12 Best Things to do in Anchorage, Alaska

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Set in a spectacular spot in the south middle of the state, Anchorage is surrounded by majestic mountains and unimaginable wilderness. Sheltered from the glittering Gulf of Alaska by the Kenai Peninsula, it lies on the finish of an idyllic inlet, only a stone’s throw away from plenty of beautiful lakes, glistening glaciers, and breathtaking surroundings.

While most individuals use it as a gateway from which to discover the state’s rugged and distant reaches, there are lots of issues to do in Anchorage itself: magnificent museums are discovered subsequent to charming cultural facilities. As it’s dwelling to over a 3rd of Alaska’s inhabitants, it’s not solely an essential transport hub however a thriving cultural and financial middle, too. With so many facilities and vacationer points of interest, Anchorage is the right base for exploring all of the unimaginable nature and wildlife close by.

12. Lake Eklutna

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Nestled away simply to the northeast of Anchorage is the enchanting Lake Eklutna, which lies round an hour’s drive from town middle. Set in a really scenic, serene and secluded spot amidst plenty of marvelous mountains, the beautiful lake has plenty of excellent out of doors actions for guests to take pleasure in.

Located totally inside Chugach State Park, its beautiful shoreline stretches 11 kilometers in size and spans round one and a half kilometers at its widest level. The synthetic lake was fashioned many years in the past when the river of the identical title was dammed; the ensuing reservoir is now the first supply of Anchorage’s ingesting water.

Besides paddling on its reflective waters in a kayak, guests can go fishing and mountain climbing, with numerous picnic areas and a comfortable campsite additionally on supply.

11. Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary

Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary

Set simply to the south of town is the picturesque Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary, certain to delight nature lovers and out of doors fans alike. Part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, it lies perched between the distinguished peaks of the Chugach Mountains and the wild waters of Turnagain Arm.

Made up of gorgeous marshes and wetlands, the sanctuary protects the pure habitats of not less than 130 chook species. In addition to the numerous Canadian geese and canvasback geese you may anticipate to see, you can too spot salmon spawning in the creek and spy the occasional moose meandering about.

While its bountiful birds make the Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary a should for avid birdwatchers, its scenic setting is bound to attraction to anybody thanks to the attractive boardwalk and phenomenal views.

10. Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park

As it boasts spectacular surroundings and beautiful landscapes, the charming Chugach State Park actually is a deal with to discover. Despite being dwelling to untouched wilderness, the park may be very simple to entry: it lies simply 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Anchorage.

Founded in 1970 to protect the native surroundings and supply leisure alternatives to Anchoragites, the state park now sprawls over an enormous space. Encompassed inside its confines are all the things from huge valleys and verdant forests to roaring rivers and glittering glaciers.

Named after the majestic mountain vary that runs by means of it, the favored park has plenty of terrific trails for guests to hike, mountain bike or horseback journey alongside, with tenting and mountain climbing additionally on supply. In addition, folks can take pleasure in snowboarding in the winter months, with bears, moose and wolves to be noticed year-round.

9. Alaska Zoo

Alaska Zoo

Despite its comparatively small measurement, Alaska Zoo is properly value visiting for its astounding array of animals. Set simply to the southeast of town in the shadow of the Chugach Mountains, it’s the one zoo in Alaska, and the one one in North America to specialize in Arctic animals.

The zoo was based in 1969 when native grocer Jack Snyder received a child elephant in a contest. As Annabelle proved so well-liked with kids and households, different unique animals had been added. Amur tigers and alpacas are actually discovered alongside Tibetan yaks, snow leopards and polar bears.

While its birds and mammals hail from throughout the globe, Alaskan animals additionally abound, with caribou, moose and wolverines all on present. Interesting, participating and academic, the Alaska Zoo makes for an amazing day trip for the entire household.

8. Alaska Native Heritage Center

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Located on the japanese outskirts of Anchorage is the superb Alaska Native Heritage Center, which affords a captivating have a look at the historical past, tradition, and heritage of the state’s indigenous peoples. As properly as displaying artifacts and displays, it often hosts dances, exhibits and cultural performances.

Opened in 1999 amidst some great woodland, it has six conventional Native dwellings to discover, in addition to a state-of-the-art heritage middle. Besides being dwelling to galleries filled with artworks, kayaks, weapons, and extra, it additionally has a theater and gathering place for workshops and performances.

In addition to defending and preserving the heritage of 11 of Alaska’s main cultural teams, the middle promotes them by means of its packed schedule of tales, songs and exhibits.

7. Anchorage Museum

Anchorage Museum

An unimaginable place to go to, the Anchorage Museum seems at all the things there may be to do with the artwork, historical past, land, and other people of Alaska. The largest and greatest museum in the state, it lies in the center of town and is one in every of Anchorage’s fundamental points of interest, being very talked-about with locals and vacationers alike.

Since opening in 1968, its colossal assortment has continued to develop; the museum now boasts over 25,000 objects and greater than half 1,000,000 historic pictures. While some displays supply an perception into the artwork, historical past, and language of Alaska Natives, others concentrate on the geology and nature of the scenic state.

