15 Things to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska and Day Trips from Anchorage

15 Things to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska and Day Trips from Anchorage

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When planning what to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska, think mountains, wilderness, the ocean, wildlife and so much more! Situated in the south-central part of the state on the Cook Inlet, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city. Because of its location, Anchorage is known for its mountainous and snowy scenery and that is where you’ll find most of the things to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska. People who love winter sports such as skiing would really enjoy their time here in the winter. If you like other outdoor activities, you could also try hiking or kayaking. Furthermore, Anchorage is also known for its cultural heritage sites. One of the most popular things to do in Anchorage is the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Photo by Alan & Flora Botting CC BY-SA 2.0

Anchorage is truly a vital city to visit in Alaska, it is beautiful and very welcoming. It also offers a lot of activities and places for tourists to go to. In this article, we list down the 15 best things to do in Anchorage. Moreover, we have also included some of the best day trips from anchorage, to help you explore outside of the city! Far-flung from the rest of the country, on a visit to Anchorage Alaska you’ll see a whole new side of the United States of America!


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15 Best Things to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska

1. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by C Watts CC BY 2.0

Wondering what to in Anchorage AS for animal lovers? In this tour, you will learn about the local ecosystem. If you love animals, you will love this place as they provide shelter for animals that cannot survive in the wild. There are a total of 12 species that the center cares for including bears, porcupines, caribou, musk oxen, and moose! 

Suggested Tour: Guided Winter Wildlife and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Tour

2. Glacier Discovery Tour

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Charles Mims CC BY 2.0

See stunning glaciers, and be amazed by how beautiful and powerful nature is with one of the most awe-inspiring things to do in Anchorage, (AS) Alaska. This tour can take up to 6-8 hours, but it’s all definitely worth it. You’ll learn a lot of information for each glacier discovery. Don’t forget to bring your camera when you go here as this place is really picturesque.

Suggested Tour: Helicopter Glacier Dogsled Tour with Lower Glacier Landing

3. Chugach National Forest

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Forest Service, USDA Public Domain Mark 1.0

If you’re looking for things to do in Anchorage to get closer to nature then try visiting Chugach National Forest. It’s the second-largest National Park in the United States. Any true nature lover will love it here as it has forests of Sitka spruce and hemlock, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, rivers, and shoreline areas. It is also home to numerous birds, mammals, and marine species. 

Suggested Tour: Fat Tire Biking in Chugach State Park Tour

4. Cook Inlet

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Eli Duke CC BY-SA 2.0

What to do in Anchorage to get out of the city on a nice day? Find a beautiful view of a magnificent waterway from the road. Enjoy a long drive while seeing a stunning view of Cook Inlet. While you’re on the road, you can see a lot of side attractions like the Beluga Point, Girdwood, Alyeska, Portage Glacier, Whittier (via the tunnel). During your trip, make sure to pull over for a quick picture with the beautiful scenery.

5. Lake Eklutna

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Tyler M. Yates CC BY-ND 2.0

Lake Eklutna is considered one of the most scenic lakes in Alaska and therefore, one of the most scenic things to do in Anchorage.  You can go camping with your friends or family, or try kayaking, every moment spent will all be worth it. Enjoy the beautiful view while relaxing in this lake. It is best recommended to visit this place on a sunny day so you can get the most out of this gem of Anchorage, Alaska. 

6. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a hiking trail along the coast of Anchorage, Alaska which stretches for 11 miles. If you love outdoor activities and not sure what to do in Anchorage, then you shouldn’t miss this place! Rent a bike to further enjoy the amazing view. 

Suggested Tour: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Scenic Bike Tour

7. Flattop Mountain Trail

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Let Ideas Compete CC0 1.0

Enjoy an adventurous hike on Flattop Mountain Trail! If you love hiking, especially those that are classified as moderate to difficult trails, Flattop Mountain Trail is the place for you! It’s one of the more adventurous things to do in Anchorage, Alaska but a wonderful view awaits you. So, the effort of the hike up really is worth your time.

8. Eagle River Nature Center

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by ancingnomad3 CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re not fond of challenging hikes, then you should go to Eagle River Nature Center, because it only involves a short trek. Moreover, you will see great mountain views along the way. This is also a tree-filled mountain, which makes a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The trek is one of the most adult and child-friendly things to do in Anchorage, so everyone in the family can enjoy it!

9. Alyeska Ski Area

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Booking.com CC BY 2.0

A fun place to ski! Your Alaska getaway won’t be complete if you haven’t tried skiing. By going up, you can choose between riding a tram or hiking your way up to the mountain area. This place is surely for people who seek adventure. The view all over the place is also a perfect give away.

