OverviewThe largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is home to nearly half of the state’s residents. With the icy waters of the Cook Inlet on one side and the dramatic peaks of the Chugach Mountains on the other, Anchorage serves as an ideal home base for adventure and exploration. The protective mountain barrier and proximity of the ocean also contribute to a surprisingly moderate climate, relative to most of Alaska.
Long summer days in the Land of the Midnight Sun mean plenty of time for outdoor activities. Hiking and biking are popular on the Anchorage Trail System , whether inside the city on paved trails like the Ship Creek Trail, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or the Chester Creek Trail, or just outside the city limits on the Flattop Mountain Trail or in Chugach State Park . Wildlife viewing is also one of the top things to do in Anchorage; you might spot moose, beavers, bald eagles and bears around town. Salmon viewing brings crowds and fishing reels to Ship Creek, where king salmon run in June and silver salmon run from mid-July to late September.
To see more of the glaciers, rivers and scenic views, you’ll want to add a sightseeing tour to your Anchorage vacation. Luckily the options are plentiful, from flightseeing tours by air (seaplane and helicopter operators can be found at the airport and Lake Hood), float trips on the Matanuska River, trolley tours of downtown (given by Anchorage City Trolley Tours May through September from the Log Cabin Visitor Information Center) and even dog sled tours (departing from the Alyeska Resort and Ski Area in nearby Girdwood in winter). If you visit in late fall or winter, you may have the chance to see the northern lights, which are active in the skies over Anchorage.
For access to national parks near Anchorage — including Denali National Park and Preserve, Kenai Fjords National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park — several tour companies offer transportation and sightseeing opportunities. Alaska Tour & Travel, Park Connection, Gray Line of Alaska and Princess Rail Tours have various packages and options.
Anchorage’s cultural activities are just as engaging as its sightseeing opportunities. The city is home to the largest museum in the state — the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center — and has a living cultural center dedicated to its heritage — the Alaska Native Heritage Center . You’ll find traditional Alaska Native art for sale at many downtown art galleries. An added perk of shopping in Anchorage? No sales tax.
Visitor Center Visit Anchorage 524 W. Fourth Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501-2212. Phone:(907)276-4118 or (800)446-5352
Self-guiding ToursStop by the Log Cabin Visitor Information Center at 546 W. 4th Ave. for information about walking tours around Anchorage and driving tours north and south of the city; phone (907) 257-2363.
Things to Do26 Glacier Cruise by Phillips Cruises see Whittier
Major Marine Tours see Seward
PORTAGE GLACIER RECREATION AREA see Chugach National Forest
Trans Arctic Circle Treks see Fairbanks
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