Anchorage Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Cheap Destinations in the U.S.
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Best Things To Do in Anchorage

Proximity to the great outdoors is the most obvious reason to visit Anchorage. The city is just a short drive from major hiking spots, ski areas and national parks, so stretch your legs along the popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or cast your line for dinner at salmon-swamped Ship Creek. Don't be too quick to head out of town, though; Anchorage hosts numerous fascinating and family-friendly attractions. If you're an avid museum-goer, make some time for the Alaska Aviation Museum or, if you've got little ones in tow, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is home to interactive exhibits that spotlight Alaska's history and culture.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 16, 2017

  • #1
    Things to do in Anchorage
    View all Photos
    #1 in Anchorage
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a family-friendly outdoor excursion, grab your camera and hit the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, named for thefor former Alaska governor Tony Knowles. Winding its way from the downtown area past theAlaska Aviation Heritage MuseumtoKincaid Park, this 11-mile paved path is perfect for biking, rollerblading, cross-country skiing and strolling. If

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Anchorage Museum
    View all Photos
    #2 in Anchorage
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a thorough introduction to everything Alaska, head to the Anchorage Museum. The state's largest museum houses exhibitions that detail everything from local wildlife to native cultures to Alaskan history and art. You'll also come across touring exhibits that highlight important aspects of the state's past and present. Even if

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
    View all Photos
    #3 in Anchorage
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A staple in the Anchorage arts scene since 1998, the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts (or, Center of the PAC, as it is locally known) is the place to go in Anchorage when you want to catch a play, show, musical or concert. Conveniently located downtown and with three

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Alaska Native Heritage Center
    View all Photos
    #4 in Anchorage
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    What makes Alaska truly unique are the cultures that thrive there. For example, you can learn all about the Last Frontier's indigenous people at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, which is devoted to preserving customs that have been around much longer than the cities that now call Alaska home. There

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Anchorage Market & Festival
    View all Photos
    #5 in Anchorage
    Festivals, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Festivals, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    A local favorite since it first opened in 1992, the Anchorage Market and Festival started out as a Saturday-only market with just two dozen vendors, but it quickly grew to host more than 300 vendors and now also operates on Sundays. Situated on 7 acres in downtown Anchorage, the market

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Potter Marsh
    View all Photos
    #6 in Anchorage
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    At the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge is Potter Marsh, a wooden boardwalk that winds through a half-mile of marshlands. This is a popular destination for birders, as Canada geese, northern pintails, canvasback ducks, red-necked phalaropes, horned and red-necked grebes and northern harriers come to this wetland from

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Kincaid Park
    View all Photos
    #7 in Anchorage
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Kincaid Park is the ideal place for when you need an escape from city life without having to actually leave Anchorage. Overlooking Cook Inlet from the city's southwest corner, this 1,400-acre park is home to dozens of hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails, gardens and even some of Alaska's favorite

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Oscar Anderson House Museum
    View all Photos
    #8 in Anchorage
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    When it was first founded, the city of Anchorage was just a jumble of tents. That is, until Oscar Anderson came along. The city butcher built the first permanent home in 1915, and although it's not in its original location, this house offers an interesting glimpse of life in young

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Chugach State Park
    View all Photos
    #9 in Anchorage
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located about 13 miles south of downtown, this sprawling state park is one of the largest in the country, clocking in at nearly half a million acres of hiking trails, ski areas, rock-climbing spots and wildlife habitat. Chugach is the perfect place to experience untouched Alaska without a long drive.

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Alaska Aviation Museum
    View all Photos
    #10 in Anchorage
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Aviation has played a major role in Alaska's development– before there was a significant network of paved roads or railways, there were landing strips– and at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum you can learn how airplanes helped the Last Frontier take flight. Exhibits focus on the careers of bush pilots, who mastered

    ...Read More »
  • #11
    Alaska Botanical Garden
    View all Photos
    #11 in Anchorage
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Spanning about 110 acres, the Alaska Botanical Garden features 150 native plant species and more than 1,100 perennials. There is an herb garden, a wildflower trail, two perennial gardens and the new Anchorage Heritage Garden, which was completed in the summer of 2015 and is filled with native plants that were

    ...Read More »
  • #12
    Alaska Railroad
    View all Photos
    #12 in Anchorage
    Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    In a city that was born from the need for transportation, it should come as no surprise that Anchorage's train depot marks the gateway to the Last Frontier. And when it comes time to get out of town, the Alaska Railroad has just the ticket. While you pass mountains, the

    ...Read More »
  • #13
    The Alaska Zoo
    View all Photos
    #13 in Anchorage
    Sightseeing, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If the thought of running into some of Alaska's four-legged friends in their natural habitat makes you nervous, visit them (safely) at The Alaska Zoo. This little zoo rescues numerous critters– including moose, caribou, polar bears, seals and wolves, among others– that can no longer survive in the wild. Anchorage's residents hold

    ...Read More »

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