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Anchorage, Alaska

Local Details

Learn more about Anchorage, Alaska using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Anchorage, Alaska so great!

Current Temperature

  • 81.6°F
  • 27.6°C

City Guide

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, located in the Southcentral region. Anchorage is a Cosmopolitan port city with a population of neary 300,000.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High(°F) 22 26 34 44 55 62 65 63 55 40 28 43
Mean(°F) 16 19 26 36 47 55 58 56 48 34 22 36
Low(°F) 9 12 18 29 39 47 52 49 41 28 16 29
Precipitation (in) 10 12 11 5 1 1 2 3 3 11 12 85

Anchorage is served by most major American airlines. Air travel is the cheapest and most efficient form of transportation in and out of the state. Non-stop flights are available from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Mineapolis, Chicago, and Taipei year-round, and more locations in the summer. Many arriving and departing out-of-state flights are late-night "red-eyes," but there are often many daytime flight to and from Seattle. Anchorage recently completed extensive remodeling and construction at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport(IATA: ANC) (ICAO: PANC) to help accommodate the upsurge in tourism (unofficial sources have estimated the numbers for 2004 at some four million tourists arriving in Alaska between May and September).

Anchorage is also accessible from the contiguous U.S. (locally referred to as "the Lower 48") and Canada via road. The Alaska Highway starts in northern British Columbia and terminates in Fairbanks. You can either get to Anchorage via the Parks Highway from Fairbanks or the Glenn Highway from Tok (the first major Alaskan town after crossing the Canadian border). The Seward Highway serves traffic entering Anchorage from the Kenai Peninsula to the south and its Alaska Marine Highway System terminals.

Make sure to pick up a copy of The Milepost, which is widely regarded as the premiere road guide for western Canada and Alaska. Most roads in these regions have small white posts every mile or so indicating the number of miles from the start of the road. The Milepost has extremely detailed route descriptions of all of the roads, pointing out everything from scenic viewpoints and campgrounds down to the names of small creeks the roads pass over. If you're flying in to Anchorage and then driving around the state, wait and pick up a copy of The Milepost at one of the local Costcos or WalMarts--the price there is around half of list price.

Many cruise lines provide transportation from their terminals to Anchorage and may even include tours or your return air travel out of the state.

Get around

Anchorage has a poor public transportation system. Buses do not cover the entire city, and they run often infrequently. Anchorage is also not very walkable, with the exception of the compact downtown area. As such, most people who want to travel in and around Anchorage rent cars.

Anchorage International Airport is serviced by all of the major national rental car chains as well as a number of independents. A few companies have off-airport locations. Renting from these locations avoids the 11-12% airport concession recovery fee. If you're arriving in the summer, plan ahead, as most rental companies are pretty much sold out from mid-June through the end of August. In the summer, cars are often not available without reservations, and even if they are, be prepared to pay top-dollar for them.

Three taxi companies serve the Anchorage area: Alaska Cab/Yellow Cab (they have combined service) and Checker Cab. The airport maintains a taxi stand on the arrivals level. The current municipality-set rate for all taxis is $2.00 for the flag drop and $2.00 per mile; the time-based rate is $.50 per minute. The average fare to downtown runs about $15 one way.

Many hotels offer also courtesy shuttle vans that stop at the airport near the taxi stand. Several courtesy phone banks are located inside the baggage claim areas.

If you're determined to save money, you can use the PeopleMover, Anchorage's bus system. Fares are currently $1.75 or $4 for a day pass. Most bus routes have one bus in each direction per hour, but some routes increase it to two buses per hour during peak times. Buses are frequently late. Route 7 of the PeopleMover, Anchorage's bus system, has a stop located at the far south end of the airport taxi stand area. Every hour, there is one bus going downtown and one bus going to the Dimond Center in south Anchorage. If you're riding the bus to the airport, note that only one out of two trips on Route 7 stops at the airport, so look for the airplane icon on the bus route display.

Anchorage features an extremely well-developed trail system, with over 200 miles of developed trails (120 of which are paved) winding their way throughout the city's parks and three green belts. The popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail parallels the waterfront from Downtown to Kincaid Park near the airport. Several companies offer bike rentals and trail tours. In the winter, many of the trails are groomed and used as ski trails.


