Best of Anchorage
Anchorage Museum: Alaska’s largest and finest museum is right downtown, with fascinating exhibits, the kid-friendly Imaginarium, and a fine lunchtime café.
Alaska Native Heritage Center: Learn about the state’s native peoples through exhibits, demonstrations, and cultural presentations at this large facility on the edge of town.
Farmers Markets: Now covering Saturdays and Sundays all summer, this downtown gathering is packed with Alaskan arts and crafts, great finger-food, and live music. Don’t miss it.
Chugach State Park: Who would imagine that you could get into the wilderness so quickly from Anchorage? Lots of wonderful hiking trails are here, especially the climb up Flattop Mountain.
Turnagain Arm: South of Anchorage, the highway skirts the shore of this long inlet where you can watch for beluga whales and bore tides or turn around to see Dall sheep on the cliffs behind. Nearby Potter Marsh is great for birding.
Crow Creek Mine: Just a few miles from Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood are picture-perfect log cabins from this authentic old mine where you might find flakes of gold — or nuggets — in the creek.
Portage Glacier: Fifty miles south of Anchorage, this is one of the state’s most-visited glaciers. A boat tour across Portage Lake leaves hourly from the visitors center.
Alaska State Fair: Where else can you find a demolition derby, supersized turkey legs, enormous peonies, and 100-pound cabbages? Take the special Alaska Railroad trains to avoid the traffic jams.
Hatcher Pass: This beautiful area of the Mat-Su Valley region is perfect for hiking in the summer or cross-country skiing when the snow flies. Take time to explore the weathered old buildings of Independence Mine State Historical Park.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition