by Seema Nande Updated on 13 Oct 2018
Even though Juneau is the capital of Alaska, Anchorage is the state`s biggest city and the commercial hub. The place is extremely picturesque and is embraced by the Chugach Mountains. Very close to the city is the Mount Alyeska Resort, which is popular as a skiing destination all year round. Alaska has the largest seaplane base in the whole world.
Let's explore Anchorage points of interest and 15 best things to do in Anchorage:
1. Blend in with the local heritage ate the Alaska Native Heritage Center
If you want to explore the native culture of Alaska, this place will be a goldmine for you. The native heritage center showcases cultures from 11 different indigenous groups. Different kinds of traditional dwellings (as a demonstration for tourists) are present around the lake of Tiulana. All the villages showcase handmade artifacts. Also found are cultural programs like artist demonstrations, dance and songs. You can find guides there who will take you through the history of their cultural background.
2. Take notes about Alaskan history in Anchorage Museum
This is located at the Rasmuson Center. This museum has a good collection of art and historical exhibits that explains all about Alaska and the arctic life in general. The museum also has an adjacent planetarium. There is a beautiful park in front of the museum that tempts you to laze around after a tour of the museum.
3. Gear up to burn some calories at the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
This scenic coastal trail is popular both for walking as well as biking. It covers 11 miles across the Anchorage shoreline going towards the southwest side of the city. The route begins near the Oscar Anderson House. If you are lucky, you can spot some wildlife along the trail like the beluga whale. The trail finally ends in the Kincaid Park. At the end of the trail, you can capture breathtaking panoramic views of the mountain.
4. Brace yourself for some exotic wildlife sights at the Chugach State Park
This comes under four of the largest state parks in the whole of United States of America. It spreads over 700 square miles and Nature is at its best in this park. The mighty mountains are surrounded by lakes, rivers and glaciers. Wildlife scope includes wolves, bears, moose, beavers and lynx, among others. Alaska defines adventure as such and this place will live up to your expectations. This park is a popular choice when thinking about skiing, camping or trekking.
5. A one of a kind experience at Rust's Flying Service
The Rust seaplane business is trustworthy in the area and has been running since 1963. You can rent a seaplane that conducts sightseeing tours to various destinations that include Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, surrounding glaciers and Denali National Park. You can also visit Alaska fishing lodges or go on wildlife-spotting treks to sight bears.
If you have never been on a seaplane (which most people haven`t) this you turn out to be a lifetime experience that would be the perfect blend of adventure and sightseeing.
6. A glacier tour in Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Peninsula, known for its glaciers and mountains has scenery to die for. Kenai Fjords National Park centers on the large expanse of Harding Icefield. The Exit Glacier can be reached by road through a very adventurous drive. Once on the Exit glacier, walking trails help you walk around the glacier. If you are not confident to explore this place yourself, you can hire a guided tour to make the most of this place. This national park can also be seen by a lot of ways, by boat, on foot, or by air.
7. Get up, close and personal with the wildlife at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Just an hour away from Anchorage, this sanctuary is spread over 200 acres. This place is a nonprofit organization that adopts distressed wildlife in the Alaskan area to provide them a habitat that is safe and natural. It also conducts many programs, classes and tours for visitors, educating them about the wildlife that they house.
8. Stay updated with the aviation history in the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
Ever seen a vintage aircraft? Well, you can find one here. Vintage aircraft are restored in this facility for visitors who would like to take a look at them. The museum is located by Lake Hood, which is picturesque in itself. There is a restoration hanger adjacent to this museum where some of these restored vintage aircraft are made to run. You can watch them take-off and lands, receiving signals from a retired control tower. There is also live radio feed arranged for the visitors.
9. Explore this fishing port town called Seward
Seward is located on the Seward Highway. From here, boats or planes can be chartered for hunting, fishing or plain sightseeing tours. The Alaska SeaLife Center that is present in this town is home to sea lions, seabirds and harbor seals. Other sea-life species to spot includes gangly king crab and Giant Pacific octopus.
10. Get the ski-thrill in Girdwood
Once a gold mining town, now it is taken over by ski resorts for adventure sports. The popular Alyeska Resort is present in Girdwood. This area receives ample snow to turn it into a recreation zone. All kinds of snow sports are made available in this town. Also, shopping and eat-out places here keep the tourists entertained.
11. Pay a visit to this magnificence called the Alaska Zoo
This 25-acre facility is not like any ordinary city zoo. They house wildlife species that are more from the local area. Wolves, bears, musk oxen, reindeer, amur tigers and bactrian camels, polar bears, snow leopards, Nigerian dwarf goats and dall sheep are some of the exotic species that you can encounter here. They also run a bunch of events like feeding the wolves that the tourists can experience.
12. Taste the local brew in the Midnight sun brewing co.
This microbrewery is located in the Dimond Hook Drive. From seasonal brews to their standard ones, this place has a lot to offer for beer lovers. Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter and Sockeye Red IPA are some of the brews in the menu that can sure energize you post an adventurous hike that you might have had during the day.
13. Experience the wilderness in the coastline of Alaska in Kincaid park
If you want to view the serenity in the coastal lines of Alaska, Kincadi Park should be there in your itinerary. The wilderness of Alaskan coastline is different when compared to the other coastlines of the country. Drop by this place to watch the sunset from the Cook Inlet. There is also the great Kincaid Dunes and a golf course in this park that can be enjoyed while here.
14. Bird watching in Potter Marsh is not to be missed
Your beautiful feathery friends are waiting to see you in Potter Marsh. Potter Marsh is a wetland area that gives ample scope to spot some exotic bird species. Red-necked phalaropes, Canadian geese, Signet swans and eagles are some of the examples of the variety of birds that are present in this area.
15. Walk and shop the Saturday market of Anchorage
No trip is complete without picking a souvenir or two from the place of your visit. A visit to the Saturday market of Anchorage is sure to give you the local feels! Locals, as well as the inhabitants of the Chugach valleys, come together in this market. For tourists, this place is the best to taste the local flavors, figuratively and literally. Food stalls serve the regional delicacies. So, if you are looking to taste a fresh catch of Salmon from the local area, you would have gone to the right place.