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10 Unique Museums In Anchorage

In just a few stops, you'll have 10,000 years of Alaska history, art and culture. Delve into Alaska's storied past and unique way of life in Anchorage's with these 10 museums and cultural attractions.

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1. Alaska Aviation Museum

Located on the shores of Lake Hood, the world’s busiest floatplane base, the museum’s mission is to display, preserve and honor Alaska’s aviation heritage. Find exhibits of bush pilot history and military aircraft, hundreds of photos, aircraft engines and a flight simulator. An F-15 fighter, 737 airliner and other planes are displayed outside.

2. Anchorage Museum

A world-class museum in the heart of Anchorage, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center houses a trove of Alaska art, history, science and Alaska Native artifacts. A 2010 expansion is showcased in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Imaginarium Discovery Center, Thomas Planetarium and ConocoPhillips library along with Muse restaurant. The Alaska Gallery is a timeline of Alaska history that includes a twisted girder from the ’64 quake and a cross-section of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

3. Alaska Native Heritage Center

The center shares the heritage of Alaska’s 11 major indigenous cultural groups. Visitors experience the culture firsthand, including performances of song, dance, stories and tours of traditional Native village sites.

4. Alaska Museum of Science and Nature

A visit to the museum is a journey back in time. Come see dinosaur skeletons, dig fossils and learn about prehistoric humans at the only museum in the state dedicated to Alaska’s prehistoric past.

5. Veterans Museum

From “Muktuk” Marston’s Tundra Army of “Eskimo Scouts” to veterans of recent conflicts, the museum educates through its collection of more than 100 personal stories from service members and veterans. Each story is unique, but together they inform, educate and inspire for generations to come. Displays include models of World War II ships, aircraft and gear.

6. The Alaska Heritage Museum at Wells Fargo

With more than 900 artifacts on display, the Alaska Heritage Museum has one of the largest private collections in the state. Originally assembled by the National Bank of Alaska, the collection includes items from several major Alaska Native cultures: St. Lawrence Yupik, Inupiaq, Athabascan, Alutiiq, Aleut/Unganun and Tlingit. The permanent exhibit also includes examples of traditional Native clothing, a full-size Bering Sea kayak, an outstanding collection of paintings by Alaska artists and a 50-ounce gold nugget.

7. Alaska Experience Theater and historical quake exhibit

Located on Fourth Avenue at the site of some of the most graphic destruction from the 1964 quake, the theater has displays both inside (admission charged) and outside. A short historical movie plays in the “Safequake” theater, where you’ll get a shake from the seats.

8. Trooper Museum

A real 1952 Hudson Hornet patrol car, a booking mug shot of Steve McQueen and tools of early law enforcement in Alaska are in this downtown museum operated by the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers.

9. Oscar Anderson House and Museum

Oscar Anderson owned a butcher shop from the earliest days of Anchorage’s founding in 1915. His house, the first wood-frame home in Anchorage, is packed with things that show how early Anchorage residents lived. Restored to its 1915 appearance, the home in Elderberry Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are given of the home; check with the Visit Anchorage Information Centers for the schedule.

10. The Roundhouse at Alyeska

This octagonal mountaintop museum, once the upper terminus of Alyeska Resort's first chairlift in 1960, first served as a warming hut and later as a popular mountain gathering place, complete with restaurant and lounge. Today, the Roundhouse symbolizes the importance of outdoor recreation to this valley’s legacy. The museum is open year-round with historical displays and spectacular views.