Looking for the best museums in Anchorage Alaska to spend an educational day? Read on for our 17+ favorite museums!
Anchorage, Alaska, is a city most well known for its glaciers, wildlife, and trails. This town in Alaska is also famous for its big-city amenities, such as fine dining options, bars and breweries, shops, and a theatre. There are tons to do in Anchorage for every kind of traveler!
But did you know that Anchorage, one of the world’s most northern cities, also has a thriving culture and history you can explore through its museums?
The city serves as the cultural center of Alaska. Numerous museums in Anchorage cover every perspective of Alaska’s multifaceted history, from the Russian and Native to the gold rush and pioneer periods.
So regardless of your interest in history, physics, mechanics, or anything else, you will find the ideal museum to learn more in this city.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of best museums in Anchorage Alaska to spend your day at!
17. Anchorage Museum
625 C St Anchorage, AK 99501 | Specialty Museums | $9 – $18 | Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
If you’re searching for a diverse museum to spend your day at, this is the place to go!
The Anchorage Museum, founded in 1968, is the largest in Alaska. This location fosters a profound understanding of Alaska’s rich history and culture by combining admiration for art, history, and science.
This museum, which features art, history, science, ecology, and ethnography, is the ideal location for anyone seeking to extend their global perspective.
When you visit this place, you will find that it is a very informative and instructional museum that caters to learners of all ages and learning types. You will also be amazed by the quantity of art and the quality and originality it offers.
The museum is also relatively clean and well-maintained, yet it doesn’t feel overly formal, which is a plus!
It has a pleasant little café and a resting area in the middle of the museum. This area is the best place to go when you get tired or need a break from exploring the museum.
16. Alaska Native Heritage Center
8800 Heritage Center Dr. Anchorage, AK 99504 | Museums, Tours | $16.95 – $24.95 | Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
This museum is perfect for you if you want to learn about Alaska Native culture through exciting stories, actual native song and dance, demonstrations of native games, and more!
The Alaska Native Heritage Facility, founded in 1999, is a leading cultural center that shares the rich heritage of Alaska’s 11 primary ethnic groups.
Only ten minutes from Anchorage’s downtown, this museum welcomes visitors of all ages to explore, learn, and participate in hands-on exhibits and programs.
Around the stunning Lake Tiulana, you can take a stroll through six real, life-size Native American homes in this museum. All of these native homes are explorable, each equipped with authentic period pieces, and each one has its interactive element.
You can also visit the museum’s theatre, where guests can view films. If you want a unique experience, you can visit their Gathering Place. This area is the hub for participatory storytelling and dance and game displays.
If you get tired while exploring the vicinity, you can relax in their patio area, with heaters and an outside café window where you can place orders.
15. Alaska Museum of Science and Nature
201 N Bragaw St Anchorage, AK 99508 | Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Children’s Museums | $6 – $7 | Thursday to Saturday 10:00 am –4:00 pm
Interested in delving into the realms of science and history? The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature should be your first stop!
This fantastic location, founded in 1989 by two University of Alaska professors as the state’s only museum wholly dedicated to natural history, was initially housed in an Eagle River garage.
Here, you can learn about Alaska’s geology, biology, ecology, archaeology, and human adaptations.
Even though it is not a large museum, there is much to see. This location features displays on various broad topics, including dinosaur fossils, Alaskan marine life, birds, rocks, and minerals, among others.
If you are traveling with children, this is an excellent museum since its interactive exhibits provide an up-close and personal education that will excite them about learning. There is a play area for children whose concentration skills are still developing!
However, if you are an adult visiting alone, expect to encounter numerous school groups. There is also always occasional birthday celebration and noises of children here. But the positive side is in the middle of all the chaos, you will find both fascinating and enlightening exhibitions, and you will surely have a great time.
Moreover, the museum personnel communicated well, which is a benefit! There is also free parking in the streets surrounding the area.
14. Alaska Aviation Museum
4721 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502 | History Museums | $6 – $10 | Monday to Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
If you are a first-time visitor to Alaska, you must visit the Alaska Aviation Museum to learn about the significance and history of aircraft in the region.
The Alaska Aviation Museum, located on the banks of Lake Hood, the world’s busiest seaplane base, is dedicated to preserving, displaying, teaching, and celebrating Alaska’s aviation heritage.
This tiny aviation museum has five unique exhibit halls and outdoor, static displays that bring the history of aviation in Alaska to life.
You can discover the state’s aviation history and how it started here. In the final section of the museum, you will have the opportunity to go outside, where you can view and even go inside the Alaska Airlines 737-200.
