Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage.
Set amid the coastal Chugach Mountains, Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city defies popular visions of polar ice caps and frozen tundra. From the sparkling waters of Cook Inlet to the tallest peaks of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage, Alaska encompasses wild adventures and metropolitan appeals that form larger-than-life experiences.
Explore Alaskan wilderness from Anchorage
An Anchorage glacier cruise provides the opportunity for a truly unforgettable Alaska experience. The diverse ecosystems surrounding these glaciers makes wildlife cruises from Anchorage a vacation must for nature lovers. Get up close to a towering glacier and listen to the thunderous roar as a brilliant blue shard of ice crashes into the waters below. The show isn’t over when the boat turns for home. Whales, porpoise, otters and other animals all spend the summer in these waters too.
Anchorage offers the comforts of a large US city but is only a 30-minute drive from the Alaskan wilderness. Anchorage is centrally located in Alaska, 358 miles south of Fairbanks and 127 miles north of Seward. More than 200 domestic and international flights service the city daily. From Anchorage, you can drive north to Fairbanks along the Parks Highway or south toward the famous Kenai Peninsula and the communities of Girdwood, Seward, Soldotna, Kenai and Homer via the Seward and Sterling highways.
Things to do in Anchorage
Whether you have an hour or a whole day, day tour companies and their professional tour guides have a long list of destinations around Anchorage. Local sightseeing and city tours help you make every minute count. Anchorage is the place where young spirits and adventurous souls come to play. Alaska activities including famous wildlife, spectacular mountain vistas, fascinating cultures and icy blue glaciers all await your discovery.
Glacier and wildlife day cruises combine two of Alaska’s most popular draws. Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords National Park and Portage Lake are three popular day cruise options out of Anchorage.
It’s the largest Alaska Native collection in the state and it’s surrounded by large video screens showing contemporary Native life. Nearby is the Listening Space where you can listen to storytellers and natural sounds from Arctic Alaska.
Bicycle Tours & Rentals
In Anchorage biking is a way of life. Anchorage features dozens of parks and 122 miles of paved bike paths. Whether you’re cruising on a cruiser, buzzing a forested single-track on a mountain bike, rolling through a greenway on a road bike or touring with a tandem, you’ll be in good company among the thousands of locals who ride.
Kayaking & Canoeing
Travel by kayak has a long history in the area. Alaska Native people used sea kayaks to travel the coast. In a story related by one elder, the Chugach Mountains near Anchorage actually got their name as a group of paddlers first sighted the mountains from their kayaks in Cook Inlet.
Hiking & Ice Climbing
Guided hiking, nature walks, heli-hiking, birding, photo, backpacking and custom private trips in Denali State Park & Talkeetna. See wildlife, pristine wilderness and spectacular Mt. McKinley views with a great naturalist guide.
Alaska offers some of the most spectacular fly-fishing, saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing and even ice fishing in the world. It can be as easy as pulling off the side of the road and casting a line.
Alaska wildlife viewing opportunities and tours start right outside the door, and these tours and attractions can help get you seek out iconic species like moose, bears, eagles and whales.
Railroad Tours – Aurora Winter Trains
Winter in Alaska isn’t for everyone – but those who set forth with a sense of adventure (and a warm jacket) are rewarded with a true winter wonderland. Thick blankets of snow make for pristine landscapes, and long dark nights are the perfect stage for dazzling displays of the aurora borealis. The Alaska Railroad operates year-round, connecting Anchorage, Talkeetna and Fairbanks throughout the winter season. The Aurora Winter Trains operates weekends, traveling northbound from Anchorage to Fairbanks on Saturdays and making the return journey Sundays. In February and March, the Aurora makes select mid-week departures as well.