Most travelers to Alaska find themselves flying in or out of Anchorage or as a stop on a cruise ship itinerary. Here’s how to plan One Unforgettable Day in Anchorage Alaska.
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, with over 290k residents. The city is a wonderful mix of a bustling downtown city scene and the natural wonders of the nearby Alaskan wilderness. You can’t really see everything Anchorage has to offer in just one day, but hopefully this guide will help you decide how to spend limited time in this excellent city.
Anchorage in the Morning
A crisp summer morning in Anchorage will make you love life. It’s breathtaking. Grab a light jacket, and explore the Anchorage morning.
Campbell Creek Park and Kincaid Park are two great large parks to explore in Anchorage. There are several other smaller parks near the downtown area you can check out as well.
If you want to look like a local, grab a cup of coffee down on 4th avenue, and walk down to the weekend farmer’s market on 3rd Avenue and C Street to check out the community crafts and produce. There’s always good music, and plenty of fun for kids.
After you work up an appetite, find a hearty breakfast in Anchorage. Check out a local favorite like Muffin Man Café 817 or the Snow City Café.
Anchorage in the Afternoon
Anchorage has countless attractions, large and small, for you to explore. For an overview of the city, companies like Gray Line of Alaska offer excellent Anchorage tours that will guide you through the historic downtown. But don’t be afraid to get out beyond the city limits.
At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC), many of Alaska’s native animals find a home within the center’s 170 acres. The AWCC is an hour drive south of Anchorage, and it’s well worth the drive. The nonprofit organization pursues the preservation of Alaska’s wildlife, and you’ll have the opportunity to see bald eagles, caribou, bears, elk and moose, all living in a natural environment. The AWCC is also a refuge for orphaned and injured animals.
If the AWCC is too far away, the Alaska Zoo offers a similar experience at the south end of downtown Anchorage. The animals’ roaming environments are much smaller, but you’ll be able to see polar bears and musk ox in addition to other native Alaskan animals. Children will also enjoy the interactive exhibits at the zoo.
If you’re looking for an exciting experience, a flightseeing tour of Anchorage is a great option. Several seaplanes offer tours of Anchorage and the surrounding environment. Bring your camera along, and snap some photos of the gorgeous secluded valleys around Anchorage.
Anchorage at Night
After a day of exploring, finding a great dinner spot downtown can be the perfect end to the day. There are plenty of delicious meals to be found downtown, like Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria. Moose’s Tooth won me over with their amazing pizza, but I was smart enough to save room for dessert at Wild Berry Park, where their ice cream flavors head off the deep end with “Polar Bear,” “Midnight Madness,” and “Glacier Silk.” The Midnight Sun Brewing Company also provides a great atmosphere for a late night drink. The brewery is a hip, local spot, so settle down with a pint of the Kodiak Brown Ale and enjoy the evening.
Anchorage is a beautiful vacation destination. And if you can’t see everything you want to in one day, just hang around for a few more!
About the Author: Jack Martin is a freelance writer and a frightfully excitable traveler. He runs a Northwest music blog while maintaining a healthy obsession with travel. Jack hopes to inspire others to explore the great big world outside.