Looking for the best things to do in Anchorage Alaska right now? We’ve got you covered with the ultimate list of 75+ options!
Anchorage is the best place to find the finest things to do and see in Alaska. In this post, we’ll explore the region and give tips on what to do when visiting this city.
As the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is a great place to start an extensive trip through the northernmost state in the country. It is a gateway to Alaska, and nearly 300,000 people live there.
Anchorage is the best place to go if you love adventure and the wild outdoors alongside the city. With seaside canyons, snow-capped mountain peaks, lakes, and waterfalls as a backdrop, there’s a lot to see and do here.
This city has several cultural sites, well-known universities, and craft centers. On the other hand, the city’s downtown is full of art galleries, restaurants, and more, providing endless fun possibilities.
Plus, there are always things to do in the neighborhood, no matter what time of year you go. During the summer, you’ll love going to state parks, and in the winter, you’ll love going to ski resorts. In this article, we’ll share various activities that cover multiple interests.
So without any further ado, let’s discover the 75 best things to do in Anchorage, Alaska!
75. Learn Anchorage From Alaskan Native
When you go to Anchorage, one of the crucial things to remember is that you’re on Native land.
You can support a Native-owned business, buy real Native art, or attempt to learn about the city first from the people there.
If you want to walk around Anchorage, you can book a tour with AK Finest. A native person will lead you who is on a Tribal Council.
Here, you will learn about Native culture and history, as well as how it reflects the Anchorage area, while also seeing the city’s highlights.
There is no more fun way to begin your journey than this!
74. Visit Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is an excellent place to visit if you don’t know what to do in Anchorage. Even though it isn’t downtown Anchorage, Girdwood is only an hour’s drive from the city center.
This sanctuary works to protect Alaska’s wildlife through learning, conservation, and taking care of the animals.
On a 1.5-mile loop that goes through more than 200 acres, you can walk, bike, or drive to see animals like bison, coyotes, foxes, moose, bears, elk, wolves, caribou, and more.
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a fantastic spot to see many animals while helping a great organization that cares about this wildlife and their habitats.
73. Check Out 4th Avenue
Walking around is among the effective methods to get your bearings if you are on the first days of your Anchorage journey. And 4th Avenue is an excellent street to walk down.
The 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage, which many Alaskans call “Downtown,” runs from east to west.
4th Avenue has been around since the beginning of Anchorage, just over 100 years ago. Back then, it was the primary road in town, so many significant buildings were and are still here.
Stroll this avenue to find out what lies here!
72. Meander Over the Alaska Zoo
Do you want to learn more about the different kinds of wildlife in the city? Slowly make your way to the Alaska Zoo. It is among the best spots in Anchorage because it teaches people about Alaska’s unique wildlife habitats.
At the Alaska Zoo, you can see more than 50 species of domestic and exotic animals, such as brown and black bears, musk ox, Amur tigers, Tibetan yaks, alpacas, snow leopards, and the famous polar bear.
The Alaska Zoo is also great for people who like to watch birds. See beautiful birds from around the world and some living only in Alaska.
The Alaska Zoo is southwest of Anchorage, in the shadow of the Chugach Mountains. It has many classes, programs, and traveling exhibits for its visitors.
71. Go Flightseeing Around Anchorage
You can do more than see the sights when you fly around Alaska. So, flightseeing is a great way to see the finest of Alaska in just a few hours, especially if you don’t have much time.
There are many options for flightseeing tours that leave from Anchorage all year long.
Alaska has few roads, so flying is the only way to get to faraway places you cannot reach any other way. You can fly over national parks and see bears eating salmon and looking for clams. You will also love the majestic landscape.
This experience will take your breath away!
70. Enjoy at Alyeska Resort
The Alyeska Resort is one of the best places to go, and it’s only 40 miles from Anchorage.
With more than 300 rooms, this resort is a spot where you can enjoy many summer and winter activities.
In 1994, Alyeska Resort initially opened its doors. There are 76 ski trails, nearly 1,610 acres of ski area, and a lovely snow cover at the resort.
The rich cultural history of the Alaskan wilderness is also evident in the place’s high-end accommodations. It has pools, tubs, a fitness room, a spa, stores, and seven restaurants where you can get delicious food.
69. Hike Flattop Mountain
Flattop is among the most well-known hikes in Anchorage and all of Alaska. It is the best place to see Anchorage from above.
From the top, you can see many mountain ranges, the dazzling inlet, the skyline of Anchorage, and even the Eagle River!
On a clear day, you might even be able to see Denali.
If you like to hike, you can take the trail to the summit of the mountain and see as far as your eye can see.
However, if you want to hike to the top, give yourself a few hours to enjoy the hike and the view. You have to climb over rocks near the top, so it is not the best choice for people who don’t like to hike.
68. Head Towards Portage Glacier and Begich Boggs Visitor Center
Outside Whittier, the Portage Glacier is about twenty minutes from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. If you stay inside the city center of Anchorage, you can see both of these places in one day.
Apart from seeing animals and beautiful scenery, people visit Alaska to see a glacier up close. And in this section of Anchorage, it is easy to do.
On the other hand, the Begich Boggs Visitor Center has operated since 1986 and is worth a look. Its displays can teach you a lot about glaciers.
