Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

#3 in Best Things To Do in Anchorage
Alaska Center for the Performing Arts picture
Christie13/Flickr

Key Info

621 W. 6th Ave.

Details

Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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 theaters that vary in size, the center draws everyone from local favorites to Broadway shows like "Peter Pan" and Grammy Award winners like Béla Fleck and David Sanborn.

Recent visitors said that this is a great place to see a show, as the acoustics are fantastic. Others recommended that tourists visiting in the summer should see "AurorA: Alaska's Great Northern Lights," as it's a great way to see the Northern Lights during the offseason. It is shown daily on the hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (it's about 40 minutes in length) between late May and the beginning of September, and tickets are available at the door. Public parking is available around the center (prices vary by lot) and the center is also on several People Mover bus routes – just check the schedule before you go, as most buses only run once or twice an hour. For more information, consult the center's website.

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Tony Knowles Coastal Trail1 of 12
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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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