Alaska Native Heritage Center

#4 in Best Things To Do in Anchorage
Alaska Native Heritage Center picture
Ashley Johnston / ACVB/Courtesy of the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau

Key Info

8800 Heritage Center Drive

Details

Museums, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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 are three main parts: A gallery that displays native artifacts, a performance hall where members of native communities tell stories, dance and show off their athletic abilities and a grouping of seven traditional dwellings that represent the lifestyles of some of the tribes.

Recent visitors agree that the Alaska Native Heritage Center offers a superb educational experience, but to get the most out of your visit, take some time to chat with the representives, deemed the best way to hear personal stories and learn about different communities.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center sits northeast of downtown Anchorage along the Glenn Highway and welcomes visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between May and September. The center is closed during the winter except for Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during monthly special events. Admission is pricy -- $25 for adults and $17 for children -- but previous visitors say that the cost is worth it. For more information, visit the center'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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