Top Things to Do in Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the natural beauty of Chugach State Park to immersing in native culture at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, there is something for everyone. Indulge in local cuisine by trying fresh Alaskan seafood and sampling reindeer sausage. Engage in outdoor activities such as fishing in Ship Creek and kayaking in Prince William Sound. And don’t miss the opportunity to experience the winter wonderland of Alaska by skiing at Alyeska Resort and witnessing the Northern Lights. Here are the top things to do in Anchorage, Alaska.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the natural beauty of Chugach State Park
  • Immerse in native culture at the Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Indulge in local cuisine by trying fresh Alaskan seafood
  • Engage in outdoor activities like fishing and kayaking
  • Experience the winter wonderland of Alaska by skiing and witnessing the Northern Lights

Explore the Natural Beauty

Take a Wildlife Cruise

Embark on a thrilling wildlife cruise along the breathtaking coastline of Anchorage. Get up close and personal with the diverse marine life and majestic creatures that call these waters home. Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals, sea lions, and a variety of seabirds. This unforgettable experience allows you to witness the natural beauty of Alaska while enjoying the serenity of the open sea.

Discover the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a scenic trail that stretches 11 miles along the coast of Anchorage. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the Cook Inlet. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking, and it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Along the trail, you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and spot wildlife such as bald eagles and beluga whales. There are also several picnic areas where you can take a break and enjoy a meal with a view. Don’t forget to visit the Anchorage Market and Festival, a vibrant outdoor market where you can find local crafts, delicious food, and live entertainment.

Immerse in Native Culture

Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must-visit destination for those interested in immersing themselves in the rich Native culture of Alaska. Located in Anchorage, the center offers a unique opportunity to learn about the diverse indigenous communities that call Alaska home. Experience traditional dances, storytelling, and art demonstrations that showcase the vibrant traditions of the Native peoples. Explore the exhibits that highlight the history, languages, and customs of the different Native groups.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of the Iditarod Trail, a historic dogsled route that played a crucial role in the transportation of goods and mail in the early days of Alaska.
  • Engage with knowledgeable staff and Native elders who are passionate about sharing their heritage and answering questions.

Tip: Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Native foods like salmon, moose, and bannock bread at the center’s cafe.

Attend a Native Dance Performance

Immerse yourself in the rich Native culture of Alaska by attending a captivating Native Dance Performance. Experience the vibrant rhythms, intricate movements, and colorful costumes that showcase the traditions and stories of the indigenous people. Witness the grace and skill of the dancers as they perform traditional dances passed down through generations. Feel the energy and connection to the land and history as you become immersed in this cultural celebration.

Explore the Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum is a must-visit for those interested in immersing themselves in the rich history and culture of Alaska. With its extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the state’s past and present. From traditional Native Alaskan art to contemporary works, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Take your time exploring the various galleries and learn about the diverse cultures that have shaped Alaska. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the museum’s educational programs or special events, which provide a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.

Learn about the Iditarod Trail

The Iditarod Trail is a historic dogsled race that takes place annually in Alaska. It covers a distance of approximately 1,000 miles, starting in Anchorage and ending in Nome. The race commemorates the famous 1925 serum run to Nome, where dog teams delivered life-saving medicine during a diphtheria outbreak. Iditarod Trail is known for its challenging terrain and extreme weather conditions, making it a true test of endurance and skill.

  • The Iditarod Trail is a historic dogsled race in Alaska.
  • It covers a distance of approximately 1,000 miles.
  • The race starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome.
  • The race commemorates the 1925 serum run to Nome.
  • The trail is known for its challenging terrain and extreme weather conditions.

Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about the Iditarod Trail, be sure to visit the Anchorage Museum, where you can explore exhibits and artifacts related to the race.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Try Fresh Alaskan Seafood

Indulge in the delicious flavors of fresh Alaskan seafood. Anchorage is known for its abundance of seafood options, including salmon, halibut, and king crab. Whether you prefer a casual seafood shack or an upscale seafood restaurant, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Bear Tooth Theatre, where you can enjoy a meal while watching a movie.