  • Alaska Native Heritage Center, 8800 Heritage Center Drive, Phone: (907) 330-8000, Summer (May 8-Sept 24) Every Day 9-6, Winter (Oct 29-Apr 16) Sat 10-5, General Admission Adults $23.50, Seniors/Military $21.15, Children (Ages 7-16) $15.95, Children (6 and under) free. This is much more than just a static museum of glass display cases. The various native Alaskan cultures are all represented in this center. A large stage holds native dance performances as well as other types of events for visitors. Behind the center, a short trail around the lake takes you to several stations that show aspects of life in each of the native Alaskan cultures with native guides with short demonstrations and happily answering questions. Back inside, many items such as artwork, kayaks and ulu knives are on display. A small theater runs various films and there is a gift shop (with a second location in downtown Anchorage).
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, 43 miles south of Anchorage on Seward Hwy (mile 79), Phone: (907) 783-2025, Apr-May 10-6, May-Sept 8-8, Sept-May 10-5, Adults $5, Children 4-12 $3, Seniors 55+ $3, Active Military w/ID $3, Max charge per vehicle $20. AWCC provides refuge for orphaned, injured or ill animals. Visitors drive through the park and see animals large fenced habitat areas including bears, eagles, elk, moose, bison, and more.
  • Anchorage Museum of History and Art, 121 W 7th Avenue, Phone: (907) 343-6173, Summer (15 May-15 September) 9-6, open until 9 PM on Thursdays, Winter (16 September-14 May) Tuesday-Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-5, closed Monday. Adults $8, 0-6 Free, 6-17 $2 donation, Seniors/Military/Students with ID $7. The Anchorage Museum of History and Art has various traveling exhibits from around the country and the world, and a variety of local art, including pieces from Sydney Lawrence and Ray Troll. The museum also features an extensive exhibit on Alaskan history, and an expansion to be completed in 2009 will feature a children's museum and part of a Smithsonian collection of Alaska Native art.


Wildlife Viewing

The Anchorage area is home to moose, brown and black bears, Dall sheep, and many migratory bird species. A visitor should be able to find moose fairly easily by driving any neighborhood on Anchorage's Hillside (actually the foothills of the Chugach mountains). It is not uncommon to hear of bears being spotted in residential areas, but visitors who hope to see wild bears should plan excursions to either Denali or Katmai National Parks. Dall sheep, a species similar to the big-horn sheep found in the American Rockies, can usually be spotted by driving down the Seward Highway south of Anchorage. A good way to spot sheep is to notice congregations of other tourists photographing them. A good place to view waterfowl and eagles is Potter's Marsh, located immediately south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway.


One of the best places to walk or bike in Anchorage would have to be the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Awesome. It's a long 26 mile stretch of concrete surrounded by housing developments, forests, and ocean. It's a very popular spot for bikers and joggers during the summer months. I've biked the trail twice and I love it.

Another great place to walk or bike is the Russian Jack Trail. It's another long trail that winds through woods, neighborhoods, and more. My cousin and I would ride our bikes from his house on the East side all the way downtown on the trail. It's very scenic, but watch out for moose. I have come across moose several times on the trail.


  • The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage maintains and provide information on numerous nordic (cross-country) ski trails around town.
  • Alyeska Resort located in Girdwood about 40 miles south of Anchorage on the Seward Highway is Alaska's largest alpine (downhill) ski resort. Alyeska often has the highest annual snowfall of any ski area in North America and has a wide array of intermediate and expert terrain. Begginer terrain is fairly limited, but Alyeska has a fairly good ski and snowboard instruction program so it is not a bad place to learn.
  • Hilltop Ski Area is located in south Anchorage about 15 minutes from downtown. It is a fairly small area in the Chugach foothills with one chairlift and a surface lift and exlusively begginer terrain.
  • Alpenglow at Arctic Valley is a volunteer operated resort with two chairlifts and a T-bar. While the terrain is not as steep as some of the expert-only terrain at Alyeska, it is not for begginers and the snow is often windblown and hard. Alpenglow offers free lift tickets for volunteers, and thus is a great option for ski bums and budget travellers.
  • Hillberg Ski Area is located on Elmendorf Airforce Base to the north of downtown Anchorage, and is technically open to the public. Civilians who don't have authorization to enter the base must be signed in and escorted by someone who does. Hillberg has only begginer terrain, but tends to have shorter lift lines than Hilltop making it a better option for people who can get access.
  • Chugach Powder Guides offers helicopter and snow-cat skiing in the Chugach mountains with a professional guide for advanced intermediate to expert skiers and boarders.


  • Anchorage Market and Festival, Saturdays & Sundays (mid May-mid Sept) at 3rd Ave. and E St. (10-6), Wednesdays (Jul-Aug) in the Northway Mall parking lot (11-5), free entry. Several hundred vendors offer all sorts of items in this large open air market. Items include fresh produce, fresh local seafood, prepared food, arts and crafts, souvenirs, etc. Some items could be found anywhere in the lower 48 but many items are truly Alaskan.
  • Dimond Center, The largest mall in the entire State of Alaska.
  • Fifth Avenue Mall, Usually considered Anchorage's best mall, it has the only Nordstrom in Alaska.