But climate change is making the glacier melt so quickly that it is no longer visible from the visitor’s center.
To see it, we suggest hiking to different points of view or, in the summer, taking a one-hour boat tour with a guide.
67. Go to Anchorage Museum
If you like going to museums, you shouldn’t miss this one.
Visiting the Anchorage Museum is among the most recommended things to do while in the area, which is a good choice.
You can spend a half-day looking at traditional and contemporary art, understanding Alaskan history and art, or even trying out some science exhibits throughout the Discovery Center.
If you want to learn about Alaska Native culture, you will particularly love this museum. The exhibits it holds will take you through all of the influential Alaska Native groups.
66. Explore Chugach State Park
Chugach State Park is among the four largest state parks in the nation. It is outside of the city limits and is 700 square miles in size. The park has a large area with lots of mountains for biking, miles of hiking trails, and many rivers and lakes.
People like to go to Chugach State Park for hiking, skiing, backpacking, and other fun outdoor activities. At several spots along the Seward Highway, the park meets saltwater and crosses the Turnagain Arm coasts.
Its most essential landmarks go through the Chugach National Forest, where you can visit places like Portage Glacier.
On the hunt for Alaska’s native animals? When you go to Chugach State Park, keep an eye out for polar bears, grizzlies, beavers, moose, and lynx.
There are also many popular hiking trails in Chugach State Park, such as the McHugh Creek Trail, Falls Creek Trail, Bird Ridge Trail, and Flattop Mountain Trail.
65. Walk Around Anchorage Market
Another favorite thing in Anchorage is going to the Anchorage Market in the Diamond Center Mall on 88th Avenue.
The market is open on weekends from the middle of May to early September.
You can watch live music and eat tasty food in this quirky market in Anchorage.
Not only that, there are over 100 vendors here who sell everything from hand-made jewelry to prints of photographs. It’s also a great place to select a souvenir, so take your time and enjoy the relaxed vibe.
To top it all off, getting in is no charge at all!
64. Try Salmon Sport Fishing at Ship Creek
Ship Creek is the best place to go if you want to experience salmon sport fishing in Anchorage. This river runs right through the center of the city.
Even if you don’t have much time, it’s a wonder because it’s so much fun.
At this place, you can also rent whole fishing kits. If you buy a package, you’ll get all the gear you need and some fishing tips.
63. Traverse the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a shared bike and walking path section that runs along the coast from the center of downtown.
There is a chance to see animals like moose and sea birds here. And a s you move along the route, the view of Anchorage continues to improve as you look back.
You can rent bikes near Elderberry Park, where the trail begins, or walk it yourself.
We recommend going from Elderberry Park towards the West Chester Lagoon if you are walking. Alternatively, if you’re riding a bike, you should continue past Kincaid Park.
62. Picture the Surrounding Area of Eagle River Nature Center
About thirty minutes will get you from downtown Anchorage to Eagle River Nature Center. It is in the midst of Chugach State Park and is a great spot to stop while discovering the large park.
The nature center building used to be a popular bar and steakhouse. Now, it is with friendly people who want you to make the most of the natural area around it. They are there most days of the week to answer any questions.
The area around the Eagle River Nature Center has hiking trails and beautiful views that are always open.
You can even pitch a tent on the property as long that you are one mile from the center and off the trail!
61. Participate in Anchorage Trolley Tour
The Anchorage Trolley tour is a must-take if you want to learn about the city’s history quickly and get a feel for it.
As of this writing, this one-hour tour costs $20 per person, but it has a lot to offer: you’ll drive across downtown Anchorage, witness the Alaska Railroad Depot, go to Earthquake Park, go around Lake Hood, and even see Star the Reindeer.
With plenty of Anchorage highlights, it is no doubt this tour is a must!
60. Escape City Life at Earthquake Park
Earthquake Park is only a few minutes from downtown Anchorage, but it feels like a world away.
The 134-acre park in the woods across the Knik Arm coast remembers an earthquake in 1964 that caused a whole neighborhood to slide into the water.
Earthquake Park, between Hood Creek and Point Woronzof, is the ideal spot to unwind after a hectic day in Anchorage.
Walk to the park’s north end to see the Knik Arm and the Chugach Mountains from a dramatic angle. In other parts of the park, you can look northeast and see Downtown Anchorage.
What’s more? Earthquake Park has biking and hiking trails and connects to the Coastal Trail. It stretches 11 miles along the water and is a great place to enjoy Anchorage’s beautiful coast.
59. Scramble Over Portage Pass
There are many great hikes around and within Anchorage, but the Portage Pass Trail is one you don’t want to miss.
You have to drive through Whittier Tunnel to get to the trailhead. When you come out of the tunnel, turn left quickly, and you’re ready to go!
The hike to Portage Glacier is about 2 miles long and gives you beautiful sights of Maynard Mountain and Shakespeare’s Shoulder. Before going to Portage Lake, you’ll also walk by Divide Lake and deep trenches.
Even though you can’t get as close to Portage Glacier as you used to, you can still see it beautifully. If you listen closely, you might hear ice dropping from the glacier as it melts away.
58. Ride the Slopes of Arctic Valley Ski Area
Arctic Valley is among the first places you can get to when you go to Chugach.
