Goose Lake is located in central Anchorage, near the university district. You'd never know you're in the heart of Anchorage as you view Pacific loons nesting at the far end of the lake from mid-May to mid-September. Rent a paddleboat from the Paddleboat cafe (certain days of the week) to get a closer view of the loons. Obey the signs, and don't get too close. Also look for Canada Geese, mew and herring gulls, American wigeons, and a few songbirds. You can also grab a light meal from the cafe. Or go for a walk on the 3-mile paved trail around the lake.
Goose Lake is also Anchorage's most popular swimming spot on hot summer days--and one of the few beaches in town. There's a huge parking lot a short walk from the lake, a play area for kids, and forested walking trails in the vicinity. Municipal life guards are on duty during sunny summer days.