  • Bear Tooth Theatrepub, 1230 W 27th Avenue, (907) 276-4200, A wonderful pizza location, similar to the Moose's Tooth described below. It also features a movie theatre where one can eat dinner. It mainly plays arthouse films and those that have been released for some time.
  • Cafe Savannah, 508 W 5th Avenue (6th and E), (907) 646-9121. This is a small but fantastic Spanish tapas restaurant downtown with a very good and reasonably-priced wine list. There are hot and cold tapas dishes as well as typical entrees. It's close to the Performing Arts Center.
  • Crow's Nest, 4th and K (top floor of Hotel Captain Cook), (907) 276-6000, AAA four-diamond rating and Wine Spectator awards. Seafood, "French and American" cuisine. View of entire city and Chugach Mountains. Definitely a splurge. Wine sommelier on staff; 10,000 bottle cellar. It's still Anchorage: no dress code. Good place to impress a date.
  • Glacier BrewHouse, 5th Ave between H and G St, (907) 274-BREW, A very popular place to eat in downtown Anchorage. Wide selection of food, impressive selection of beers from their brewery. Hard to go wrong with this one if you're looking for a place to eat downtown.
  • Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, 3300 Old Seward Hwy near New Seward and 36th, (907) 258-2537, Brews their own beer and makes some fantastic pizza (all-ages welcome). Good atmosphere and walls covered with memorabelia about Alaska and beer. Can be busy. Frequently has outdoor concerts during the summer on the first Thursday of every month ("first tap" is age 21+). Must-go if you like beer. Has vegetarian selections. Medium prices; it's possible to save by splitting a large pizza. Menu and beer list online.
  • ORSO Ristorante, 5th Ave between H and G Streets, (907) 222-3232, Located right next to, and owned by the same company as Glacier BrewHouse, this restaurant offers higher-priced meals inspired by traditional Italian fare. Located in the same block as a number of art galleries and smaller boutique shops, one can keep occupied while waiting (which in the summer season, is typical).
  • Simon and Seafort's, 420 L Street (end of downtown near the coastal trail), (907) 274-3502, Semi-fancy seafood restaurant and bar. On the expensive side, but it's worth it to get some of the best seafood in Alaska (and there's no dress code). They also have excellent non-seafood selections and a great lunch menu. You can also see the sunset over the water by the window. Menus online.
  • Solstice Bar & Grill, 720 West 5th Avenue (between H and G Streets), (907) 276-7676, While not as popular as Glacier BrewHouse, Solstice Bar & Grill offers meals of a similar quality for a slightly cheaper price. Located in the lobby level of the Westmark Hotel, this restaurant can get quite busy during the summer breakfast and dinner times, as Westmark plays host to a number of cruise line guests (its parent company is Holland America Line).

In Girdwood (45 minutes south):

  • Double Musky Inn, Mile .3 Crow Creek Road. (907) 783-2822, The Double Musky has Alaska's best cajun cuisine with a local seafood slant. They have a "rustic yet formal" atmosphere. It is a great place to take a date, not just for the great food but also for the beautiful drive south along the coast. Also very warming after a day at the local Alyeska Ski Area.


Anchorage has many, many bars. Bars must close by 2:30 AM Monday-Friday and 3:00 AM Saturday and Sunday under municipal law. Bars can stay open until 5:00 AM in the cities of Palmer and Wasilla, about 45 minutes north. Anchorage also probably has more micro-breweries per capita than anywhere else.

  • Bernie's Bungalow Lounge, 626 D Street (between 6th and 7th; across the street from Nordstrom's entrance), (907) 276-8808, This is a fashionable and friendly "martini-and-cigar" type of place. Good place to sit outside on the lawn in the summer, or to go upstairs to the Paradise Room for a fancy place to have a drink. It's popular with well-dressed young people and businesspeople (during the daytime). Usually busiest after midnight. Bernie's is a "straight" bar but it is gay-friendly.
  • Chilkoot Charlie's, 1071 W 25th Avenue (in Spenard), (907) 279-1692, This is the largest bar within about 1,400 miles (2200 km). It's a huge spot that is always busy on weekends. The outside facade is deceptively small - there is a map on their website to navigate through all 10+ bars. There is usually at least one band playing every night (and usually a cover charge). Popular place to pick up dates, if you can hear above the noise.
  • Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse, 610 West 6th Avenue, (907) 276-BEER, Humpy's has dozens of beers on tap and a great pub food selection (esp. seafood) until midnight. It's popular with just about everyone. Beer-battered halibut -- yum!
  • Also see "Glacier Brewhouse" and "Moose's Tooth" under "Eat."



