Alaska Botanical Garden#11 in Best Things To Do in Anchorage
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 grown from local seeds.
Called a "small gem located in a large city" by one recent visitor, the garden attracts both locals and visitors alike with its serene walking paths, beautiful flowers and helpful staff that are available to answer any questions you may have about the gardens.
To the east of the garden is Campbell Creek, which has a summer Chinook salmon run. Plus, visiting in the warmer months guarantees that you will see thousands of flowering plants. The Alaska Botanical Garden is located about 2½ miles southeast of the University of Alaska Anchorage and shares a parking lot with Benny Benson Secondary School. The garden is also accessible via route Nos. 75 and 1 on the People Mover. Admission rates vary by season: tickets cost $7 per adult between September and May and $10 per adult between May and September. The gardens are open year-round from dawn to dusk. For more information, visit the garden's 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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