Surrounded by the snow-capped Chugach Mountains, Alaska’s largest city is an exciting cosmopolitan destination with all the natural wonders and quintessential hospitality you’d expect in the Last Frontier.
When you visit Anchorage, you’ll experience the city’s atmospheric restaurants and craft breweries, or explore one of the area’s many glaciers and see wild moose. Dive deep into Native Alaskan culture at the local heritage center, or marvel at ivory beluga whales plunging into open waters with the continent’s highest peak, Denali, as the backdrop.
On your cruise to Alaska, extend your vacation with a Cruisetour to experience Anchorage’s natural and cultural attractions.
The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is an excellent introduction to the traditions and culture of the native people of Alaska. The state is home to many different native cultures, and walking through this in-depth museum will teach you about their history, culture, and traditions.
Due to its award-winning restaurants, fantastic shopping, and fascinating museums, Anchorage has earned the title of "Alaska’s Big Apple". During the summer months, enjoy everything the city has to offer under the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon where you’ll enjoy up to 19 hours of sunlight during the day.
One of the best things about Anchorage is its close proximity to state parks and coastal trails. Head to the Chugach Mountains and discover Eklutna Lake, a gorgeous spot where you can kayak on serene waters while surrounded by sweeping mountain vistas.
Embark on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, one of Anchorage’s most popular hikes, which takes you away from the city’s bustling downtown. Walk, bike, or rollerblade through fragrant forests, spot moose, explore the fault line of the city’s 1964 earthquake, and see beluga whales right off the coast.
Witness a thrilling salmon run at a hatchery in the heart of the city. From late July through August, you’ll have the chance to spot big Chinook salmon as they make their way upstream to breed. There are several viewing spots from the city’s downtown, including a walkway bridge over Ship Creek and a viewing dock on the Potter Marsh boardwalk.
Take a short plane ride to Katmai National Park, one of the best places to spot brown bears in the wild. Watch brown bears hunt for sockeye salmon in the Brooks River while perched above one of the park’s safe and scenic viewing platforms.
An Alaska Cruisetour is a great way to experience the best of the state’s interior. Discover the lively city of Anchorage and its beautiful surrounding wilderness by embarking on an optional land excursion. There’s a wide array of excursion options to suit all types of travelers, from exploring the downtown area to going on nature-filled expeditions into the mountains nearby.
On a flightseeing tour, you’ll get a jaw-dropping view of Alaska’s majestic glaciers, mountains, and wilderness. Alaska is home to the busiest floatplane base in the world, and climbing aboard one of these exhilarating water and air vessels is a special Alaskan experience.
Discover the burgeoning craft beer scene of Anchorage with a tour guide, who will give you an inside look at local breweries and the people behind them. Sample local brews and find a new favorite beer.
You might not expect to find a beach in Alaska—much less one frequented by bears—but that’s exactly what you’ll see on a flightseeing tour to Lake Clark National Park. You’ll land right on the lakeside beach and explore the area while watching the bears in their natural habitat.
Snow City Cafe
Snow City Cafe is a local favorite that serves brunch all day long. Savor meals like eggs benedict and french toast, or choose a vegan or gluten-free option. You’ll be surrounded by work from local artists displayed on the wall as you dine.
Enjoy fresh Alaskan seafood, grill specialties, and an ice-cold pitcher of beer at Glacier Brewhouse, a popular restaurant and local brewery. Choose from a generous selection of ales, lagers, and pilsners.
Simon & Seafort’s
Simon & Seafort’s is an Anchorage landmark offering visitors an unrivaled dining experience. Order beer-battered fish and chips, fish tacos, or sea scallops while admiring the gorgeous panoramic views of Cook Inlet, Mount Susitna, and the Alaskan Range.
Anchorage was a bit late to the Gold Rush population boom because of its location so far north and the difficulty of arriving there. That all changed in 1915 when the nation’s first (and only) federally owned railroad was constructed to get newcomers from the tidewaters of southeast Alaska to Anchorage.
It wasn't until World War II, however, that Anchorage’s population truly boomed, helping to turn it into the large Alaskan city it is today. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, two military bases were built near Anchorage. The city’s growth continued in the 1970s with the discovery of oil.
Natural resource extraction and military bases still serve as the main economic drivers in Anchorage, along with tourism. To experience Anchorage’s culture today, jump on a bike for an outdoorsy way to explore the town, take part in song and dance traditions of the Native population, and learn about how the land still plays such a large part in the life of locals.
Car services including rentals, taxis, and ridesharing services are available in Anchorage. You can also find city buses that go around town. The bus system in Anchorage is called People Mover, and it’s the largest public transit provider in Alaska.
If you’re traveling to or from Seward, buses are the way to go. If you’re on one of our Alaska Cruisetours you’ll be escorted between the two cities on a comfortable tour bus.
Grizzly’s Gifts is a great place to browse for souvenirs. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you spot the large, second-story grizzly statue above the shop’s entrance. Another notable gift shop is Kobuk, which is the oldest gift shop in Anchorage.
Find Alaskan-influenced pieces and cultural works of art for sale at the uniquely stocked Anchorage Museum Store. When shopping in Anchorage, look for Native heritage art, dried salmon, and locally made candy. As an added bonus, all of the purchases you make in Anchorage are tax-free.
The official currency in Anchorage and the rest of Alaska is the U.S. Dollar. You’ll find ATMs dispensing cash in the city center. If you plan on heading into more remote areas around the city, it’s best to get cash out beforehand. Most businesses accept credit cards.
Expect to leave a 15% to 20% tip in restaurants, for taxis, and at bars. If you’re ordering from the counter at a coffee shop, loose change is appreciated if there’s a tip jar.