15 Best Things To Do in Anchorage, Alaska

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

Anchorage Museum - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

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

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

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

Must see in anchorageImage Source: wikimedia.org

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

Tourist attractions in AnchorageImage Source: flickr.com

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

Alaska Zoo - ImageImage Source: flickr.com



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.

Author: Seema Nande
A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternal...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Anchorage, Alaska

Must see places in Anchorage ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Anchorage tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 751 times in trip plans
    Eklutna Lake

    Tags: Outdoors, View Point, Lake

    Address: Eklutna Lake, Anchorage, AK, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The pristine natural treasures of Lake Eklutna are ridiculously easy to appreciate. All you need is time. The lake is about an hour’s drive north of Anchorage. Its waters are glacier fed. Activi...Read more

  2. # 2 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 541 times in trip plans
    Portage Glacier

    Tags: Outdoors, Trail, Lake, Valley

    Address: Portage Lake Loop, Girdwood, AK 99587

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This beautiful glacier, lake and valley is one Alaska’s most visited tourist attractions. Once it used to cover the entire valley; now only a number of remnant glaciers remain. These are the Exp...Read more

  3. # 3 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 383 times in trip plans
    Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

    Tags: Conservation Centre

    Address: Mile 79 Seward Highway, Portage, AK 99587

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Close to the ghost town of Portage this famous animal care center is a refuge for sick and orphaned Alaskan wildlife. They also help translocate or reintroduce species, like they did for wood bison an...Read more

  4. # 4 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 447 times in trip plans
    Alyeska Aerial Tram

    Tags: View Point, Cable Car

    Address: Tram Cir, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA

    Timings: 09:30 am - 09:30 pm Details

    Mount Alyeska is at an elevation of 2300 feet. That means great views of beautiful Alaskan landscapes at the top. That means you absolutely must take this seven minute tram ride up to the top to the U...Read more

  5. # 5 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 415 times in trip plans
    Anchorage Log Cabin Visitor Information Center

    Tags: Tourist Center

    Address: 524 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    You may as well make this your first tourist stop in the city. This sod-roofed log cabin is the real deal in every way. The building is authentic and as charming and quaint as wilderness buildings can...Read more

  6. # 6 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 356 times in trip plans
    Alyeska Ski Area

    Tags: Entertainment, Ski Resort

    Address: 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Though the mountain is popular enough in the summer thanks to the viewing platforms and the restaurants on top, the real fun begins when ski season stats at the end of November. With over 669 inches o...Read more

  7. # 7 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 168 times in trip plans
    Eagle River Nature Center

    Tags: Nature

    Address: 32750 Eagle River Rd, Eagle River, AK 99577

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Eagles river is a 40 miles long stream heading out from Eagles glacier. The Eagle River Nature Center near the river aims to raise environmental awareness as well as help people have fun in the su...Read more

  8. # 8 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 508 times in trip plans
    Winner Creek Trail

    Tags: Trail

    Address: Winner Creek Trail Girdwood, AK 99587

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is one of the most beautiful river hikes you’ll ever take in your life. The trail’s beauty is nearly mystic. White and blue water, icy cold, is forced violently through a narrow gorge...Read more

  9. # 9 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 220 times in trip plans
    Alaska Public Lands Information Center

    Tags: Tourist Center, Exhibition

    Address: 605 W 4th Ave #105, Anchorage, AK 99501, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This place is almost a museum of sorts. Run by National Park Rangers, the center educates visitors on how to get the most out of Alaska’s outdoors experiences while maintaining the environment. ...Read more

  10. # 10 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 51 times in trip plans
    Anchorage Market And Festival

    Tags: Market

    Address: Moose Hollow, Anchorage, AK 99501

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is clearly a tourist trap but it is a good one. Besides, it is aimed as much as the residents of Anchorage as visitors to the city. On summer weekends 300 vendors from around Anchorage set up sta...Read more

  11. # 11 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 1217 times in trip plans
    Anchorage Museum At Rasmuson Center

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 625 C Street, Anchorage, AK 99501

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Alaska’s largest museum was opened in 1968 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alaska purchase. Since then, it has expanded its permanent collection to about 25,000 historic objects, half ...Read more

  12. # 12 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 94 times in trip plans
    Begich Boggs Visitor Center

    Tags: Tourist Center

    Address: Portage Lake Loop, Girdwood, AK 99587

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Located on the northwest edge of Portage Lake, this Visitor Center he's quite popular with Alaskan to rest. It gives you an in-depth insight into the Chugach National Forest and Prince William Sound. ...Read more

  13. # 13 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 1014 times in trip plans
    Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

    Tags: Trail, Waterfront, View Point, Nature

    Address: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    YAY! 11 miles of not a single vehicle. It runs from Second Avenue in Downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park and it covers some soulfully riveting sights as it does. Now, 11 mile might be a bit much to wal...Read more

  14. # 14 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 948 times in trip plans
    Alaska Railroad Depot

    Tags: Station

    Address: 411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

    Timings: 05:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Though there are multiple depots, the Wasilla one is truly historic one. Like, it’s listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and everything. The others aren’t bad. The best ...Read more

  15. # 15 of 1025 Things To Do in Anchorage | Added 186 times in trip plans
    Byron Glacier Trail

    Tags: Trail, Hiking Trail

    Address: Byron Glacier Trail Girdwood, AK 99587

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a short hike, the well marked trailhead starting from Byron Glacier Road. Most of the trail is quite flat and follows the picturesque Byron Creek. The surrounding forest are of attractive alde...Read more

Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Anchorage: