KTVA Daybreak for January: Alaska winter getaways for the whole family

Don't be afraid to take a vacation with no agenda, and no expectations other than some family downtime.

Don’t be afraid to take a vacation with no agenda and few expectations other than some family downtime.

AKontheGO’s first-Thursday appearance on KTVA 11’s Daybreak program was delayed by a week due to the New Year’s Day holiday, but that just gave me an extra few days to find some pretty sweet places to take the family for a post-holiday getaway. Do you need one? I sure do; the combination of events, shopping, wrapping, unwrapping, and cooking was exhausting. Fun, but exhausting, as the Christmas season can often be. As a result, our family has taken to heading for the hills in January to recharge and re-energize everybody.

In a way, it’s almost better we have so little snow; our getaway agenda is definitely lighter, and we find ourselves more inclined to take a beachside walk or cozy up to our woodstove with a game of cards than power through a day of skiing or sightseeing. That’s okay, not every vacation needs to be packed with stuff. Truly, a vacation should feel restful, and if that means taking naps before cooking a gourmet dinner of homemade pizza with the kids because you aren’t rushed, that’s a beautiful thing.

Here are a few options around the state:

The Admiral's Cottage at Miller's Landing is perfect for multi-family getaways. Image courtesy Miller's Landing.

The Admiral’s Cottage at Miller’s Landing is perfect for multi-family getaways. Image courtesy Miller’s Landing.

Miller’s Landing in Seward. Located on Lowell Point just around the corner from downtown Seward, Miller’s has opened up the Admiral’s Cottage for wintertime

guests. With a full kitchen, plenty of bedrooms, and access to a beautiful beach, this house sleeps 12, and is great for multi-family trips. Have an RV? Haul it down and camp beachside, with full hookups for your comfort. Activities include hiking, beachcombing, and a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center, always fun for kids and much less crowded than the summer months.

 

The Alyeska Hotel is not only beautiful, it comes with a pool, restaurants, and lots of amenities for the family. Image courtesy Alyeska Resort

The Alyeska Hotel is not only beautiful, it comes with a pool, restaurants, and lots of amenities for the family. Image courtesy Alyeska Resort

Alyeska Resort. Feeling fancy? Drive to Girdwood and experience the plush, lush feeling of cozy comforters, milk and cookies, and an in-room movie. Big kids will like  the ability to roam around the Grand Hotel space, with wi-fi and comfortable common areas to meet up with friends. Smaller kids will enjoy the pool and spa, and the bear-shaped pancakes in the Pond Cafe. Visit the Alyeska Resort website and click “Specials” for their Winter Family Getaway package. Even if your family members aren’t skiers, this is an excellent way to feel part of the wintertime action at Alaska’s largest ski area.

 

Hatcher Pass Lodge sits in a bowl of snow and towering mountains. Ahhh.

Hatcher Pass Lodge sits in a bowl of snow and towering mountains. Ahhh.

Hatcher Pass Lodge. Regular AKontheGO readers will recall my last post, extolling the beauty of the Hatcher Pass area. Want to stay longer? Consider an overnight at the lodge, enjoying their comfortable, cozy lodging with an authentic sauna, cabins, and on-site restaurant/bar. Sledding is allowed just steps away, and Nordic skiing around Independence Mine State Park is full of historic and recreational wonders.

 

Enjoy a panoramic view and lots of space to roam at A Taste of Alaska Lodge in Fairbanks.

Enjoy a panoramic view and lots of space to roam at A Taste of Alaska Lodge in Fairbanks.

A Taste of Alaska Lodge. Considering a wintertime visit to Fairbanks? You simply must visit this quaint former homestead now part of the Eberhardt family’s domain. Located a few miles out of town along Chena Hotsprings Road, A Taste of Alaska is a collection of log buildings, including a main lodge. We stayed in the log house during our quick visit last winter, and so enjoyed the full kitchen, spa, access to trails, and amazing views of the Alaska Range and Alyeska pipeline. Meals are available with advance notice. Great for the family who loves experiencing life in Alaska, as it once was.

Planning a vacation doesn’t always have to be about doing stuff. Sometimes, the most valuable time you spend with your kids can be in the most simple fashion. Alaska is great for that.

~EK

 

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