While Anchorage is well known for its mountains and world-class access to the wilds of Chugach State Park, the city is also dotted with lakes and lined with ocean — which means it has the perfect beaches for afternoon picnics, a day on the water, or a morning stroll along the tideline. Here are a few local favorites.

  1. Kincaid Park

    Follow the paved trail west from the chalet, winding down through the woods toward the bluff at the bottom of the hill. There, you’ll find signs directing you along a dirt path down the bluff onto the beach, part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. Bring a camera and watch for moose, bears, migratory birds, and beluga whales in the inlet (just remember to stay on the shore).

  2. Point Woronzof

    From the parking lot at Point Woronzof, beachgoers can follow the path down to the tideline. Those seeking sand can head north (right): Go past the brightly painted water tower and around the corner for Anchorage skyline views, a short, sloping beach, and an up-close look at planes taking off overhead. Check the tides before you go: This beach is best accessed within an hour or two of low tide.

  3. Goose Lake

    Located in the middle of Anchorage adjacent to the University of Alaska Anchorage, Goose Lake offers a family-friendly beach with picnic facilities, a sandy shoreline, and a supervised swim area (although Anchorage lakes are currently closed to swimming: click here for more information). 

  4. Mirror Lake

    Chugiak’s scenic Mirror Lake is an ideal place for boating, paddle-boarding, sunbathing, or cooling off in the shallows. Pack a lunch, and bring a bike if you’re feeling adventurous: the park features picnic facilities and a single-track mountain bike trail through the woods alongside the lake.

Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge