Travel *Tuesday*: Chena Hot Springs Resort

Assemble. Loudly.
Next post
Travel *Tuesday*: Chena Hot Springs Resort
Travel *Tuesday*: Chena Hot Springs Resort

(Are we all pretending it’s Tuesday due to my lateness? Great, thanks!)

The past few weeks we’ve came to a serious realization that our time in Alaska has an expiration date. Whispers of potential new duty stations at his work, and the end of the year looming means 2015 is almost here. 2015: the year we leave Alaska.

I spent my first six months being a sour apple about Alaska, and then came around slowly but surely, and now I have to admit…

*deep breath*

I am going to miss this place. All of its annoying little quirks are things I can’t find anywhere else and I know it’ll tug on my heart strings to think of the gorgeous mountains, and even the bitter cold next year being somewhere else. This is our first home. The place we, as newlyweds, made our own.

But I won’t get nostalgic when we still have 7-9 more months. Instead I’ll share the things we’ve been taking advantage of here, like Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Yep, that view is real.

Chena Hot Springs Resort is about one hour northeast of Fairbanks located in the middle of nowhere. You lose cell phone service and 4G before you’re even half way there, and the resort has no wifi. No, I didn’t say no free wifi. I mean no wifi. Period. I asked a staff member at the resort and he said a couple of his coworkers get satellites, but for the most part they read.

What a place to find in 2014, right?

Chena Hot Springs is the most developed hot springs destination in Alaska. It’s famous for its healing mineral waters, the Northern Light displays throughout the winter, and the Aurora Ice Museum.

We arrived around 5pm after a snowy drive in, checked into our hotel room for the evening, and then hit up the Aurora Ice Museum right away. It’s a little pricey – $15 per person to view the museum and additional $15 per person for a apple martini in a glass made entirely of ice. We went for the full experience for $60 and both agreed – it was most likely something we’d never be able to do again and was worth it!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

IMG_1474

IMG_1452

IMG_1487

 

IMG_1492

 

IMG_1479

Everything was made entirely of ice. The “hotel rooms”, the chapel area where they hold weddings, the igloo, the sculpture, the bar, the walls, the glasses we drank from, everything.

My husband will probably kill me for that photo. We were both feeling pretty warm at that point. They do not go light on the vodka in the drink. Thankfully. The ice museum was an amazing thing to see, especially since there are only one or two other places like it in the world.

IMG_1510

We followed up the museum tour with a visit to the Chena Restaurant’s bar. Hot coco and Bailey’s warmed me up even more. By the time we decided to hit up the hot springs, I was feeling quite toasty. I didn’t get any pictures in the evening because the Hot Springs were pretty crowded and it was snowing like crazy so I was a bit concerned for my iPhone and/or camera’s well-being.

But the next morning after breakfast and check out, we hit up the Hot Springs a second time.

IMG_1523

10 degrees in the air and 106 degrees in the water, with cloudy skies and flurries falling the whole time. Besides two other people, we had the Springs to ourselves. It was pretty perfect. All the photos from the visit were taken on my iPhone 5, so the quality doesn’t even give justice to the actual view.

If you ever find yourself in Alaska in the winter, I’d absolutely recommend making the visit to Fairbanks. Not only for Chena Hot Springs but for the beautiful views of the Aurora Borealis that can be seen all through the winter. Unfortunately it snowed during our visit, but we live outside of Fairbanks and get to see the Northern Lights whenever we feel like staying up late enough.

Glad we could cross one Alaskan gem off our bucket list.

Camille Mae (2)

 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter your email address to subscribe to Wanders & Words and receive notifications of new posts by email.