Sample Reindeer Sausage

Reindeer sausage is a popular local delicacy in Alaska Anchorage. Made from lean reindeer meat, it offers a unique and flavorful experience for food enthusiasts.

  • Reindeer sausage is known for its rich and smoky taste, making it a must-try for meat lovers.
  • The sausage is often served grilled or pan-fried, accompanied by traditional condiments like mustard and sauerkraut.
  • It can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or incorporated into various dishes, such as reindeer sausage pizza or reindeer sausage pasta.

Pro tip: When ordering reindeer sausage, ask for recommendations on the best local spots to try it. Locals often have their favorite hidden gems for this delicious treat.

Visit Local Breweries

Anchorage is known for its vibrant craft beer scene, and visiting local breweries is a must-do for beer enthusiasts. You can sample a wide variety of locally brewed beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. Each brewery has its own unique atmosphere and offerings, so you can explore different flavors and styles. Some popular breweries in Anchorage include Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage Brewing Company, and King Street Brewing Company. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the delicious and innovative brews that these breweries have to offer.

Experience a Salmon Bake

A salmon bake is a must-try experience in Anchorage. This traditional Alaskan cooking method involves grilling salmon over an open fire, resulting in a delicious and flavorful meal. Fresh salmon is marinated in a special blend of herbs and spices, then cooked to perfection. Here are a few reasons why you should consider experiencing a salmon bake:

  • Authentic Alaskan Cuisine: A salmon bake allows you to taste the true flavors of Alaska. The combination of fresh salmon, herbs, and spices creates a unique and memorable dining experience.

  • Community Gathering: Salmon bakes are often held as community events, bringing people together to enjoy good food and company. It’s a great opportunity to meet locals and learn more about the culture and traditions of Alaska.

  • Scenic Locations: Many salmon bakes take place in beautiful outdoor settings, such as parks or waterfront areas. You can enjoy your meal while surrounded by stunning natural scenery.

Tip: Don’t forget to try some traditional side dishes like cornbread, baked beans, and coleslaw to complement your salmon.

So, make sure to add a salmon bake to your itinerary when visiting Anchorage!

Engage in Outdoor Activities

Go Fishing in Ship Creek

Ship Creek is a popular spot for fishing in Anchorage. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, this is a great place to cast your line and try your luck. The creek is known for its abundance of salmon, including king salmon, silver salmon, and pink salmon. You can also find trout and Dolly Varden in the creek. Fishing in Ship Creek is not only a fun activity, but it also offers a chance to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. So grab your fishing gear and head to Ship Creek for a memorable fishing experience.

Take a Scenic Flightseeing Tour

Embark on a thrilling adventure with a scenic flightseeing tour in Anchorage. Soar above the breathtaking landscapes of Alaska and get a bird’s-eye view of the majestic mountains, glaciers, and pristine wilderness. Experience the thrill of flying in a small aircraft and enjoy the unique perspective it offers.

During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the vastness of the Chugach Mountains and the stunning Prince William Sound. Marvel at the towering peaks, sparkling blue glaciers, and the turquoise waters of the sound. Keep your camera ready to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the Alaskan wilderness from above.

As you fly over the rugged terrain, your knowledgeable pilot will provide interesting commentary about the area’s geography, wildlife, and history. Learn fascinating facts about the glaciers, mountains, and the native wildlife that call this region home.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a unique adventure, a scenic flightseeing tour is a must-do activity in Anchorage.

Try Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is a thrilling winter activity that allows you to experience the power and agility of these amazing animals. Harness up and embark on a thrilling ride through the snowy landscapes of Alaska. Feel the rush as the dogs pull you along the trails, their paws gliding effortlessly over the snow. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the winter wilderness as you glide through the pristine white landscapes.

  • Dog sledding is a unique way to explore the Alaskan wilderness
  • Experience the thrill of being pulled by a team of strong and energetic sled dogs
  • Enjoy the peacefulness of the winter landscape as you glide through the snow

Tip: Dress warmly and wear layers to stay comfortable during your dog sledding adventure.

