Alyeska Resort, The Tram & Lunch at the Boretide Café-
*A tip for anyone planning a trip to Alaska is get a Northern Lights book when you arrive here. It will save you tons of money on all kinds of excellent tourist attractions. We had a Northern Lights book, and used a voucher for a “buy one get one” ride on the Tram, which saved us $20.00 right off the top!
Last Friday Jacqui and I decided to take a drive down to Girdwood Alaska, a sleepy ski town about an hour or so south on the Seward Highway to have lunch on top of Mt. Alyeska, a 2300 ft. high mountain. On the right day, the views from the top can be breathtakingly beautiful. Friday was turning out to be one of those days, and at the urging of Jacqui, we decided to set off on one of the best day trips you can take from Anchorage.
The drive to the city of Girdwood itself is considered by many travel experts to be one of the most epic drives in the world. We are lucky because we take this drive quite often to visit the city of Seward where Jacqui is from. I will say this the drive never disappoints, it is worth taking in any weather condition, because it will offer the lucky driver something unique every time. And If you’re lucky, you will see incredible wildlife including beluga whales, seals, rare arctic seabirds over Potters Marsh and even bald eagles.
Once we arrived in Girdwood, we turned down the Alyeska Highway which is easily accessed by turning left at what appears to be the only serious gas station for miles. The drive though Girdwood was pretty as the town itself is in a rainforest which tends to make things even more beautiful when dry and lucky for us, it was nothing but blue sky and sunshine, as we headed to the Alyeska Resort.
We parked our car and headed toward the ticket window where we would buy our tickets for the tram ride and the vouchers for the Bore Tide Deli at the bottom. The ride itself takes between two and seven minutes according to our tram operator Mike, who enlightened us with neat facts about the tram as we ascended to the top. It was so clear which was excellent as were able to see the seven “hanging” glaciers in the mountains. Seeing Alaska from the top of mountains is up there in my book of things to see before you die, and once you’re here, you’ll see why Conde Nast traveler rated the view from Alyeska “the best of any American ski resort “
At the top we walked around the sky deck for a minute towards the restaurant. On the way, we noticed that they were filming yet another reality show about Alaska. This brought a smile to both of our faces as we laughed about what this one would be about. It ended up being some sort of adventure to Alaska show that will be shown sometime soon on The Animal Planet Network.
Once we arrived at the Bore tide Deli we ordered our food from a giant menu behind the girls who were taking our orders. I decided on a chicken tender b-b-q style sandwich, and Jacqui had a turkey club with an avocado relish, and side of french-fries. I also had a cub of Seafood chowder and oyster crackers-which is seriously one of my favorite things up here if can guess why? They give you a number on your receipt while they freshly prepare your food, which seems cooked to order. While we wait you can go and find comfortable seating at tables and booths surrounded by picture windows, which gives the hungry visitor some beautiful views of the surrounding mountainscape. We looked out the window and then started talking about the type of things that these images tend to stir in your mind. After a few minutes they call our number, grab our food and we began to eat. The food was fresh, but nothing spectacular. It was of a decent standard for what we paid, and in all honestly it really isn’t about the food when it comes to these kinds of experiences is it?
After lunch we sat on the deck enjoying the summer sunshine in a “ski lift swing” while we watched people paraglide to the bottom of the mountain and well as some fantastic people watching and relaxing. Overall a perfect way to let the food digest while we planned out the rest of our day. What is always neat about trips like this is how we get to do this kind of stuff because we live here and it reminds me how fortunate I really am.
*A tip for anyone reading this is get a Northern Lights book when you arrive here in Alaska as it will save you tons of money on all kinds of excellent tourist attractions We had a Northern Lights book and used a voucher for a buy one get one ride on the Tram which saved us $20.00 right off the top