Sep 21, 2014

Alaska: A B&B Tour


How do I describe Alaska? I really don't have anywhere to begin. On our last day, as we drove back to our room, we decided that this was hands-down the best vacation we've ever had. That's a pretty bold statement, but we stand by it.

Flattop Mountain Hike, Anchorage

Let's start with our accommodations, which is one my very favorite things to talk about! Channeling my inner Samantha Brown...

We traveled all around the state, so we ended up, when all was said and done, staying at six different places. We chose our accommodations simply by using Trip Advisor and picking the most highly rated places.

Warning: long post ahead, but I really wanted to remember all the details of our trip and hopefully help others who are planning their own trip to Alaska.

Overall Notes and Tips
  • Average cost of accommodations in Alaska are around $190-$225/night. Most included breakfast.
  • All B&Bs abide by the Alaskan tradition of removing your shoes before entering the home. This is the rule in our own house, so we liked it, but if its weird to you, bring slippers!
  • Some of the B&B do not have online reservations, so you need to call them. 
  • All B&Bs below are in the order of our trip itinerary. We covered some serious ground, though only a smidgen of the giant state. 

Anchorage, Alaska - Sundance Retreat Bed and Breakfast, Forget-Me-Not Room

Alaska Sundance Retreat B&B, Anchorage

After arriving in Anchorage, we grabbed some slices of pizza at Moose's Tooth and headed to our B&B for the night: Sundance Retreat. This house/farm is located in the suburbs of Anchorage and when we pulled up we were greeted by horses and a friendly dog.

Alaska Sundance Retreat B&B, Anchorage

Alaska Sundance Retreat B&B, Anchorage

The owners gave us a tour and told us that we were the only guests that night, so free upgrade!

We stayed in the Forget-Me-Not room which had the most amazing steam shower and probably the best view of all the B&Bs we stayed at all week. Sadly, we were only there one night, because I could probably live in that shower the rest of my life and die happy.

Alaska Sundance Retreat B&B, Anchorage

Alaska Sundance Retreat B&B, Anchorage

The owners were great and really friendly. They gave a fantastic recommendation for a hike that night (yup, when it gets dark at 10pm, hiking at night is possible).  Breakfast in the morning consisted of fresh fruit, eggs, and some great farmer's market bread. Oh, and a perfect view of a bald eagle hanging out in the tree outside the window. The innkeepers spared no expense in making their B&B very high end: hardwood floors, sound system in each room, marble, etc.

View from our room at sunset (around 10:30pm):
Alaska Sundance Retreat, Anchorage

Talkeetna, Alaska - Denali Fireside Cabins, Cabin 6

Denali Fireside Cabins, Talkeetna, Alaska

The next day we headed north on our way up to Denali National Park and stopped in Talkeetna, a little Alaska hippie town. This is was the only non-B&B that we booked for the trip, but we really enjoyed it. The little cabins are situated right off the road and are super clean, spacious, and cozy with the fireplace. They are just a five minute walk to downtown. 

Independence Mine, Willow, Alaska

The only problem we had with this particular place is that the only source of heat was the gas fireplace. While it was super warm, it would cut on and off all night with a big WHOOSH and while on, was rather loud. I didn't sleep well. Otherwise - awesome place. Very rustic and had a great Alaskan feel. Also, if I remember correctly, this was the cheapest, around $190/night. 

Healy, Alaska - Denali Dome Bed and Breakfast, Room 7 (top of Dome)

Denali Dome B&B, Healy

After one of my favorite days ever (it involved puppies, will talk about in later post), we headed to our bed and breakfast. Everything about our trip had been going perfectly. And then, WHOMP. 

The innkeepers made a booking mistake and double booked our room. Newlyweds won the room and we spent the night at a decent little motel on the innkeeper's dime. Honestly, we were a little upset, but quickly got over it. Besides that little setback, we seriously LOVED everything about this B&B. Luckily, they had a room for us the second night!

Denali Dome B&B, Healy

The innkeeepers couldn't have been more sorry or gracious hosts. They gave us gel hand warmers and book guides for our freezing cold hike in Denali, offered a $10 laundry service (which we gladly used), and made a hearty breakfast. The shared living space in this house was straight up amazing. Lots of coffee and tea on hand, big comfy leather sofas and gorgeous views. I got up early one morning, went down, made a cup of tea and just sat by the window with my book. It was the best feeling in the world. 

This geographic region of Alaska (Denali area) was our favorite and this bed and breakfast captured it perfectly. We'd stay again without a doubt.

Denali Dome B&B, Healy

Our room was at top of dome which was a really unique and private (didn't get a photo). The bathroom was huge, but it was kind of open to the bedroom, so that was a little strange (they did warn us about this). We'd just leave the room when one of us had to use the bathroom. Otherwise, we loved it and it had the best bed of the entire trip. There's a skylight that you can view the Northern Lights, but sadly they were not out that night. 

Girdwood, Alaska - Hidden Creek Bed and Breakfast, Enchanted Forest Room

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

You guys. This place was quite possibly the most luxurious and well-run B&B we've ever stayed at.

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

From the warm oatmeal cookies when we arrived, to the dual head shower (gotta get me one of those), to the gourmet breakfast the next morning (with our names printed on our menu), this was my overall favorite place of the week. The innkeeper is a trained chef and let's just say it showed. This is where I tried my first taste of reindeeer sausage. So much yum.

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

Hidden Creek B&B, Girdwood

The innkeepers had quite a unique story to tell: they left their corporate, fast-paced lives in Chicago on a whim and moved to Alaska, built the B&B from the ground up and have been there ever since. Living the dream, those two. 

Really, the golden standard of all B&Bs. I wish there was more to do in Girdwood so we could stay there the whole time. 

Seward, Alaska - Bear Lake Lodging Bed and Breakfast, Bear Lake Deck Suite

Bear Lake Lodgings, Seward

Up until this point we had only spent one night in each B&B and boy was I tired of packing and unpacking my suitcase a million times. For our last three days we stayed at this cute little B&B on Bear Lake. Hands down our favorite thing about this place was the innkeeper, Ginny. The owners of this B&B have full time jobs, so they hired Ginny and she made for a great gracious host, teaching us about the salmon-filled lake and spotting bald eagles for us. She also make some mean cinnamon rolls.

We chose the Bear Lake Suite since it was the only room that had a private bath. But not only that, it had a direct lake view, extra sitting room for our luggage and deck access. It was HUGE. The bed was also super comfy.

Bear Lake Lodgings, Seward


Bear Lake Lodgings, Seward


Bear Lake Lodgings, Seward

I love how each B&B had something to set them apart of the others and this one had (drumroll please): evening ice cream socials! Yes! Every single night, they offered hand-dipped ice cream bars that the owner sells at the Alaskan State Fair. It was a great way to get to know other guests and we looked forward to it each night we stayed there. Also, they gave us an adorable handmade ornament at the end of our stay, which I thought was a really nice touch. 

..

Whew. That was long. We've received a ton of questions about how on to explore Alaska (without going the cruise route), so we hope this will help those who are thinking of doing their own Alaskan adventure. We also have a detailed itinerary we made that we can share with you. Just ask!

I'll have some more Alaska posts later this week, but until then, check out our photos:

Flickr Album (DSLR photos)
Google+ Album (Camera photos)

Let's end with puppies. Mmkay?

Husky Homestead


1 comment:

  1. You stayed in some awesome places! They all look so fun. I love it!

    ReplyDelete


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