It has a lot of trails but very little or no traffic, so people who go there feel like they have the whole area to themselves.
If you like skiing, Arctic Valley Ski Area is among the best place to ski in Anchorage.
When the weather isn’t good for skiing, it’s a popular place for hiking and other outdoor activities.
There are beautiful scenes of the valley, and you can prepare small snacks there.
The trip to Arctic Valley and back is only about six miles, so you can do it without too much trouble.
57. Sip Cold Beers
Anchorage is the place to be if you like beer.
Alaska has more than 50 breweries, one of which is the most northern in the world. Isn’t that cool?
Anchorage has a lot of these kinds of breweries. If you don’t want to drink and drive, stay downtown and keep a look for 49th State Brewing.
You can also go to the Industrial District and try the beer at Midnight Sun, King Street, and Double Shovel.
Before leaving the place, try the beer from Broken Tooth Brewing at Moose’s Tooth. You can also purchase a growler to keep in your hotel room.
56. Unwind at McHugh Creek Day Use Area
The McHugh Creek Day Use Area is one of the best parts of Chugach State Park. It’s a fantastic spot for a picnic, and a twenty-foot waterfall is just a short walk from where you can park.
It’s only about 25 minutes from downtown, and the parking area is easy to find because it’s right off Seward Highway at milepost 111. This day-use zone is accessible to people with disabilities so everyone can enjoy it.
If you want to go further, try the out-and-back, 6.4-mile McHugh Trail and see the Chugach Mountains and a few alpine lakes.
55. Meet Anchorage’s Mascot
Star is a reindeer who lives in Anchorage and is the city’s mascot.
Even though reindeer can live up to 20 years as pets, this is not the first Star. She lives at the edge of I Street and 10th Avenue.
Star sometimes shows up at community events, but if you want to see her, you’ll have to walk down to her big pen and say hi there.
Also, you can’t pet or feed her; it’s still a good idea to kill a few minutes if you’re nearby.
54. Marvel at Alaska Botanical Garden
If you are a nature lover, you’ll love this next one.
The Alaska Botanical Garden is among the most surprising places for nature lovers to visit in Anchorage. It has over 1,100 species of perennial plants and 150 species of native plants.
Most travelers would think that Alaska’s cold climate would mean that there isn’t much exciting plant life there. The Alaska Botanical Garden shows that this isn’t true.
In the shade of a natural forest, this 100-acre paradise is a great place to see large numbers of Alaska’s most fascinating plants and flowers growing.
On the wildflower trail, you can see irises, roses, poppies, and Asiatic lilies that survive in cold weather. Walk around the herb garden to get a feel for the different herbs used for food and traditional medicine.
Or, get a quick lesson in Alaskan history at the Anchorage Heritage Garden while you look at a typical vegetable, annual, and perennial garden from the 20th century.
53. Learn Alaskan Culture at Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is another great option if you’re searching for things to do in Anchorage.
Alaska is a complex state with eleven significant cultures, and the best place to find out about them is at the heritage center.
During your visit, you’ll get a close look at how the locals live, but that’s not what makes this place so unique. At the Alaska Native Heritage Center, you can hear stories and see dances from local people to learn about their cultures.
Apart from that, just outside is a traditional Alaskan longhouse you can explore!
52. Embark On Kayaking Adventure
Among the best ways to see Alaska is to go kayaking in Anchorage.
You can paddle in the calm waters near Seward.
The native people of Alaska would use sea canoes to move along the shoreline and unwind simultaneously.
You can kayak for one day or several days, depending on what you want.
What’s more? Many travel companies can assist you in making the most of your kayaking trip with their knowledge!
51. Take the Alaska Railroad
One of our top picks to do in the Anchorage area is the Alaska Railroad.
It’s a great way to have a day outside of Anchorage and cruise one of the most beautiful trains in the US or perhaps the world.
We suggest catching a train from Anchorage to Girdwood and devoting the day to exploring the town in the larger Anchorage area.
Before returning to Anchorage the same day, you can ride the Girdwood Tram, sip craft beer, trek, or enjoy the spa at the Alyeska Hotel.
We highly recommend taking a day trip on the Glacier Discovery whistle-stop train to see wildlife and glaciers and go off the beaten path.
50. Go Canoeing at Eklutna Lake
Eklutna Lake is another popular place to go in Chugach State Park.
This lake is seven miles long, one mile wide, and has about fifteen miles of shoreline. The fast-melting Eklutna Glacier at one end feeds the lake with water.
Anchorage gets most of its drinking water and electricity from this body of water, which has a hydroelectric dam.
Electric and non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake, but many people go to Eklutna Lake to kayak and canoe because it is such a beautiful place.
The snowy peaks in the background will make you love this activity even more!
49. Watch Wildlife at Potter Marsh
Potter Marsh is a well-known place where people often see wildlife.
It lies on the south side of Anchorage, and though this was less common before, this area has changed significantly.
The moose like to hang out in this marsh, and you can also see eagles, geese, or other birds.
The best part is that the path out to Potter Marsh is a raised boardwalk with railings, making it easy for people with mobility issues or kids who want to get out to walk around.
48. Go On Outdoor Adventure at Kincaid Park
Among the best places for outdoor adventurers in Anchorage, Kincaid Park is only 20 minutes from the city center.
