A short drive from downtown Anchorage will land you in the middle of Kincaid Park, the jump-off point for this moderate two-mile out and back hike to Anchorage’s only big, sandy beach. If not for the cool Alaska temps, it'd be easy to think you were in Southern California. The sand is fine and very little mars its surface other than the occasional piece of driftwood. Flanked on one side by tall bluffs and on the other by gorgeous views of the Cook Inlet, Kenai Peninsula and nearby Fire Island, Kincaid Beach offers fun and tranquility. You won’t find surfable waves here and the water is too cold for all but the bravest of souls, but other activities abound. Picnics, bonfires, mud fights, and all manner of games go equally well. Keep your eyes peeled for Japanese glass fishing floats, one of the most cherished finds for new and seasoned beachcombers alike. The mud flats can be dangerous and the waters of the Cook Inlet are prone to extreme tidal shifts so don’t venture too far out.
If you're in the mood for a long beach stroll, you can walk for a mile or two on the sandy shoreline to the south, even at high tide. It's a spectacular walk, with the vast ocean to your right and steep dunes and bluffs to your left. Driftwood gets easier to find as you get farther away from Kincaid Park.