Everyone needs to get away sometimes, but it’s not always easy to take a vacation. Discover these hidden escapes that are right in Alaska’s backyard. You’ll be able to get away from it all without leaving the state! Get ready to explore the perfect spots for a weekend trip. No matter where you live in Alaska, you can find a fun getaway locale for a special weekend you’ll never forget.
1. Resurrection Bay (South of Seward)
This is a perfect weekend getaway for anyone on the Kenai Peninsula. On a clear day, the bay is known as the best place in Alaska for ocean kayaking. Cruise the glassy water and enjoy amazing views. You can get up close to some of the Bay's resident playful otters.
2. Hope (Kenai Peninsula)
A short drive from Anchorage or Seward, enjoy the snapping fresh seafood and timeless feel. Touted as the best preserved gold rush town in Alaska, you can visit the beautiful wooden buildings and learn about the history of the pioneers in the area. The area is also known for world class whitewater rapids for rafting and kayaking.
3. Seward (Kenai Peninsula)
A weekend getaway from Anchorage, this coastal town boasts beautiful sunsets over the harbor. This is a perfect place to go on a boat tour and catch the halibut of the year. If you would rather stay on land, the Alaska Sea Life Center has all kinds of ocean life to explore.
4. Manley Hot Springs (Interior)
A few hours up the Eliot Highway and another hour to the west lies Manley Hot Springs, an oasis in the subarctic. The town is centered around the natural spring water and the residents have carved a village into the forest where visitors come to relax. You schedule your two hours of heaven the day you arrive and check out the untouched forest until your turn. Then, bask in the mineral waters in the large glass walled greenhouse. Enjoy tubs of all temperatures while you gaze at the tangle of vines and flowers that live overhead.
5. Seldovia (Kachemak Bay)
A ferry ride across Seldovia Bay starts your adventure to this town unconnected by road to anywhere else. The beauty of the area is best explored on foot or by bicycle. The quaint, wooden downtown area features a few shops and cafes. People come here for the disconnection to the outside world and the simple way of life, if only for the weekend.
6. Colville River (North)
The Brooks Range is a great place to escape if you're working on the North Slope. On a summer raft trip down the river, you're sure to see plenty of wildlife, from birds of prey to caribou. What better way to escape for the weekend than diving deep into nature on a river trip. Unless you have your own float plane, you might find a weekend isn't nearly enough.
7. Ketchikan (Southeast)
This island is a great place to escape for the weekend from Juneau. Deep within the Tongass National Forest, Ketchikan is lush and misty. Take a stroll down the historic boardwalk or a hike in the hills. The views from the west side are breathtaking. A trip to Misty Fjords National Monument, a nature preserve where granite fjords rise up to 3,000 feet above sea level, is only a short plane ride away for the more adventurous. No matter how you enjoy the island, you will find it a welcome escape.
8. Moose Pass (Kenai Peninsula)
Moose Pass is truly away from it all, a hundred miles south of Anchorage in the Chugach National Forest. A quiet, peaceful retreat, the shores of Trail Lake are perfect for a book and hammock (with a mosquito net of course) or riding in a float plane. The trails are plentiful and the views epic. Abundant berry picking spots make this a perfect autumn destination, as well. Moose Pass is a safe haven, and an easy drive for the weekend.
9. Cantwell (Interior)
Cantwell, the north side of Denali Park, has excellent access to ski trails of all sorts. The Lodge is a warm and welcome gathering place apres ski. A perfect place for sight seeing and fly fishing. This is also a stop on the Alaska Railroad, the origin of the town, and you can take the train north or south from there to see back country those along the highway will never experience.
10. Girdwood (South Central)
Less than an hour south of Anchorage, this ski town has the best access to the most amazing mountains and the Chugach National Forest. Summer activities in the mountains include hiking, rafting and biking. The winter offers some of the finest skiing in the world. An accessible, beautiful and lively mountain town, Girdwood is a blast for a special weekend away.
Even though you have to go back to work on Monday, a night at one of these destinations will leave you refreshed and dreaming of the next weekend away. Have you been to any of these spots? Share your pictures and adventures with us in the comments.