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, warehouse–sized cargo jets come in with their wings flexed as much as 6 feet—they immediately straighten upon landing—and they are so close to the ground (less than 300 feet) that you can hear the air hissing over their wing surfaces amidst the deafening whine from the engines that will actually vibrate your chest.
In Between Planes, See the Natural Majesty
Because Anchorage is one of the busiest airports in the nation, planes arrive and depart every few minutes. In the ‘down time,’ look off the bluff to see effects of some of the fastest tides in the world or, in the winter, watch as icebergs float by. Across the inlet Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Foraker, The Sleeping Lady, and even Mt. McKinley tower above the horizon on clear days. The captivating views will suck you in only to be punctuated by sound when another plane materializes on the horizon and begins its final approach. The sheer size and weight of these behemoths is hard to comprehend, given that the standard Boeing 747 holds 55,000 gallons of fuel, burns one gallon per second, and weighs a whopping 975,000 pounds. The fuel bill alone for one fill-up may cost half a million dollars and that will be used up on one 15-hour flight. However the numbers work out, standing at the end of the runway is cheap entertainment and something that locals regularly indulge in.