25 Best Things To Do In Anchorage, Alaska - Updated 2021

things to do in anchorage alaska

Known as Alaska’s largest and liveliest city, Anchorage is popular to many travelers looking for a place to get lost. It’s the perfect place for young spirits and adventurous souls who love feeling the exhilaration of doing new things. Anchorage offers a plethora of activities travelers will come to enjoy. From the exploration of some of the famous wildlife, witnessing breathtaking mountain views, learning different cultures, and seeing real-life ice glaciers, Anchorage is truly a sight to behold. It has unrivaled natural wonders that make it a memorable destination. If ever you decide to visit, listed down below are the things to do in Anchorage, Alaska during your stay.

1. Explore the world of art and history at Anchorage Museum

One of the places to visit if you want to expand your horizons is Anchorage Museum. It tells a lot of stories about the history of the North that will surely pique your interest. From unique art pieces to beautiful cultures that will surely widen your perspective, Anchorage Museum has something for everyone. It’s the best place to go exploring and trying to understand the true North.

Anchorage Museum

Address: 625 C St, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

Website: Anchorage Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

2. Go wildlife spotting at the Potter Marsh Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk

If you are a big fan of beautiful scenery and the wild, then going wildlife spotting at Potter Marsh Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk is the best thing to do for you. Walk along the boardwalk while enjoying watching different animals roaming and flying around the area with amazing landscapes as your background. You’ll be able to see how the animals behave in their natural habitat. It is ideal to visit the place during the sunsets, you’ll be amazed by the lovely scene.

Potter Marsh Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk

Address: 2999 E 154th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99516, USA

Website: Potter Marsh Wildlife Viewing Boardwalk

3. Sample local craft beers at Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

One of Anchorage’ s oldest and most striking breweries, Midnight Sun Brewing Co. is the place to be for people who love to drink. It serves excellent beer choices and really good food. It has a warm ambiance and chill vibe, which makes it ideal for group friends who want to hang out. It has the best service that will make you feel right at home for its number one priority is the costumers’ comfort and satisfaction.

Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Address: 8111 Dimond Hook Dr, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA

Website: Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 8pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 8pm

4. Get an adrenaline rush by skiing in the Hilltop Ski Area

Known as Anchorage’s premier skiing and snowboarding slope, Hilltop Ski Area is ideal for travelers who love doing physical activities. It’s in the Far North Bicentennial Park which is near the famous Chugach State Park. It is perfect for everyone, even the ones who don’t know how to ski but are willing to learn. It offers beginners lessons which makes it a great place to learn how to ski since it has the best and most encouraging instructors. Add some fun and excitement to your trip to Alaska by going skiing.

Hilltop Ski Area

Address: 7015 Abbott Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA

Website: Hilltop Ski Area

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: USD 20

5. Learn about the rich regional culture at Alaska Native Heritage Center

Known as the living cultural center of Anchorage, Alaska Native Heritage Center is the place to visit if you are a big fan of learning cultures. It’s a home for many traditions you will completely enjoy knowing. Also, you’ll enjoy indulging in activities like viewing beautiful sceneries of Alaska’s wilderness, exploring the arts and crafts, and trying a native gaming event. It’s a place that should be in your itinerary while you’re in Alaska if you want to know more about its history.

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Address: 8800 Heritage Center Dr, Anchorage, AK 99504, USA

Website: Alaska Native Heritage Center

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

6. Hike through Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Posted by Faith Brainerd Kelly on Thursday, 25 July 2019

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail which name comes from the former governor of Alaska is one of the greenbelt trails in Anchorage. It is the best place for both travelers and locals alike who love outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and skiing. Tourists can hike as little or as much as they want. On top of that, the trail gives the best panoramic views of downtown Anchorage, Mount Susitna, and the famous Fire Island. It is also right next to the coast, which offers the views of the crashing waves.

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

Address: Tony Knowles Coastal TrailAnchorage, AK, USA

Website: Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

7. Learn about wildlife preservation at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation is a sanctuary responsible for preserving the wildlife of Alaska. Its main goal is conservation, giving the best animal care, and educating the people about its mission to preserve the wild. It offers a lot of activities to visitors who come to seeand encounter the animals. Tourists can choose between moose and carnivore encounters, which each lasts for about 30 minutes, giving the guests a chance to get close to the animal.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

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

Website: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Opening hours: 8:30am - 7pm (daily)

8. Breathe in some fresh air at Valley of the Moon Park

Valley of the Moon Park is the perfect place to go to for a picnic with your friends and family. It features one of the largest playgrounds in Anchorage containing equipment such as rocket ship with multiple tiers, swings sturdy enough to sit both adults and the kids, and monkey bars which the children love. Also, it has surrounding benches, tables, and a creek making the place perfect for large group visitors. On top of that, the ample grassland is big enough for pets to run around.

