Alyeska Getaway: A weekend tale told through food

In Destination, Girdwood, Lodging, Trip Report by scott

The Alyeska Tram

Special correspondent Caleigh Jensen made the trek to Girdwood for a visit to Alyeska Resort. Here is her report.

Between working on my last semester of college, summer coming to an end and not leaving the state all year due to the pandemic, I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy lately. So, last weekend I met up with my cousin (and personal photographer) Sarah at the Alyeska Resort for a little getaway in Girdwood. 

The Hotel Alyeska

The drive from Kenai was gorgeous, as it always is this time of year. Navigating the winding road among the fall leaves felt like a breath of fresh air.

Road trip!

Once I got to the resort, I enjoyed a late lunch at The Pond Cafe. I ordered the “Once in a Blue Mule” cocktail and an Aurora burger with Wagyu beef, which was possibly the BEST burger I have ever eaten in my life. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Once in a Blue Mule (Pond Cafe)
An Aurora burger with Wagyu beef, fries and dipping sauces from The Pond Cafe

Then, I met up with Sarah at Jack Sprat — no trip to Girdwood is complete without stopping here — and we split the “I Yam” fries and the butternut squash soup special. Paired with a “Pom-pagne,” it was the perfect comfort food for a chilly fall night.

“I Yam” fries with roasted poblano & arugula aioli, butternut squash soup and a “Pom-pagne” from Jack Sprat

We enjoyed a night in — outfitted in the hotel room with robes and slippers — complete with ice cream and a scary movie.

After a refreshing night’s sleep, Sarah and I called in some delicious room service. I ordered the “birch brioche French toast” along with a vanilla latte. It was the perfect way to start the day.

Riding the Alyeska Aerial Tram up to the top of the mountain 

With an iced vanilla chai in hand courtesy of the Tramway Cafe, we then headed up the Alyeska Aerial Tram (the tram is closed now for maintenance. We visited on the LAST weekend until ski season). The rain from the night before lit up the fall-colored leaves and mountains, making for a breath-taking view. 

Enjoying the view from the top of the mountain.

Next stop: Girdwood Brewing Company. I tried out a few different beers with the sampler flight — the Hippy Speedball, an oatmeal coffee stout, No Woman No Cryo, a New England IPA, the dysFUNKtional, a dry hopped sour and the Hunker Down Haze, a hazy pale ale. I am not a big beer drinker at all, but these four were DELICIOUS. My favorite was the dysFUNKtional — the passionfruit and guava flavor reminded me of drinking POG juice on a flight to Hawaii. Paired with a chicken rice bowl from the Girdwood Izakaya food truck, it was an unbeatable lunch. 

 My sampler flight from Girdwood Brewing Company — dysFUNKtional, Hunker Down Haze, No Woman No Cryo, Hippy Speedball.

Before I headed back home, we made one last stop at The Ice Cream Shop, where I ordered my favorite flavor combination — one scoop of Alaska Wildberry and one scoop of Huckleberry Heaven. 

One scoop of Alaska Wildberry ice cream and one scoop of Huckleberry Heaven from The Ice Cream Shop in Girdwood

I drove back home with a full stomach and a happy heart. A “staycation” was exactly what I needed.

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