Occupying an entire block, this museum contains exhibits of historical and contemporary Alaskan art, history displays and a special children's section. There is an excellent café that is open for lunch. Admission is $5. (121 West Seventh Avenue).
This extraordinary center contains a spacious Welcome House that introduces you to the Alaskan Native Peoples through displays, artifacts, photographs, demonstrations, performances and films. Admission $20. (8800 Heritage Center Drive).
See a vast collection of Alaskan wildlife, including bears, birds, moose, fox, river otters, harbor seals, sheep and much more. (4731 O'Malley Road).
In 1964, the Anchorage area was severely rocked by the most powerful earthquake ever felt in North America, registering an astounding 9.2 on the Richter scale. This park features interpretive displays detailing the earthquake, as well as local geology and wildlife. (Located just off Northern Lights Boulevard, near the airport).
Visit a display of over 21 vintage aircrafts, Japanese artifacts & historical photographs from World War II, in addition to a theater showing short movies demonstrating early aviation in Alaska. (4721 Aircraft Drive).
A monument of the British explorer Captain Cook comes in the form of a cantilevered viewing platform looking out toward Cook Inlet and the mountains beyond. Often called the "Sleeping Lady" by the locals, Mt. Susitna is the prominent low mountain to the northwest. To her north is the famous Mt. McKinley, often visible 12.5 miles away. The traditional Native name for this majestic mountain is Denali.
Take your time and have a leisurely browse in this old-fashioned general store that offers a diverse collection of objects, old and new.
Choose from a huge selection of Alaskan titles in this book store.
Shop for quality Native Alaskan artwork at a number of shops including the Alaska Native Medical Center (4315 Diplomacy Drive, off East Tudor Road). If you are in the downtown area, be sure to have a look in One People, a great place to purchase Native artwork located at 425 D Street.
Hand-knit scarves and hats with genuine traditional designs are produced here by Native Alaskan villagers. The underwool of the musk ox is as soft as cashmere and makes for a very cozy scarf! (6th Avenue and H Street).
Browse for great food, fresh produce and of course, Alaskan-made crafts. This market fills the parking lot at 3rd Avenue and E Street. Open Saturdays from 10am-6pm.
This popular running race attracts more than 4,500 runners every year. Held to coincide with the summer solstice, it actually consists of five races that are run simultaneously. There is of course, a marathon (26.2 miles); a half marathon (13.1 miles); a five miler recreational event (5.61 miles); a marathon relay with 7, 8, 6.5 and 6.5 mile legs; and a youth cup at 1.6 miles. This event is sponsored by the University of Alaska and has been held since 1973.
Take a bike ride, a walk or a jog along this trail which starts at Westchester Lagoon at the end of 15th Avenue, running 2 miles (3 km) to Earthquake Park. If you are feeling especially energetic, continue for another 9 miles (15 km) all the way to Kincaid Park. Bicycle rentals are available at the Bicycle Shop (1035 West Northern Lights Boulevard, Tel: 907.276.5219) or Downtown Bicycle Rental (245 West 5th Avenue, Tel: 907.279.5293).
Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown Anchorage. This tour will give you not only scenic perspectives of the city, but historic ones as well. Starting at the the Log Cabin Visitors Center, visit several points of interest including Historic City Hall, the Alaska Statehood Monument, the Imaginarium and the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, ending the tour at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.
We have a wide array of activities to enhance your experience in Alaska that start in Anchorage. Explore our Alaska Shore Excursions site.
Driving just about anywhere outside of the city, you are bound to see some wildlife, be it moose, caribou, brown bear, or if you're near the water, breaching humpback whales. Just remember that the key word is "wild" so be sure to keep your distance and respect their space.
Whale and bird watching can be enjoyed by driving along Turnagain Arm which is just south of Anchorage. Just fifteen minutes from downtown is the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refugee Potter Marsh, a 2,300-acre wetland where you can observe more than 130 bird species during the year. In the spring and fall, from the road you can see whales following salmon up Turnagain Arm.
There is no sole Alaska Native culture. Many different indigenous societies call Alaska home. There are 20 distinct Alaska Native languages and seven broad culture groups:
The Inupiat occupy the far northern coast, the Seward Peninsula and Kobuk areas. The coastal Inupiat are hunters of marine mammals, and the interior Inupiat rely on caribou.
The Yup'ik live in southwestern Alaska from Norton Sound to Bristol Bay. They are hunters of walrus and seal, often fishing for salmon and other species of fish from the Yukon, Kuskokwin and Nushagak rivers.
The Siberian Yupik live on St. Lawrence Island. They primarily hunt walrus and are known for their ivory carvings, carved from the tusks of walrus. They are similar to their Siberian relatives in Russia in both language and culture. They speak Siberian Yupik which is vastly different from Inupiat or Yup'ik.
The Athabascan reside in interior Alaska and have the largest landbase of any other Alaska Native group. In summer they fish the major river systems and during the winter they hunt caribou, moose and smaller animals. They speak 12 different dialects of the Athabascan language.
The Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian, who are considered to be a part of the Pacific Northwest coast culture area, are found in southeastern Alaska. Even though each of these groups is completely unrelated and speak their own language, they do share a similarity in their art, such as totem poles and dramatic carvings.
The Aleut or Unangan live in the Aleutian Chain of islands which stretches 1,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. They hunt and fish marine life for food, fur and other uses. They are also expert boat builders well known for their kayaks.
The Sugpiaq people live on Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula and in the Prince William Sound area. They speak a language entirely unrelated to their Aleut neighbors, but similar to Yup'ik. They are known for their kayaks and other skin boats.
Anchorage was formed in 1915 as a tent camp for workers who were building the Alaska Railroad. It remained a remote, sleepy little railroad town until several military bases were established there during World War II. There was also a massive buildup of Arctic missile-warning stations early in the Cold War. Anchorage became a city in earnest in the late 1950s when oil was discovered on the Kenai Peninsula to the south. Anchorage today is a bustling, urban center with a performing arts center, museums, shops and scores of restaurants and pubs.