Valley of the Moon Park

Address: 610 W 17th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

Website: Valley of the Moon Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

9. Shop for contemporary souvenirs at Ulu Factory

Ulu Factory is known for the quality products it produces. Visiting the place is going to be a truly interesting experience wherein you’ll get to see how the famous Alaska Ulu Knife is made. It’s the best place to visit if you want to make sure you’re buying the best souvenirs. After all, any vacation won’t be complete without taking home a great souvenir that represents the place.

Ulu Factory

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

Website: Ulu Factory

Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)

10. Enjoy the stunning views at Chugach State Park

Located in the heart of South Central Alaska within the municipality of Anchorage, Chugach State Park is famous to locals and travelers alike. It contains thousands of acres of land, making it one of the largest state parks in the United States. Also, It’s close to the Alaska Range and Wrangell Mountains offering the best scenic views of massive glaciers, ice fields, and amazing lakes. On top of that, downtown Anchorage is only a short drive from the place.

Chugach State Park

Address: 18620 Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99516, USA

Website: Chugach State Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

11. Explore the local flora and fauna at Alaska Botanical Garden

Take in the glory of the beautiful Botanical Garden of Alaska in Anchorage. Upon entry to the place, wide varieties of flowers will welcome you. If you wish to visit a somewhat magical and heavenly place, Alaska Botanical Garden is the place to be. From breathing in the fragrance of the flowers to walking native trails, it surely is the best way to relax and take your worries away. It’s one of the beautiful places in Alaska that tourists love visiting.

Alaska Botanical Garden

Address: 4601 Campbell Airstrip Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA

Website: Alaska Botanical Garden

Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (daily)

12. Spot polar bears at The Alaska Zoo

Red fox — Alaska Zoo Anchorage
Source: Photo by user C Watts used under CC BY 2.0

Promoting conservation of Arctic and climate species, the Alaska Zoo is the home of many wildlife animals. It offers a lot of fun activities for both tourists and locals who are visiting the zoo. From watching polar bears play with their toys to feeding bear cubs, it sure has something for everyone, whether you’re with your family or group friends. Your visit to the place is going to be a fun-filled and a memorable one. Take lots of pictures and reminisce your day at the zoo.

The Alaska Zoo

Address: 4731 O'Malley Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507, USA

Website: The Alaska Zoo

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

Price: 15 USD

13. Embark on off-road adventures in the sand dunes of Kincaid Park

Offering a plethora of outdoor activities of all kinds in a wilderness-like setting, Kincaid Park is the best place to go to if you’re a big adventurer. It’s known as a former site of the historic Cold War missile base. It has a lot to offer from panoramic views of the beautiful Denali and the huge Cook Inlet to its deep wood enclaves–the park is sure full of wonders. Hiking, biking, or strolling, you can do everything you want while in the park.

Kincaid Park

Address: 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502, USA

Website: Kincaid Park

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

14. Discover Eklutna Historical Park

Located just a few minutes away from Downtown Anchorage, Eklutna Historical Park is a must-visit place if you’re one of those people who love going to historic sites. Visitors to the place can take guided tours to its famous sites like the Spirit Houses, the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church, and the new Orthodox Church. You’ll learn a lot about the cultural value of this place.

Eklutna Historical Park

Address: Eklutna Village Rd, Chugiak, AK 99567, USA

Website: Eklutna Historical Park

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

15. Go on a scenic rail tour (from USD 13.99)

things to do in anchorage alaska | go on a scenic rail tour

Witness the beauty of the gorgeous city of Seward, the surrounding mountains, and the historic Resurrection Bay. Seward is continuously undergoing development and is now the proud home of the iconic Iditarod National Historic Trail and the amazing Alaska SeaLife Center. Take an audio tour to see the wonders of the place including the Founder’s Monument, the William Seward Bust, the Seward Community Library, and the Chugach Museum. Take wonderful pictures in the Old Alaska Railroad Depot. There’s so much to see and do in this place, from interesting sites to learning quirky tales of the enigmatic city.

Seward: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Duration: 3 hour

16. Book a scenic cruise with Phillips Cruises and Tours

things to do in anchorage alaska | book a scenic cruise with phillips cruises and tours

One of the best experience you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Anchorage is to indulge in a cruise tour around the Alaska glaciers. One of the most reliable cruise companies that you should consider is the Phillips Cruises and Tours. It provides the most memorable experience to both locals and visitors from all over the world. It provides first-class accommodation to guests covering complimentary hot meals and history narrations.

Phillips Cruises and Tours

Address: 519 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

Website: Phillips Cruises and Tours

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

17. Dine at the infamous Jens' Restaurant

Serving the finest food and wine, Jen’s Restaurant offers a chic and classy environment to guests. It is known for its different dishes ranging from continental to local food. Also, it is one of the favorite restaurant destinations of both locals and tourists alike. Jen’s Restaurant provides the best service no matter the occasion. Be it a celebratory occasion or just a plain get together lunch, sumptuous dinner, or indulging in a glass of wine, it never disappoints. If you want to have the best of the best fine dining experience, Jen’s Restaurant is the place to go.