The museum will, however, close the airplane door once it starts to rain, so be sure to visit on a sunny day.
So, if you are an aviation enthusiast visiting Anchorage, stop by this hidden gem; you will not be disappointed!
13. Alaska Experience Theatre
705 W 6th Ave Anchorage, AK 99501| Cinema, Historical Museum | $8 – $10 | Monday to Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
This museum is perfect for you if you enjoy watching films and are interested in learning more about Anchorage’s animals, history, and people.
The Alaska Experience Theater specializes in films highlighting the magnificent state’s wildlife, culture, and people. Their 40-foot main screen provides entertainment and history to the whole community.
When you visit this museum, there are two theatres you can choose from. Each theatre presents a different selection of films each day.
In their Safe Quake Theater, they present the current remake of the 1964 film Earthquake Experience by local director Jonathan Lang! This 15-minute documentary examines the most significant earthquake in the Northern Hemisphere and induces a shake while you’re watching it.
Alternatively, you can visit its Large Theater if you want to learn more about the state’s people, history, animals, and landscape. This area features multiple daily presentations on these topics.
However, there will likely be some downtime before the movie begins. But there are numerous posters to read while you wait for the show to begin.
While waiting, you can also purchase sodas and water that you can bring into the theatre. But be aware that holding onto your drink will be difficult due to the shaking seats.
If this is your first time visiting Anchorage, Alaska, you must prioritize visiting this place on your to-do list.
12. Alaska State Trooper Museum
245 W 5th Ave Ste 112 Anchorage, AK 99501| Museum | Free Admission | Monday to Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
If you are in the heart of downtown Anchorage, you should not pass up the opportunity to visit the Alaska Troopers Museum.
This small, volunteer-run museum contains the colorful history of the devoted police officers who brought law and order to one of the largest and most remote counties in the United States.
In this museum, you can learn about all aspects of state trooper law enforcement, including a replica of one of the vehicles they use.
When we visited this location, we enjoyed the display of vintage Motorola radios and the sketch artist kit. This artist kit is a little wooden box containing clear plastic pieces with facial features drawn on them.
The museum features a gift store that provides visitors with the opportunity to purchase a variety of Alaska Law Enforcement-related items and souvenirs.
Their gift shop offers a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, pins, and mugs. So if you are searching for a gift for a family member who collects law enforcement memorabilia while in Anchorage, you will not be disappointed if you visit this location.
Did we mention that they have attentive and polite personnel?
If you are in Anchorage looking for a museum to spend your day at, you should visit this place and purchase some of its merchandise to help the volunteers, as the earnings fund the museum and community activities.
11. Oscar Anderson House Museum
420 M St Anchorage, AK 99501 | Museums, Tours | $5 – $10 | Tuesday to Thursday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Oscar Anderson House Museum is the perfect site to spend the day at if you are interested in learning about Anchorage’s history and are seeking a museum to do so.
This tiny house museum in downtown Anchorage is one of the city’s oldest residences. In addition, it is the only house museum in the entire town.
In this charming little historic house, you may learn a great deal about the town’s fascinating past. During your visit to this place, knowledgeable tour guides will accompany you and provide you with intriguing details about Anchorage.
You can also take a walk along the coastal route near the museum. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the bay after touring the house.
Therefore, if you find yourself in Anchorage, make it a point to stop by this house museum! The admission fee is well worth it, as it contributes to the maintenance of the little house.
10. Alaska Jewish Museum
1221 E 35th Ave Anchorage, AK 99508 | Art Museums | $5 – $10 | Monday to Thursday 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Another museum in Anchorage that you could spend the day exploring is the Alaska Jewish Museum!
This modest but fascinating museum houses Alaska’s Jewish art, history, and culture.
It offers an exhibit space, gathering place, and historical repository for artifacts, photos, films, oral histories, and other records that chronicle the story of Alaska’s Jewish population, past and present, enriching the multicultural wealth of the greater Alaskan community.
This place has three exhibits: one on initial families, one on Operation Magic Carpet and the role Alaska Airlines played, and one on the tragedies of the ships turned back by the Roosevelt administration and the inability to enact the Alaska Development Plan by Harold Ickes.
When we visited this museum, each exhibit was well-executed and deserving of our attention. We prefer the one concerning the Roosevelt administration’s plan to resettle European Jews in Alaska during World War II.
Also, we admire how welcoming this museum is and how helpful the curators are. They were also very friendly and helpful, providing an excellent overview of the place.
The location also features a small gift shop where you can purchase gifts for your loved ones.
