Getting Around Anchorage
The best ways to get around Anchorage are by foot or car. You'll find that the compact downtown area is easy to navigate without wheels. However, if you plan to explore the outskirts or to get out of town altogether, a rental car is your best bet. The city operates a public bus system known as the People Mover, but buses only come about once every half hour or once an hour, depending on the route. To reach downtown from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), consider taking a taxi to avoid inflated fees at the airport car rental agencies. Cab fares from the airport to downtown Anchorage generally cost between $20 and $30. Some hotels also offer free shuttle service to and from the airport, so check ahead with your concierge.
|On Foot or Bike||Featuring easy-to-navigate streets and a laid-back vibe, Anchorage's downtown is ideal for walking. The city also has numerous bike routes and trails; you can rent bikes in the downtown area for around $30 a day.|
|Car||Unless you're planning to spend your entire vacation in downtown Anchorage, a car will be useful. The city itself spans more than 1,000 square miles, and the outlying wilderness areas can only be accessed by car. You can rent from agencies located at the airport, but expect to see an extra 10 percent concession fee tacked on to the already astronomical 18 percent added by taxes. To save money, consider waiting to rent until you've made it into town. And reserve your car several weeks in advance, especially if you're traveling during the summer high season.|
Anchorage's People Mover public buses are an affordable (if somewhat slow) way to get around town. They generally only run once every half hour or once every hour, depending on the route. Routes cover several top sites – including the Anchorage Museum – as well as several of the outlying neighborhoods. Single rides cost $2 per person (remember to carry exact change), but if you plan on using the People Mover fairly often, consider purchasing a day pass for $5.
|Taxi||Finding a taxi in Anchorage should never be too much of a hassle, but do your best not to rely on them on a regular basis as fares tend to add up. You'll find that renting a car is simply more cost-efficient and more convenient.|
According to recent travelers, one of the best ways to get to know Anchorage and its surroundings is to hit the rails. The Alaska Railroad offers several train tours that carry you from the city's historic depot to nearby natural attractions like the Denali and Spencer Glacier and the Kenai Fjords National Park. However, it's smart to look up the schedule before you go, as there is limited service between September and May.
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