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

Creekwood Inn
Creekwood Inn
2 out of 5
2150 Seward Highway, Anchorage, AK, 99503
The price is $104 per night from Sep 6 to Sep 7
Stay at this motel in Anchorage. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a business center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the comfy rooms in our reviews. ...
3.4/5 (623 reviews)
Great value and location...
"I had a wonderful stay and Creekwood Inn. The staff was very friendly and I would stay there again with my family"

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2022

Creekwood Inn
Puffin Inn of Anchorage
Puffin Inn of Anchorage
2 out of 5
4400 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK, 99517
The price is $214 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Anchorage. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
3.5/5 Good! (1,013 reviews)
"Very nice and friendly"

Reviewed on Aug 7, 2022

Puffin Inn of Anchorage
The Lakefront Anchorage
The Lakefront Anchorage
3.5 out of 5
4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK, 99517
The price is $199 per night from Sep 5 to Sep 6
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Anchorage. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the restaurant and the clean ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,130 reviews)
"Front desk had a challenge getting rooms available by 3pm."

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2022

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.
Cozy condo with easy access to hiking & skiing - dogs welcome
Cozy condo with easy access to hiking & skiing - dogs welcome
Girdwood, AK
The price is $103 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 17
Stay at this condo in Girdwood. Enjoy onsite parking, an in-room DVD player, and a patio. Our guests praise the WiFi and the comfy beds in our reviews. Popular ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (8 reviews)
"Cute condo right in the heart of ski town"

Reviewed on Oct 10, 2021

Cozy condo with easy access to hiking & skiing - dogs welcome
Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location!  Park And Walk To Everything.
Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location! Park And Walk To Everything.
Anchorage, AK
Stay at this ski condo in Girdwood. Enjoy WiFi, a sauna, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Alyeska Ski Resort and Girdwood Center for Visual Arts are located ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (40 reviews)
Nice
"Worked out as expected"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2022

Alyeska Base View Studio Condo; Location Location! Park And Walk To Everything.
Lovely 2 bedroom, Minutes from down town!
Lovely 2 bedroom, Minutes from down town!
Anchorage, AK
The price is $175 per night from Aug 19 to Aug 20
Stay at this apartment in Anchorage. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and fenced yards. Popular attractions Dimond Center and Alaska Zoo are located nearby. ...
3.4/5 (5 reviews)
Great place and great host!
"Easy location and host was very accommodating and responded quickly to all of our needs."

Reviewed on Jul 23, 2022

Lovely 2 bedroom, Minutes from down town!
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.

Popular places to visit

Things to do

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Cities near Anchorage