12 Best Things to Do in Anchorage, Alaska: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
Anchorage is a beautiful vacation spot with stunning views, excellent museums, diverse cultural activities and unique wildlife. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a more extended vacation, this quaint city is a must-see at least once in your lifetime.
The best things to do in Anchorage for couples are thrilling day trips where you can see the glaciers of Lake Portage up close, ride the scenic Glacier Discovery train, learn about wildlife photography and have a picnic surrounded by nature.
1. Anchor Museum
The Anchorage Museum is the largest in Alaska, featuring more than 20 exhibits a year focusing on Alaskan history, culture, and art. Located in downtown Anchorage, the museum is a community institution that features a full schedule of public programs and art classes for students and adults alike.
One of the most popular attractions is the Imaginarium Discovery Center, an interactive, hands-on and hands-on centre where children of all ages can learn about science through play.
With more than 80 exhibits, including renowned exhibits from science museums around the world, the museum’s exhibits include simulated earthquakes, auroras, and tidal pools, kinetic space presentations, and a journey through the centre of the Earth to the system. Solar and beyond.
Address: 625 C Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501
2. Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge
The Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge stretches for 16 miles from Point Woronzof to Potter Creek, is home to an abundance of local wildlife and serves as a critical resting and feeding spot for migratory snow geese and Sandhill Cranes.
Bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike will delight in the wide range of animals found here and will find excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
Located at the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge is Potter Marsh, another haven for wildlife and birds, and features a winding wooden walkway through the swamp for visitors to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Be on the lookout for geese, ducks and loons soaring in search of prey. Moose also frequent the swamp year-round and can be seen searching for new growth in the swamp.
Address: 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99518
3. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center offers a variety of tours and presentations throughout the year, ranging from terms of the Conservation Center itself to feeding tours of resident wildlife. Tours take place during the summer and are narrated by professional guides with extensive experience in conservation and tourism.
Tours include ‘Bottle-Feeding Moose and Musk Oxen’, where visitors can see calves being bottle-fed multiple times a day, and ‘Sven the Rambling Reindeer’, which involves taking Sven for a walk through the Center grounds. ‘Prickly Points about Porcupines’ teaches you all about the life and habits of a porcupine, while ‘Fox and Lynx Feeding’.
Address: Mile 79 Seward Highway, Portage, Alaska 99587
4. Alaska Zoo, Anchorage
Established in 1969, the Alaska Zoo has been a haven for orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals for more than 40 years. Home to more than 100 animals and birds representing over 50 species, the zoo is home to a variety of native Alaskan animals and some exotic species, such as yaks, Amur tigers, and Bactrian camels.
Discover the zoo’s unique beginnings, rich history, and progress through the years at the Discovery Center, and enjoy interpretive exhibits, vintage photographs, and a DVD showing archival footage of the zoo.
The Alaska Zoo is involved in conservation, animal husbandry, and research and offers a variety of educational programs, such as the Snow Leopard and Tiger Species Survival Program.
Address: 4731 O’Malley Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507
5. Valley of the Moon Park
Named after the Indian title of Sonoma Valley in California, Moon Valley Park is a beautiful public park in Anchorage that is popular for its excellent playgrounds and charming picnic spots.
The playground, one of the largest in Anchorage, offers a variety of accessible play equipment, including swings, slides, monkey bars and a rocket-shaped playset.
Other amenities at the park include a large open playing field, Little League baseball field, access to the famous Chester Creek Trail, and plenty of tables and benches for picnicking and relaxing with the family.
Address: 610 W 17th Ave, Anchorage, Alaska 99501
6. Originale, Anchorage, Alaska
Originale at The Metro Mall serves Italian food with delicious food, a cosy atmosphere, and friendly service. Owners Sergio and Roseli Anzilotti draw inspiration from their homeland for the seasonally changing menu featuring sandwiches, antipasti, coffee and desserts.
Antipasto dishes groan with various delicious Italian meats, aged cheeses, Caprese skewers, walnuts and olives. Try the homemade focaccia bread, the perfect accompaniment to meats and cheeses shipped from Italy.
Address: 530 E Benson Blvd Ste 9A, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
7. Planet Earth Adventures – Anchorage Day Tours
Planet Earth Adventures offers excellent guided tours of the city and its surroundings. A day trip with them is one of the best ways to experience Anchorage.
The tours are led by expert guides who share their knowledge and experience of the location and disseminate exciting information and facts about the region. They focus on small groups and offer a variety of tours to suit all needs.
Anchorage’s unforgettable day trips include the ‘Alaska Wildlife Tour’, which takes you up the Turnagain Arm on the Seward Parkway to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The centre showcases some of the country’s incredible wildlife along the way, such as caribou, eagles, and elk.
