Alaska is an absolutely gorgeous state! I think it might even be the most beautiful out of all of them. The last time I was here was during the winter, at Christmastime, but it’s like a completely different world coming in the summer. If you like the outdoors at all, then I highly recommend a trip to the Last Frontier (during the summer at least).
Anchorage is seated right on an inlet with mountains all around the other sides, so it has great views from anywhere, great hikes, lots of wildlife, and beautiful glaciers to see. I was visiting my cousins up there who had just moved into a new house, so I spent a good amount of time helping them with various projects or just visiting, as well as doing all the touristy things. It was a good balance.
My cousin Cassie took me on a hike to Flattop, which is the quintessential Anchorage hike. It was an easy hike but with good views of Anchorage and the inlet. Unfortunately we went on a cloudy day so once we got to the top, all we saw were clouds. Getting to the very top is fun though where you have to do a rocky scramble. It was fun though because I was bounding ahead and having to wait up for Cassie all the time, so I’m sure she looked like the tourist and I the resident 😉
Another hike I did with my younger cousin Chloé and their lab Jack was the Winners Creek Trail. It’s up by the Alyeska Hotel which is a beautiful area. The trail goes through a rainforest and ends at a hand tram to cross the eponymous creek. Actually the trail goes on a little farther but we decided to quit there. This trail was also really easy with fairly little elevation change, but Chloé decided she hated hiking afterwards. On our way back, we stopped at the bakeshop in Girdwood, which is apparently another must do. The baked goods were really good and I was able to get Chloé a refreshing iced coffee to make her not hate hiking so much 😛
Another day, our family friend, Jim, took me, Cassie, and his daughter, Sierra, out on his boat. It was a great trip! We launched from Whittier, which is a fascinating little town where all of the residents live in the same apartment building! And then we boated through the inlet and fjords. It’s absolutely gorgeous out there. We stopped on this little island to have a picnic lunch and then kept going out to a place aptly named Icy Bay. There were tons of icebergs out there from the glaciers nearby. Some of them were really big too! We finally stopped in front of a glacier and ate some dinner in the cab of the boat while watching it occasionally calve. Truly the most unforgettable meal of Top Ramen I’ve ever had! On our way back we stopped at another island and explored the tide pools there. Overall a great day!
On my last day, we went down by the airport where there is an aviation museum. It has a lot of info about the history of flight in Alaska which is cool but it also has an old control tower that you can go up and watch the seaplanes take off and land. It’s actually so tranquil and relaxing to watch them. I feel like if I were a chic novelist, I’d like to go there to write my novels, but alas I’m not chic or a novelist.