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Things to do in Anchorage

Things to do in  Anchorage

Welcome to Anchorage

Situated at the base of the Chugach Mountains—along the edge of Cook Inlet and within easy reach of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Whittier—Anchorage operates as a modern city at the edge of Alaska’s wilderness, where it's easy to combine the call of the wild with more contemporary draws. Within the city, embark on a guided tour to combine popular sites such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Anchorage Museum, or drink your way through downtown on a tour of Anchorage's breweries. Get out of town, and winter rewards with dog-sledding races and a chance to spy the Northern Lights on a trip outside the city's glow, whereas summer is the season for lengthier day trips from downtown Anchorage, since near round-the-clock sunlight highlights the sights of America’s Last Frontier. Guides add historical commentary and context to the view of sparkling glaciers, Arctic wildlife, and sprawling mountain landscapes; included transporation and guided drives let you keep your eyes peeled on the 127-mile (204-kilometer) long Seward Highway, looking out for moose, Dall sheep, and the occasional black bear along the side of this National Scenic Byway. Stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on your way down the Turnagain Arm, kayak or canoe around the glaciers at Mendenhall Lake, or take in dramatic scenery on a “flightseeing” tour from a small plane. For those with limited time, pre- and post-cruise shore excursions guide visitors to the highlights.

Top 10 attractions in Anchorage

#1
Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier

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Situated in Chugach National Forest about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Anchorage, Portage Glacier ranks as one of Alaska’s most visited attractions. Icebergs from the glacier bob in the waters of Portage Lake, while at the visitor center, travelers can see live ice worms, explore a simulated ice cave, and touch an iceberg.More
#2
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

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Alaska is known for its wildlife, and at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center you can see an array of Alaskan species—bears, bison, moose, elk, musk oxen, and lynx among them—all in one place. Learn about each animal species from knowledgeable staff at this center that works to rehabilitate animals and reintroduce them to life in the wild.More
#3
Denali

Denali

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For many visitors, a trip to Alaska just isn’t complete without catching a glimpse of the massive, snow-capped centerpiece of Denali National Park. Topping out at 20,322 feet (6,194 meters), Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley) is North America’s highest peak. As it’s often completely shrouded in clouds, some say there’s only a 30-percent chance of seeing the peak in any one day.More
#4
Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve

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The tallest peak in North America at 20,310 feet (6,190 meters), Denali, formerly known as Mt. McKinley, is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve in south-central Alaska, an enormous area covering 6 million acres (2.5 million hectares). Founded in 1917, the park protects the native animals who roam free in its remote alpine tundra wilderness.More
#5
Matanuska Glacier

Matanuska Glacier

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Originating within the Chugach Mountain Range, the Matanuska Glacier is a 27-mile-long (43-kilometer-long) river of ice and Alaska’s most accessible glacier. A popular day trip from Anchorage, the glacier draws tourists year-round to gaze at the impressive ice formations and trek among glacial crevasses and brilliant blue meltwater pools.More
#6
Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

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Looking up in Prince William Sound, you’re staring at the densest concentration of tidewater glaciers in the world. Many of them drop steeply as cliffs of ice from the mountains that tower above the coast. Coasting through the calm waters of the sound, it is not uncommon to see cascading waterfalls, as well as a variety of wildlife, including eagles, deer, bears, sea otters, and even whales. The sound is surrounded by the greenery and trees of the Chugach National Forest, which is the second largest in the United States.Explorer James Cook first discovered the sound in 1778, promptly naming it Sandwich Sound after the Earl of Sandwich. His map’s editors, however, later changed the name to honor Prince William Henry of England. Today it remains one of Alaska’s most scenic places, and the coastline’s dramatic fjords must be seen from the water. Keep an eye out also for its many islands as you cruise along the waterways.More
#7
Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park

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Just beyond the edge of Alaska’s largest city and stretching 200 coastal miles (322 kilometers) from Anchorage to Canada, Chugach State Park encompasses nine distinct ecosystems including spruce forests, alpine tundra, and coastal wetlands. Nowhere on Earth is there so much biodiversity so close to a major city.More
#8
Earthquake Park

Earthquake Park

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What remains of the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. and North American history is best viewed from the beautiful Earthquake Park. The 1964 Anchorage earthquake lasted roughly four minutes, registered a 9.4 on the Richter scale, and slid a whole section of south-central Alaska into Cook Inlet. Now the trail into the park offers guests unparalleled views of the Coastal Trail, Anchorage, Cook Inlet and Mt McKinley (otherwise known as Denali), and is a preferred resting spot for a day in the wilderness or an afternoon picnic. A well-loved day hike and quick escape from Anchorage, the Earthquake Park is not to be missed.More
#9
Lake Hood

Lake Hood

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Alaska is home to three million sparkling lakes, but you won’t want to swim in cement-fringed and square-edged Lake Hood. Three miles southwest of Anchorage, this lake serves as the runway for one of the world’s busiest seaplane hubs. Large swaths of wilderness and remote Alaskan communities are made accessible by seaplanes departing from Lake Hood. Nearly 200 daily flights hydroplane off the water when its not frozen over—to the delight of on-lookers—ferrying supplies or passengers on quests to find grizzlies, caribou, secluded fishing spots and wild mountain and glacier landscapes.Across from the Five Fingers docks, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum tells the story of the importance of aviation to the vast state. Bush planes have been instrumental in Alaska’s recent history, and the museum is an homage to both pilot and craft with twenty-five planes housed inside its hanger. The nearby Ted Stevens International Airport for land-based planes is close enough to share an air traffic control tower and the Alaska Airmen’s Association, headquartered in a nook on the lake’s western side, hosts a popular airshow there each May where they raffle off a plane. Fun fact: An Island in the middle of the lake was once home to three pigs named Curly, Larry and Moe tasked with eating eggs and destroying nests of interfering waterfowl.More
#10
Turnagain Arm

