Break out of the routine. Meetings are shaking out of their sedentary slumber. Mountains of muffins are slowly giving way to mountain hikes as destinations shift to meet attendee demands for healthier options. Active, healthy conventions come naturally in Anchorage. The city is regularly recognized by the American Lung Association as one of the best cities for air quality. Even the tap water is distinct; it flows from a nearby glacial lake and was selected by the U.S. Conference of Mayors as the “Best Tasting Water” in the USA. Whether you have an hour or a week to explore, it’s easy to get the circulation going in Anchorage. It can be as easy as a walk in pedestrian-friendly downtown or as exhilarating as a paddle on a glacial lake, all without ever leaving city limits. Alaska is synonymous with the outdoors, but healthy choices start much closer to conference sessions than most people imagine. Downtown Anchorage is incredibly walkable and easy to navigate. Streets are laid out in a north-south and east-west grid. The simple layout and broad sidewalks make the walk from the hotel to the convention center, restaurants, shopping or nearby parks easy and enjoyable. Every Tuesday night a 5K run sets off from a running store near the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, and a local gym hosts free yoga sessions on the Delaney Park Strip every Wednesday evening throughout the summer.
Go Like the Locals
Anchorage residents are a fit bunch. According to a recent Gallup-Healthways report, Anchorage ranks No. 8 in terms of regular exercise. Want to know where they go?
The network of paved, multi-use trails starts downtown and stretches more than a hundred miles through the city’s parks and greenbelts. These smooth, paved paths are perfect for running, walking and biking and offer a special perspective of the city. The 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is the crown jewel; it begins downtown and runs along the coast of Cook Inlet. The waterfront is great for panoramic views of the mountains. Moose, sandhill cranes and other wildlife are also frequently seen along the trail. Kincaid Park and the Hillside trail system are tucked into the city’s secluded spaces, offering walking or running in quiet, wooded relaxation. The local ski association grooms area trails all winter long, making both great spots for cross-country skiing as well.
Elevate Your Mood
For a quick dose of mountain air, Chugach State Park offers a little bit of everything, and the adventures start just 20 minutes from the convention centers. Hiking leads with easy routes at Glen Alps or Thunderbird Falls and stretch as far as the eye can see. Carved out of a mountain valley, Eklutna Lake is the perfect spot for kayaking and mountain biking. From its pristine setting to epic adventures, Anchorage offers a detox for the body and the mind. With all the easy, healthy activities to get your blood circulating and body moving, Anchorage is a natural place to convene.