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  • Writer's pictureKrista Harris

Alaska- Anchorage and Girdwood July 2023

Alaska is impressive! We just scratched the surface of this huge state, but it left me wanting more! It started out as a work trip, but I was able to squeeze in some fun stuff over the weekend and explore mostly Seward and Girdwood. No shots to Anchorage, which I spent the first half of the week in. Anchorage had some amazing restaurants, really nice trails, and access to tons of hiking opportunities - which I hope to take advantage of next time!

We rented an Airbnb in Anchorage which definitely seemed like the move. The hotels in town, none looked particularly impressive or a place you'd want to spend multiple days in. Our Airbnb ended up only being a 20min walk into town anyways, and was extremely spacious with parking, good wi-fi, and access to a really nice trail by the water (the important things right?). Experiencing the midnight sun in the summer was super cool, there was no off switch, you could just keep exploring!


Some restaurant recs for Anchorage:

South (cocktails, breakfast, lunch or dinner)

Gumbo house (dinner)

Ginger (cocktails and dinner)

Whiskey and Ramen (cocktails and dinner)

Haute Quarter Grill (dinner)


In Wasilla (45min north):

Mat Su resort (all meals)


The back half of the week we spent in Girdwood at the Alyeska resort (about 1hr drive south of Anchorage)

The drive itself is worth the trip, really beautiful along the water, lots of lookout points to stop and take photos. And the resort- just in a gorgeous area, the town of Girdwood itself is super cute with a few restaurant options and lots of hiking options.


Restaurant recs in Girdwood:

Bake Shop (breakfast)

Alpenglow (coffee)

Double Musky Inn (dinner- amazing creole food!)

Hightower Pub (lunch or brunch)

Base Camp (dinner)

Girdwood Brewing (beer, they have food trucks for meals)

Seven Glaciers (in Alyeska resort- fine dining and ridiculous cocktails with incredible views on the top of the mountain- you take a tram up! Not for the cheap though.)

Forte (in Alyeska resort- decent breakfast buffet)


Hikes we conquered!

Harding Icefield trail- we drove to Kenai Fjords National park in the town of Seward, about 2 hrs from Girdwood. Driving in Alaska is actually fun, no lack of landscapes! This National Park is most typically done by booking an all day cruise, but we love hiking in a park so we picked this difficult trail for a day hike. It delivered on all fronts- 4 hrs, 20 mins, 3000 ft of elevation gain, 8.5 miles. So many different landscapes, plus amazing views of the glacier/mountains/valleys- you got it all. Facilities located at the beginning of the hike, plenty of parking.

Crow Pass Trailhead- this hike was local, only about a 30 min drive from the hotel. Had both parking and facilities at the trailhead. 7 miles, 3 hrs 15mins 2000 ft of elevation gain. Another banger with waterfalls, lakes, a glacier, and of course- many trail options to just keep it going.


Other fun options in Girdwood:

Alyeska had hikes right on the property, as well as a tram up to the top of the mountain and a skywalk for daredevil views.

Bike rentals were available at the resort

Nordic Spa- on the property, you could book a massage, facial, etc or do a day pass to just the hot/cold plunge pools- saunas-steam rooms-etc (all outdoors). We did a twilight package for half price of the day pass which gave you access to the facilities from 5-9. This ended up being perfect for us, we only stayed a couple of hours.

Skiing in season


To see my photos of the trip- head to @everydayvacays on Instagram!



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1 Comment


Barbara Harrison Hagler
Barbara Harrison Hagler
Aug 16, 2023

To those who think Alaska is just frozen tundra, this will change your mind. Beautiful landscapes, hiking trails, and hotels / restaurants that may surprise you! Thank you, Krista.

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