9. Heritage Library and Museum
301 West Northern Lights Blvd., Anchorage, AK | History Museums | Free Admission | Monday to Friday 12:00 pm –4:00 pm
This museum is the place to go if you’re curious about the earliest history of the Americas, especially North America!
Inside the Wells Fargo office building on C Street is the Heritage Library and Museum. This location houses several Alaskan paintings, cultural items, and a small library, including the state’s literature.
The library in this place serves as a meeting space for any event that requires a large central table with chairs or a room filled with folding chairs. It also houses other historical objects, such as many guns hung high on one of its walls.
Aside from the library, this location also includes a small but interesting museum with various historical relics, photographs, and other exciting things.
Inside the museum, you can view The National Bank of Alaska’s private collection before Wells Fargo acquired it.
Remember to check out the 46-ounce gold nugget on show in a protective glass case when you visit this place!
What’s better? This museum is free and open to the public!
8. Indian Valley Mine, National Historic Site
Mile 104 Seward Highway, Indian, Anchorage, AK 99540 | Specialty Museums, Historic Sites | $20 – $100 | Monday to Sunday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Are you looking for a location where you can have a memorable experience while learning about mining history? The Indian Valley Mine National Historic Site has your back!
A family runs this beautiful stop along a scenic highway. In this place, you can grasp how to pan for gold and explore two historic cabins from the early 1900s. You can also learn about the mine’s history, view various artifacts in this area, and visit their tiny museum and gift shop.
However, if you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend your time, you can unwind on one of their benches and take in the breathtaking view of the Turnagain Arm. While exploring the property grounds, you can also encounter various creatures like ducks, turkeys, and peacocks.
The owners were amiable and helpful as well. During our visit, they educated us about gold and demonstrated strategies for locating it. Additionally, they were gracious enough to tell us many stories about Alaska and its property.
This Indian Valley Mine is worthwhile and reasonably priced. So if you are in Anchorage, we strongly suggest dropping there and checking it out.
7. Alaska Sports Hall of Fame
5000 W Intl Airport Rd South Terminal, Level 0, Corridor to Car Rental, Anchorage, AK 99502-0913 | Specialty Museums | Free Admission | Monday to Sunday 5:00 am – 1:00 am
If you are interested in the state’s sports history, then here is the perfect location to take a quick look.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, located within the South Terminal, is worth a short stroll around if you have the time. It is a hallway lined with plaques describing the honoree’s or team’s achievements.
As you walk around this hallway, you will notice that they have honored some unique people, such as Iditarod runners and mountaineers.
Even while this hall of fame does not cover big rooms or entire buildings with sports and other memorabilia such as team jerseys, bronze busts of many of the recognized inductees, movies, and gift stores, it is still worth a visit.
Therefore, if you find yourself in the South Terminal in Anchorage and are making your way into the terminal from the parking lot, be sure to stop and check this area.
6. The Roundhouse at Alyeska
1000 Arlberg Avenue, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK 99587| Specialty Museums, History Museums | Free Admission | Friday to Sunday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
The Roundhouse at Alyeska is a must-visit if you are traveling through Anchorage and find yourself atop Mount Alyeska.
This place is the only mountain museum in the state. Although it is tiny, it is exceptionally well-organized. It is also a great site to learn about the history of the Valley and Girdwood, Alaska.
When we visited this location, there were numerous informational signs and a few displays throughout the perimeter. The exhibitions present the history of Alyeska, which is a topic that is highly interesting to learn.
Here, you will find a looping video on a few minor television screens and a diorama of the location in the middle. You can also walk the entire perimeter and take in the breathtaking vistas that will make you feel on top of the world!
Additionally, the service was delightful and helpful, and the meal was excellent. There are also plenty of options for buying presents for friends and family.
If you’re looking for a fun location to visit at the top of the mountains with beautiful and spectacular views while in Anchorage, Roundhouse at Alyeska is the place to go!
5. Alaska Public Lands Center
605 W 4th Ave Anchorage, AK 99501 | Visitor Centers | Free Admission | Monday to Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Looking for a location to learn about Alaska’s plentiful natural resources? The Alaska Public Lands Center has you covered!
This museum in downtown Anchorage features unique exhibits that do an excellent job of introducing you to the state’s terrain and fauna. These exhibits feature whales, salmon, wolves, caribou, bison, seals, bears, and eagles, among other animals.
This location will teach you all information about the State of Alaska. From the northern lights to the importance of salmon in the food chain to the four distinct seasons, glaciers, and cross-country travel.
Some of their displays are also interactive, and others have movies you can watch while you’re there. When we visited this location, we enjoyed the whale tail and the interactive display of the northern lights.
