Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Anchorage, Alaska. #Top Attractions

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Ready for some excitement? There’s a lot to do and see in Anchorage, Alaska. Here is our hand-picked list of the top activities and attractions in Anchorage, Alaska, so you can make the most of your time there. Scroll down for the best things to do in Anchorage, Alaska, and the best places to visit in Anchorage, Alaska. As a Web 3.0 travel startup, Wondrous Drifter aspires to make a huge impact on the world.

Alaska Botanical Garden 

Alaska Botanical Garden , Anchorage , Alaska
Alaska Botanical Garden, Anchorage, Alaska / Bureau of Land Manageme / Flickr

Learn about some of the 150 native plant species that thrive in Alaska at the Alaska Botanical Garden. 

Explore the wildflower trail and the herb garden, which fills the air with a deliciously fresh scent.

Located amid a 100-acre forest preserve, the Alaska Botanical Garden has been a living museum since 1993. 

Most of it is asphalt, with a half-mile-long trail running through it. 

If you’ve heard that a few hardy varieties of plants and trees can only survive in Alaska’s frigid climate, one visit to the Alaska Botanical Garden will disprove that. 

The lushness and diversity of life that abound in this utopia will astound you.

Take a stroll through the rock garden, which is home to more than 350 different types of alpine plants. While you’re there, stop by the herb garden and ask about the plants. 

An oasis of peace and quiet can be found in the garden.

Address:4601 Campbell Airstrip Road, Anchorage, AK 99507

Alaska Center for Performing Arts

Alaska Center for Performing Arts, Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Center for Performing Arts, Anchorage, Alaska / USAG- Humphreys / Flickr

Are you fond of musicals or music in general? Then you might wanna read this.

The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts offers year-round performances in various genres, such as Shakespearean plays, classical symphonies, jazz, and even children’s events. 

The core of their facilities includes a 2,000-seat music hall, two theaters, a recital hall, and several lecture halls. 

Over 600 performances are staged yearly, which means more than 2 shows are happening daily!

Their performances include talents from all over the country, but more importantly, they showcase their local’s talents.

The shows and events are a great way to attract residents and tourists.

The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is the place to go for a night of music or dance, a lecture, or a small-town play.

You’ll leave the show humming the songs they performed to your hotel.

Address: 621 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, Alaska / Malcolm Manners / Flickr

To learn more about Alaska’s rich culture and heritage, the Alaska Native Heritage Center has been built. 

The Anchorage Cultural Center focuses on Alaska Natives and their way of life. 

Dozens of artists and performers are on hand to tell tales and demonstrate their craft. Visitors are occasionally requested to join in, to complete the intimate gathering.

You’ll soon realize that Alaska Native history isn’t just a collection of objects in a museum: it’s a natural, vibrant culture.

Within the Center, you will find the Southeast Alaska Longhouse Posts, and at its foundation, there will be four posts. 

These posts are carefully carved and intricately painted with varied themes of respect for family, environment, culture, and one’s self.

Local and native people contribute to the growing collection at the Heritage Center. 

You can check out their work at the Ch’k’iqadi Gallery.

Make sure to stop by the D’eshchin Café to eat after enjoying the art.

Address: 8800 Heritage Center Drive, Anchorage, AK 99504

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The Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad, Anchorage, Alaska
The Alaska Railroad,  Anchorage, Alaska /  Travis Wise /   Flickr

Let’s have a quick rundown of Anchorage’s history. The town was founded in 1914 to cater to the community’s transportation needs. 

It is also the headquarters of the Alaska Railroad. That is why it is no surprise that Anchorage’s train terminal serves as the entryway to the Last Frontier. 

The Alaska Railroad is widely hailed as one of the top Alaska tours by tourists and critics. 

The Alaska Railroad offers a guided trip as you travel through mountains, forests, seas, and glaciers. 

Many of the most recent visitors agreed they would return only for the ride. 

The train slows down when passing key locations, allowing passengers to take shots of glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.

The swiftly-changing view outside your window is filled with mountains and greeneries. 

You might even see some animals while they scurry if you’re lucky. 

