A Cruisers Guide to Anchorage, How To Maximize Your Time in Alaska’s Largest City
Spending time in Anchorage before or after an Alaska cruise is a must. Explore the endless opportunities to see everything the city has to offer from cultural centers to outdoor adventure.
Shuttles and tours are great options to help you make the most of your stay. Take a free ride on the Anchorage City Explorer connecting visitors to the Alaska Aviation Museum, Alaska Zoo, or Alaska Botanical Garden. The City Explorer offers rides Monday through Saturday and picks up passengers at the downtown Log Cabin Visitor Information Center.
Anchorage Trolley Tours also has paid shuttles with routes to midtown hotels, downtown attractions, and Alaska Native Heritage Center. The Trolley’s shuttle has hourly departures from participating hotels and ticket prices vary depending on the destination.
Experience the Outdoors
Discover awe-inspiring open spaces, even if you’re only here for a day. Rent a bike or walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail stretching from Downtown to Kincaid Park. Bike or stroll along this 11-mile paved pathway where it’s not unusual to pass a moose or eagle along the way.
Squeeze in a few more steps and check out Chugach State Park, a short drive from the heart of the city. Find a trail for any age and ability with 9,000 square miles of parkland to play in. The Chugach is home to some of the state's most popular trailheads and offers fantastic city views in addition to a variety of hikes.
Or consider casting a line and catching wild Alaska salmon. Ship Creek is one of the largest urban fisheries in the nation and is located within walking distance of downtown. No need to pack your rod, reel, and tackle with many businesses offering rentals.
If you want access to more of Alaska, take off on a flightseeing adventure and soar around the summit of Denali or land on a glacier. If you need a little expertise, consider enlisting the help of a guide when it comes to hiking, fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.
Heritage and History
Anchorage sits on traditional Dena’ina Athabascan lands and has endless options to learn more about the wide variety of Indigenous groups that call the Great Land home. The Anchorage Museum is the state’s largest cultural center and a Smithsonian affiliate museum where you can see how cultures shaped Alaska through art, storytelling, and more. Continue to educate yourself with a visit to other local museums including the Alaska Veterans, Alaska Jewish, and Alaska Aviation Museums.
Learn about Indigenous ways of life at the Alaska Native Heritage Center through hands-on demonstrations, stories, dance, and more. The Heritage Center is the only institution sharing the legacy and lifestyle of the state’s eleven major Alaska Native cultures.
If you plan to shop during your trip, Anchorage is the place to do it with everything from name brands to locally made items and no sales tax. Find handmade Alaska Native art sold in local galleries and at numerous annual events. Many shops specialize in Indigenous artwork including the Alaska Native Heritage Center's Ch’k’iqadi Gallery, Anchorage Museum Store, Oomingmak Musk Ox Co-op, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and more. Souvenirs made in Anchorage like an Ulu from The Ulu Factory or natural soaps at Denali Dreams Soap Co are another great option. Don’t forget to find the perfect present for a friend or treat yourself to an Alaska treasure at one of the many Anchorage gift shops.
Taste of Alaska
Save room on your itinerary for an unforgettable meal. Throughout the city you’ll find everything from fine dining with a view to street vendors sizzling reindeer sausage dogs on the grill. Deciding where to eat can be a difficult decision with so many options, but getting reservations ahead of time will help you secure a spot at some of Anchorage's most popular restaurants favored by residents and visitors alike.
Sign up for Visit Anchorage’s Local Flavor Pass to earn prizes as you eat. Check in at participating businesses on the pass and start racking up points to earn prizes. Another great resource is the Official Anchorage Restaurant & Enterntainment Guide offering an in-depth look at the best entertainment and dining options in town.
If you have a question or need help, stop by one of the visitor information centers located in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport or downtown on Fourth Avenue and F Street.