Alaska is a huge place, and the Municipality of Anchorage itself covers an area larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. While a rental vehicle offers a convenient way to access it all, there are also plenty of alternative ways to explore. No car? No problem: Follow these top tips for enjoying a unique Anchorage experience without the rental.

  1. Catch a shuttle. Many Anchorage hotels offer shuttle service to and from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. If you’re staying downtown, you’ll be within easy walking distance of a designated shuttle service zone on the 500 block of 4th Avenue. This is the perfect place to catch a ride with a local tour company. Alternatively, some Anchorage tour companies offer shuttle pickup service right to your hotel, driving you directly to a full guided excursion. Inquire about this service upon booking. 

  2. Explore by bike. Some of Anchorage’s top landmarks and scenic viewpoints are accessible via the city’s vast trail system. From downtown, the paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs for 11 miles along the Cook Inlet coast, connecting to the Chester Creek Trail before eventually ending in Kincaid Park: Rent a bike from a downtown shop, hit the Coastal Trail at Elderberry Park (at the western end of 5th Avenue), then spend a day visiting iconic Anchorage destinations like Westchester Lagoon, Earthquake Park, and Point Woronzof, all connected by trail to the heart of the city. 

  3. Catch the train. The Alaska Railroad’s downtown depot is a quick walk from downtown hotels, and regularly scheduled trains head south toward Seward and north toward Denali. Enjoy a day trip out to Spencer Glacier (where guided and self-guided tours await), or take the train to Whittier for a day cruise through awe-inspiring Prince William Sound. 

  4. Enjoy a walking tour. While Anchorage is a sprawling city, downtown itself is compact and walkable. Streets are lined with public art and dotted with pocket parks, historic attractions, and unique Alaska landmarks; find photo ops with a famous sculpture of Balto the sled dog in the 4th Avenue Mushing District, visit the nearby Anchorage Museum, and take time to smell the garden beds and hanging baskets that helped earn Anchorage the nickname “City of Lights and Flowers.”

  5. Flag a rideshare. Both Uber and Lyft are fast, convenient ways to travel around Anchorage. Need a quick ride? Summon a car by app, or call a local cab service — Anchorage has plenty of those, too.