Anchorage-Seward is one of the most scenic routes by train.

Address: Anchorage Depot, 411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is one of the best places to go in Anchorage, Alaska

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is one of the top attractions in Alaska.

Meet the real stars of Anchorage!

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, previously known as Big Game Alaska, opened to the public in 1993, where people can learn about Alaska’s wildlife.

Located across the Turnagain Arm, you can visit this place after seeing the glaciers.

With 200 acres, AWCC keeps all the animals dispersed across the park in several locations connected by a network of roads.

You can drive along the whole convention to see the several habitats. Still, we recommend you walk to completely immerse yourself and see the animals in action.

Also, note that injured and abandoned animals are also taken in by AWCC, and they are given a safe place to call their own. Your admission fee funds this operation!

For those who want more insider information about Alaska’s wildlife, the Center offers educational and fun guest activities where you can view the animals and learn at the same time.

Address: Mile 79, Seward Hwy, Girdwood, AK 99587

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The Alaska Zoo

The Alaska Zoo. Anchorage, Alaska
The Alaska Zoo. Anchorage, Alaska / Luke Jones /  Flickr

How about a stroll in Alaska’s most notable zoo?

After acquiring a newborn elephant named Annabelle in a contest, the Alaska Zoo opened its doors in 1969 with just that one elephant in its collection. 

Since then, it has grown to cover 25 acres of the Anchorage hillside with 100 animals. 

Alaska zoo boasts about wildlife protection and animal rehabilitation as the heart of its mission. 

Now it is home to the state’s most diverse collection of native Alaskan species and a few exotic animals from all over the globe.

The Alaska Zoo has served the state’s animals, residents, and tourists, even as a nonprofit corporation. 

The life-like forest with gravel paths and a wooded hillside backdrop allows visitors to get up close and personal with much of the wildlife. 

The architecture is designed to be comfortable for both visitors and animals.

And make sure to look through their active social media accounts for updates!

Address: 4731 O’Malley Road, Anchorage, AK 99507

Anchorage Museum

Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska / James Brooks / Flickr

The Anchorage Museum is one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Anchorage Museum is Alaska’s largest museum. It explores the history and culture of Alaska and the North.

Explore the wide range of the Alaskan Natives’ traditions, including their art and design acquired from the Smithsonian Institution’s collection.

The museum’s new wing, named art of the North galleries, showcases the museum’s art collection from the eyes of Americans and the people of the North. 

You will see how the millennium-old culture comes into play.

Through various stories and viewpoints, the Alaska Exhibition chronicles Alaska’s history from the perspective of the people who have lived and thrived in the area for years.

The Alaska Exhibition is broken down into 13 themes. Each of these represents an essential part of life in Alaska today and in the past. 

You can learn about Alaska’s identity through these concepts.

And if your brain gets tired of absorbing all the information, drop by the Atrium Café sweet treat and a drink.

Address: 625 C St, Anchorage, AK 99501

Alyeska Resort

Alyeska Resort, Anchorage, Alaska
Alyeska Resort, Anchorage, Alaska / The Alaska Landmine / Flickr

More than 300 rooms, a saltwater pool, their own ski mountain, and their 50,000-square-foot spa await guests at Alyeska Resort.

It is Alaska’s top destination. Alyeska is the ideal starting point for endless exploration and enjoyment, come rain or shine.

Alyeska lives true to its’ steep and deep’ moniker with 1,610 skiable acres, 76 named trails, and an average annual snowfall of 669 inches.

Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can enjoy Alyeska Resort. 

Not to mention that the Alpine-style hotel is a beautiful spot to take a short walk and take in a panoramic view of the mountains, oceans, and glaciers.

Their luxurious accommodation is a wonderful spot to relax and melt into after a long day of activities.

After resting, check out Seven Glaciers Restaurant, nestled at the top of Mount Alyeska.

Don’t hesitate to go there. It’s a AAA Four-Diamond rating, emphasizing local meat and produce.

Address: 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587

Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Chugach State Park, Anchorage, Alaska / C Watts / Flickr

The Chugach State Park is located within the Municipality of Anchorage in Southcentral Alaska.

