Here you'll find one of the most accessible wildlife viewing areas in Alaska. The marsh is a rest area for migratory birds including trumpeter swans, rednecked grebes, golden eyes, and pintails. Also watch for beavers, moose and bald eagles. You may even spot salmon spawning in the deeper water.
Mid May through early October
If you want to marvel at the sight of thousands of fish schooling in gigantic tanks, take the self-guided tour inside the state fish hatchery on the banks of Ship Creek east of downtown. The museum-quality observation deck offers intimate views of a complex operation that produces up to six million sport fish each year.
Update: As of March 27, 2019, this area is now closed. After the November 30, 2018 earthquake, it is a high rock-fall risk area. We'll keep an eye out for a new great spot to grab fresh Alaska water!
Drive just a few miles south of Anchorage, and you can taste the best water that Alaska has to offer. No fees, no gimmicks: just a 5-foot pipe protruding from a granite cliff face that gushes crystal clear water capable of causing instant brain freezes. Locals stop regularly to fill up bottles for hiking and skiing trips because the water tastes fantastic and they love the fact that there’s no chlorine, fluoride, or throwaway plastic bottles involved.
A giant sand dune rises into the trees of Kincaid Park near the southwest corner of the Anchorage Bowl. Its brown face of gorgeous speckled grains looms more than 40 feet above the surrounding forest floor, presenting a pyramid-steep slope that just begs to be climbed. This natural feature is a blast for the whole family, perfect for anybody who has ever delighted in a romp at the beach.
Sometimes you just want to be amazed. The overlook at the Glen Alps trailhead of Chugach State Park on the Anchorage Hillside offers a grand front-row seat on the forces of geology as well as one of the best postcard views anywhere. Like — how about a three-volcano vista? Or the profile of Denali, Foraker and Hunter in a single glance? Plate tectonics at your feet? The skyline of the biggest city within 1,000 miles?
When you feel weary of cold season weather and yearn for a whiff of summer, you can visit Anchorage’s own tropical greenhouse almost any day. The Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse in near-east Anchorage inside Russian Jack Springs Park features birds, fish and a collection of exotic plants from around the world.
To snatch a sense of the state’s only real city, take this quick, two-to-three hour driving tour. It works whether you’re a local resident with a house full of wired (and maybe jetlagged!) guests—or a visitor with a rental car and few hours free to explore. Perfect for that first afternoon after arrival.
What elements make a great city? When Anchorage’s forefathers landed at Ship Creek in 1915, those elements were people, education, jobs, culture, capital investments, productivity and growth, food production and subsistence, wildlife and natural beauty. So these pioneers set out to make them all a reality. Four distinct neighborhoods arose to meet the call for housing and land management offices, as well as school, library, and museum facilities.
These jaw-dropping views will make you tremble—in a good way. Whether you reach Pt. Woronzof on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or drive there on W. Northern Lights Blvd., the views of nature are stunning. As a unique bonus, you’ll see giant airplanes up close as they land and take off from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The massive, More...
Spencer Glacier rises 3,500 feet in a stunning, natural ramp from a lake of royal-blue icebergs in the Chugach National Forest just 60 miles south of Anchorage. It’s a family-friendly recreation destination featuring camping, hiking, glacier exploration, nature walks, paddling and sightseeing. Maybe best of all: You have to take a train to get there!
The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area is a place whose valleys and mountains, communities and people tell the larger story of a wild place and a rugged frontier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fascinating history. You’ll meet bigger-than-life historical characters like Alaska Nellie (as well as a few ghosts), see the original Iditarod trail, and learn about the creation of the Alaska Railroad.
Alaska Wild Berry Products has two convenient locations. One, inside the 5th Avenue Mall in the heart of downtown Anchorage. The other is just a brief 10-minute drive from downtown. The shop itself features great Alaskan gifts like Alaskan jelly, salmon, meats, and chocolate.
Alaska Wild Berry Products has two convenient locations. One, inside the 5th Avenue Mall in the heart of downtown Anchorage.…
Toll Free: 1-800-280-2927
For glimpses of the big Chinook salmon right inside the city’s industrial heart, check out the hatchery-seeded run at Ship Creek between late May into June. Hatchery-seeded coho salmon begin running through the same waters in late July through August.
This 191.7-acre Anchorage park, which was created in 1994 as Municipal dedicated parkland, is highly valued for its wildlife habitat, coastal tidelands and recreational value. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs through it and the area has spectacular views of the inlet and surrounding mountain ranges. You can spot whales in the inlet and watch the jets land and take off from the Ted More...
This is one spot you don't want to miss. July through September you'll witness a spectacular run of Silver Salmon. Fishermen from all over the world come into Alaska to cast a line here. There will be hundreds of people coming and going from Bird Creek on any given day. In their hands will be the days bounty; a nice big silver salmon that is delicious when smoked and even More...
Portage Valley southeast of Anchorage at the head of Turnagain Arm offers so many potential adventures that you might have to tow a trailer loaded with gear to sample them all. What will you find here? Biking, hiking, picnicking, fishing, paddling, wildlife viewing, potential iceberg sightings — plus a natural history visitor center packed with interactive displays about the ecosystem of the valley and Prince William Sound. It’s like an outdoor Disneyland just over an hour’s drive from town.
Given its vast size and rugged terrain, it’s logical that Alaska has had a long love affair—and even dependence—on aviation. It was July 4, 1913, that the first flight took place in Alaska, and today there are more planes here, per person, than anywhere else in the world.
Named for the late U.S. Senator, who was also a World War II pilot, Ted Stevens More...
This is a popular stop as you travel the Seward Highway. Here you'll find 180 degree views of Turnagain Arm with spotting scopes and interpretive signs. Look for beluga whales rolling in the surf, often seen from mid-July to August following the salmon run. And, try and catch the bore tide, and incoming tide that stretches the entire width of Turnagain Arm and can be up to six feet high.
As the Seward Highway approaches Girdwood, travelers can see the remains of trees whose roots were swamped with salt water and killed during the 1964 Earthquake. Portage was devastated when much of the ground along Turnagain Arm sank five to nine feet. At high tide, the town that once lay at sea level was now under water. The ruins of buildings in the water are testament to that More...
A short drive from 5th Ave, you’ll find this great display of Anchorage’s natural environment, which coexists alongside the industrial port and rail areas that supply much of southcentral Alaska. There are hardly ever any people here, making this a great place, close to downtown, to get a moment of solitude.
Eagle River campground is convenient and modern. Right beside it are also class IV rapids. Kayakers and rafters call them Campground Rapids. But nearby are a couple of places not normally associated with camping. Do you like ghost stories? Do you have some trash piling up in the back of your truck? Maybe you should stop in and have a look. But don't say we didn't warn you!More...
Anchorage, Alaska’s center of commerce, is the present day headquarters for the Alaska Railroad. The Railroad was granted the land by the US Congress and sold off most of the property in a land auction in 1917. Today, the Railroad has some 600 acres of land reserves remaining in the downtown area of the city. The City of Anchorage exists because of the Railroad.
The United States Congress wanted to open the Territory of Alaska for economic development and recognized the only way that was going to occur was to construct a rail line. Private sector companies attempted to build a rail line but went bankrupt early in the process. Therefore, Congress adopted the Enabling Act of 1914 which authorized the President of United States to locate, construct More...