Go Kayaking in Prince William Sound

Kayaking in Prince William Sound is a thrilling adventure that allows you to explore the stunning beauty of Alaska’s coastal waters. Paddle through calm fjords and navigate around towering glaciers as you immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness. Feel the serenity as you glide through the crystal-clear waters, surrounded by majestic mountains and abundant wildlife.

  • Experience the thrill of getting up close to massive tidewater glaciers.
  • Encounter a variety of marine life, including sea otters, seals, and whales.
  • Discover hidden coves and remote islands that are only accessible by kayak.
  • Enjoy the tranquility of the sound, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Pro tip: Remember to pack essential gear such as a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery. It’s also recommended to go kayaking with a guide who can provide safety instructions and share interesting insights about the area.

Experience Winter Wonderland

Take a Snowmobile Tour

Experience the thrill of exploring the Alaskan wilderness on a snowmobile tour. Zoom through the snowy landscapes and feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the trails. Bundle up in warm clothing and gear to stay comfortable in the cold temperatures. Discover hidden winter wonderlands and breathtaking views as you ride through the pristine snow-covered terrain.

  • Enjoy the freedom and excitement of riding a snowmobile
  • Explore remote areas that are inaccessible by other means
  • Marvel at the untouched beauty of the Alaskan wilderness

Tip: Make sure to follow the safety guidelines provided by the tour operator and always ride within your skill level. Safety should be your top priority while enjoying this thrilling adventure.

Witness the Northern Lights

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights in Anchorage. The dancing colors and patterns in the night sky create a mesmerizing spectacle. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a great place to witness this natural phenomenon. Located just outside of Anchorage, the center offers a peaceful and secluded setting to enjoy the Northern Lights. Bundle up and find a cozy spot to watch the vibrant display.

Participate in the Fur Rendezvous Festival

The Fur Rendezvous Festival is a must-attend event in Anchorage, Alaska. This annual winter festival celebrates the rich history and culture of the region. It offers a wide range of activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages. From snow sculpting competitions to sled dog races, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The festival also features live music performances, delicious food vendors, and unique arts and crafts. Don’t miss the chance to experience the vibrant atmosphere and immerse yourself in the local traditions.


In conclusion, Alaska Anchorage offers a plethora of exciting activities and experiences for visitors. From exploring the stunning natural beauty to immersing in the rich Native culture, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the delicious local cuisine and engage in thrilling outdoor activities. And if you visit during winter, you’ll be treated to a magical winter wonderland. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Alaska Anchorage!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska?

The best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is mild and the days are long.

What are some popular outdoor activities in Anchorage?

Some popular outdoor activities in Anchorage include fishing in Ship Creek, taking a scenic flightseeing tour, trying dog sledding, and going kayaking in Prince William Sound.

Where can I experience the Northern Lights in Anchorage?

You can experience the Northern Lights in Anchorage by heading out to a dark and clear location away from the city lights, such as Chugach State Park or Eklutna Lake.

What is the Iditarod Trail?

The Iditarod Trail is a famous dog sled race that takes place annually in Alaska. It covers a distance of over 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome.

What are some must-try local cuisines in Anchorage?

Some must-try local cuisines in Anchorage include fresh Alaskan seafood, reindeer sausage, dishes from local breweries, and a traditional salmon bake.

Are there any cultural attractions in Anchorage?

Yes, Anchorage is home to cultural attractions such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where you can learn about native cultures, and the Anchorage Museum, which showcases art and history.

Can I see wildlife in Anchorage?

Yes, you can see wildlife in Anchorage. Taking a wildlife cruise or visiting Chugach State Park are great ways to spot animals such as moose, bears, and eagles.

What winter activities can I do in Anchorage?

In winter, you can go skiing at Alyeska Resort, take a snowmobile tour, witness the Northern Lights, and participate in the Fur Rendezvous Festival.

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