The exhibition area is clean and well-organized, which is a plus. There is also a ranger stationed there who can stamp your books if you have them. There is a gift shop behind that station as well.
What’s superior? This museum offers free admission! However, be careful to check the exhibit’s opening hours as they are subject to change. You must also pass a thorough security check before being admitted.
4. Stephan Fine Arts Gallery
600 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501-2225 | Art Galleries, Museums | $10 – $50 | Monday to Sunday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Stephan Fine Arts Gallery is an excellent location to visit if you are trying to take a little bit of Anchorage back with you when you leave.
This museum in Anchorage houses a collection that focuses primarily on paintings depicting scenes from Alaska. It likewise showcases pictures and bear portraits created by Thomas Mangelsen.
In addition, this museum features Alaskan arts, which comprise an incredible array of works created by local artists.
We visited several art galleries in Anchorage; however, we believed that Stephan had the best assortment. It is the best location to find magnificent Alaskan artwork, including ivory, sculptures, paintings, prints, and postcards.
The owner and their team are both friendly and accommodating. As long as you are enjoying the space, they do not mind if you loiter for hours at this gallery. Furthermore, they are knowledgeable; therefore, do not be afraid to ask questions.
3. Campbell Creek Science Center
5600 Science Center Dr. Anchorage, AK 99507 | Science Museum, Educational Services, Parks | $12 – $24 | Monday to Friday 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
The Campbell Creek Science Center is the destination if you wish to spend your day in an environment where you can acquire new scientific knowledge.
This location, in the middle of Anchorage, Alaska, is an outdoor scientific education center.
If you’re a student of any age visiting the city, this is a must-see because it provides educational courses. When you visit this site, you will not only be able to see beautiful scenery, but you will also have the opportunity to grasp information about the local flora and fauna.
Aside from that, the Campbell Creek Science Center is also an excellent location for trips with the family. The employees here are kind and pleasant, providing excellent customer service.
2. Jets Photo Flipp Selfie Gallery
5011 Arctic Blvd Suite F, Anchorage, AK 99503-7050 | Specialty Museums, Art Gallery| $25 – $50 | Monday to Friday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Looking for a trendy hotspot in Anchorage, Alaska? Then you should head over to Jets Photo Flipp Selfie Gallery as soon as possible!
This location in Anchorage features an immersive art exhibit designed to serve as a backdrop for images you can share on your social media. Their shows include eye-catching elements such as vibrant backdrops, oversized props, and optical illusions.
When you visit this location, you will notice that the staff members are kind and willing to accommodate your needs. As a bonus, the area has a cozy vibe, a quality that is exceptionally beneficial when taking photographs.
The Anchorage museum’s location also boasts excellent lighting and distinctive backdrops. Even though it could be a bit pricey, it is worthwhile!
If you want to immerse yourself in childhood nostalgia, Jets Photo Flipp Selfie Gallery is the best place to spend your day in Anchorage!
1. The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts
194 Olympic Mountain Loop, Girdwood, Anchorage, AK 99587 | Arts and Entertainments, Art Galleries | $10 – $50 | Monday to Friday 11:O0 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 4:O0 pm – 11:00 pm
If you want to spend your day appreciating local art, The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts in Anchorage, Alaska, is the place to go!
This small town art gallery, directly adjacent to the Girdwood Bake Shop and Sitzmark Restaurant, displays incredibly innovative art.
The Girdwood Center for the Visual Arts is not your average museum or art gallery. It is a non-profit cooperative art gallery that features the work of more than 30 Alaskan artists.
When you visit this location, you will discover that its staff members are volunteer artists. These people are creating a unique chance for patrons and artists to interact. You can also meet the featured artist for an extraordinary art experience.
In their gallery, you can see works in different mediums, including oil and acrylic painting, watercolor, ceramics, and glass. Metal, wood, fabric, photography, linoleum prints, and jewelry are other mediums that you can discover here.
In addition to that, it presents a large number of beautiful works of visual art that are available for your enjoyment.
As a cooperative maintained by volunteer artists, the rates here are far lower than in an ordinary gallery. So, if you appreciate the arts but are on a tight budget, this is the place for you!
That’s all, folks! The 17 best museums in Anchorage, Alaska, to spend a day at!
After reading this article, we hope you will have an idea of what museum to visit when you are already in town.
However, regardless of which museums you choose to visit from the options on this list, we hope you have a wonderful time there!
Do you know of other museums in Anchorage that should be on our list that we haven’t mentioned? Please leave a comment with your opinions in the space provided below!