I truly saw some of the most majestic skies and the backdrops looked like they were photo-shopped by Mother Nature herself.
Summer temperatures in Anchorage typically range from 60-70 degrees, but rain is common late in the season so be prepared. To get the full experience I would recommend at least 5 days, if not more to explore the state fully. If you are renting a car, think about doing it away from the airport to avoid the huge price surges. And last but not least, even though we were lucky, bring bug repellent because mosquitoes are apparently their state bird!
Click to Experience My Travel Gallery
Have any questions about traveling to Alaska? Ask away, and I’m sure that my husband will be able to answer them (lol)!
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