Seven winter weekend getaways that’ll make you fall in love with Alaska all over again!
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Winter weekend getaways are the best way to relax your mind and revive your soul. In Alaska, we deal with harsh weather and dark days for far too long each year, or so it seems every January when the subzero temps start to create some unrelenting cabin fever. With only two short months left, we’ve curated a short and sweet list perfect for any age or activity level to enjoy living your best life, even when it feels too cold to move. Buckle up, these destinations are irresistibly dreamy!
1: Ride the tram, go downhill skiing, dine on the best food imaginable, then relax with a massage in the spa at Alyeska Resort – Girdwood, Alaska
Facebook – Alyeska Resort
Just one look at that jaw-dropping panoramic view overlooking the Turnagain Arm, and it’s not hard to see why Alyeska Resort is one of the most surefire ways to have an over the top weekend getaway in the last frontier. From snowshoeing to fat-tire biking, to dog mushing and even glacier landing flights via helicopter. Use Alyeska Resort as a launching point to an unlimited amount of adventures. Or just keep it easy and spend your days sleeping in and walking to one of the many delicious nearby restaurants in the beautiful mountain-town of Girdwood.
2: Visit the Aurora Ice Museum then relax in a natural hot spring with the northern lights dancing above at Chena Hot Springs Resort – Fairbanks, Alaska
Facebook – Chena Hot Springs Resort by @adela_adson
If you could create a figurative melting pot of all the most magical winter wonderland activities imaginable, we’re pretty sure that this weekend getaway would top your list until the very end of time. Embrace the chilliness of the season with a visit through the incredibly spectacular ice museum, dine on delicious cuisine, then feast your eyes on an award-winning aurora borealis show while soaking in a natural hot spring. This is truly a winter weekend getaway straight out of your wildest dreams!
3: Load up the snowmachine and cruise to the amazingly unique Islander Restaurant before spending the weekend ice fishing at Big Lake, Alaska
Facebook – Melissa Denig
A trip to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley really isn’t complete without a visit to the super-scenic Big Lake, Alaska where the multi-week ice fishing tournament just kicked off. Set up your shanty, drill through the ice and try your luck at landing an arctic char, burbot, northern pike, or rainbow trout. Best of all, visitors to Alaska’s year-round playground can enjoy the fun and food at one of the most unique restaurants in the state, The Islander. Arrive via snowmachine or just drive your personal vehicle right across the frozen ice to enjoy a frozen tropical experience like no other.
4: Road trip to the end of the road for some wow-worthy beach combing and million dollars views before overnight’ing at Land’s End Resort – Homer, Alaska
Flickr – Land’s End Resort
A trip to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula is always special, but going all the way south to the end of the road means something so much different in the dead of the winter season. Visit the tranquility of the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea with an overnight escape to Land’s End Resort, where visitors won’t get enough of beach combing and eagle watching without a single soul in sight. It’s a zen and refreshing experience unlike no other. You will feel totally relaxed and rejuvenated after a weekend getaway to the beloved town of Homer, Alaska.
5: Escape the crowds for some peace and quite + small town charm before indulging on heavenly comfort food at the Roadhouse – Talkeetna, Alaska
Facebook – Talkeetna Roadhouse
Oh me, oh my! The Talkeetna Roadhouse is worth a winter weekend getaway all by itself. You can almost smell the mouth-watering aroma of all those good eats from a mile away. Visit AirBNB.com for some really charming cabin rentals that’ll give you the full Alaska away-from-it-all vibe you’ve been dreaming of after a stressful workweek. Oh, and we almost forgot – on a clear day, Denali a.k.a. ‘The Great One’ simply shines from Talkeetna – you’ll hardly be able to believe your eyes!
6: Hop on a one-way flight direct to the most scenic capital city, walk across a frozen Mendenhall Lake, or go skiing at Eaglecrest Ski Area – Juneau, Alaska
Flickr – Travis
Undeniably the most scenic capital city in the world, Juneau really is a year-round destination but wintertime is so vastly underrated. Eaglecrest Ski Area is filled with mind-blowing natural beauty, a different contrast to what you’ll find anywhere in southcentral Alaska. When Mendenhall Lake freezes, it offers a winter wonderland experience that is so special and really, truly worth a weekend getaway just to submerge yourself in the raw, rugged natural beauty of wild Alaska.
7: Soak in the magic of the Talkeetna Mountains, spend the day sledding with family, then enjoy a cozy cabin retreat at Hatcher Pass, Alaska
Flickr – Ian Collins
Nestled in the Talkeetna Mountains between the charming towns of Palmer and Willow, sits a place so special that once you visit, you’ll never be able to get the idea of a return out of your mind. During the winter, or anytime really, a stay in a cozy cabin at Hatcher Pass Lodge or somewhere nearby makes the overall experience all the better (because you get to enjoy it twice as long). Spend time sledding, skiing, soaking in the northern lights, breathing the fresh mountain air, exploring Independence Mine, and simply unplugging from the rest of the world. The perfect weekend retreat!
What are some other winter weekend getaways that you think we should add to our list? We love living The Alaska Life and want to hear how you are living your best life in 2020!
Looking for another great read? You’ll love exploring Alaska’s Mendenhall Ice Caves for a surreal glacier experience. For a guaranteed LOL, you might also enjoy these 15 times Alaska moose thought they were humans and got caught on candid camera.