Anchorage, Alaska City guide: What to do, best restaurants and hotels

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Experience the wonders of Alaska by exploring Anchorage, the gateway to this vast and mysterious state. Despite Alaska’s enormous size, it has a relatively small population of under 750,000, with almost 300,000 residing in or around Anchorage. This makes Anchorage an ideal base for discovering the rest of the state. However, you may find that there is plenty to do right within the city itself.

During the early summer months, Anchorage experiences long daylight hours, giving you more time to enjoy outdoor activities. One popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts is Flattop Mountain. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage, Flattop Mountain offers various hiking routes suitable for all abilities. Surrounded by the Chugach State Park, the third largest state park in the US, the area is perfect for hiking, biking, and wildlife watching.

For those seeking knowledge and culture, a visit to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is a must. The museum hosts both temporary and permanent exhibitions, showcasing diverse topics such as art, Alaskan Native heritage, and the science of food.

To learn more about the local heritage, the Alaskan Native Heritage Center provides a comprehensive look into the lives of Alaskan natives. Through exhibits, artist demonstrations, movies, and performances, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the rich indigenous cultures that have shaped Alaska.

For a unique experience, consider taking a trip to Seward to meet the Ididaride husky dogs. Led by three-time Iditarod husky race champion Mitch Seavey, the Seavey family offers tours of their kennel and exciting two-mile rides with their huskies. The journey to Seward from Anchorage is also a scenic treat, allowing you to admire the beauty of the Kenai Peninsula.

When it comes to accommodations, Anchorage offers a range of options. The Hotel Captain Cook, part of the “Historic Hotels of America”, offers a high-end experience with stunning views of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains. The Historic Anchorage Hotel provides a step back in time with its charming ambiance, including ghost stories shared by the staff. The Lakefront Anchorage, located near Lake Hood, is the perfect choice for aviation enthusiasts, as it is situated near a floatplane base.

In terms of dining, Moose’s Tooth Pizzeria is a local favorite known for its Alaskan specials, such as salmon and reindeer sausage. Uncle Joe’s branches offer a more relaxed pizza experience, while Chicken Shack serves up comforting fast-casual fried chicken. Snow City is a popular spot for brunch or breakfast, and Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop offers artisanal baked goods. For a sweet treat, Wild Scoops specializes in small-batch ice cream made with local ingredients.

Anchorage is home to numerous breweries, including Turnagain Brewing, 49th State Brewing Co, and Glacier Brewhouse. Dark Horse is the go-to spot for coffee lovers.

Shopping in Anchorage ranges from browsing the open-air Anchorage Market for souvenirs and fresh produce to the 5th Avenue Mall for a more traditional mall experience. For unique Alaskan items, visit the Oomingmak, Musk Ox Producers’ Co-operative and their gift shop.

While exploring Anchorage, take in the architectural beauty of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. The grand auditorium is a sight to behold.

To navigate Anchorage, you can use the People Mover bus services or rent a car. Keep in mind that Alaska is known for its wildlife, so it’s important to be prepared and educated on how to handle potential encounters with animals such as bears.

In conclusion, Anchorage serves as the perfect gateway to the wonders of Alaska. With its combination of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and diverse culinary delights, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

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