On the boundary of the Anchorage Bowl, the park covers 1,500 acres of a moraine. From its distinct perch, you can see Denali National Park and the Cook Inlet in all their dramatic glory.
On its more than 35 miles of trails, you can get ready for a hike, run, bike ride, or cross-country skiing adventure if you’re there in the winter.
Also, keep an eye out for black bears, moose, eagles, and other native Alaskan animals, among some of the birch and spruce trees.
Do you want some more action? You can play 18 holes of disc golf with your travel companions or practice your aim at the park’s archery range.
47. Make a Scenic Drive Along Seward Highway
One way to fully enjoy the beauty of Anchorage and the area around it is to take a road trip. But you’ll want to do it along Seward Highway!
The Seward Highway goes from Anchorage to Seward and is among the most beautiful drives you’ll ever take.
The initial part of the route goes along the Turnagain Arm, where you can see the Chugach Mountains in all their glory. You might also see beluga whales if you’re lucky before through the Kenai Peninsula from there.
Give yourself a lot of time because there are a lot of places to see along the way. It includes the cute town of Girdwood and the Potter Creek Viewpoint.
46. View the World-Famous Northern Lights
Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a rare sight you should see once in your life.
From different places in and around Anchorage, you can see these effects of vibrant lights making the sky clear and dark.
Some places where you will likely see the Northern Lights are the Eklutna Tailrace, Glen Alps, Point Woronzof, Girdwood, the Knik River Valley, and the Eagle River Nature Center.
If you want a good chance of seeing this show, the best time is between mid-August and April.
There is no way to know or set when this will happen because it depends significantly on how dark the night is.
45. Sample Local Foods
One of the favorite features about Alaskans is that most of their food comes from what they catch or hunt sustainably.
Many Alaskans depend on subsistence gathering and hunting to survive the long winters. So, among the best ways to see Anchorage like a native is to eat some fresh seafood or try a few of the different meats served in Alaska.
The well-known Simon and Seaforts or Orso have several of the best seafood downtown. If you want to avoid crowds and eat where the locals do, check out Kincaid Grill, which serves fresh Alaskan oysters, cod, salmon, halibut, and Alaskan scallops.
Kincaid Grill also has a fantastic selection of meats and dishes that change with the seasons. There are also King Crab legs and other seafood treats at Haute Quarter Grill.
It is a gourmet treat as there are many other places you can explore within the city!
44. See Anchorage Scenery at Point Woronzof Park
The 192-acre Point Woronzof Park is among Earthquake Park and Kincaid Park.
Even though this park is in the path of the Ted Stevens International Airport runways, you won’t mind seeing and hearing the planes as you glance out at Fire Island, Cook Inlet, the mountain ranges, and maybe even whales.
It is a great place to peek at sunset, no matter what time it is when you go. You might also see bald eagles if you look out over the water.
43. Head Towards the Alaska Aviation Museum
Those interested in aviation history will have a great time at Lake Hood, the world’s biggest and busiest floatplane base, and the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage.
The museum has four hangars with old planes and artifacts in them. It may not sound much, but for the AvGeeks out there, it can take a while to look around.
The museum is close to the airport, so you’ll need to rent a car. If you decide to go, give yourself a couple of hours to explore.
This is definitely one of our favorite museums in Anchorage!
42. Get Active in Delaney Park
Delaney Park used to be a “firebreak” clearing on the southern edge of Anchorage. Now, it is right in the center of town and is among the best places in the city to enjoy the outdoors.
This park is only one block wide but 13 blocks long. You can exercise in Anchorage at the park, which has soccer, volleyball, tennis, and baseball fields.
In the winter, you can play ice hockey with your family on the park’s outdoor rink. Or you can skate around the rink at your own pace and enjoy the cool weather.
41. Snap a Photograph at Bird Creek
If you take the Seward Highway (AK 1) south of Anchorage, you can get to this next point!
There are beautiful mountain views and lookout points along the road, and there are also signs for Bird Creek on the right flank of the road.
Bird Creek has a lovely parking lot, a short walk, and incredible views.
From there, you can see the Turnagain Arm. It’s also a great place to take pictures.
And when you visit in the fall, the views will become more memorable.
40. Visit Ulu Factory
The Ulu Factory, Alaska’s most unique factory, is where you can have an exciting time.
It is in the middle of Anchorage. For over 25 years, this factory has been making high-quality northern ulu knives.
What else can it offer? It is one of the finest sites to buy one of these old northern blades and acts as a kind of mini-museum of history.
You can watch skilled craftspeople making knives the same way they did a century ago.
Did we mention that the site has a gift shop and a garden area?
39. Avail Rust’s Flightseeing Services
As was already said, among the best things to do in Anchorage is to go on a flight. Even though it’s pricey, it’s a great deal for everything you’ll receive.
Several companies offer this service, but reserving with Rust’s Flying Service will not disappoint you.
Other tours give you beautiful views of Denali, but Rust’s bear viewing tour gives you both a scenic time and a chance to see bears. So, if you’re saving up for a flightseeing tour in Alaska and desire a close-up look at how bears live, this is your best option.
Another upside is that it has a lot of tours with beautiful views or longer trips where you can stay in cabins. You can also check that out since it’s a local favorite around Anchorage.
