Summer is in the air here in Alaska, and contrary to popular belief, we do get some warm weather up here in our summer months. There is nothing better than having a day off on an 80 degree summer day in Alaska… I mean the sun doesn’t set until midnight so you can soak it up for hours. If you are lucky enough to get one of these precious numbered days, you want to make sure you make the most of it, so here are my favorite spots to spend a warm day in Alaska.
1. Big Lake
I mean it’s named Big Lake for a reason… it seems endless, even with a high-speed jet ski and all day to enjoy, you probably won’t see all of it. This lake is my favorite because you never have to leave it. There are multiple restaurants on the shoreline, at least two public “beach” spots to BBQ and play, and places to rent a watercraft from if you are really looking to make the most of the day. These are just a few of the best spots to spend a warm day in Alaska.
I know it may be a bit of a drive for anyone in Anchorage, but if you know the weather is going to hold, it will definitely be worth it. Talkeetna has something that is pretty difficult to find in Alaska… sand. I mean it’s on a river, so don’t let your children go swimming please, but it’s a lovely place to spend a hot day. My favorite is to haul down lounge chairs, a cooler of food and beer, and some tunes and just relax in the sand and sun.
3. Man Made Lake
I hesitate to put this on the list because I don’t want to let out a valley secret, but this place is amazing. If you want to tailgate the day away right next to your own little lakefront, check this spot out. It’s a bit out in the middle of nowhere, so come prepared with your own food, drinks, and entertainment. I bring my giant floaty out here and just float all day long in the sun.
4. Palmer/Butte Bridge
The title of this may throw you but let me explain. If you are heading from Palmer to the Butte area and are about to cross the main bridge, consider pulling over into the small dirt parking lot. One of my favorite things to do on a hot day is ventured out on the riverbed just outside of Palmer. There is so much open space and small offshoots of the main river, you are bound to find a small piece of paradise to spend the day at.
5. Eklutna Lake
Two years ago I spent an 80-degree weekend at the end of Eklutna Lake, and ever since then, I have wanted to relive that weekend. Eklutna is perfect on a hot day because there is so much to do. You can bike along the lake, catching a cool breeze. You can rent kayaks and spend the day out of the 13-mile lake. Or, you can hike up some of the trails for a killer view, or simply lay by the shoreline catching some sun. I honestly cannot recommend this spot enough.