The largest city in the biggest state in the country offers wide-open opportunities for larger-than-life summer adventures. Plan the perfect Alaska vacation or staycation with these Anchorage-area activities, attractions, and experiences.

  1. Explore the Moose Loop. This 32-mile route around Anchorage is a great way to experience the city's four major bike trails (and yes, chances are good you'll spot a moose along the way).

  2. Spend a day at the Kincaid Park beach. Part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, it's the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic.

  3. Cast a line at Ship Creek. The annual Slam'n Salm'n Derby takes place June 11-20 this year, and the fish run all summer long.

  4. Take time to smell the flowers. Stroll through the Alaska Botanical Garden, visit a municipal greenhouse, or enjoy a downtown detour through the Delaney Park Strip's Centennial Rose Garden.

  5. Ride the trolley. Anchorage Trolley Tours begin May 4 and run all summer long; you'll see the city and learn some surprising local history.

  6. Experience Eklutna Lake. Kayak, bike the lakeside path, or hike the mountain trails overlooking the turquoise blue water.

  7.  Pan for gold. Local destinations like Indian Valley Mine National Historic Site and Crow Creek Historic Gold Mine offer great opportunities to learn about the rich history of the Anchorage area, too.

  8. Learn about local landmarks. Anchorage is located within Dena'ina Elnena, the traditional homelands of the Dena'ina Athabascan people, and traditional place names are an important way to learn more about the area's long heritage. Start with this exhibit from the Anchorage Museum, then make plans to visit these places in person.

  9. Go for Alaska Grown. Find a neighborhood farmers market (Anchorage has plenty from which to choose), then stock up on all the fixings for a fresh salad or other favorite dish. It's one of the best ways to savor a true taste of Alaska. 

  10. Cruise Portage Lake. This unique day trip gives guests a chance to get close to Portage Glacier aboard the mv Ptarmigan, a quick and scenic cruise unlike any other in Alaska. 

  11. Travel the Trail of Blue Ice. Another way to enjoy the scenic glaciers studding the walls of Portage Valley, the Trail of Blue Ice is a flat, accessible route idea for walking or biking.

  12. See the sunset over the city. Head up to the Glen Alps trailhead for golden evening views of the Anchorage Bowl, Cook Inlet, Fire Island, Mount Susitna, and beyond.

  13. Unwind in Girdwood. Enjoy a day trip to the resort community south of the city, explore a new trail, and pick up a meal or a sweet treat at your favorite local restaurant (there are pleny from which to choose).

  14. Ride the rails. Take a train trip up to Talkeetna or explore the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop — Anchorage is the perfect base.

  15. Gain some elevation in Arctic Valley. The Chugach State Park hiking trails branching out from Arctic Valley offer prime aerial views of Knik Arm, the South Fork Eagle River Valley, and the surrounding mountain peaks. Looking for something a little more laid back? Head up to the Arctic Valley Road overlook to enjoy big views without ever leaving your car.

  16. Spend some time on the water. Cool off with a trip to a local favorite like Mirror Lake, Beach Lake, or Portage Creek, and rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard for a day full of paddle-powered fun.

  17. Dine on a deck. Soak up the sun while sampling creative Alaska cuisine, locally caught or grown ingredients, craft brews, and other Anchorage specialties.

  18. Dive into a local museum. Learn about Alaska's unique aviation culture, military history, and more. Check out the Alaska Jewish Museum, or the Little Lithuanian Museum & Library. 

  19. Catch a flight. A flightseeing tour is the perfect way to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the city, Chugach State Park, or even Denali.

  20. Explore public art. Anchorage murals and other outdoor art installations are a wonderful way to experience the city's culture, history, and community.

  21. Browse for berries. The late summer months are filled with natural abundance, from wild Alaska blueberries to tart cranberries and succulent raspberries. 

  22. Watch for whales. Beluga whales are best spotted off the coast of Anchorage between July and August, when the salmon are running in Cook Inlet.