On prime of this, the world-class institute additionally has a unbelievable planetarium and a hands-on Imaginarium Discovery Center that encourage guests to work together with and discover the world round them.

6. Flattop Mountain Trail

Flattop Mountain Trail

As it lies only a brief distance away and affords commanding views over Anchorage and its environment, the exceptional Flattop Mountain Trail is the preferred hike in Alaska. Set simply to the southeast of the middle, the path takes you thru plenty of fairly landscapes and luxurious woodlands earlier than you arrive at its panoramic viewpoint.

Located totally inside Chugach State Park, Flattop Mountain reaches a top of 989 meters, rising dramatically above Anchorage. In whole, the picturesque path to its distinguished peak stretches 2.4 kilometers; it weaves its means by means of huge valleys and under huge mountains, with beautiful surroundings and nature wherever you go.

While most of it’s fairly simple and accessible if uphill, the ultimate stretch sees you scramble over some stones earlier than summiting the mighty mount. Besides basking in the breathtaking views, guests can discover the close by mountain climbing trails. Running and mountain climbing in the park are additionally well-liked.

5. Alyeska Ski Area

Alyeska Ski Area

Set just below an hour’s drive to the southeast of town is the distinctive Alyeska Ski Area, which has probably the most snow-coated slopes and skiable terrain in the state. A very talked-about place, it has glorious amenities, sensational surroundings, and naturally, glowing snow for guests to take pleasure in.

Opened in 1959 among the many wilderness of the Chugach Mountains, it has since grown. There are actually 76 runs to ski or snowboard down. With a complete vertical drop of 975 meters, its slopes are served by quite a few chairlifts, with an aerial tram to take you up a part of the way in which.

Dotted about its many mountainsides are numerous lodges and cosy cabins for friends to keep at. The resort additionally boasts eating places, outlets, and even a spa or two. While most individuals come for its very good snow sports activities, the sunny summer season months lend themselves completely to mountain climbing and mountain biking, with divine views to be loved at any time of 12 months.

4. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Stretching 18 kilometers in size, this charming coastal path is a delight to stroll, run, or cycle alongside, with fabulous views and wildlife to be loved as you go. Starting in the middle of city, it winds all the way in which to Kincaid Park – its scenic and serene endpoint.

Named after Tony Knowles, the previous governor of Alaska, the path follows town’s shoreline south, taking you thru wetlands, woods and wild areas on the way in which. While sightings of moose and eagles aren’t unusual, its jaw-dropping views over Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains, Denali, and Fire Island are definitely its standout sight.

As it’s flat and paved your complete means, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is accessible to all, with plenty of fairly areas for folks to cease off at. At Kincaid Park, guests will discover nice leisure facilities, with a disc golf course, fishing lake, and mountain climbing trails to be discovered alongside many others.

3. Alaska Railroad Seward Day Trip

Alaska Railroad Seward Day Trip

When in Anchorage, an unforgettable factor to do is to take a scenic journey alongside the Alaska Railroad to the small metropolis of Seward. While it lies in a secluded spot some 200 kilometers to the south, its beautiful setting and the jawdropping surroundings you move on the way in which definitely makes it properly value a day journey.

Undoubtedly one of the vital outstanding railway routes in the entire of the States, it takes you thru some great wilderness, passing majestic mountains, twinkling waterfalls, and glittering glaciers as you go. After round 4 hours together with your eyes mounted firmly out of the window, you’ll arrive at Seward, which is ready in an enthralling spot on the Gulf of Alaska.

From right here, you may take a memorable glacier and wildlife watching cruise across the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park earlier than heading again to Anchorage in the night. While Seward definitely warrants a extra prolonged keep, for time-pressed travellers, an Alaska Railroad Seward Day Trip is one of the simplest ways to see as a lot stunning nature and surroundings as doable.

2. Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier

Set round an hour and a half’s drive to the southeast of town is the glowing snow and ice of the large Portage Glacier. One of probably the most accessible of Alaska’s many glaciers, it lies on the finish of the beautiful lake of the identical title, in a scarred alpine valley.

While it was as soon as doable to the view the glistening glacier from the Begich Boggs Visitor Center, guests now have to take a ship journey to see the sight. This is as a result of the huge glacier has sadly been in retreat for a number of many years, with extra of it melting annually.

After having ogled at its staggering scale and splendor, guests can go mountain climbing among the many space’s valleys and mountains, dwelling to many different huge glaciers. A very talked-about place due to its proximity to Anchorage, the Portage Glacier could be visited, alongside the astounding Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which lies not far-off.

1. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

The greatest means to view among the state’s distinctive wildlife up shut is to make a journey to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Set on the entrance to Portage Valley, its outstanding residents and lovely grounds lie round an hour’s drive from Anchorage.

Founded in 1993, the sanctuary has since rescued, rehabilitated and launched numerous sorts of Alaskan animals into the wilderness. In spacious enclosures which are as shut to their pure habitat as doable, friends can see all the things from caribou and coyotes to bears, bison, and bald eagles with many moose additionally on show.

Dedicated to defending and preserving Alaska’s animals and wildlife and educating guests on their significance, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is definitely one of many highlights of what each Anchorage and Alaska have to supply.

Map of Things to do in Anchorage


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