What are some things to do and see as day trips around Anchorage?

There’s certainly enough to do using Anchorage as a base. You could easily spend a couple of days in Anchorage or close by, followed with a couple days exploring the areas south of Anchorage, and spend the rest of your time on activities north of Anchorage.

Anchorage itself is a great place for easy hikes like Flattop, cycling on paved trails like the Coastal Trail, wildlife viewing in spots like Kincaid Park and even kayaking on Eklutna Lake. Museums in the city include the Alaska Native Heritage Center and Anchorage Museum, plus other museums dedicated to aviation, state troopers, military or natural history. Flightseeing tours take off from Anchorage as well. Aerial tours are a great way to see nearby glaciers, the Alaska Range or go bear viewing and still be back in the city in time for dinner.

To the south of Anchorage, you'll find great hiking and downhill mountain biking in Girdwood, and guaranteed wildlife viewing at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. If you're ready to venture a little further than that, consider a trip by road or rail to Seward or Whittier for glacier and wildlife day cruiseskayaking or charter fishing in Prince William Sound or Resurrection Bay.

To the north of Anchorage in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, you'll find headquarters for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and many kennels of current and former champions, the Musk Ox Farm, and a stunning piedmont glacier, Matanuska Glacier. The tiny town of Talkeetna is a picturesque stop and also the starting point for flightseeing trips around to Denali jet boat tours of three nearby rivers, and a zip line course.

There's much more to do here, so check out a full list of summer activities.


Most people plan at least three days in Anchorage during their Alaska travels. No matter how long you have, there are many ways to explore. 

Scenic Drives

Ready to see the sights? Each of these scenic trip ideas starts the day in Anchorage, and could have you back in the city in time for dinner.