Photo Credit: Oomingmak Anchorage Cooperative

The Best Places to Shop in Alaska

What’s the best way to feel like you’ve never left Alaska? Bring a piece of it back home with you! No matter your taste or budget, whether you’re looking for souvenirs or one-of-a-kind items, you have plenty of choices. In fact, with so many options, it’s hard to know where to begin—which is why we’ve listed our favorite places to shop below.

So what can you find? Unique crafts, for starters—items that capture the spirit of this wild, untamed country—like paintings, prints, and woven baskets, along with carvings and sculptures made from ivory, bone, and soapstone. Shop for real Alaskan gold, or for qiviut, a fabric made from the undercoat of the Arctic musk ox. You’ll find ulu knives, invented by Eskimos. And food, of course: salmon (fresh or smoked), king crab legs, scallops, shrimp, and reindeer sausage. Be sure to look for the Made in Alaska logo before you buy. And most everything can be shipped home for you. Above all, let your own taste and style guide you to those things that will most remind you of your magical time in Alaska.

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Shopping

Season: May 15 to Sep 12 Free Admission

Every Sat­ur­day and Sun­day in sum­mer, more than 300 ven­dors take over sev­en acres of down­town Anchor­age, sell­ing 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  ...more

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.

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.

This gift store sits 1,800 feet above Juneau, at the top of the Gold­belt Mount Roberts Tramway. So while you peruse one of the city’s best selec­tions of Alas­ka Native art­work, you can also take in some amaz­ing views. It’s why this is the place to shop at the top.”

Sam­ple deli­cious syrup and sweets made from birch trees at Kahilt­na Birch­works in Tal­keet­na — the world’s largest pro­duc­er of birch syrup. Stop in to shop, or for a tour of the facil­i­ty at mile 1.1 of the Tal­keet­na Spur Rd, just off the Parks High­way. You’ll also find Alaskan food prod­ucts (many wild har­vest­ed), botan­i­cals, and func­tion­al art like pot­tery, tiles, birch bark and wood crafts. Prod­ucts are also avail­able online. 

Locat­ed on the docks in Seward, this fish pro­cess­ing plant and gift shop can send fish to your home freez­er, whether you caught it your­self that day or just picked it out. Bring in a catch from your fish­ing trip and that day they’ll cut it into meal-sized por­tions, vac­u­um pack­age, blast-freeze, and box it for you to take home. Their com­mer­cial blast freez­ers oper­ate at 40 degrees below zero and their hold­ing freez­ers at 20 degrees below zero.…  ...more

Season: Year Round $15+ per hour | $35+ per day 1+ hrs

In the win­ter, Pow­der Hound is filled with all kinds of the lat­est ski equip­ment in tod­dler to adult sizes. You can ski in and out, and will find boots, ski, jack­ets, gog­gles, hel­mets and more. Skiers may howl when the snow leaves, but Pow­der Hound can deck you out with essen­tial items that will keep you com­fort­able and busy all sum­mer. They offer all types of bike rentals, from hybrid style tour­ing bikes to all moun­tain and down­hill bikes. You  ...more

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. 

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

Locals know this Homer insti­tu­tion as the place that has every­thing — from sport­ing goods to oil for your car, art sup­plies to pre­scrip­tion med­ica­tions. While it has a stag­ger­ing amount of vari­ety, it main­tains a charm­ing mom-and-pop vibe.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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

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

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.

Whether you’re in the mar­ket for fish­ing lures, rain gear or snacks for the day, this store on the Har­borview Board­walk is your one-stop shop­ping spot.

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.

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.

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