Though not technically the best playground, it gets big points for convenience: it’s the closest playground to downtown Anchorage, and sits right next to both the Coastal Trail and Alaska Railroad’s right-of-way.
Set along the Coastal Trail at the very end of 5th Avenue in Anchorage, Elderberry boasts 1.5 acres of scenic parkland with great views of Cook Inlet. Because it’s close to downtown, you can make this a rest stop while touring and shopping downtown. Come with a picnic, or just a walk while enjoying the view.
Kids can play on the jungle gym and slide, then take a break to watch as trains rumble past, pulling either freight or passenger cars. Smiling conductors often give a whistle, and are always good for a wave. If the kids tire of playing in the park itself, a short walk through a tunnel beneath the railroad tracks brings you to the beach, where you’ll get exceptional views of Cook Inlet and distant mountain ranges. Later at night, this park is a popular place to watch sunsets, thanks to its unobstructed views.
While here, you can also take in a piece of history—the Oscar Anderson house, which dates to 1915 and has been restored to look like it did back then. It’s open limited hours, but if you can get in, don’t miss this interesting look at early Anchorage.
The park itself dates to the same era. The land was set aside in the original Anchorage Townsite plan of 1917, and patented to the city for use as a park in 1922.
Today it’s a popular area, thanks to its position on the coastal train and close to downtown. Families bring their kids to play on the slides and have fun with the sand digger; there’s also equipment for kids of all ages. Bring a picnic and enjoy it on one of the benches or spread out on the grass. There are bathrooms, though they’re only open from May to September.
So come enjoy Elderberry Park, and don’t forget your camera—you’ll want to take some shots of those great Cook Inlet views.