38. Relax at Westchester Lagoon
Downtown Anchorage is only 15 minutes away on foot from Westchester Lagoon. Although the two lakes that comprise the lagoon were human-made, there is a lot of wildlife in this area.
During the warm months, all kinds of birds come here to eat, swim and care for their young. On the other hand, it is a great ice rink that the city runs in the winter.
There are two islands, and there are trails all around the lagoon. It is a great place to walk at any time of day or night.
37. Take a Ghost Tour of Old Anchorage
Ghost Tours of Anchorage is the best way to learn about the history of Anchorage and Alaska for people who like to learn while having fun.
This 90-minute tour happens at 7:30 pm every night of the week apart on Monday. The tour only costs $15, which is a good deal for Alaska.
During the tour, you’ll learn about the “history and mystery” of Anchorage. If you’re open to suggestions, you may also get a sense of the hauntings parts of the city.
36. Delve Into Chugach National Forest
The Chugach National Forest is among the most popular places to go outside in Alaska. It is 35 miles south of Anchorage and is the second-largest national forest in the United States, with an area of 6.9 million acres.
The Kenai Peninsula, the Copper River Delta, and Prince William Sound are all significant parts of the Chugach National Forest. In its length, you can see almost all of Alaska’s different climate zones, from tropical rainforests and boreal forests to shoreline inlets and wetlands.
With many to offer, it is a fantastic destination to uncover while in Anchorage!
35. Watch Whales at the Beluga Point Site
Along the Cook Inlet are signing for the Beluga Point View on the right corner of the road.
Beluga Point is at the 110.5-mile marker on the Seward Highway and is only 6.5 miles south of the city limits of Anchorage.
This place is excellent for seeing Beluga whales and viewing the beautiful Turnagain Arm from 180 degrees of angles. And if you go at high tide, you’re most likely to see the white heads of belugas sticking out of the water!
You can see a lot of whales here, which could be one of the best parts of your trip to Anchorage. But if you walk along the shore, watch out for the mudflats, which can be even more dangerous than quicksand.
34. Have a Tasty Breakfast at Snow City Cafe
If you are in Anchorage for more than one day, you should get a good start before you go out and see the area. Snowy City Cafe will help you do that.
Snow City Cafe is a popular brunch spot in the city. The service is friendly, the food is delicious, and breakfast is available all day.
Its goal is to make food precisely how customers desire, using the top local and healthy ingredients possible.
The cafe is bright and full of natural light, and the people who work there are always happy.
At Snow City Cafe, you can get stacked pancakes of Canadian maple syrup, diet breakfast options, and one of the finest Eggs Benedict meals in the area.
33. Take in the Midnight Sun
The great thing about going to Anchorage or Alaska as a whole in the summer is that it is light for more than 20 hours a day.
That implies you can go hiking at 10 pm or have a drink on a rooftop at 9 pm.
You can do a lot in an entire day, so reserve all the tours, eat at several spots, and walk around downtown Anchorage till the sun never sets.
32. Learn at Resolution Park
Resolution Park is a lovely area on the north end of town with a lot of historical information.
A monument of Captain James Cook stands in this park. Captain Cook and his crew left on their third trip in 1776 on a ship named HMS Resolution.
During his trip, he looked at the Alaskan coast for a way to get to the Atlantic. He and his crew could not find this passage, so they went south toward the Sandwich Islands. He died later in Hawaii in 1779.
Captain Cook was among the most well-known explorers in the world, and this park and statue are a great way to honor him.
Here, you’ll get great views of Knik Arm, and the interpretive signs will tell you further about his place in history.
31. Discover Funky Girdwood
Girdwood is a place all by itself. It is 45 minutes south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway.
This ski town is mainly about the Alyeska Resort and snowshoeing on Alyeska Mountain during winter. In the summer, there is a lot to do as well.
The Girdwood Forest Fair, which is every July, is a big draw. With a slogan like “No Dogs, No Politics, and No Religious Orders,” you can tell that people in Girdwood have strong opinions about things, but locals and tourists love the event.
Apart from that, you will also access great hiking trails and fantastic food and drink.
Easily, Girdwood is worth a day excursion from Anchorage or even a night if you have time in your Alaska schedule.
30. Take Your Kids to the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature
Are you bringing kids to Anchorage? Visit Anchorage’s Alaska Museum of Science and Nature, one of the best places in Anchorage for families, to learn something new.
Kids will learn everything about Alaska’s distinct geology and ecology through fun and educational displays here.
Inside the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature, you’ll find the state’s most extensive mineral deposits, rocks, and fossils.
You will also see North America’s oldest duck-billed dinosaur and a full-size model of a pterosaur, the only dinosaur that could fly in the past.
29. Ride the Alyeska Aerial Tram
Take a ride on the Alyeska Aerial Tram if you want to see some fantastic sights!
It will take you to the summit of Mount Alyeska, where you can see the Turnagain Arm and the glaciers around you.
When you reach the top, there are lots of things to do, like eating at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant or trying paragliding. But hiking is the brightest idea to do around here.
You can take many hikes from Alyeska Resort, including the famous 2.2-mile North Face Trail. You can also start the Upper Tram Terminal Trails or the South Bowl Trails from here, so you have many options.
