Anchorage offers easy access—a ride by train, bus or car—to these wonderful, half- or full-day excursions (a great value, too, at less than $200 for a full day). If you want to see the most glaciers, choose day cruises to Prince William Sound. If your top priority is seeing wildlife, go to Kenai Fjords.
The vastness of Alaska—the glaciers, the mountains, and even the wildlife—is often best seen from above. Planes also give you better access on the ground: Take a bear-viewing tour, and you can land deep in the wilderness to see bears on their own turf. Flightseeing tours can also give you unparalleled views of Mt. McKinley.
This 15-mile sliver of wilderness begins downtown, follows the coast, and is a prime spot for walkers, bicyclists, and even the occasional moose. The city offers plenty of other deep pockets of nature: you can hike Flattop Mountain, walk the trails of Kincaid Park or explore the Eagle River Nature Center, 40 minutes north of town.
Visiting Anchorage’s museums offers an in-depth introduction to all of Alaska—from the art and history at the Anchorage Museum to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where you can walk through life-sized replicas of native dwellings. Great smaller museums include the Aviation Museum and the Alaska Jewish Museum.
Rent a car and take a scenic day drive. Head to Turnagain Arm, just 20 minutes south of Anchorage, for breathtaking coastal views. Or travel north on the Glenn Highway; it's 45 minutes to the alpine tundra and wildflowers of Hatcher Pass, or 2.5 hours to Alaska's biggest roadside glacier, the spectacular Matanuska Glacier
As Alaska’s biggest city, Anchorage has a full slate of urbane delights, from concerts in the parks to theater and night life. Anchorage’s thriving dining scene has plenty of world-class, fresh seafood, and the city also offers Alaska’s best selection of tax-free shopping, whether you're looking for travel gear or gifts.