"Fall" in Love with Anchorage
Looking for an adventure and great deals? Visit Anchorage, Alaska in the fall. The sun still spends a long time in the sky and the weather in Anchorage is cool but not cold. You’ll find great deals on accommodations and airfares. Save some green and get the best chances for moose sightings and northern lights viewing at the same time.
1. Northern Lights Viewing
By the time September rolls around, true night skies have returned to Anchorage and that means the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, can be viewed again. Experts say the cycle is reaching a peak this year which means more chances to see the aurora and vibrant displays.
2. Whale Watching & Wildlife Viewing
Score a front row seat with great views of glaciers, whales, sea otters and maybe even a bear. Through the end of September, one of the most popular Alaska activities is a glacier and wildlife cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park or Prince William Sound. Junior Ranger programs are available for kids making it educational and fun.
3. Ride the Rails
The Alaska Railroad offers year-round service. Hop a train to Fairbanks for fantastic views of the changing fall colors and maybe even a clear shot of Mount McKinley. Or take a day trip up to scenic Hurricane on one of the last whistlestop trains in America.
4. Changing Colors
You'll see bright reds, glowing yellows and rusty oranges during a typical autumn day in Anchorage. Grab the camera and be prepared, you never know when you'll find a moose filling up on fall delicacies or a flock of birds heading out for warmer southern climates. Anchorage hiking trails range from easy walks to almost technical climbs. But the journey is worth it when you see the stark contrast between the colorful leaves and berries and the mountaintops covered in a dusting of fresh snow.
5. The Alaska State Fair
From giant vegetables and salmon quesadillas to prize winning pigs and popular rock bands, the Alaska State Fair is a great way to wrap up the summer and kick off the fall. Just 45 miles north of Anchorage in Alaska’s picturesque Matanuska Valley, thousands gather for great food, amazing attractions and bit acts. The Alaska State Fair runs from Aug. 23 – Sept. 3, 2012.
6. Activities Galore
From a New Orleans-style street party and an authentic Oktoberfest to a college hockey tournament featuring Division I teams, the activity never stops in Anchorage. Enjoy the rich tradition of Cajun-style cuisine as some of Alaska’s top chefs come together for A Taste of Mardi Gras. The street party is a benefit for the American Red Cross of Alaska and will go towards local disaster relief. Celebrate Oktoberfest with members of the German community. Grab a brat, pretzel and pint of beer before sitting down to listen to traditional music. Or get pumped for hockey season at the two day Kendall Hockey Classic. The contest features the talents of the hometown University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves along with instate rivals University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks.
7. Fish On!
Fall is a great time to fish! With fewer fishermen, beautiful fall colors and crisp days, time will fly by as you cast for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, grayling, steelhead and silver salmon. You don’t even need to bring your gear or worry about where to go; guide services for individuals or groups can hook you up with the best fishing spots.
8. See a show!
With world-renowned musicians and Broadway hits as well as local theatre and dance troupes, Anchorage is Alaska’s prime spot for entertainment. The performing arts community offers something for everyone. Catch your favorite artists as they tour the West, or catch a locally produced show in an intimate playhouse. Before (or after) the show, stop in to a local restaurant serving up regional specialties like halibut, salmon or shrimp.
9. Hit the Trails
Lace up those running shoes and take a jog through beautiful scenery! Dozens of fall runs are held around Anchorage, and mild temperatures will keep you cool mile after mile. Whether you’re looking for some fun or going for a personal record, you’ll find a long list of races to join.
10. Body Worlds Vital
The Anchorage Museum is bringing the worldwide phenomenon “Body Worlds” to Alaska. Beginning Sept. 28, 2012 and running through Jan. 6, 2013, the exhibit uses real human bodies to educate visitors about anatomy, physiology and health. Pair that with the museum’s stunning permanent exhibits on Alaska art, history and Alaska Native culture, and you have a stop that should be on any itinerary.