Historic Downtown Anchorage Walking Tour (With Video)

Anchorage is Alaska’s most important city—the epicenter of commerce, a font of history, and the perfect base for exploring the state. So don’t just stroll through town—take the official tour, brought to you by longtime resident experts: Alaska.org and the Anchorage Convention & Visit Anchorage (Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau.) On this tour, you’ll hear all about Old City Hall, the Anchorage Hotel where Herbert Hoover stayed, a 1940s bar that was once for women only (!), and the city’s first house. And you’ll see it all accompanied by local Alaskans who know every corner and (almost) every secret in this captivating city.

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Walking Tour Points

Historic Downtown Anchorage Walking Tour

In the 1940s and 50s, the men work­ing in the coal, oil and lum­ber indus­tries around Alas­ka had only one place to come spend their mon­ey and blow off steam: 4th Avenue, where the string of drink­ing estab­lish­ments became known as the world’s longest bar (a nick­name, leg­end has it, giv­en by a vis­it­ing Bob Hope). Also mak­ing its home on the street is a log cab­in cre­at­ed in Homer dur­ing the 1950s, which was imme­di­ate­ly tak­en down and reassem­bled in…  ...more

In a city filled with rel­a­tive­ly new build­ings, most built well into the 20th cen­tu­ry, the His­toric Anchor­age Hotel stands out for being dif­fer­ent — it’s charm­ing­ly old. And while the 26-room, Queen-Anne-style hotel in down­town Anchor­age is a thriv­ing reminder of the city’s fron­tier past, it con­tin­ues to charm guests with its high lev­el of ser­vice and all the com­forts of a 21st-cen­tu­ry bou­tique hotel. 

This clear­ing at the edge of town once func­tioned as a fire­break between Anchor­age and its neigh­bor­ing for­est. At oth­er times, it act­ed as an airstrip, a golf course and even a makeshift hous­ing devel­op­ment, when peo­ple lived here dur­ing the 1940s boom in apart­ments cre­at­ed out of old bar­racks. Today the Park Strip — just one block wide but 13 blocks long — is home to ball fields, a gym, ice rink and a giant steam…  ...more

What was it like for a fam­i­ly liv­ing in Anchor­age in 1915? The Oscar Ander­son House Muse­um, locat­ed in Elder­ber­ry Park at 5th Avenue and M Street, is the per­fect way to find out.