When flying into Alaska, chances are you will land in Anchorage. The city is Alaska’s largest town and the main hub for any Alaska travel. While many visitors tend to leave right away for Denali or Kenai National park, the city has plenty to offer for a day visit. We listed what we thought were the top things to do in Anchorage Alaska.
Things to Do in Anchorage Alaska
Anchorage is the gateway to some of the top attractions in Alaska: from the mountains of Denali, the wilderness of Kenai, and places like Talkeetna and Chugach. It’s worth planning to spend a day in Alaska’s main city and if you wonder why, here are the top things to do in Anchorage.
Anchorage Native Heritage Center
The center provides excellent displays about Alaska Native traditions and language, and we can only recommend visiting it at the beginning of your trip. You will gain knowledge about the country and its history and will let you appreciate your trip even more. Watch for games and dances that demonstrate the Alaska heritage. If you have time for one-stop only, that is the Anchorage must-see!
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in the state and another top Anchorage things to do for sure for those looking to learn more about the state’s history.
If you are looking to buy some Alaska homemade products, make sure to include shopping time in Anchorage. From traditional Alaska Native art to local treats, you will find it all. Make sure to grab some salmon jerky, very tasty and the perfect snacks for road tripping or hiking. Local berry jams like salmonberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, should also be on your list.
Anchorage City Tours
You can, of course, walk around but if the weather is not cooperating (even in summer!) or you are short in time, it’s better to drive around. But there are other options to explore the city, and among what to do in Anchorage, here are a few you might want to consider :
- Bike tour
- City Tour
Anchorage Day Trips
The city is not far from several ports from where you can go on a boat and explore the ocean. Most Anchorage boat tours actually depart from either Seward, about three hours from Anchorage, from the Kenai Fjords National Park to venture into the fjords, or from Whittier to cruise the Prince William Sound.
While in Kenai Fjords National Park, go hiking the moderate Glacier Overlook Trail or the popular Exit Glacier for a chance to see the glacier up close.
Some tours will take you from Anchorage to Denali national park for the day but it would make for an extremely long day with almost no time to visit the park. So we recommend that any visit from Anchorage to Denali be at least two nights in the park, making it an actual 3-day trip to Denali.
In fact night tours, any Anchorage Northern Lights tour will leave late at night from 9 pm to 11 pm and will return in the morning around 3 am to 5 am. The Aurora Borealis appears throughout the year but are best viewed from September to April when the nights are dark. In summer, the long hours of daylights prevent you from seeing them.
Where to stay in Anchorage, Alaska
During our stay, we booked our nights at the Anchorage Downtown Hotel, a clean and well-placed hotel for budget travelers. Check the latest prices for Anchorage Downtown Hotel. For other Anchorage hotels, find out the latest Anchorage hotel deals.
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