Turnagain Arm

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The Turnagain Arm is a waterway into the Gulf of Alaska, one of two branches of the Cook Inlet. The Turnagain Arm Drive is the 50-mile stretch from Anchorage to Portage Glacier, known for being one of the most scenic drives in the world. Snow-capped mountains and glaciers provide the backdrop along Chugate State Park. Some of the wildlife that can be spotted here includes bald eagles, beluga whales, moose, elk, and Alaskan wild salmon. There are numerous hiking trails along the Turnagain Arm, including the Turnagain Arm Trail which follows the highway.Turnagain Arm is known for its high tides and particularly the bore tide, which is a series of waves reaching as high as ten feet as they travel from the bay to the shallower inlet. Because of the surrounding mountains and size of the waves, the bore tide at Turnagain Arm is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Anchorage

How to Spend 1 Day in Anchorage

Top activities in Anchorage

Recent reviews from experiences in Anchorage

star-5
Excellent knowledgeable...
Vint_B, Nov 2021
Wilderness, Wildlife, Glacier Experience from Anchorage
Tour is quick and easy way to see area outside Anchorage.
star-5
We had a great trip...
Sean_M, Oct 2021
Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage
I would recommend this trip to anyway that wants to see what anchorage is all about!
star-5
Absolutely recomendable
Douglas_C, Sep 2021
Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage
We have this tour of the city was excellent , opportunity to see all the best things in Anchorage and having time to try the salmon that was out of breath .
star-5
Recomended
Claudia_C, Sep 2021
Alaska Railroad Anchorage to Seward Round-Trip Same Day Return
We took the last train of the summer , we have the opportunity to see all the wonderful places between Anchorage and Seward.
star-5
Comprehensive Tour of the Anchorage Area
Shayne, Sep 2021
Alaska Wildlife Visit, 1-hr. Glacier Cruise Adventure & Anchorage City Tour
We was nice, answered all our questions, and gave us suggestions on further activities to do and places to see in Alaska.
star-5
Great trip!
Adam_B, Sep 2021
Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage
Highly recommend this tour to anyone who’s wanting to visit Anchorage!
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Personal and friendly...
Rebecca_D, Aug 2021
Anchorage Trolley Tour
Able to see the sights of Anchorage!
star-5
Memorable tour of breathtaking scenery
Ariel_H, Aug 2021
Wilderness, Wildlife, Glacier Experience from Anchorage
Our guide, Trinity was very knowledgeable, interesting and informative guiding us through the sights around Girdwood, Turnagain Arm, Virgin Creek Falls and the Portage Glacier.
star-5
Great Tour
Silvio_B, Aug 2021
Anchorage Trolley's Deluxe City Tour
Great way to see Anchorage with limited time.
star-5
Beautiful Scenery
Cindy_O, Aug 2021
Wildlife and Glaciers with a walk in the Rainforest
This tour is a great, economical way to get to see these places outside of Anchorage.
star-5
Awesome Experience All Around
Annette_P, Aug 2021
Glacier & Wildlife Discovery Tour
All the stops were worth it and we even got a surprise stop to see the Anchorage skyline.
star-5
Awesome!!!
Lori_R, Aug 2021
Anchorage Trolley Tour
Plus it gave us a good ideas about what to see in Anchorage.
star-5
Exprience of a lifetime
Nicole_B, Aug 2021
Alaska Railroad Anchorage to Seward Round-Trip Same Day Return
If you couple it with the Anchorage city tour you get to see some things twice and get better pictures and better memories to share.
star-4
Convenient
Stacey_B, Aug 2021
Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage
We flew into Anchorage and didn't have a car so this was a convenient way to see more than Anchorage.
star-5
Great Tour Guide
Aimee_R, Jul 2021
Private Tour: Anchorage 3-Hour Tour
We saw everything we had been hoping to see on our tour and so much more.
star-5
Experienced alot of Alaska just outside Anchorage
Melanie_K, Sep 2021
Glacier & Wildlife Discovery Tour
Beautiful fall weather helped to make a great day with Lee B.
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Anchorage City and more tour
April_M, Aug 2021
Private Tour: Anchorage 3-Hour Tour
The city of Anchorage does have some great things to see and we learned a lot.
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Once is a life time
Gautam_Borah, Jul 2021
26 Glacier Cruise and Coach from Anchorage
The coach could give every one sometime to visit Whittier marina and buy gifts.
star-5
Good morning trip
Noel_D, Aug 2021
Anchorage City Tour w/ Taste of Wild Smoked Salmon & Reindeer Sausage
A good morning trip to see the city.
star-5
Fabulous
Ally O, Sep 2019
Wildlife and Glaciers with a walk in the Rainforest
Great way to see some of outer Anchorage, and the conservation centre is excellent.
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