28. Grab Your Family Towards Hilltop Ski Area
Hilltop Ski Area is where all families who come to the city should go.
The site is just 15 minutes by car from the middle of downtown Anchorage.
It’s an excellent place to wear skis or prepare your snowboard for the slopes.
It has one slope, a small chairlift, and just a few drags, so it’s great for skiers starting.
On-site, there is a ski school, a place to rent equipment, and a small sledding hill for people who like to be scared.
27. Smell the Flowers Downtown
Downtown Anchorage has a lot of historic charm, and in the summer, there are many flowers in bloom.
If you stay in the area between Ship Creek and the Delaney Park Strip, especially on 4-6th Ave., you’ll find that it has a quirky, historic look and is full of floral baskets and gardens that hang from the ceiling.
The baskets downtown look like the state flag, which has “blue stars on a gold field.” A beautiful flower garden in the town square is worth stopping to see. And there are flower baskets on big fishing poles out to 15th Avenue.
It treats the eye and nose with colorful sights and great scents! Likewise, it is enjoyable while you’re in a busy part of the city.
26. Stroll the North Fork Trail in Chugach State Park
The North Fork Trail is an excellent choice for people who love being outside.
This trail is easy and only about 30 minutes from downtown Anchorage. There is a lot to see on its 2.3-mile out-and-back track with only approximately 200 feet of elevation change, so it’s great for kids.
Even though it’s on the park’s edge, it’s in Chugach State Park, so you’ll have to pay a day fee. But it leads toward the Eagle River, and there are a lot of beautiful sights along the way.
People who like to hike but want a warm shower and a comfortable bed afterward might enjoy the nearby Alaska Chalet Bed & Breakfast, which has a good reputation. It is a fantastic spot to visit if you want to be close to Anchorage but not in the city center or suburbs.
25. Reach the Spencer Glacier
Spencer Glacier goes up 3,500 feet in a beautiful, natural slope from a lake of royal-blue ice sheets in the Chugach National Forest, just 60 miles south of Anchorage. Even though it’s pretty, tours of this tourist hotspot are pricey.
But you can get there by taking the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop train and a short, easy hike right to the Spencer Glacier or by kayaking on the lake.
To summarize the trip, you will walk about 1.2 miles to get to the lake after you get off the train. From there, the glacier is about two miles away.
You can also get close to the glacier if you have a raft, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. You can land safely on the moraine on the left side of the glacier, and climbing this moraine will give you great views.
If you do this activity, be careful! Don’t get too near to the glacier because it does break apart.
24. See What the Oscar Anderson House Museum Offers
Stop by the Oscar Anderson House Museum to learn about Anchorage’s past.
The historic house is in Elderberry Park in downtown Anchorage. It shows how early settlers lived in Anchorage through its furniture and artifacts.
The Oscar Anderson House Museum was once the house of one of Anchorage’s most influential people. The following year, it underwent many repairs that brought it back to its glory in the early 1900s.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can set up a tour of the Oscar Anderson House Museum. If you are in Anchorage in early December, you can visit the house to see its decoration for Christmas in the Swedish style.
23. Go Dog Sledding
Among the most widely known things to do in Anchorage is go dog sledding.
You can choose from many companies to take this activity, and Alaska Mushing School or Greatland Adventures are two options with the best services.
Discovering the Alaskan wilderness while being pulled by beautiful dogs is one of the most incredible things you will ever do.
Many tour companies will also let you spend some time with the pups after the tour, so get ready to be overwhelmed by cuteness!
22. Tour the Area by Helicopter With Alpine Air Alaska
Alpine Air Alaska, in the neighborhood of Girdwood, is your way into all the amazing things this beautiful city has to offer.
This helicopter tour will let you see Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park from above.
As you fly through the air, you will see wildlife in bloom, the turquoise ice of Godwin Glacier, peaceful meadows, and beautiful cliffs.
This one-of-a-kind experience will amaze you with its many things to do and beautiful sights!
21. Sample Anchorage Street Food
Anchorage has a flourishing street food scene that you won’t miss.
Reindeer hot dogs are available at many food carts on 4th Avenue during the summer, but that’s just the beginning. If you want a hot dog, the best places are Tia’s Gourmet Sausages and Tiki Pete’s.
If you’re in town on a Saturday in the summer, go to the Anchorage Saturday Market for salmon tortillas and dozens of vendors.
On the other hand, Anchorage’s best street food is at the Food Truck Carnival in Spenard on Thursday, so if you are in the area, don’t miss it.
20. Take the Barbara Falls Trail
Barbara Falls, also called South Fork Falls, is a wise option if you like waterfalls and want to experience a beautiful one with little work.
This 1.3-mile out-and-back trail on the northernmost tip of Chugach State Park is rated as easy and gains only 190 feet in elevation. You’ll see the beautiful falls when you reach the path’s end.
This trail is well taken care of, but in the summer, it can be damp and full of mosquitoes, and in the winter, it can be icy, so be careful.
But in general, this trail is excellent for dogs and kids, and everybody in your group will love it.
19. Participate in a Private Full-Day Tour in Anchorage and Turnagain Arm
If you only have a single day in Anchorage, this 8-hour private tour is a great way to see it as much as possible.