10. Kincaid Park

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Paxson Woelber CC BY 2.0

Kincaid Park is a large park in South Anchorage. This tremendous park is well worth a visit. It’s clean, beautiful, and accessible. Just remember to be mindful as this park has quicksand so it can easily become one of the most dangerous things to do in Anchorage, Alaska! 

11. Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Alaina McDavid CC BY-SA 2.0

A place no to be missed for bird lovers planning what to do in Anchorage. A nice stroll in this area would give you the chance to see not only birds but also other animals like moose and fish. However, seeing as birds are seasonal, it is recommended to go here during the summer season for a bigger chance to see a lot of birds.

12. Alaska Native Heritage Center

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Susan E Adams CC BY-SA 2.0

Get to learn about the Alaskan culture in the Alaska Native Heritage Center. You will gain knowledge about the Alaskan Native People and get to see native houses, learn about their traditions, and different customs. Feed yourself interesting information about the Native American history in Alaska Native Heritage Center, don’t miss the chance, and visit the most culturally significant things to do in Anchorage, Alaska!

Suggested Tour: Alaska Native Heritage Center Tour

13. Alaska Botanical Garden

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Swallowtail Garden Seeds CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for what to do in Anchorage with your spare afternoon, spend some relaxing time in this hidden gem of nature. Enjoy a tranquil and calming atmosphere in this beautiful garden environment. Take pictures of the gorgeous flowers, or just enjoy the wonderful scenery while taking a walk here, whether with your friends, family, or partner. Just be cautious of the bears, remember to read the reminders before going in. 

Suggested Tour:

14. Elmendorf State Fish Hatchery (William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery)

The new name of this hatchery is William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery but it offers the same service for visitors. Seeing fish in action is a unique sight to see. You get to learn about the lifecycle of salmon, as well as the process of “milking” the sperm. There’s also a film available for better learning.

15. Westchester Lagoon

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Paxson Woelber CC BY 2.0

A man-made lagoon that is ideal for a relaxing day. It is a combination of two artificial lakes and despite being man-made, Westchester Lagoon still has a very beautiful and stunning view. There are also benches where you can just sit and relax if you prefer.

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Antti T. Nissinen CC BY 2.0

Best Day Trips from Anchorage, (AS) Alaska

Anchorage Day Trip 1

Lake Eklutna – Never miss the chance to go to one of the most scenic lakes in Alaska, which is perfect for day trips from Anchorage. Your first day of the trip will be full of memorable experiences! If you visit Alaska during the summer season, then it will be even more beautiful.

Anchorage Day Trip 2

Glacier Discovery Tour – This 6-8 hours tour will all be worth it! Witness stunning glaciers, and appreciate this desolate beauty of nature because you don’t get to see this often in the world! This might just become one of your most memorable day trips from Anchorage. 

Anchorage Day Trip 3 

Alaska Native Heritage Center – Before you leave Alaska, it is recommended to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Get to learn more about Alaskan Native history. Such an informative and interesting place to visit deserves to be one of your day trips from Anchorage.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anchorage (AS) Alaska

Things to do in Anchorage
Photo by Luke Jones CC BY 2.0

What are the languages spoken in Anchorage, Alaska?

Although English is the official State language in Alaska, there are still 99 more languages spoken in Anchorage. Spanish remains tops in non-English languages spoken. But don’t worry, traveling here won’t be difficult as there are still a lot of people who speak English.

What currency do they use in Anchorage, Alaska?

They use American dollars for currency. They also accept traveler’s checks that are issued by most major banks. 

Is it safe to travel to Anchorage, Alaska?

Anchorage is safe for tourists, it is rare for visitors to encounter problems or crimes during their trip. However, in case you experience one, just call 911. 

Should I get travel insurance before heading to Anchorage, Alaska?

Sometimes during our travel, unexpected things happen. So although it is safe in Anchorage, it’s still recommended to get travel insurance.

Is it expensive in Anchorage, Alaska for tourists?

Alaska as a whole is relatively expensive. This is due to the fact that a lot of necessary resources are shipped during the long non-growing season. But of course, you can still plan on how you will budget your money when you go to Anchorage. Good research would be of good help.

How to get to Anchorage Alaska?

There are more than hundreds of flights daily at the Anchorage Airport, it connects with major U.S.cities as well as Asia and Europe. You can check here for more details and air services. So book your ticket now and discover the beauty of Anchorage, Alaska!

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