Anchorage


Anchorage

Our first Great Alaska Adventure will actually revolve around things to do and see in Anchorage. There are really so many things to see and do that a person could spend their entire vacation right in the Anchorage area and have a very enjoyable experience.

From the time you leave Anchorages International Airport your Great Alaska Travel Adventure actually begins. Always have your camera ready, starting at the airport. It is not uncommon to see wildlife along the roads in Anchorage, especially moose and waterfowl.

Anchorage Welcomes You To Your Great Alaska Travel Adventure

Anchorage Welcomes You To Your Great Alaska Travel Adventure

On your way to check into your hotel, bed and breakfasts or where ever you plan to stay, you will immediately notice the abundance of plant life and flowers in many varieties and colors. The beautiful Chugach Mountains backdrop Anchorage for a scene right out of a postcard.

Anchorage-Where Your Great Alaska Travel Adventure Begins

Anchorage-Where Your Great Alaska Travel Adventure Begins

We lived in Anchorage for over 30 years and are still in awe of its great beauty every time we go out the door.

The very first place I would visit is the Log Cabin Visitor’s Center in downtown Anchorage. The folks there are very knowledgeable about all of the different things that are going on at any particular time and have a multitude of brochures, maps, and calendars of events.

While you are in downtown Anchorage, you may want take in many of the gift shops that not only include the normal paraphernalia, but also many Alaska native arts and crafts, local fresh food, and history.

Anchorage Gift Shops

Anchorage Gift Shops

You will also notice that in the summer time, Anchorage allows permitted street vendors to sell their wares, including some interesting local cuisine. The reindeer hotdogs and homemade ice cream are two of my favorites.

Anchorage Raindeer Hotdogs

Anchorage Raindeer Hotdogs

There are some fantastic restaurants throughout the Anchorage area that I will be noting them in my  places to eat section. But I can honestly say that you will find some of the best authentic ethnic food from all over the world right in Anchorage.

Just north of downtown Anchorage, on the back side of the railroad terminal is Ship Creek. During certain times of the year this Creek is open to salmon fishing and its banks will be lined with hopeful fishermen. If the tide is coming in, you may get to observe someone actually catching a fish. Always have your camera ready!

Anchorage has an extensive biking and walking trail system. You can obtain maps from the Log Cabin Visitor Center. My favorites are the Coastal Trail, entering it at the Westchester Lagoon. My other favorite is the Campbell Creek Trail, starting at Taku Lake.

On the Coastal Trail, you will be going along the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet. During incoming tides can sometimes observe Beluga Whale following the salmon as they make their way to their spawning grounds. Only a clear day, you may be fortunate enough to see the great Denali Mountain, formely Mt. Mckinley, which is over 100 miles away. Closer in, you can see Sleeping Lady, which you can read the legend of in my Trivia Section.

Legendary Sleeping Lady From Anchorage

Legendary Sleeping Lady From Anchorage

On the Campbell Creek Trail, you will be paralleling the actual creek. Be careful of wildlife as moose commonly roam this area. Always have your camera ready!

Beaver also inhibit this area, so be on the lookout for downed trees and beaver houses. This Creek also supports trout and salmon, waterfowl, and many types of wildlife in the heart of the city.

Ready for a slight physical challenge? A hike up to the top of Flat Top Mountain will render a fantastic panoramic view from the Kenai Peninsula to the south, the Aleutian Mountain Range to the southwest, which includes the infamous volcanoes, Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Iliamna, and Mt. St. Augustine,  all of which have erupted during recent times and as of this writing, Mount Redoubt is still smoking and steaming., the Alaska Range with Mount Denali, and the Talkeetna Mountains. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery and the many plants and flowers in the Mountain Meadows. Always have your camera ready!

There are literally hundreds of other things to see and do in the Anchorage area alone. These are just a few of my favorites.

You may want to take in some of the local attractions like The Alaska Wild Berry Factory, one of the many shows, the infamous Chilkoot Charlie’s, and Gwennes Old Fashioned Restaurant for an unbelievable breakfast.

Anchorage Gwennies Old Alaska Resturant

Anchorage Gwennies Old Alaska Resturant

My favorite restaurants are a little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant called Jewel Lake Pizza and Tea Garden (I know. It doesn’t sound authentic but Mitsu, the owner, serves some of the best Chinese food and pizza of all things, you have ever eaten), Simon and Seaforts in downtown Anchorage, which has outstanding seafood and some of the best prime rib you’ve ever had, Romano’s Italian Restaurant with fantastic Italian food, and Mexico In Alaska, which serves their food, Mexican-style, not American-style. Try their Gordita, it is fantastic.  And no they did not pay me to mention their names in this article.

Beware the sites and things to do in Anchorage can detract you from other adventures if you’re not careful and always have your camera ready!

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