If you are tired of telling your kids to limit their screen time in order to get more face time with them, maybe the solution is to truly go off the grid.
On the shores of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake in Alaska, the 5,600-square-foot Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is a luxury property accessible only by a 40-minute floatplane flight from Anchorage (an adventure and photo opp in itself), 60 miles away from any road. Sure it’s not easy to get to, but that’s the whole point. The lodge, after all, is owned by Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe and heli-ski pioneer Mike Overcast, who began offering heli-skiing trips to this unexplored region 20 years ago.
Tordrillo recently upgraded its guest amenities — just in time for the 60th anniversary of Alaska’s statehood this year. New improvements include new guest suites and updated baths, a new and larger dining room and bar with picture windows, three cedar decks overlooking the lake, five new chalets built with sustainably harvested four-sided logs, an expanded yoga and fitness center and the first fixed steel cable climbing route in the state.
“We are excited about the growth and development of the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge since we opened almost two decades ago in 2006,” says Overcast. “Guests will have a new experience in 2019 from the stylish lodge ambience, gourmet local cuisine prepared by private chefs and the many new summertime activities they can enjoy.”
After the ski season has ended, there is still lots to do in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Families can partake in helicopter-assisted fat tire mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, glacier hiking, wake surfing, waterskiing, wildlife viewing and stargazing. Anglers will be thrilled to catch Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Arctic char and grayling in waters accessed by helicopter or by floating in rafts down a backcountry river. Activities, itineraries and even menus are curated to guests’ interests.
The day begins with a breakfast buffet with fresh fruit, homemade pastries and a hot dish along with coffees and teas. There are also homemade soups, gourmet sandwiches and brownies for the second half of the day, and late-night cravings can be satisfied with a snack from the refrigerator or pantry.
Summer packages, July 5 through Sept. 15, start at $6,000 per person for three nights, which includes round-trip float plane flights from Lake Hood, Anchorage, to Judd Lake, lodging, two helicopter excursions, all gourmet meals, professional guide services, use of gear and fishing equipment, access to the fitness and yoga center, copper hot tub overlooking the lake and a wood-fired sauna. Groups of four guests or more visiting at least three days also receive a welcome bottle of Champagne, one massage and an additional hour of helicopter time. All major airlines service regular routes to Anchorage, with direct flights available from most major U.S. cities and non-stop options from Zürich and Frankfurt on Edelweiss and Condor.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.