I currently reside in Portage, which is just down the highway from the local community of Girdwood. Girdwood is a wonderful ski town of which I have also lived and am now a lieutenant on the Girdwood Fire Department serving the community in emergency responses when needed. I have two dogs, a cat, and a fiancé who so far, hasn’t run away! He has actually even decided he wants to stick around permanently - I'm not sure if it's me, the dogs, or the wildlife, but we’ll keep him. Oh, and also—GO PACK!
Here are my top recommendations for the Girdwood/Portage area:
1. Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, of course!
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is located at Mile 79 of the Seward Highway, 45 minutes south of Anchorage and just 10 minutes south of Girdwood. Come explore the back yard with some of your favorite Alaska critters from a safe distance!
2. Enjoy a cold one at the Girdwood Brewing Company.
I am a fan of a cold beer on a hot day and I absolutely love that my local community has an awesome adult hangout that has locally crafted beer and can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors! If your visiting Girdwood and looking for some local flavor—hit these guys up!
3. Stay the night at Alyeska Resort.
Alyeska Resort is not only wonderful for visiting and staycationing for a night away from home, but the hiking trails are top notch! I may not be the best, physically-conditioned mountain climber there is… but the Moose Meadows are easygoing for me and the pups. Plus, if I want to challenge myself—tackling the North Face on Mount Alyeska is a great workout and is right there at the resort!
4. The Trail of Blue Ice and pit stopping at Explorer Pond!
The dogs and I LOVE to go for bike rides during the summer and this trail is located down Portage Valley Road. There's excellent campgrounds that connect to the trail and plenty of parking for day trip adventures, which makes for an easygoing trail that can be enjoyed by all members of the family. Plus, if you like to paddle, there are plenty of areas to pull over and enjoy some time on the calm, cool waters.
5. Eats—let’s talk some grub!
The Saltwater Café in Whittier is a must! Seriously, the best shrimp and “fish and chips” around. Fresh shrimp and fish daily - these guys sure know how to make a gal happy, and you even get to drive through North America’s longest tunnel to get there! Plus, eating right on the dock and watching the boats is a fun time too.