Our Family’s first time to Alaska, and it exceeded our expectations. From the gorgeous mountain ranges and wild life, to the splendid seafood and family friendly dining. Alaska is not just the last frontier, but a must for your family.
We left our house on a Friday afternoon and arrived to Seatac Airport 2 hours before our flight. Since we had an evening flight and wouldn’t be getting into Anchorage until much later in the evening, it was imperative that we got the kiddos fed and as close to bedtime ready as possible. Of course that’s always easier said than done. It was our first time taking JetBlue, and we were very satisfied with our flight experience. The flight was just around 3 and half hours, and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and comfortable it was. The steady ride made sure the kids stayed calm, and therefore easier to get them to chill out and nap.
We landed in Anchorage just after 11:20 pm. Since it was so close to the Summer Solstice the sun was still setting. Needless to say, it was an awesome sight. By the time we got picked up and checked in to our hotel it was just past 12:30. The whole family was keyed up for the days ahead of us, so it was a little tough to get to sleep that first night. The Sun still being up didn’t help matters either, especially for my wife who had a tough time getting to sleep through the first couple of days of the trip.
We woke up at around 830 Saturday morning, and were off driving in our rental car, by 10am. Our first full day in Alaska was spent in Anchorage. Since we’d never been to Alaska before, we decided to take our chances with the downtown area. We pleasantly surprised to see that the Anchorage Market Festival was up and running. It was an awesome time. There was local crafts and art, along with native food and clothing. All in all we spent about 2 hours at the Anchorage Market Festival, and I consider it a definite must.
Around noon, the kids were getting hungry, and daddy was getting thirsty. We heard from friends of ours about the Alaskan Brew House. We get there and were immediately greeted by friendly staff. I tried the beer sampler, and it was very good. We ate crab, and the kids of course had cheeseburgers and pizza. The meal was fantastic.
Our next day we were to travel to Soldotna and spend a couple of nights there. Before our departure, we made a stop at the Alaskan Public Zoo. The kids enjoyed it, especially the polar bears and the petting zoo.
The road trip to Soldotna, took a couple of hours. (I highly recommened potty breaks, since there are only a couple of public bathrooms along the way, and they are definitely squat worthy, as my wife so elegantly put it..) We arrived to Soldotna around 4:30pm and, ate at the St. Elias Brewery. It was a very beautiful place with friendly staff.
Day 3, we drove down to Homer. The scenery on the way down there, was exactly what I envisioned Alaska to look. Mountains, blue skies, bald eagles and moose. We arrived to Homer around 10 am, and stopped at the Two Sisters Bakery. Wonderful homemade baked goods, and an awesome play area for the kiddos.
We drove out to the spit of Homer and walked around the shops and restaurants. We had to give a dollar to the Salty Dawg, before returning back to the hotel in Soldotna. All in all, another memorable day.
Day 4 was cold and rainy. We were definitely prepared for that, so we had planned to visit the Jumpin’ Junction, and indoor play area with an arcade and huge inflatable jumping structures. We let the kids play there until about noon, and just grabbed some Subway and put them down for a nap. Daddy decided to check out another brewery, Kenai River Brewing Co. Great place, with awesome beers on tap. You’re only allowed three, but it’s worth the time to check out.
Day 5. We did laundry and started our drive back north to the Alyeska Resort. Before heading up to the Resort, we stopped at Chair 5 Restaurant. Make sure you hit this place. They have an awesome kids menu, fabulous seafood, and an extensive beer selection.
The weather was still being unforgiving, but that didn’t take away the picturesque and awe inspiring beauty that the Alyeska Resort has to offer. As soon as you turn the corner to enter the resort grounds, you feel as if you’re in a different world. My wife and I have both worked at 5 diamond hotels, resorts and restaurants, not to mention the ones we’ve been guests in. I have to say, the Alyeska Resort, is definitely 5 diamond 4 star worthy. The pictures will explain it all.
The last full day was spent in Anchorage again. We had fun looking at different attractions and just doing touristy things. The highlight of the day was taking the Alyeska Tram up to the mountain and having dinner at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant. It’s a 4 Star Restaurant that was just amazing. From the service to the meal, everything was perfect. Even the kiddos had a great experience.
The last day we said our goodbyes to our travel friends, and hopped on our Delta flight back to Seattle. All in all, Alaska was much more than I thought it was going to be, and exceeded every expectation we had. I will definitely be back!