It is one of the four largest state parks in the U.S., with approximately 495,000 acres.

A plethora of landforms and topography surrounds the park.

To the east would find the Chugach National Forest, Upper and Lower Lake George, and the Chugach Mountain Range on the western boundary. 

The Knik Arm marks the North, while Turnagain Arm to the south. 

If you decide to go on a day trek, you’ll be surprised by more than 280 miles of beautifully-maintained trails for hikers and bikers.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, how about spending the next few hours paddling away for 28 miles of Eagle River Valley?

You’ll find something interesting wherever you look, no matter your season. The park has an extensive line of activities year-round!

We dare you to get bored in Chugach State Park.

Address: 118620 Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99516

Crow Creek

Crow Creek, Anchorage, Alaska
Crow Creek, Anchorage, Alaska / U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) / Flickr

Do you want to become a gold digger? No, we mean the literal kind.

There’s nothing more exciting than sifting through muddy water and finding a little gold nugget in your pan. Like, it’s real gold!

Crow Creek is a working mine owned and operated by a family of miners. 

You can spend your entire day searching for gold or exploring the historic grounds of what was once one of Alaska’s largest mines.

Despite the end of large-scale mining during World War II, some claim that half of the original deposit is buried in the ground. Hence the excitement for finding your own gold!

Aside from that, the mine’s 400-acre grounds and hiking trails, including the Historic Iditarod Trail, can be explored. 

It’s also highly convenient to get in and out of. Take the free shuttle that takes you as close to the mine as it can. 

From there, you can take a short hike to get there.

Address: 601 Crow Creek Rd Girdwood, AK 99587

Eklutna Tailrace and Knik River

Eklutna Tailrace and Knik River, Anchorage, Alaska
Eklutna Tailrace and Knik River is one of the best places to go in Anchorage, Alaska

The Knik River, a unique fishery located about 25 miles northwest of Anchorage, blossoms from the artificial well of water.

Ice-fed watercolors make the water a murky blue-gray, and the current is almost non-existent.

A comfy chair and some fishing equipment are all you need, and you’re all set. 

You just have to wait a couple of hours before the fish nips at your bait.

The tailrace is a popular fishing spot for fishermen hoping to snag a monster King or Silver Salmon, hoping it’s the next big catch.

Those are activities you can enjoy during the daytime.

But how about at night?

Find a good spot without any mountains on the way, and wait.

Then you will be blessed with a stunning view of the aurora. 

Uninterrupted, the area offers good visibility even when the aurora is low on the skyline.

You have to see it for yourself. 

Address: 13145 S Old Glenn Hwy, Palmer, AK 99645

Flattop Mountain Trail

Flattop Mountain Trail, Anchorage, Alaska
Flattop Mountain Trail, Anchorage, Alaska / Kimon Berlin / Flickr

The Flattop Mountain Trail is one of the best things to do in Alaska.

The spectacular Flattop Mountain Trail is Alaska’s most famous mountain to hike because of its accessibility to hikers.

It also offers a remarkable view of Anchorage’s landscape.

The trail begins just southeast of the Center and leads you through various picturesque views and lush greeneries before ending at a sweeping view of the city’s natural environment.

The 2.4-kilometer-long scenic path to its prominent peak weaves its way through vast valleys and beneath large mountains; you will be guaranteed a stunning view everywhere you go.

That is the beauty of Anchorage; no place is less than beautiful.

While most of it is uphill, the final stretch requires some effort to climb over some stones before reaching the summit of the massive mountain. 

In addition to taking in the breathtaking views, hikers can choose to pick their preferred trails. 

You can enjoy the view at the comfort of a trail perfect for your skill level.

Address: Anchorage, AK 99516

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park, Anchorage, Alaska / Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

With 607,000 acres, would you believe Kenai Fjords is the smallest National Park in Alaska?

You get Kenai Fjords National Park when you take the best of coastal Alaska and concentrate it into a single location. 

It’s wild, icy, and dynamic, all mixed harmoniously to become this scenic display of nature. It is genuinely awe-striking. 

