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Urban Diversions

Pair your outdoor adventures with metropolitan amenities for the perfect blend of wilderness and civilization. Anchorage is Alaska’s most populous city, and also its arts and cultural capital.

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Captivating performances by the Anchorage Opera keep patrons coming back for more.
Captivating performances by the Anchorage Opera keep patrons coming back for more. ©Visit Anchorage/Cathryn Posey

Majestic mountains, abundant wildlife and the frontier spirit are all part of what makes Alaska great. But Anchorage holds urban appeal as well as natural treasures. Live music, great nightlife, a deep and varied cuisine scene, and first class accommodations can all be found right here.

Talented local musicians and thespians will keep you entertained year round. From the three theaters of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts to intimate playhouses like Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse, TBA Theatre, Inc. and Out North Art House, outdoor stages and indoor club venues even the location is something you won’t soon forget.

Anchorage entertainment scene has some history. The Anchorage Opera has wowed crowds for fifty years and the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra has delighted crowds since before Alaska gained statehood. But Alaska’s musical landscape goes well beyond arias and classical scores. Country, rock, jazz, hip-hop, folk and blues all have a home in Anchorage. Talented U.S. bands and theater troupes often include Anchorage in their schedules, so keep an eye on the events calendar, or risk missing your favorite act onstage.

Many of the state’s most talented visual artists call Anchorage home, or have work on display in one of the city’s many galleries. Browse the shops along G Street between Third and Sixth Avenue, or track down a masterpiece at one of the annual arts events. The popular First Friday art walk, held on the first Friday of each month, is a great way to check out new works, meet the artists and explore the city at the same time. Maps of participating shops and galleries are published the preceding Thursday in the Anchorage Press, a free weekly newspaper. Check out the Anchorage International Film Festival for “films worth freezing for.”

You’ll find fine dining, local fast food faves and everything in between on a visit to Anchorage. Chefs in Alaska incorporate local ingredients – including fresh produce and wild Alaska seafood – into dishes that would satisfy any gourmand. There are more than 100 languages spoken in the Anchorage school district, and that global heritage is reflected in the diverse array of cooking styles and flavors found in Anchorage restaurants.

With more than 8,000 hotel rooms in the city, you’ll also find the perfect place to spend the night. Recharge at a B&B, or treat yourself to a spa visit at a fine hotel. You’ll find your home away from home; Alaskans provide plenty of welcoming places to kick back and unwind after a day of adventure on city streets or in the wilderness.