Things to do in Anchorage, Alaska

22nd May 2020

Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, is set on the water’s edge of Cook Inlet in the Gulf of Alaska against a stunning backdrop of glaciers and mountains. It truly feels like the last frontier. Anchorage is a gateway to the Alaskan wilderness, vast national parks, mountains including the Chugach, Kenai and Talkeetna and an abundance of breath-taking wildlife. The city itself has lots to offer including great hotels, a lively bar and music scene, lots of activities for the family and unique native crafts and local culture to discover. There are so many things to do in Anchorage and in the surrounding areas, particularly for adventure and outdoor activity lovers.

Alaska Native Heritage Centre

The Alaska Native Heritage Centre is a renowned cultural centre and museum. A visit will expand your understanding of Alaska’s indigenous people and their rich culture and traditions. Explore traditional crafts and see them being made, learn native dances, and tour full-size replicas of pre-contact Alaska Native buildings.

Flattop Mountain

Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park is the ultimate destination for a day hike. Considered the most climbed mountain in Alaska it a great place for families to enjoy a leisurely hike. There are multiple trails available and although it gets rocky and steep at the summit, there are a number of loop trails below perfect for beginners. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage. Flattop Mountain Shuttle can provide transportation from there to the start the hike at the Glen Alps Trailhead.

Chugach State Park & National Forest

Flattop Mountain is part of Chugach State Park. Chugach State Park & National Forest together comprise more than 9,000 square miles of the most accessible wilderness in Alaska.  The Chugach is a magnet to outdoor and adventure sports enthusiasts who avail of the biking, hiking, cycling, fishing, kayaking and more along popular trailheads and more than 60 of the state’s most accessible glaciers.

Eagle River Nature Centre

If setting off on your own into the Alaskan Wilderness seems a little daunting, then a visit to the Eagle River Nature Centre could be just the solution for you. The centre is run by volunteers with the aim of educating visitors and preserving the natural heritage of the area.  Eagle River Nature Centre provides information and maps for self-guided visits but also offers guided hikes and a range of educational programs throughout the year.

Kincaid Park

Kincaid Park is a 1500-acre park on the site of a former Cold War missile base. You can stroll, hike, run or cycle the multiple trails that run through the wilderness-like park, but there is more to Kincaid than the miles of designated trails. Enjoy fishing in the quiet lakes dotted around the park, explore the woods in search of wildlife, moose, bears and eagles are common in the park or enjoy organised outdoor activities at one of the adventure centres located in the park. Kincaid is also extremely popular in winter thanks to its skiing trails.

Coastal Trail

Anchorage Coastal Trail or Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is an 11-mile coastal trail that winds along the coast of Cook Inlet from downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park. Enjoy spectacular views over coastal marshes and forested hills as you walk or cycle along, with viewing points and mile markers dotted along the way, this easily accessible paved trail is one of the most popular in Anchorage. Maps and route guides are available online.

Alaskan Railway

In a city that evolved from the need for transportation, it is no surprise that Anchorage’s train depot marks the gateway to the Last Frontier. National Geographic Traveller ranked the Coastal Classic Train from Anchorage to Seward among their top ten most scenic train rides in North America. Leaving Anchorage in the morning along a breath-taking coastal route, that also takes you through some spectacular Alaskan wilderness, there is time to explore Seward on arrival and experience some of the exciting adventure activities there, before returning to Anchorage that evening.  The perfect day trip from Anchorage!
Classic Train from Anchorage to Seward

Holidays to Anchorage, Alaska

Holidays to Anchorage, Alaska have so much to offer, particularly to outdoor and adventure sports enthusiasts. That being said, activities are completely scalable depending on our experience. Families and visitors can experience the great outdoors of the Alaskan Wilderness under their own steam or with the help of an experienced guide.

If you would like help planning your holiday to Anchorage, Alaska, contact one of our team of expert travel advisors today and we’ll put together the perfect holiday package for you! Alternatively, check out our current range of holiday deals to Alaska.

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By Ashling O Hara

Travel Expert

Favourite Destination: Alaska is one of the most extraordinary regions in the United States and the best way to experience it at its fullest is with a cruise. You can sail from Vancouver, sunbathing on deck and enjoying the amazing sight of glaziers passing by all at the same time. The cruise takes in the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway along the way and finishes up in Seattle, tech capital of the world. Best time to visit is during the summer months of June, July and August.

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