It’s time to get out and see the world, and there’s no place in North America quite like Anchorage. Not only are the city’s arts and culture venues, culinary scene, science and history museums, and annual events not to be missed, but it’s also a great basecamp for exploring Alaska’s natural wonders. Here’s why Anchorage should be at the top of your must-visit list.
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The Great Outdoors
Nature lovers take note. You can see six mountain ranges from Anchorage – the Alaska Range (including Denali, North America’s highest peak), Chugach, Talkeetna, Tordrillo, Kenai, and Aleutian. The views at night are just as spectacular, with the midnight sun casting its glow nearly round the clock at the height of summer.
Wildlife viewing is breathtaking as well, with opportunities to see moose, bald eagles, and even beluga whales in their natural habitat. Outdoor fun is unlimited with national forests and parks, 200 mountains, and more than 60 glaciers and 30 lakes and ponds within 50 miles of Anchorage. Spend your days skiing, biking, rafting, whale watching, hiking, or touring glaciers.
Food and Fun
No worries if you’re not the outdoorsy type. There’s more to the Anchorage story. Feast at more than 1,600 restaurants, many featuring wild Alaska seafood and locally grown produce. Delicious options range from casual coffee shops to fine dining establishments. Drink up, too -- there are 12 breweries where you can sample local brews. After-hours, there is plenty to do as well.
Time your visit around special annual events like the Summer Solstice Festival, Alaska State Fair, Slam’n Salm’n Derby, and Bear Paw Festival. The Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon always takes place on the longest day of the year, and the Anchorage RunFest brings runners back to the city’s trails in August.
Anchorage’s museums are must-visits to learn more about the area’s rich history and the spectacular nature all around you. Check out the Anchorage Museum, Eklutna Historical Park, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center that celebrates the many Alaska Native communities in the region with interactive demonstrations and exhibits.
Visit the Anchorage Museum to see the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center and the Art of the North Gallery. The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature hosts exhibits about local marine life and fowl, dinosaur fossils, rocks and minerals, and the last Ice Age.
Whether you are looking to go on an outdoor adventure, sample local flavors, or explore Alaskan culture, there is something for every type of traveler in Anchorage. Combine all this with the modern comforts and amenities of a city, like comfortable lodging and easy transportation, and enjoy it all during long days of extended sunlight. It’s a vacation you’ll never forget!