8. Alaska Photo Treks
Led by a trio of professional Alaska photographers, Alaska Photo Treks offers fun photography tours and workshops around Anchorage.
To cater to a wide range of photography needs, from beginners wanting great vacation memories to professional photographers looking to capture the perfect photo, Alaska Photo Treks offers tours of some of the country’s most beautiful and scenic spots.
Alaska Photo Treks features a variety of tours, ranging from single and multi-day singles to winter tours and custom-designed tours. Day hikes include a drive through Anchorage, sunset photo safaris at Cook Inlet and Turnagain, and finally, a day with the bears at Katmai or Lake Clarke National Parks.
9. Kincaid Park, Anchorage, AK
In the heart of Anchorage, Kincaid Park offers residents and visitors a fantastic variety of outdoor activities and adventures throughout the year.
The park is situated on 1,400 acres of pristine and natural terrain with various wildlife. It boasts spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and some of the best sunsets in Alaska.
The snow-free months promise great hiking and biking trails, while the winter months offer world-class Nordic skiing. Other winter activities include snowshoeing, sledging, cross-country skiing, and biathlon.
The park has a particular motocross track open at certain times of the year. Kincaid Outdoor Center and Lidia Selkregg Chalet are available for private indoor functions.
10. The Glacier Discovery Train, Anchorage, Alaska
What better way to see and experience Alaska than on a luxury train ride, gliding through the countryside and taking in the sights while being pampered in style!
The Glacier Discovery Train travels south from Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm toward Grandview, allowing you to admire the stunning natural landscapes and glaciers of Whittier, Spencer Lake, and the Chugach Mountains along the way.
Guests can take a glacier cruise in Whittier or head to Lake Spencer for hiking, rafting or canoeing. Visitors can explore the alpine regions of the Chugach Mountains and watch glacial runoff and snowmelt plummeting down the mountains in thunderous cascades before reaching the final destination of Grandview.
11. Snow City Cafe
Snow City Cafe has offered all-day breakfast and brunch options for diners seven days a week since 1998. The restaurant makes all of its meals from scratch, uses locally sourced produce and meats, and strives to focus on the principles of environmental sustainability and healthy eating.
Diners can make their fluffy three-egg omelettes or choose from a variety of creative Benedict served with toppings such as fresh spinach, salmon or crab cakes, or biscuit-style with sausage sauce.
Clever scrambled egg dishes are also served with delicacies like stuffed French toast, old-fashioned oatmeal, and buttermilk pancakes.
Address: 1034 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501
12. Portage Glacier Cruise & Tour
Experience Alaska’s frozen wilderness like never before with an exclusive glacier tour at Portage Lake. Taken on the only operational boat on the lake and narrated by a representative of the US Forest Service, this once-in-a-lifetime tour is not to be missed.
The tour begins with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you will have the opportunity to explore this famous wildlife sanctuary and learn about the local wildlife.
You will then be transported to the lake, where you will board the MV Ptarmigan for a guided boat cruise on Portage Lake, home to the Portage Glacier. This half-day tour will take you on a one-hour trip across the lake with icebergs dating back to the Ice Age.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things to Do in Anchorage, Alaska
Is Anchorage Alaska worth visiting?
IMO Anchorage is well worth a day or two. There are a ton of really great activities: hiking, museums, fishing, dining, arts/crafts, scenery all within the city. AK is huge and if you’re here just for a little while, I wouldn’t suggest any where too far away (like Denali).
Can you see the northern lights from Anchorage?
Yes, you can see the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, from Anchorage – but not in the summer. The aurora actually occurs all year long, but the sky needs to be clear and dark to see it. Views are best from September to April. Winter is the prime viewing time.
How many days should I spend in Anchorage?
Most people plan at least three days in Anchorage during their Alaska travels. No matter how long you have, there are many ways to explore. Eat your way through Anchorage, dive into Alaska Native cultures, enjoy the great outdoors, search for bears, or see just how much you can fit into one day under the midnight sun.
Can you see the northern lights in Alaska?
While the northern lights can be seeing anywhere in Alaska, they’re visible most often in the Interior and Arctic regions. The northern lights can be seen throughout the state, though your chances of seeing them reduce as you travel south.
What’s the best time of year to go to Alaska?
The spring and fall months in Alaska offer unique opportunities and lower prices. In our opinion the best time to travel to Alaska is in June, July and August. The best month to visit Alaska is July, when travelers will experience the best combination of weather and wildlife.
Is Anchorage Alaska nice?
Anchorage offers plenty of enjoyable activities and a diverse culture. Moreover, life in Anchorage has more opportunities for residents than most of the other cities in Alaska. However, you will enjoy a median income that is higher, better school systems, a better quality of life, and more moderate weather.
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