You’ll start with a tour of the best parts of Anchorage, and then you’ll head out on Turnagain Arm, arguably among the most beautiful road stretches in the US.
At Mt. Alyeska, you will ride a tram to get a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful Turnagain and have lunch at the mountain’s summit. Next, you will get a VIP tour of Alaska’s most famous animals at the Wildlife Conservation Center.
Overall, this tour has a lot to offer. If you go on it, you won’t be disappointed.
18. Find Flakes of Gold at Crow Creek
Crow Creek Mine has been around since 1898 and is known as one of the most productive mines in Southcentral Alaska.
It has some of the oldest structures in Anchorage, artifacts from the gold rush, beautiful gardens, views of the mountains, and genuine, working gold claims. All these things can make Crow Creek Mine a truly memorable one for a wide range of people.
This attraction is still famous for gold panning, tours, mining trips, concert, salmon bake banquets, private events, corporate outings, wedding ceremonies, and more.
So go there now with a pan, patience, and persistence! You might find flakes of Alaska gold!
17. View Bore Tide
Anchorage contains some of the most extreme waves in the world, which are very high.
Turnagain Arm’s shallow, narrow waters help make a bore tide, a wave that can be up to 6 feet high and goes for miles along the inlet.
There are many good places to see this natural event along the Seward Highway. Bird, Beluga, and Indian Points are good places to watch the bore tide.
You can also see surfers who are brave enough to try to ride this wave. Bore tide surfing is not like short rides that you do over and over again. Instead, you ride the waves for long distances.
You don’t want to miss this wave because if you don’t catch it as it rolls by, you might have to float back to where you started for a long time.
16. Hike Towards Arctic Valley
You can do more activities in Arctic Valley than ride down the slopes in the winter. This area is also a popular place to hike in Anchorage for its beautiful views.
So pack your shoes for a medium-level hike with views of the Anchorage bowl, and, on a clear day, you could even see Denali.
For more things to do, we recommend going on a hike in the autumn. During that time, you can see locals picking blueberries, which you can do too.
15. Catch a Show at Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Since 1998, the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts (or Center of the PAC, as it is known locally) has been a mainstay in Anchorage’s arts scene. It is the place to visit Anchorage to see a play, show, musical, or concert.
With its convenient downtown location and three different-sized theaters, the center attracts everyone from local top picks to Broadway shows such as “Peter Pan” and Grammy Award medallists like David Sanborn and Bela Fleck.
14. Trek the Thunderbird Falls Trail
The Thunderbird Falls Trail is another easy route in Chugach State Park that results in an extraordinary waterfall.
It is another excellent activity to do with dogs and children because it’s less than two miles each way, and the falls at the end is a beautiful sight you’ll never forget.
However, expect to see many people on this trail; still, the 200-foot Thunderbird Falls is worth it.
13. Ride an ATV
It’s easy to get to the undiscovered wilderness around Anchorage. Just turn on your engines and take in the sights and sounds of Alaska’s backcountry!
Tourists and many Alaskans find the best motor-driven adventures at the end of the route, where the pavement wraps up, and the trails start.
Whether you like four-wheelers or machines with no wheels like snow machines, Anchorage and its neighbors have a lot of ways to be fabulous on any terrain.
Motorized backcountry trips give you a break from city life and access to Alaska’s best fishing, enormous glaciers, and places to get away from it all.
During the summer, you can explore sandy beaches, rocky riverbeds, and winding trails through the woods. In the winter, riders will find a lot of white, powdery roads in the backcountry.
Companies that rent out ATVs and run backcountry tours are happy to connect new and seasoned riders for the morning, day, or even longer trips.
12. View the Byron Glacier
The trailhead for the Byron Glacier Trail is near Portage Glacier as well as the Begich Boggs Visitor Center in Chugach State Park. This out-and-back trail goes for 3.2 miles and is pretty easy, even though it goes up 787 feet in elevation.
On this trail, you’ll see several different ecosystems, and at the end, you’ll get a nice view of Byron Glacier.
At dusk, you might see ice worms in the wild. The area is known as being one of the best places on the globe to do so.
11. Combine Science and Nature at Campbell Creek Science Center
The Campbell Creek Science Center has guided activities in nature that are fun to do outside. It is a great place to learn about science and nature simultaneously.
The center sits within the BLM Campbell Tract, a 730-acre piece of public land in the middle of Anchorage that is home to wildlife, native plants, and 12 miles of hiking trails.
Here, you can go on an early-morning bird walk, talk about nature by the fire, and learn about Alaska’s wildlife and natural history.
You can also look at their calendar to see what events are coming up in the winter or summer.
10. Roam the Eagle & Symphony Lakes Trail
Try this next one if you are up for a great hike featuring something else you’ve probably never seen before.
Keep in mind, though, that it is a long hike. The out-and-back trail is 12 miles each way, and you’ll gain a lot of elevation. But if you are a potent hiker, just at the end of this trail, you will see two different-colored lakes right next to each other.
That is because the different sediments in the water reflect different colors when the sun shines on them.
Eagle Lake gets its water from Flute Glacier, while Symphony Lake receives its water from rain and snow. Because these lakes get their water from different places, their blues are very different and stand out.
Don’t forget to capture this magnificent view!
