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Anchorage, AK
Travel Guide

Anchorage which includes a sandy beach and a sunset

Known as a great place to see the northern lights, this city also offers many extreme adventures, including snow-kiting and ice-bike racing.

This Alaskan city offers visitors many vantage points from which to see the northern lights, as well as extreme sporting adventures, amazing scenery and the opportunity to experience local wildlife including bears, moose and wolves.

Anchorage’s bright starry nights form a perfect backdrop for the dancing northern lights (or aurora borealis). To see them, it is best to plan to spend a few days in the area as they are variable, rather like the weather. Fall, winter and spring are the most common times to see them.

Even in the summer, temperatures rarely rise beyond 66 F (19 C), and there is snowfall most months of the year. If you don’t mind wrapping up, though, Anchorage’s unusual environment forms the perfect habitat for wildlife, including bears, moose, wolves, and beavers.

If wildlife is top of your travel agenda, visit one of the fjords or glaciers, such as Prince William Sound, where you might see whales, kittiwakes, otters, puffins and sea lions. Take a boat trip up to the face of Portage Glacier, located in Chugach National Forest. This is also where you’ll find the Chugach Mountains. Backpackers and climbers flock here in the summer, while skiers and snow walkers arrive in the winter.

Another great way to get to know the area is by dog sledding. Choose from a number of rides and tours that travel through the countryside. In the summer, when there’s no snow, sleds with wheels are provided.

Anchorage’s extreme climate means there is some great snow and ice, and locals and tourists alike take advantage of that for many winter sports such as skiing, snowmobiling and dog mushing. Winding down from the day’s excursions isn’t difficult. Local beer is a specialty; try the Polar Pale Ale or Sockeye Red IPA. Anchorage’s seafood is among the best in the country; accompany your brew with freshly caught king crab or halibut.

Anchorage Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Anchorage

Hotel Captain Cook
Hotel Captain Cook
4 out of 5
939 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK
The price is $275 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 22
Located in Downtown Anchorage, this historic hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Imaginarium - Science Discovery Center and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Port of Anchorage. ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (956 reviews)
"The Captain Cook is the classic Anchorage hotel. It's showing its age but who isn't? The views are great, the food is good, the vibe is just right for Anchorage."

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2021

Hotel Captain Cook
Alyeska Resort
Alyeska Resort
4 out of 5
1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK
The price is $365 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 22
Located in the mountains, this ski-in/ski-out hotel in Girdwood is within a 5-minute walk of Chugach National Forest and Alyeska Ski Resort and close to winter ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,115 reviews)
"Very good resort feel with trails and outdoor sitting areas."

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2021

Alyeska Resort
The Lakefront Anchorage
The Lakefront Anchorage
3.5 out of 5
4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK
The price is $295 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 12
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Lake Hood Harbor, DeLong Lake Park, and Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. Lynn Ary Park and Pop ...
4.2/5Very Good! (948 reviews)
"My wife made the comment that the drapes in the room cover the air conditioning unit, making it ineffective in creating any air flow in the room."

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2021

The Lakefront Anchorage
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Anchorage Grand Hotel
Anchorage Grand Hotel
2.5 out of 5
505 W 2nd Ave, Anchorage, AK
The price is $199 per night from Jun 23 to Jun 23
Located in Downtown Anchorage, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alaska Statehood Monument and Port of Anchorage. Leopold David House and Anchorage Market ...
4.1/5Very Good! (866 reviews)
"The room is pretty big. They have microwave, but they don't have AC. They provide a fan instead. Walkable to downtown. Everything is okay. I enjoy staying to this place."

Reviewed on Jun 15, 2021

Anchorage Grand Hotel
A Peaceful Abode, a Place of Quiet
A Peaceful Abode, a Place of Quiet
Anchorage, AK
Located in Old Seward - Oceanview, this vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tanglewood Lakes Golf Club, Potter's Marsh Bird Sanctuary, and H2Oasis Indoor ...
A Peaceful Abode, a Place of Quiet
Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location! Park And Walk To Everything
Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location! Park And Walk To Everything
Girdwood, AK
Located in the mountains, this ski-in/ski-out condo building in Girdwood is within a 5-minute walk of Chugach National Forest and Alyeska Ski Resort and close ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (31 reviews)
Cute place, great location!
"The place was clean, cute, and in the perfect location. Jackie responded quickly, communicated well, and made the check in/check out process so simple. Definitely staying here again!"

Reviewed on Apr 27, 2021

Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location! Park And Walk To Everything
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Anchorage

Anchorage is spread out, and you’ll find that renting a car is the easiest way to explore the city and its surroundings. There are many rental operators at the airport and in town, but be aware that in summer you may have to book ahead to secure a car. Roads can be in a bad condition during the winter, so it’s best to avoid driving at this time; be very careful and go slowly if you do get behind the wheel. Visit the Anchorage's Public Transportation Department website.Browse Anchorage rental cars.

Best time to visit

While you should never expect sweltering sunbathing weather in Anchorage, the warmest time of year is summer, when temperatures reach the mid 60s F (high teens C). You’ll also find that the city comes alive with flowers at this time of year. Winter is extremely cold, with average highs in the mid 20s F (around -5 C); however, you can see the northern lights around this time, and enjoy winter sports.

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