Talk about one-stop shopping: At 14,000 square feet, this 20-year-old Anchorage store is Alaska's biggest gift shop. Run by the Green family—a local family that has been active in Anchorage retail for about as long as Anchorage has existed—Polar Bear makes legitimate claims for having the biggest selection and lowest prices of all the gift shops in the state.
How big is big? There are more than 100,000 t-shirts and sweatshirts, for starters, as well as caps, stuffed animals, ulu knives, DVDs, jewelry and the all-important chocolate and salmon gift packs that folks will be wanting back home. Happily, prices are low enough that you can feel generous without spending a fortune. —such as seven postcards for a buck, three ulus for $9.99 or three t-shirts for $14.99. The consistently friendly staffers can help you send products anywhere with excellent shipping rates, too.
There are two locations downtown: the flagship store at 4th and F, across from the visitor's center, and another store at the corner of 5th and E. The flagship has one distinct advantage: it features a stuffed 8-foot grizzly standing guard outside, which is a popular photo op for shoppers and anyone strolling by.
Season and Hours
Open year round. Summer hours: 8am to 11pm. Winter hours: 10am to 6pm.