Most Alaska visitors eventually land in Anchorage at either the start or finale (but sometimes midway) as part of their Alaska tour itinerary. But do you know how best to spend your time in Anchorage and the 5 best things to do there?
Here are our top 5 picks for a visit to Anchorage:
#1: Visit Seward via the Alaska Railroad
By far the best train ride in Alaska is the trip on the historic Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward. This train ride takes you down the Turnagin Arm and then over though remote locations of Alaska to Seward. The Train goes through mountains and has waterfalls right next to the train. On board the conductor will give a tour on the way down and will point out wildlife along the way.
#2: Go on an Anchorage Flightseeing Trip
Anchorage is a perfect hub for a diverse array of flightseeing tours. On an Anchorage small plane flight, it is possible to do everything from just enjoying a scenic ride on a floatplane or bush plane to experiencing bear viewing or fly out fishing. The views from above Anchorage are amazing, and you can also take in the panoramas of small islands surrounding Anchorage and the sweeping mountains of the Alaska Range that surround the city.
#3: Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is wonderful way to learn about the native people of Alaska. This cultural icon includes displays of Alaska’s heritage from 11 of Alaska’s major cultural groups. Several live demonstrations showcase singing and dance, storytelling, native artwork and native games. There are also many traditional examples of native buildings that can be explored.
#4: Don’t Miss the Anchorage Museum
The Anchorage Museum offers a wide range of exhibits from art to natural history, with some permeate displays and some short term exhibits there is always something new to find and explore. The Imaginarium Discovery Center in the museum is a hands on science discovery center. This center is great fun for all ages. There is also a planetarium in the museum so that you can gaze into the heavens to hunt down your favorite constellations.
#5: Go on an Anchorage Hike or Biking Trip
Anchorage is a “Bike Utopia” says Bicycling Magazine, with 120+ miles of paved bike trails it is easy to see the stunning views in and around the Anchorage area. And it’s so easy to just rent a bike in Anchorage with so many bike rental shops. The cycling trails in Anchorage range from smooth, flat and paved to roller-coaster unpaved mountain biking trails.
If biking is not your style however, Anchorage’s hiking trails are great for either a leisurely stroll after dinner or a wonderful day hike. The trail system is easy to access from downtown Anchorage. One of our favorite trails is the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. The Coastal Trail offers stunning views of Fire Island and the opening to the Kink Arm and the Turnagin Arm.