Jens' Restaurant

Address: 701 W 36th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA

Website: Jens’ Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon: 11:30am - 5pm; Tue - Thu: 11:30am - 11pm; Fri: 5:30am - 10pm; Sat: 4pm - 11pm (closed on Sun)

18. Have some great cocktails at Darwin's Theory

If you’re looking for the perfect place to chill and have a drink without worrying about too much crowd, Darwin’s Theory is the perfect place to go. It’s a cozy little bar located in between a couple of shops. Its great service makes up for its lack of size, which is why locals and tourists love the place. It offers a plethora of selections of bottled beers and mixed cocktails. It’s the best spot to visit for a long drink or just a quick stop by.

Darwin's Theory

Address: 426 G St, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

Website: Darwin’s Theory

Opening hours: 10am - 2:30am (daily)

19. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at Snow City Café

Whether you’re looking for a place to have an early breakfast or a late brunch, Snow City Cafe is a popular brunch spot in downtown Anchorage. It offers the tastiest breakfast you could experience and has the friendliest staff. Also, it serves a wide selection of vegan and gluten-free food options, as well as healthy choices like egg white omelets, side of fruit instead of hash browns, and such. Guests can also have a special request for substitutions if ingredients are available. On top of that, all the food it serves come from the freshest ingredients that the local vendors grow.

Snow City Café

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

Website: Snow City Café

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 6:30am - 4pm

20. Interact with the locals at the Saturday Market

Experience living like a true local at the Saturday Market by exploring the whole Anchorage Market and interacting with the locals. It’s a family-friendly attraction perfect activity to indulge in during the weekends. It’s a favorite spot for both locals and tourists for its beautiful shops lining the street. From clothes to artwork, and trying local food to enjoying live entertainment, you’ll have the best time. It’s the right place to go if you plan on buying Alaskan-made items, gifts, and souvenirs to bring home. It has everything that your heart will desire and more.

Saturday Market

Address: 225 E 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA

Website: Saturday Market

Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Fri)

21. Go on aerial adventures with Rust's Flying Service

things to do in anchorage alaska | go on aerial adventures with rust's flying service
Source: akonthego on Instagram

If you’re through touring Anchorage by land and water, it’s your time to see the place in the aerial perspective. Rust’s Flying Service is one of the most reliable aerial services. It offers a lot of services including Bear Viewing, Flightseeing, and Fly-in Fishing. Bear Viewing is one of the most in-demand services they offer to guests for it covers Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, and the beautiful Redoubt Bay Lodge. Also, Rust’s Flying Service guarantees that the tour will be safe for tourists since it only has the best pilots.

Rust's Flying Service

Address: 4525 Enstrom Cir, Anchorage, AK 99502, USA

Website: Rust’s Flying Service

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

22. Explore Alaska Public Lands Information Center for a true tourist experience

If you want to experience everything Alaska has to offer, visiting the Alaska Public Lands Information Center will help you achieve that. You’ll gain a lot of insights on the different activities to do and places you can visit while you’re in Anchorage, Alaska. Touring the center will help you make an itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of Alaska. That way, you wouldn’t miss anything that you will want to see or experience for yourself. You’ll be able to feel Alaska like a true tourist.

Alaska Public Lands Information Center

Website: Alaska Public Lands Information Center

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

23. Hike through Winner Creek Trail Hand Tram

Located in Girdwood less than an hour away from South Anchorage, Winner Creek Trail is one of the favorite trails of both tourists and locals alike. It’s an ideal place to see for visiting friends and family who want to see scenic and amazing views of nature. Tourists can opt to do a three-mile (4.8 km) hike or ride a bike on the wide, well-made trail of the creek. Feel the wind brush your face, witness America’s breathtaking northernmost rainforest, and live in the moment.

Winner Creek Trail Hand Tram

Address: Girdwood, AK 99587, USA

Website: Winner Creek Trail Hand Tram

24. Walk through Byron Glacier Trail while enjoying the spectacular surroundings

If you’re a big fan of outdoor activities or you’re an adventurer, hiking along the beautiful Byron Glacier Trail may appeal to you. It’s a short day hike which has an easily accessible trail head giving hikers the breathtaking views of the Byron Glacier. Also, if you still want a more exciting activity and wish to experience the whole trail, you can explore its cave. It’s going to be an adventure that will get your blood pumping and your heart racing.

Byron Glacier Trail

Address: Anchorage, AK 99587, USA

Website: Byron Glacier Trail

25. Set sail on a scenic cruise to Portage Glacier

Portage Glacier from Portage Pass (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Frank K. used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most famous attractions in Alaska, Portage Glacier is a sight to behold. It is only an hour away from Anchorage. Many tourists and locals alike love going here because of the feeling they get whenever they see its beauty. If you want to see something quite rare especially when you’re from the city, sailing on a cruise in Portage Glacier will take your worries away. You can also enjoy a plethora of cuisines while sailing around the place.

Portage Glacier

Address: Anchorage, AK, USA

Website: Portage Glacier

Have fun in Anchorage

Discover the beauty of the largest city in Alaska. Anchorage is known for its rich culture and the plethora of activities it offers. If you want to experience the place, check out our list of things to do to have the best time.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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