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Best Places to Shop in Anchorage

In his speech to persuade Congress to purchase Alaska in 1860, William Henry Seward spoke of its riches: gold, timber, jade, furs, fish. Many of today's most popular art objects and souvenirs are made of the very materials Seward talked about nearly 150 years ago. The unique crafts produced in Alaska come from the earth and capture the spirit of this wild, untamed country. Here are the places to find what you'll want to bring home:

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Named after the insect that, some joke, could be Alaska’s state bird, the book­store also makes a great stop for trav­el­ers who’ve just land­ed in Alas­ka. You can pick up guide­books, region­al maps, hik­ing trail maps, or even a nice jour­nal to log your trav­els or wildlife sightings.

This Anchor­age insti­tu­tion has a great slo­gan: If you don’t know furs, know your fur­ri­er.” The furs them­selves come from Alas­ka and oth­er parts of the world — such as Scan­di­navia and Rus­sia — and come from mink, beaver, lynx, and fox, to name a few. Go upstairs to see how they make every­thing from coats to slip­pers, most­ly by hand. 

Long­time Alaskans Doug and Heather Robuck make mod­ern gold prospect­ing easy: Their col­lec­tions of hand­made gold-in-quartz jew­el­ry — a rare com­bi­na­tion — are craft­ed into rings, neck­laces, and bracelets. Also, check out their exten­sive col­lec­tion of nat­ur­al, unal­tered gold nuggets.

Season: Year Round $39+ Daily Gear Rentals

When your Alas­ka trav­el plans include out­door activ­i­ties (and they should!), gear up with afford­able, high-qual­i­ty equip­ment rentals from local experts. Alas­ka Out­door Gear Out­fit­ter & Rentals will pull togeth­er what you need for every­thing from a sum­mer cam­pout to a win­ter snow­shoe or auro­ra view­ing expe­di­tion. So get out there!

This down­town shop does­n’t just offer ready-made gifts and sou­venirs — though it does have plen­ty of those, includ­ing jew­el­ry, medal­lions and watch­es embla­zoned with Alaskan images such as bears, wolves and even Idi­tar­od cham­pi­ons. One of the most pop­u­lar items here are gold-nugget neck­laces, ren­dered from piece of gold brought in by mod­ern-day prospec­tors. The store’s oth­er claim to fame is being the start­ing point for the Idi­tar­od and Fur…  ...more

The store works with local artists and sells authen­tic Alaskan art, but you can take a small­er taste of Alas­ka with you. As a nice alter­na­tive to the usu­al air­port can­dy, pick up a made-in-Alas­ka choco­late bar for your on-the-go snack.

Bring­ing the right gear for a vaca­tion in Alas­ka can seem daunt­ing. This inde­pen­dent store, in the Spe­nard area of Anchor­age, offers both an afford­able way to buy any­thing from rain pants to a moun­tain bike once you get here — as well as an effi­cient way to sell that same gear when it’s time to go home. Essen­tial­ly a con­sign­ment store, Hoard­ing Mar­mot lets folks buy and sell gen­tly used gear — the ulti­mate in good recycling.

Whether it’s shirts, paja­mas, slip­pers or stuffed ani­mals (bear fans, mean­while, while find a few PJs and trin­kets as well). You can also choose among gifts such as quirky mag­nets, notepads and water bot­tles that make great portable gifts.

Dis­cov­er some­thing tru­ly unique to bring home at this one-of-a-kind gallery that car­ries only work by Alaskan artists. Shop for high-qual­i­ty glass, met­al, and wood art; jew­el­ry; mit­tens; hand­bags; scarves; hand­made soap; jour­nals and note­books; pho­tog­ra­phy; water­col­or prints; cards; stick­ers and more. 

Season: May 15 to Sep 12 Free Admission

Every Fri­day, Sat­ur­day and Sun­day in sum­mer, more than 100 ven­dors sell a wide vari­ety of Alaskan-made goods and food from all over the world. Whether you’re in the mar­ket for a valu­able keep­sake or a last-minute sou­venir, you’ll like­ly find what you want here. You’ll find sou­venir T‑shirts, furs, painters and pho­tog­ra­phers sell­ing their work, hand­made jew­el­ry, and more. Music and dance per­for­mances keep the mar­ket lively.

Alaska’s pre­mière shop­ping des­ti­na­tion. Anchored by JCPen­ney, this 5‑level shop­ping cen­ter hous­es options like Apple, Michael Kors, lul­ule­mon, Sepho­ra & 100 oth­ers, along with local shops and bou­tiques like Alas­ka Wild Berry Prod­ucts and Once in a Blue Moose. 

What­ev­er your cloth­ing and gear needs are, you can find top-qual­i­ty prod­ucts — along with advice from Alaskan experts — in this long-run­ning fam­i­ly-owned store with loca­tions in Anchor­age, Fair­banks, and Kodiak.

Rea­son­ably priced gifts for friends, fam­i­ly and office mates, or a just a deli­cious snack for the plane ride home. Almost three quar­ters of the shop con­sists of foods and acces­sories that were made, caught or picked in Alas­ka — from smoked salmon, rein­deer sausage and jerky to jams, syrups or Ketchikan-made Ravens Brew Coffee.

One of the most orig­i­nal gifts you can find in Alas­ka is a piece of cloth­ing made from the under­coat of the musk ox, called Qivuit.” What’s so spe­cial about this fab­ric? It’s fin­er than cash­mere, eight times warmer than wool (and not scratchy like wool), and extreme­ly light. Pick up some items made from this rare, lus­trous fiber when you’re down­town at the co-op; you’ll have a rare trea­sure that can be found nowhere else in the world.

Eski­mos invent­ed this ancient curved blade which rocks back and forth, fil­let­ing salmon and trout. Old-fash­ioned ones were made of slate or bone, but today’s are stain­less steel with hard­wood handles.

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. 

This down­town shop and café is a lit­tle glimpse into old Anchor­age — a city that was­n’t com­plete­ly about log­ging, fish­ing and tough guys. Built in 1915, the Kim­ball build­ing, on Town Square Park at the cor­ner of 5th and E, is a stop on the his­toric walk­ing tour and still has antique fix­tures and floor­ing. It’s eclec­tic, quaint-meets-cool” gift and tea shop is an exten­sion of a famed dry goods and sewing notions store that has been in business…  ...more

Talk about one-stop shop­ping: At 14,000 square feet, this 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.

Vari­ety of din­ing choic­es, movie the­aters with reclin­ers, a bowl­ing alley, and an ice rink, it pro­vides enjoy­ment for the whole family.

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