  • Anchorage International Hostel Downtown, 700 H Street, Phone: +1 (907) 276-3635, Fax: +1 (907) 276-7772, (, Office Hours:8am - 12pm, 5pm - 11pm Alaska Standard Time (1 hour earlier than Pacific Standard Time). This hostel is located one block from the downtown transit center(served by all PeopleMover routes except 1) and about seven blocks from the Alaska Railroad Station. Close walking distance to many downtown restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping venues.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites 5205 Northwood Drive, Phone: (907) 245-5002, Microtel is pleased to be the first economy/budget hotel brand to offer guests free local and free long distance calls in the continental United States, and free wireless high-speed Internet access in every room of our hotels, as well as advance online check-in and check-out with unlimited access to online folio information. These new amenities compliment our other standard amenities including remote TV with ESPN, CNN and one movie channel and complimentary continental breakfast.
  • Spenard Hostel International, 2845 West 42nd Place, Phone: +1 (907) 248 5036 (, Fax: +1 (907) 248 5036), Office Hours: 9am - 1pm (Summer), 7PM-11PM (Summer and Winter). This hostel is a bit of a way out of the center of town but is a really clean and friendly environment compared to the inner-city alternative. It is serviced by PeopleMover route 7.
  • The Puffin Inn Hotel, 4400 Spenard, Phone: +1 (907) 743-1164, (, The hotel is located near the Ted Steven's International Airport and Lake Hood and just 10 minutes from downtown Anchorage. It is just a short drive from scenic Alaska and all of its natural beauty.
  • Motel 6 Anchorage - Midtown, 5000 A Street, +1 907 677-8000, Fax: +1 907 677-8640,


  • America's Best Suites, 4110 Spenard Road, +1 907 243-3433, Fax: +1 907 248-9258,
  • Anchorage Microtel Inn & Suites, 5205 Northwood Drive, +1 907 245-5002, Fax: +1 907 245-5030,
  • Best Western Barratt Inn, 4616 Spenard Road, +1 907 243-3131, Toll-free: +1 800 221-7550, Fax: +1 907 249-4917,
  • Best Western Golden Lion Hotel, 1000 E 36th Avenue, +1 907 561-1522, Fax: +1 907 743-4814,
  • Courtyard Anchorage Airport, 4901 Spenard Road, +1 907 245-0322, Toll-free: +1 800 314-0782, Fax: +1 907 248-1886,
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Anchorage Midtown, 5060 A Street, +1 907 222-9000, Fax: +1 907 222-7611,
  • Hawthorn Suites, 1110 West 8th Avenue, +1 907 222-5005, Fax: +1 907 222-5215,
  • Holiday Inn Express, 4411 Spenard Rd., +1 907 248-8848,
  • Residence Inn Anchorage Midtown, 1025 35th Avenue, +1 907 563-9844, Toll-free: +1 800 314-0781, Fax: +1 907 563-9636,
  • SpringHill Suites Anchorage Midtown, 3401 A Street, +1 907 562-3247, Toll-free: +1 800 314-0783, Fax: +1 907 562-3250,
  • Howard Johnson Plaza Anchorage, 239 West 4th Avenue, +1 907 793-5500, Toll-free: +1 800 446-4656, Fax: +1 907 258-4733,


  • Anchorage Marriott Downtown, 820 W. 7th Ave, +1 907 279-8000, Fax: +1 907 279-8005,
  • Hotel Captain Cook, 4th & K, +1 907 276-6000, Toll-free: +1 800 843-1950,

Stay safe

Anchorage is a very safe city for it's size. The murder rate is very low. That's not to say that crime doesn't occur though. In the major tourist areas such as downtown, you should keep close eye on your posessions. Pickpockets exist everywhere. Certain areas of the East side such as Mountain View have higher crime than other spots. Also areas around the airport like Spenard are known for increased drug activity and prostitution. If you aren't looking for crime, you won't find it. I've lived in almost every neighborhood in Anchorage, and have never had any problem with crime.

Get out

There are only two roads out of Anchorage, the Seward Highway which goes south to the Kenai Peninsula, and the Glenn Highway which goes northeast to Glennallen and continues as the Tok Cutoff to Tok where it ends at the Alaska Highway. The Glenn Highway junctions with the Parks Highway which goes to Denali National Park and Fairbanks about 40 miles north of Anchorage. Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks usually takes 6-8 hours and driving from Anchorage to Seattle, WA usually takes at least 3 days.

There are numerous small plane flying services which have scheduled flights to small villages, or the capacity to charter flights to different villages. For travel to villages outside of the Southcentral region it is usually cheaper to take a regular commercial flight to the the appropriate regional hub (Bethel, Unalakleet, Dillingham, Unalaska, Kotzebue, Nome, Barrow, Fairbanks, or Juneau) and arrange to fly from there to your destination.

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