About 20 species of seabirds, including the clown-faced puffin (look it up, I guarantee you are familiar with this bird) and 27 land and 10 marine mammals, are found along the rocky coastline.

Then there is the mile-thick layer of ice covers 714 square miles of the park’s pride and joy, the Harding Icefield.

It quite literally looks like a picture. With sprawling ice encompassing the whole area, it mimics the flow of waves. Still, in Harding Icefield, it remains permanent and immovable.

And if that’s not enough, take a look at the fjords. Tall and imposing, you will feel like you are in the prehistoric era. 

Address: Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, United States

Kincaid Park

Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska
Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska / Paxson Woelber / Flickr

Sick of hiking? How about some outdoor sports to get your blood pumping?

You can play disc golf or soccer on one of the city’s seven grassy fields. Or just have a walk or a light jog to enjoy the view.

The Northwest’s largest sand dunes can be found in the park, available for sledding and races below it. 

Winter transforms the extensive trail network into one of the area’s most sought-after spots for cross-country skiing.

It’s possible to ski for as long as you want on approximately 40 miles of groomed trails, plus 12 miles lit at night. 

Kincaid has also been the venue for several major ski competitions, like the U.S. National Championships and the Olympic trials for some of the Winter Games.

Address: 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502

Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria

Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, Anchorage, Alaska
Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, Anchorage, Alaska / Cathy Stanley-Erickson / Flickr

Visit Anchorage’s culinary pride and joy; the Moose’s Tooth is the highest-grossing independent pizzeria in the whole nation. 

Operating since June 1996, and it hasn’t stopped filling tables since. 

More likely than not, you’ll find yourself being friends with the locals.

You’re already in Alaska; you might as well try their Call of the Wind pizza with locally made reindeer sausage. Make sure you grab a pint while waiting for your pizza to bake to perfection.

The pub is in close partnership with Broken Tooth Brewing, their brewery of choice for the best of their craft beer.

After your first, try a pint of their Northern Lights Amber, or if you prefer a fruitier brew, then Raspberry Wheat may suit your tastes.

We can’t forget to mention the live music that plays every evening. After all, Moose’s Tooth loves music just as much as they love their beer.

Address: 3300 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99503

Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska
Portage Glacier, Anchorage, Alaska / Joanna Poe / Flickr

A Portage Glacier Tour is a must to view the glaciers in person.

The renowned Portage Glacier Cruise Tour is highly recommended when visiting Alaska’s most accessible glacier at the South-center of the state. 

In addition, the Portage Glacier Tour allows visitors to get up close and personal with the 10-story-tall glacier. At a safe distance, of course, about 300 yards close.

Which sails up and down the river. It’s ideal for getting up close and personal with the glacier.

Portage Valley is located about 50 miles south of Anchorage on the picturesque Seward Highway.

There you can access hiking and biking routes, and you can set up a camp, and watch the animals as they go about their day. 

Within the Chugach National Forest is Portage Glacier, which formerly covered 14 miles of Portage Valley, reshaping the entire terrain.

You will spot a variety of species, including migratory birds, bears, and moose.

Seems like the whole Anchorage experience condensed into one place.

Address: Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, U.S. 

Potter Marsh

Potter Marsh, Anchorage, Alaska
Potter Marsh, Anchorage, Alaska / Alaina McDavid / Flickr

For the most accessible wildlife viewing in Alaska, look no further than Potter Marsh. 

The 564-acre freshwater marsh will give you a panoramic view of the wildlife living in the area.

Bird enthusiasts and other wildlife watchers will appreciate the tranquility of Potter Marsh, located at the tip of the South of Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge.

A 1,550-foot-long wooden boardwalk weaves through the marsh and across the water, providing an ideal home for various birds. 

In addition to watching for birds, keep an eye out for muskrats. 

Which you can identify by their round bodies and tiny heads peeping above the waters or skittering along with the open areas.

You can also spot a few moose in the marshes.

Don’t be scared of their gigantic stature; they’re harmless. Just make sure you don’t spook them.

