Alaska Honeymoons Are For Lovers
By Sarah Gonzales
Getting married in Alaska can make for a memorable day surrounded by mountains, trees and ocean. So why not plan your honeymoon amid the same beauty?
Alaska offers a dizzying assortment of honeymoon getaway options accessible by boat, plane, train or car, and the sheer vastness of the state makes the itineraries nearly endless. So, pocket that airfare you would've used to fly out of state, and instead apply it towards a romantic, adventurous Alaskan honeymoon.
To help you find an Alaska honeymoon to fit your budget and taste, check out the categories below, each with a "Shoot for the Moon" option ($5,000 per week or less) and a "Sky's the Limit" option ($5,000 and up).
If salty sea breezes, gentle waves rocking you to sleep and an impromptu ocean swimsound like your dream getaway, then consider one of these boat-based excursions to sail into your new life together.
Shoot for the Moon: Backcountry Safaris (shown at left) offers a multitude of sea kayaking excursions – with a guide or on your own. Book the seven-day Aialik Bay excursion out of Seward and paddle through glacial fjords to see whales, otters, seals, black bear, Dall porpoise and sea birds, then camp at night on a beach. Kayaks, dry suits, equipment, pre-trip lodging, Anchorage train fare and meals are all included for $2,338 per person, with selected summer dates 20 percent off. Or rent a double kayak from $110 for two days and set off on your own adventure. Available June-August.
Sky's the Limit: Over The Seas Expeditions boasts a 40-foot luxury cruise yacht available for private charter out of Whittier. The gorgeous wood-paneled vessel – appropriately named "Faithfully" – features a cozy stateroom, bath and galley. Set sail and your captain will steer you to calving glaciers and breaching whales within Prince William Sound, or drop anchor, kayak to shore and go on a hike. The charter operates from May to August and is $7,500 for 6 days / 5 nights.
If pretending that you are the only people in the world, at least for a few nights, is the goal of your honeymoon, then you'll want to book into one of these lodges where privacy and beauty are key. They are off the beaten path for a reason – neither is accessible by road.
Shoot for the Moon: Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge: Fly or sail into this remote eco-lodge situated on a private beach in Kachemak Bay, 10 miles from Homer (shown at left). Choose from five handcrafted cabins and enjoy meals of fresh seafood and homegrown produce prepared by a professional chef. The lodge is surrounded by private hiking trails and offers fishing poles and kayaks to explore beyond the shore. You may also relax in the sauna, take a dip in the splash pool or just sit by the enormous outdoor fire pit and contemplate the serene surroundings. Summer rates are $425/per person nightly when paying with cash or check, or $550 if paying by credit card. Rate includes three meals daily and all activities, two-night minimum. Operates year-round.
Sky's the Limit: Winterlake Lodge (shown at right) is the upscale honeymooner's dream. This hidden away lodge, accessible only by small plane, is located along the Iditarod trail on a lake. It offers three daily gourmet meals, fishing trips, complimentary massages, lake swimming, hot tubs, yoga classes and wine and cheese tastings nightly. Guests are assigned a "guide" to see to every need, helping to arrange the perfect blend of activities during their stay. Award-winning chef and owner, Kirsten Dixon, prepares fresh Alaskan meals and offers cooking classes to guests. Doubles from $2,660 nightly; rate includes flight to/from Anchorage, accommodations, all meals, individual guide and use of lodge equipment. Operates year-round.
Do day hikes, extraordinary vistas on back roads, outdoor meals and snuggling up with your honey under a night sky sound like your idea of the perfect honeymoon? Alaska is the ideal place for this sort of adventure, so choose one of these itineraries to explore in your own backyard.
Shoot for the Moon: Great Alaskan Holidays will outfit you with your very own Winnebago RV so all you'll need is a Milepost, some groceries, and a sense of exploration and you are two for the road. Tour Alaska's highways at your own pace, going wherever your whims take you. The motorhomes are newer models with beds, baths, kitchens, TV/DVD players and radios. From $1,500/week with unlimited mileage; rentals available out of Anchorage May-September.
Sky's the Limit: REI Adventures offers a wealth of Alaska-based excursions for the hearty, thrill-seeking couple. Book any of the eight trips available and set off for 6- to 11-day journeys that will take you inside Denali National Park, Glacier Bay, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or explore the Inside Passage. Book the trip as a private departure for only a little more and have a guide all to yourselves. Prices range from $2,399 to $5,390 per person and include food and accommodations. Available June-August.
If hiking for miles or spotting bears isn't your thing, but cushy beds, massages, gourmet meals and thoughtful amenities are, then choose from these well appointed lodgings. You may never want to leave your room.
Shoot for the Moon: Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa(shown at right) in Juneau is located in a secluded glacial valley on the water. All of the rooms have balconies, fireplaces, WiFi, cable TV and kitchenettes; honeymoon suites have double Jacuzzi tubs. There are hot tubs on the property, a fitness center, kayaks and musical instruments available for use, as well as massage services offered en suite. Breakfast and an afternoon reception hour are complimentary, and barbecues are available for guest use. Rooms from $400/night.
Sky's the Limit: The Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood is a full-service luxurious resort getaway year-round. With a variety of dining options, movies on demand, salt-water pool and a world-class spa (featuring romantic couples' massages) there is no reason to venture off the property, unless of course you take the tram up the mountain for gorgeous views and to dine in style at the Seven Glaciers. Book a couples' spa package for $419/night, including accommodations and $200 in spa credit; or upgrade to a 1,000 square foot townhouse with oversized tub and loft bedroom for $750/night (spa credit not included).