Here Are 5 of the Best Things to Do in Anchorage
Set amid the coastal Chugach Mountains, Anchorage, Alaska is a destination unlike any other. This urban enclave is surrounded by wilderness and offers a unique combination of modern amenities and rugged charm. It’s known for its cultural sites, museums, and art galleries as well as top-notch restaurants and shops. The city is also a gateway to spectacular national parks. So if you’re planning a family vacation to Alaska, be sure to spend a day in Anchorage! Here are some of our favorite things to do there.
Top 5 Things to Do in Anchorage
1. Visit the Alaska Zoo
A trip to the Alaska Zoo is perfect for a fun day out with the family. Situated on 25 acres of the Anchorage Hillside, this popular attraction provides a home for orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals. You’ll see native wildlife like gray wolves, bears, Dall sheep, and arctic fox as well as exotic species like tigers, camels, and yaks. Be sure to sign up for a guided tour for behind-the-scenes animal encounters and conservation information.
2. Stroll the Anchorage Museum and Heritage Center
If you’re interested in learning about Alaska’s indigenous people, head to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The facility shares the heritage of 11 major cultural groups, including the Athabaskan people, Eyak people, Tlingit people, and the Siberian Yupik, just to name a few. A variety of activities and demonstrations are offered inside the center, and outside you’ll find six life-sized Native dwellings surrounding Lake Tiulana.
Note: ANHC’s summer season runs from May 2017 until mid-September.
3. Hike the Tony Knowles Trail
No trip to Anchorage is complete without a hike on the Tony Knowles Trail. This paved route runs from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park and is one of the most beautiful coastal trails in the nation. Trek through scented forests, look for moose, and take in sweeping vistas of North America’s highest peak – Denali.
In the summer, the Tony Knowles Trail is used by runners, rollerbladers, and cyclists. It’s also a popular destination for cross country skiing in the winter. No matter what time of year you visit, the trail offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of life.
4. Explore Earthquake Park
In 1964, an entire Anchorage neighborhood slid into the ocean during a powerful earthquake. The quake measured a 9.2 on the Richter scale and lasted four minutes. Today, this tragic event is commemorated in Earthquake Park, a 134-acre area set in the woods. The park offers dramatic views of the Knik Arm and the Chugach Mountains and is a great spot for walking, biking, picnicking and relaxing. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for moose!
5. Shop the Alaska Fur Exchange
Looking for the perfect souvenir? Head to the Alaska Fur Exchange. This gift store is your one-stop shop for locally-made items like artwork, jewelry, artifacts, and ivory and fur products. (If you’re visiting in the winter, a pair of fur gloves from this store is a must!) The Fur Exchange is open daily in the summer and Monday through Saturday during shoulder season.
Plan Your Alaska Getaway with Alaska Garden Gate
Now that you know some of the best things to do in Anchorage, it’s time to plan your trip to the Last Frontier! Our Palmer bed and breakfast is an easy 45-minute drive from Anchorage and is the perfect home base for you and your family. Reserve an economical inn room with a private bath, or stay in one of our luxurious two-bedroom cottages. We offer a wide range of accommodations for every group size and budget. So what are you waiting for? Check our availability and make your reservations today! We look forward to having you.
For even more adventures in Alaska, check out our awesome day trip itineraries.