Known for Museums, Hiking and Mountains
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.
Trek across the crevasse-laced expanses of the Matanuska Glacier on this exhilarating guided walk. Learn about the geological forces at play beneath your feet as you strap on a pair of ice-gripping crampons and get up-close looks at this 27-mile-long (43-km) glacier.
Make the most out of your post-cruise drive from Seward back to Anchorage with a trip that combines the convenience of professional transportation with the fun and interest of a guided tour. On the way to the city, stop to see Portage Glacier and meet native animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Board your Turnagain Arm Shuttle for the guided drive along Alaska’s most scenic highway. From beginning to end there are dramatic views of mountain scenery and the Cook Inlet. At the 140-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, jaws drop in awe-even those of longtime Alaskans.
Hover and soar over the untouched wildnerness, craggy peaks, and glacier-carved valleys of the Chugach Mountains on this breathtaking helicopter flight. For an up-close look at the ancient frozen wonders that have shaped the landscape, touch down to set foot on a snow-topped glacier.