Best Things to do in Anchorage

Anchorage, located in the state’s south central region, is surrounded by stunning mountains and spectacular wilderness. The Kenai Peninsula shields it from the dazzling Gulf of Alaska, and it situated at the end of a lovely inlet, just a stone’s throw away from a plethora of beautiful lakes, gleaming glaciers, and spectacular landscape.

While most people use it as a starting point for exploring Alaska’s rough and remote regions, there is enough to do in Anchorage itself: great museums sit alongside interesting cultural venues. It is not just a significant transportation hub, but also a thriving cultural and economic centre, as it is home to almost a third of Alaska’s population. Anchorage is the ideal location for exploring all of the wonderful scenery and wildlife around, thanks to its many facilities and tourism attractions.

1: Explore Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

A visit to the Alaska Species Conservation Center is the finest chance to get up up and personal with some of the state’s distinctive wildlife. Its amazing population and beautiful grounds are about an hour’s drive from Anchorage, near the entrance to Portage Valley.

Since its inception in 1993, the refuge has rescued, rehabilitated, and released thousands of Alaskan creatures into the wild. Guests can witness everything from caribou and coyotes to bears, bison, and bald eagles in huge enclosures that are as close to their natural environment as possible, with numerous moose also on show.

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which is dedicated to safeguarding and preserving Alaska’s animals and wildlife while also teaching tourists on their importance, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of what Anchorage and Alaska have to offer. Also read Best Things to Do in Las Vegas.

2: Alyeska Ski Area


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The outstanding Alyeska Ski Area, located just under an hour’s drive southeast of the city, offers the most snow-covered slopes and skiable terrain in the state. It is a popular destination with good facilities, breathtaking landscape, and, of course, beautiful snow.

It was founded in 1959 amid the Chugach Mountains’ remoteness and has since flourished. There are now 76 ski and snowboard runs to choose from. Its slopes are served by multiple chairlifts, with an aerial tram taking you up part of the way. It has a total vertical drop of 975 metres.

Various lodges and cosy cabins are dotted along the mountainside for travellers to stay in. There are restaurants, shops, and even a couple of spas at the resort. While most visitors come for the excellent winter activities, the warm summer months are ideal for hiking and mountain biking, with breathtaking views to be enjoyed at any time of year.

3: Visit Anchorage Museum


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The Anchorage Museum is a fantastic destination to visit because it covers everything there is to know about Alaska’s art, history, land, and people. The state’s largest and best museum, it is located in the middle of the city and is one of Anchorage’s most popular attractions, drawing both locals and tourists.

Since its inception in 1968, the museum’s massive collection has grown to include over 25,000 objects and over half a million historic photographs. While some displays focus on Alaska Native art, history, and language, others focus on the geology and natural history of the beautiful state.

A spectacular planetarium and a hands-on Imaginarium Discovery Center are also available at the world-class institute, encouraging visitors to interact with and explore the world around them. Also read Best Things to Do in Curacao.

4: Alaska Zoo


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Despite its tiny size, the Alaska Zoo is well worth a visit due to its incredible collection of species. It’s the only zoo in Alaska and the only one in North America that specialises in Arctic species, and it’s located just southeast of the city in the shadow of the Chugach Mountains.

When local grocer Jack Snyder won a young elephant in a sweepstakes, he started the zoo in 1969. Other exotic creatures were added when Annabelle proven to be so popular with children and families. Tibetan yaks, snow leopards, and polar bears now coexist with Amur tigers and alpacas.

While the birds and mammals are from all over the world, Alaskan creatures abound, including caribou, moose, and wolverines. The Alaska Zoo is an interesting, entertaining, and instructive day out for the whole family.

5: Hike Flattop Mountain Trail


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The magnificent Flattop Mountain Trail is Alaska’s most popular trek because it is only a short distance away and gives commanding views of Anchorage and its surrounds. The walk leads you through a variety of beautiful landscapes and thick woodlands before arriving to its panoramic viewpoint, which is located about southeast of the centre.

Flattop Mountain, wholly within Chugach State Park, rises abruptly above Anchorage to a height of 989 metres. The scenic journey to its notable top spans for 2.4 kilometres, weaving its way through wide valleys and beneath massive mountains, with breathtaking landscapes and environment everywhere you look.

While the majority of it is very straightforward and accessible even if it is uphill, the final stretch requires scrambling over some stones before reaching the peak of the enormous mountain. Visitors can explore the neighbouring hiking trails in addition to soaking in the spectacular views. Running and rock climbing are also popular in the park. Also read Best Things to Do in Rotterdam.

6: Explore Chugach State Park

The intriguing Chugach State Park is a treat to explore because it provides breathtaking vistas and stunning surroundings. Despite being home to untamed nature, the park is incredibly accessible: it’s only a 20-minute drive from Anchorage.

The state park, which was established in 1970 to protect the local ecology and provide recreational opportunities for Anchoragites, today covers a large area. Everything from wide valleys and lush woods to raging rivers and gleaming glaciers can be found within its borders.

The popular park, named after the majestic mountain range that passes through it, has several fantastic routes for tourists to hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride through, as well as camping and rock climbing. People can also go skiing during the winter months, and bears, moose, and wolves can be seen all year.

7: Visit Lake Eklutna


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The picturesque Lake Eklutna is tucked away just northeast of Anchorage, about an hour’s drive from the city centre. The gorgeous lake, set in a highly scenic, calm, and secluded place amidst many magnificent mountains, offers a wide range of amazing outdoor activities for guests to enjoy.

Its magnificent beachfront reaches 11 kilometres in length and is roughly one and a half kilometres broad at its widest point, all within Chugach State Park. The artificial lake was created decades ago when the same-named river was dammed; the resulting reservoir today serves as Anchorage’s principal source of drinking water. Also read Best Things to Do in Solvang.

8: Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary

The picturesque Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary, located just south of the city, is sure to delight nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It is located between the high peaks of the Chugach Mountains and the untamed waters of Turnagain Arm, and is part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge.

The sanctuary, which is made up of gorgeous marshes and wetlands, protects the natural habitats of at least 130 bird species. You may expect to witness a plethora of Canadian geese and canvasback ducks, as well as salmon spawning in the creek and the occasional moose strolling around.

The Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary is a must-see for birdwatchers, but its scenic environment, complete with a magnificent boardwalk and breathtaking views, will appeal to anybody.

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