Potter Marsh is one of Anchorage’s most accessible and beautiful wildlife viewing areas, with a stunning view of the Turnagain Arm as its backdrop.

Address: 2999 E 154th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99516, United States

Snow City Cafe 

Snow City Cafe , Anchorage, Alaska
Snow City Cafe, Anchorage, Alaska / James Brooks / Flickr

You’re bound to get tired from all the hiking and touring in the city. A visit to Anchorage’s Best Breakfast is in order!

Snow City Cafe has been voted the ‘Best Breakfast’ since 2003 by the locals.

And if that’s not impressive enough, a very notable person once ordered a box of cinnamon rolls for $18.25 and then left a tip of $31.

Who would do that? Obama, apparently.

The cheery downtown breakfast stop is known for its good food, regardless of who comes in.

They use farm-fresh, locally produced ingredients to make everything on their menu from scratch!

Their loyal customers rave about their french toast that can be served with your choice of bacon or sausage.

Don’t miss their omelets either, served with hash browns & toast, or their special West Coast Philly Omelet.

We’re drooling just thinking about it!

You even choose if you want to switch to gluten-free and vegan; just tell them, and they’ll cook you up something good!

 Address: 1034 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Virgin Creek Falls

Virgin Creek Falls, Anchorage, Alaska
Virgin Creek Falls, Anchorage, Alaska / Paxson Woelber / Flickr

Do you get tired quickly?

Near Girdwood, Alaska, there’s a 0.8-kilometer roundtrip trail worth trying. 

You can hike to your destination at an average of 17 minutes; it is an easy journey for all ages. 

Of course, the easy trail can even be taken on by children with parental supervision. 

Dogs are even allowed to roam the area.

It is very beginner-friendly!

As a temperate rainforest, the trees and plants differ entirely from all the places you visit in Southcentral Alaska. 

And at the end of the sweat-free trail, you’ll view the glorious Virgin Creek Falls. Nestled between lush trees and hanging moss, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale.

Not to mention that the fauna in the forest is unlike any other.

At quieter times of the day, you can still enjoy some peace and quiet on this popular hiking and birding track.

And if you want to be undisturbed, you can go early and have the trail to yourself.

Address: Virgin Creek, Anchorage, AK, Girdwood, AK 99587

ULU Factory

ULU Factory, Anchorage, Alaska
ULU Factory, Anchorage, Alaska / Jeremy Buttler / Flickr

If you’re looking to purchase something uniquely Alaskan, look no further than the ULU Factory.

The Ulu Factory has produced Alaska ulus, the region’s most recognizable export, for over four decades. 

What began in a modest one-car garage on Anchorage’s east side grew to a facility with over 12,000 sq. ft in size.

In the past, ulus were used mainly by Inuit women to prepare food. Still, chefs and cooks all over the world now understand its versatility and utilize it regularly.

To filet fish or meat, the ancient Inupiaq developed this curved blade that rocks from side to side, making the process easier. 

You can watch talented craftsmen continue this ancient craft at their Factory near Ship Creek.

You can take their free vintage trolley to The ULU Factory from downtown.

There’s no excuse for you not to visit such a historic product being made!

Address: 211 W Ship Creek Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Volunteer At Animal Shelters

Animal shelters in Anchorage, Alaska
Animal shelters in Anchorage, Alaska

Would you like to help out at an animal shelter in your area? Animal shelters are places where homeless or unwanted animals can stay temporarily and get care.

By volunteering, you help bring attention to pet overpopulation, neglect, and abuse, and you become a part of the solution.

Some volunteer ideas include: walking dogs at a local shelter, fostering kittens with a rescue group, doing clerical work like stuffing envelopes for a good cause, helping with fundraising or organizing events for local animal charities, and participating in local events to raise awareness about animal welfare.

Giving back to the community by helping animals in need is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Look into volunteering at animal shelters in Anchorage, Alaska.

Traveling and having fun in the USA? You have to check out this page – the best states to visit in USA for the most fun and unusual travel ideas.

Still unsure about making Anchorage, Alaska, your next destination? Hop over to why visit Anchorage, Alaska, at least once in your lifetime here.

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