Alaska Aviation Museum#9 in Best Things To Do in Anchorage
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 flying over the state's rough terrain, plus the history of Alaskan aviation. While touring, check out the historic aircraft housed in the storage hanger. Recent visitors recommend taking your time to explore and see all of the planes, and not to miss the last hanger, where you can watch volunteers rebuilding vintage bush planes.
Overlooking Lake Hood from the grounds of the Anchorage airport, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum is a great place to either start or end your Anchorage trip. You can visit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day during the summer and Wednesdays through Sundays during the winter. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children (ages 5 to 12). For more information, check out the museum website.
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#1 Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
For a family-friendly outdoor excursion, grab your camera and hit the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, named for the for former Alaska governor Tony Knowles. Winding its way from the downtown area past the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum to Kincaid Park, this 11-mile paved path is perfect for biking, rollerblading, cross-country skiing and strolling. If you're visiting during the summer, keep your eyes peeled over Cook Inlet for beluga whales, while winter trailblazers should look out for moose in Kincaid Park.
Many recent visitors hail this trail as the best site in Anchorage, but they also offer a few words of advice, saying you should take your time while exploring the park, as there will be a lot you'll want to stop and see. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is free and open to the public throughout the year. You can access the trail at the northeast end of West 2nd Avenue near the railroad depot and at the southwest end at Kincaid chalet, as well as several points in between. For more information, check out the trail's website.
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