9. Check Out Wolf Song of Alaska
Wolf Song is a non-profit group in Eagle River that raises public awareness regarding Alaskan wolves and the need to protect them.
It has a tiny museum and education hub where you can learn how important one of Alaska’s most beautiful top predators is to the state.
You’re sure to have a great adventure here, especially when the wolves howl
8. Chill at Virgin Creek Falls
Near Girdwood, Virgin Creek Falls is a beautiful destination after a short and easy hike.
This trail is only half a mile each way, so you can walk it in less than half an hour. However, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
On the way, you’ll see and hear a lot of birds. Also, take a moment to relax and smell the pine.
In the end, you’ll reach the cascade. It is tiny but beautiful and worth seeing.
You can also have a picnic here, but don’t forget to take your trash with you when you finish.
7. Stop By Eklutna Village
Eklutna Village should be on your list of things to do in Anchorage.
On your way to Denali or Talkeetna, this village is a beautiful way to learn about the culture of the Native people. Dena’ina Athabascan people have lived in Eklutna for 800 years, making it the oldest place in Anchorage where people have lived.
In the 1840s, when the Russians came and forced the Native people to become Russian Orthodox, they built St. Nicholas’ Church, which is the oldest building in Anchorage that is still standing.
Besides the church, you can see vibrant color houses for the spirits of the dead. It is a Dena’ina tradition. Plus, it’s interesting to see how Orthodoxy & Indigenous cultures go well together.
During the summer, you can take tours of the park throughout the day, and if you want to visit outside of the summer, you can get in touch.
Plus, you can book a tour with a Native guide to support this small village of 70 people.
6. Examine the Indian Valley Mine Historic Site
Indian Valley Mine Historic Site is another great place for kids and an alternative to Crow Creek. It is a fun means to devote time while in Anchorage.
This mine didn’t mine for gold but quartz. It was started in 1910 by Peter Strong, who came to Alaska in 1898 during Klondike Gold Rush. His cabin is here; since 1989, it has been a member National Register of Historic Places.
This place is an enjoyable way to spend an hour or more with your family and is only 20 minutes south of Anchorage. Beautiful views of Turnagain Arm are visible, and you can try your luck at gold panning. You’ll also love the small gift shop run by a family.
5. Segue at the Iditarod Headquarters
If you like dog sledding a lot, this is a fantastic place to go.
Dog sledding is a recreational activity that almost everyone likes and finds exciting, and the Iditarod is the best way to show how much fun it is.
The Iditarod takes place every March. But you can peruse the Iditarod Headquarters close to Anchorage any time to learn more about the race and the folks and dogs participating.
Search the museum, watch race clips, look at trophies, and look through the gift shop for memorabilia for yourself or your dog at home.
4. Join Fur Rondy
Visit in February to experience Fur Rendezvous, also called the Fur Rondy, by the people who live there.
This big cultural event is a highlight in Anchorage that people look forward to every year. And it is easy to know why!
Alaskans come from all over the state for a whole week to run reindeer, race outhouses, make snow sculptures, try carnival rides, and much more.
Each event leads up to the official start of the Iditarod, which Alaskans all over the state love!
3. Enjoy at Girdwood Playground & Skate Park
If you’ve spent a lot of time inside the car on vacation, your kids will probably need to get some energy out, especially if they’re cool.
The Girdwood Playground and Skate Park in Girdwood Park, 40 miles southwest of the city center of Anchorage, is a fantastic spot to have fun.
The Skate Park is open every day from 6 am to 11 pm. Although the playground is significant, most minor kids can play separately with smaller equipment.
On the other hand, the Girdwood Frisbee Golf Course has 18 pits where you and your family can play a round of disc golf in a beautiful setting.
2. Check Out Anchorage’s Street Arts
There is a lot of enjoyable street art in Anchorage. The colorful murals on 4th and 5th Avenue are something you really can’t miss!
Locals call the back alleys between B and F “Ziggy’s alley.” It is because a white guy covered the walls with pictures of Alaska.
If you want to see a beautiful Native American mural, go to the Covenant House on 8th and Barrow. Apayuq painted a beautiful mural there.
Meanwhile, Anchorage’s newest piece is a beautiful and vibrant piece of Indigenous art that took the place of a mural that supported colonial values.
To have an unforgettable experience, don’t miss Crystal’s fantastic mural on G and 7th downtown!
1. Picture the World’s Largest Chocolate Waterfall
For a sweet ending to this list of the best things to do in Anchorage, head to the following location!
If you love chocolate, and who doesn’t, you should view the World’s Largest Chocolate Waterfall when you’re in Anchorage!
Even though it’s not in the Guinness Book of World Records, it’s hard to think of an enormous chocolate waterfall than this one. Since 1994, it has been pumping 3,000 pounds of chocolate down a 20-foot cascade.
As strange as it is, you can see it in the Alaska Wild Berry Park Store. It’s something you’ll never forget.
And that wraps this extensive list of the 75 best things to do in Anchorage, Alaska!
This city, so beautiful, provides endless activities. Whether exploring the vast outdoors or walking within popular establishments, you will have all sorts of fun!
We hope you find something interesting from this list to incorporate into your journey. And as always, we’d like to know your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to put them in the comments! Have a fantastic Anchorage journey!