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Girdwood enjoys its status as Alaska’s only true resort town. Just 30 minutes south of Anchorage, Girdwood is home to the luxurious Alyeska Resort, dozens of fun and entertaining festivals throughout the year and countless options for outdoor adventure in the gorgeous surroundings.
Originally named Glacier City, Girdwood began as a supply camp for gold miners at the turn of the century. After the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake dropped the coast along nearby Turnagain Arm 10 feet, the town relocated 2.5 miles up the valley to its present location.
Today Girdwood is a full-service community of 1,800 that attracts skiers in the winter, hikers in the summer and artists year-round. Alaskans and visitors alike are drawn to its fine restaurants, wide range of accommodations and local color.
Girdwood’s quintessential experience is to ride the tram at Alyeska Resort to the top of Mount Alyeska. The 60-passenger tram provides a scenic ride to the 2,300-foot level, where a fine-dining restaurant and museum overlook dramatic views of Turnagain Arm and seven glaciers nestled in the surrounding peaks. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders then head downhill. In the summer, hikers enjoy an easy stroll through the alpine world or ride the tram back to the bottom.