Alaska’s largest city has easy access to many outdoor attractions, and one of its most popular weekend getaways is Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, about 40 miles away. The resort features a 304 room hotel and offers many activities to enjoy, both outdoor and indoor. Winter activities skiing, heli-skiing, ski lessons, snowmobiling and family friendly ski-school programs, while summer activities focus on trekking, trail running and outdoor family fun. The resort has several high quality restaurants including one at the top of the slopes, and also offers spa treatments and an indoor pool where to relax and enjoy warm temperatures.
Activities in September
I visited Alyeska Resort in September, the rainiest month of the year. While it did not rain during the 24 hours we spent at the resort, it was indeed very cloudy and visibility from the top of the mountains was not at its best, despite it being extraordinary anyhow. We were told that on a clear day you can see up to seven hanging glaciers!
We first took the aerial tram to the top of Alyeska Mountain (25 USD) where we enjoyed fantastic panoramic views of the area. Conde Nast Traveler rated Alyeska ~ “Best view of any U.S. ski resort.” The observation deck is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxed lunch or beautiful evening sunset. Telescopes are also available along the deck, and during the summer months you can also enjoy exploring, berry picking, watching the paragliders launch, and even hike on a glacier.
There are several trails at the top of the mountain that allow great trekking, however it was quite windy when we were there and the rain made being outside somewhat uncomfortable so we only spent about an hour at the top enjoying the views and fresh air. If you do have the chance to come up here on a clear day make sure you don’t miss the opportunity as you’ll be rewarded with great trekking!
We instead headed back down to the resort where there was less wind and the rain was only a mild drizzle. We opted for a fun trek along the forest, picked a one hour long trail and enjoyed being in the woods. During the walk we encountered other trekkers, a couple of people riding a bicycle and found a huge bear print on the way back that had not been there while we were heading in!
Dining at Alyeska Resort
The resort has several high quality restaurants, including a deli at the top of Alyeska mountain and a Starbucks in the hotel. The Pond Cafe offers a comfortable breakfast setting with option of breakfast buffets and a la carte menu. Sakura Restaurant offers a fun and modern dining experience featuring fresh seafood and meats, creative specialty rolls and cocktails and the Aurora Bar & Grill suites those seeking refined comfort food in a fun friendly-family atmosphere. This is a great place to get simple fresh Alaskan seafood, steaks, gourmet sandwiches and specialty pizzas.
Finally, Seven Glaciers is Alyeska Resort’s delectable AAA Four Diamond award-winning mountain-top restaurant, an experience not to be missed if you’re looking for a gourmet experience. You’ll find exquisite Alaskan entrees in an elegant atmosphere and will also appreciate the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence wine list and full bar.
The standard rooms at Alyeska Resort are comfortable and well appointed, without being over the top. I suppose their meant to be more functional than a home away from how, as guests will come to the resort to enjoy the plethora of activities to enjoy outside.
Alyeska Resort is a fantastic weekend getaway from Anchorage, or even a great destination for travelers who want to spend some high quality time in the outdoors, while being able to enjoy a comfortable place where to stay. The mountains appeared to be for family friendly trekking, the facilities are top notch and the food is very good too. I did find the aerial tram ticket price somewhat steep, but other than that it’s a great destination for coupled and families looking to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment.
I was a guest of Alyeska Resort, however all pictures, thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Have you visited Alyeska Resort? Thinking about spending a few days here? Got questions? Ask below and share this post if you think others may find it useful!