If theres one thing to keep in mind about Alaska, it’s that one moment you’re eating dinner and the next thing you know it’s five o’clock in the morning and you can’t find your lighter
T H U R S D A Y
On some random corner in Anchorage are two quaint structures sitting side by side, this is AKA. One bar alongside it’s coffee shop set the tone for our entire trip. This is where I enjoyed one or two Broken Tooth IPA’s on a slightly rainy AK day. If you’re fortunate enough, you’ll have Mariana as your Bulgarian bartender who doubles as a tour guide. She had only the best recommendations of which we did not follow, because before we knew it we were on the hunt for food, landing at 49th Street. Seafood dip, a preztel and an 8.5% brew should be good enough for you. Sit on their patio and sulk in the breathtaking view from the crows nest. Our first night was spent with a case of Rainier and Jerry, our 15 pound Alaska mascot who resembles a miniature fox.
F R I D A Y
We spent the morning discussing where we’d spend the evening, finally deciding on Talkeetna. We were lucky, booking the last room available for six people. Without digging much further, we booked it and packed up the handy rental car.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that our last minute Booking.com lifesaver was more similar to an Airbnb. The first floor of the stunning cabin consisted of a comfortable kitchen, living room and a large restroom. Heading upstairs were five extremely comfortable beds under a low gable. It was clear that we were home. Plan to pack some s’mores and come across possible grave sites, the website does not give this lodge justice.
This branch off of the original brewery (which lives nine minutes further down the road if you're looking for a brewery tour) is in the middle of the action. They offer Fish and Chips with a homemade tartar sauce as well as homemade Thai Curry with steamed vegetables for the veggie lovers. The beer garden is fit for the goal to maintain a buzz. How can you say no to a $2 per beer, beer flight? You can't, so we didn't. Great service made for a great experience, as did a good beer and a table outside.
As it got dark, we noticed more music with sing-a-longs coming from the building next door. We were informed that this is Fairview Tavern, the only late night bar in town. Upon entering, you can't miss the bear fur that hangs from the ceiling along with a disco ball that screams, "if you're looking for a good time, you've come to the right place". The cover band was talented to say the least, covering the best and oldest country songs for everyone to sing along. *note that this is a historic building
They have a called the “Panty Peeler” and mozzarella sticks. Vacation, commence!
The historic cafe came highly recommended and turned up rather disappointing, but it may have been the day. The dining style is social, so you’re expected to sit wherever there is space. You can tell it is built for as fast-paced as it can get in a small town. The lodge is crammed, but pleasant like your grandmother that has been hoarding for years.
S A T U R D A Y
The Alaska State Fair was packed with everything you could ask for in a fair. Elephant ears, donuts, bread bowls filled with broccoli cheddar cheese, corn dogs, even Thai food. Then there were things other than food such as every ride in the book and lastly, a beer garden.
Williwaw makes Anchorage’s bar scene top notch. Throughout the day it plays as a chic, afternoon dining room and at night turns into, well basically whatever it wants. According to their website, they are a “multi-faceted gathering space” and I couldn’t have said it better myself. With sleek metal fixing, craft cocktails and a rare view from their rooftop patio, there is certainly endless fun to be had.
Williwaw is also the home of Blues Central ...as long as you’ve got the password. That’s right! Cross this bad boy off my bucket list because I finally stepped foot into an original speakeasy. Just past a small corner in Williwaw you’ll find a phone booth. Pick it up and it’ll ring the host upstairs who will then ask how many and whether you’ve been accepted or not. If you’re lucky, they’ll decide to let you up. This “proper establishment” has impressively expressionless bartenders who move swiftly in their craft, putting on a show with massive, mobile bar shelves. Witness a quiet circus act if you ask for the cocktail that breaths fire, literally. The best part about this quaint place is that they made it look so easy.
In addition, the Bootleggers 8 Star Saloon won me over with a dance floor, craft beer and it’s convenience to Williwaw while the Alaskan Bush Company is just another lady club that I’d like you to make note of because they’re fun.
S U N D A Y
So here’s a dream of a highway. First, stop at the mini forest on the right to watch the train go by just feet away from you. You’ll have a clear view of mountains that appear to be a painting. Just be careful because the mud is deeper than it looks. Keep in the same direction and there’ll be a natural spring “faucet” across the road with fresh mountain water to refill your jug.
Twenty minutes further and there’s what I like to call a “Salmon Stop” to catch the human-sized salmons swimming upstream. This stop is fantastic because there is a clear view of the first sky blue glacier that we caught our entire trip. Simply stunning, a sight to be seen.
The reason we hopped on Seward Highway. Take advantage of a rare, sunny day and head to this small harbor. To get there, you’ll need to take the famous team minute, one car tunnel that feels all too similar to Alaska’s very own Disneyland ride. Whittier is a small town that holds everything people visit Alaska to see. Wildlife and unreal landscape in every direction. The Harbor has many small restaurants and cafes where you can grab your firs beer, a salmon burger, coffee and get out of your car to check out the dreamy Inn at The Whittier. I’m going to get married here and it’s going to be great.
If you’re looking to explore, Whittier has just the place. With all illegal risks, of course. The Buckner Building was a WWII military installation that held all of the necessities to live. Including a bowling alley, radio station, photo lab and many other needs to live. The 1949 building is now abandoned, massive and creepy - just asking for visitors.
Past the abandoned beauty are many short Alaskan spots to explore. We watched bald eagles perch while gazing off into endless waters leading to endless mountains, it was basically dreamy, gloomy set of Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unforunate Events.
On your way home, there is one interesting end-of-the-day pitstop. For a moment we thought we stumbled into a brothel on a bathroom break, which was not confirmed nor denied, but it was interesting to say the least. T-shirts stuff the shop with many Alaskan one-liners. I am a happy owner of a classic Alaska tourist shirt with a cartoon bear and his human mistress. Again, interesting ...just don’t make eye contact with anyone.