The biggest city in Alaska and its main commerce hub, but contrary to what many people think it is not the capital of Alaska (Juneau is). From a tourist’s point of view, Anchorage is mainly the start and end point of your trip. There aren’t many attractions here in comparison to the rest of Alaska, but the town is definitely a convenient base for day trips and for those planning a relatively long trip (backpackers for example).
Anchorage has all the services of a typical American city – big supermarkets, restaurants, malls and cinemas. I don’t know anyone who comes to Alaska for the shopping, but when you need to it’s good to have somewhere to go. This is the place to stock up for the rest of your trip. Important items like food products, traveling equipment or gas are much cheaper here than elsewhere in Alaska.
Things to do
This does not mean there’s nothing to see in Anchorage. The Anchorage Museum of History & Art is excellent and has recently been renovated and upgraded. There is also a section for youths with fun scientific exhibits, a section for original Alaskan art (as well as indigenous art and more modern American art), and a section with temporary exhibitions on Alaskan anthropology and history. A good place to pass a few hours, especially if you have a flight later that day.
A visit in the museum can (and should) be combined with a visit to the Native Heritage Center, which works to preserve the rapidly disappearing cultures of Alaska’s indigenous people. Here you can see shows of traditional dances, watch indigenous art and speak to local guides whose goal is to spread the knowledge to anyone who’s interested.
FYI: Both centers cooperate quite closely, and you can buy a combined ticket for both and go between them in free shuttles.
- Urban Greens
- Tony Knowls Coastal Trail
- Glen Alps
- Moose’s Tooth
A sandwich place opened a few years back by a couple of good friends. Highly recommended, regardless of personal acquaintance. Great sandwiches, way beyond the variety and quality you get in most American restaurants, great prices, and great atmosphere. Don’t forget to tell them we said hi!