Midnight Sun and Fun
One of the great things about visiting Alaska in June is that there really are enough hours in the day! When the sun scarcely sets you’ve got plenty of time for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing.
The longest of the long days is June 21 when Alaska celebrates in its own unique way – and we’re all in it together. The Summer Solstice has the revelry, excitement, and camaraderie of a Hollywood movie premiere or New Year’s Eve in Times Square – except the sun’s out! The sense of urgency is palpable because nobody wants to waste a minute of sunshine. Imagine having enough daylight to play a round of golf after dinner, then go for a paddle or a hike all before the sun goes down.
Up for some Solstice sun worshipping while staying at Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages? Check out these activities and see for yourself why this astronomical event on the first day of summer is one of the highlights of the year.
Tee Up for the Solstice!
There are two solstice-themed golf tournaments in our neck of the woods. Friday, June 21, Palmer Golf Course hosts the Midnight Sun 100-Hole Challenge, which raises money for Love Alaska. There’s lots of friendly competition and it’s great for spectators, as well. Not up for a tourney? The course will be open to a limited number of foursomes on the longest day of the year. The event wraps up with an Alaskan crab and shrimp boil, live music and more.
On Saturday, Settler’s Bay Golf Course is the site for “Swing Into Solstice.” The 6th Annual Midnight Sun Charity Golf Tournament benefits Hospice of Anchorage. How often do you have a chance to tee off at 7 in the evening and get in a full 18 holes? There are putting, hole-in-one, and long-drive contests – and it all wraps up with an awards banquet and breakfast.
Hit the Trail or the Water
As you no doubt know, folks in Alaska relish their time outdoors, and the Summer Solstice adds a new level of excitement to every activity. Perhaps you’ve hiked somewhere in the past and worried you wouldn’t get down the mountain before dark? Not a problem this time of year. With more than 19 hours of daylight on June 21, hiking is one of the most popular activities here in the Mat-Su Valley. We recommend the Bodenburg Butte Trail, just outside of Palmer. This family-friendly, 3-mile, round-trip hike has great views of the valley, Knik Glacier, Twin Peaks, and more.
Summit Lake, at the crest of Hatcher Pass, is another great place to hit the trails. There’s a path around the lake and along the bluff, which provides exceptional mountain and valley views. It’s also ideal for picnicking, sharing a toast to the Solstice, and enjoying the celebratory air of nighttime hiking.
Not just on June 21, but throughout June and July, you can celebrate the Midnight Sun with one of NOVA Alaska Guides’ evening raft trips. A perfect seasonal adventure for groups of six or more, it’s the high-water trip of the day and guests are welcome to bring picnic items and beverages to be consumed post-float around the campfire.
On the Run with the Midnight Sun
If you’re a runner, Active Soles Performance Footwear hosts a 4-mile Solstice Run on Thursday, June 20 at the beautiful Palmer Golf Course. Soak up the sun, the beautiful trails and views, and toast the longest day of the year.
Four miles not enough? In Anchorage, the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon and Half Marathon are a longstanding tradition for Alaska runners. The course has stunning mountain views and wends its way through forest and coastal trails, as well as local landmarks. The event also includes a 5K, relays, and a kids’ run.
Book Your Stay Today
Solstice or not, at the end of the day, we all need to sleep, right? Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages welcomes you with comfy, relaxing accommodations and breathtaking mountain views. You’ll wake up to a scrumptious, hot breakfast (continental breakfast in the off season) and head off for the next day’s adventure. Consider our Wasilla B&B your Alaska home. Choose from private guest cottages, luxury apartments, and economical inn rooms – whichever best meets your needs. Check out our lodging page to see what’s available and contact us today to make your reservations. We look forward to checking you in.
P.S. Don’t forget your sunglasses!