Anchorage, AK

Anchorage is an exceptional blend of cosmopolitan chic and rugged adventure. There are 60 glaciers within a 50-mile radius, and roughly 1,500 moose roam through parks and even city streets! At the same time, museums and cultural centers provide an enriching look at the region’s customs, history and art, full-service hotels comfortably accommodate guests, artisans sell their wares (tax free) in local galleries, and award-winning chefs serve up exquisite eats.

For First Time Visitors

• Alaska Culture Pass – Anchorage Museum & Alaska Native Heritage Center
• Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
• Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
• Alaska Railroad
• Glacier & Wildlife Day Cruise

For Repeat Visitors

• Alyeska Resort
• Eklutna Lake
• Anchorage City Trolley Tours
• Flightseeing
• Crow Creek Mine

Rise early and start the day with a local twist on old breakfast favorites such as the Ship Creek Benedict or Crabby Omelet.

Rent a bike or stroll the scenic Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from downtown and burn those extra calories while enjoying spectacular views of Cook Inlet. On the return, detour to Ship Creek and view salmon fishing action from the pedestrian footbridge. Linger for a fresh seafood lunch at a unique covered bridge restaurant while there.

Take advantage of the Alaska Culture Pass, which offers discounts to two popular attractions and free shuttle service in between. First, peruse thousands of years of Alaska history at the Anchorage Museum, and then meet the living descendants of Alaska’s first people at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Explore the city center on foot or by hopping on a free shuttle. Be sure to browse the many shops and galleries displaying uniquely Alaska made items, including ulu knives and hats and scarves of hand knit qiviut (the under wool of musk oxen). Worked up another appetite? Duck into a downtown restaurant and sample delectable dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Stay up late at a brewpub but don’t try to outlast the sun. It will win.

Start the day with a hearty breakfast of sourdough pancakes.

Drive 45 minutes south along the Seward Highway, allowing for time to pull off and enjoy the scenic vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities en route to Girdwood.

Experience Alyeska Resort and choose from a multitude of activities to occupy the remainder of the day: hike the Winner Creek Trail, “learn the ropes” of rock climbing or explore an original gold mining camp dating back to the 1890s.

Board the tram for a ride up the side of one of North America’s steepest ski runs, the North Face. Grab lunch at the summit, and check out the free exhibits at the mountaintop museum. Thrill-seekers can launch off the mountain for an amazing tandem paraglide.

Set off on a heli-flightseeing adventure; taking in soaring views of the Chugach Mountains and Prince William Sound. Land on a glacier and try dog sledding – Alaska’s official sport. Feast in a funky Girdwood restaurant. This small town has huge culinary cred. You’ll find menus featuring Mediterranean, New Orleans-style dishes, famous steaks, Alaska seafood, gourmet burgers, and sushi. Diners can revel in stunning view of Alaska’s icy wonders at the four-diamond, award-winning Seven Glaciers Restaurant, perched 2,300 feet above sea level.Not tired yet?  Catch a free resort shuttle to a local hot spot for a rollicking fun night and live entertainment.

Sample reindeer sausage with a hearty breakfast kick starting the day. Embark on a glacier and wildlife cruise from Whittier into Prince William Sound.

Get up close to the 1,000-foot high face of a brilliant blue glacier and listen to the thunderous roar as a huge wall of ice crashes into the waters below. Keep an eye out for whales, sea birds, otters, seals and sea birds. Scan the shore too, it’s not unusual to spot eagles, moose or bears. Rather sleep in? Head out on a glacier cruise from Portage Lake to the face of Portage Glacier.

Allow time to pull off the Seward Highway at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and visit some of Alaska’s wild and wonderful big game animals, such as brown bear, musk ox, moose and wood bison. The center provides spacious enclosures and quality care for orphaned and injured wildlife in its 200-acre park. For a more expansive array of menagerie, head to the Alaska Zoo. You’ll find everything from polar bears to snow leopards.

Return to the Anchorage city center for overnight accommodations. The only ice tonight will be what’s in your drink! Grab a frozen margarita or a craft soda brewed in Anchorage. There are plenty of dining and nightlife options in Anchorage, so dig in!

Catch the northbound Alaska Railroad train to Talkeetna. This charming town began as a frontier trading post, and today it’s the starting point for Mount McKinley climbing expeditions.

The mountain looms large in Talkeetna, even for non-climbers.Transfer to nearby Talkeetna Airport for a flightseeing adventure of a lifetime; soar above Denali National Park and Mount McKinley in all its splendor. Or make waves with a rafting trip or jet boat safari and gain another perspective on the Alaska Range and the three rivers that join near the town.Stroll through the quaint downtown and tuck into a historic roadhouse for lunch before you return by rail to Anchorage.