Top 7 things to do in Anchorage

Visiter Anchorage

Visit Anchorage: What are the best things to see and do in Alaska’s largest city?

Anchorage is located in the southern part of the state of Alaska, and is its largest municipality, home to 40% of the province’s inhabitants! The city is of recent construction, having been almost completely destroyed by the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Known for its cultural attractions linked to the Inuit heritage – the region’s centuries-old indigenous inhabitants – it is also appreciated for being right in the middle of an unspoilt wilderness, home to glaciers, lakes and grandiose mountains, ready to delight lovers of the great outdoors. With its parks and museums, and all the amazing activities you can discover, Anchorage is truly a city where it’s good to live and stay, winter or summer; alone, with family or friends!

Wondering what to do in Anchorage during your stay? Here’s the answer with our 8 must-do’s to visit Anchorage and make the most of your stay here!

Book your visit to Anchorage and the surrounding area

1. Alaska Native Heritage Center

In this museum-like cultural space, you’ll discover some of the region’s best anecdotes, learn about its rich and eventful history, and find out more about the eleven main peoples who inhabited Alaska long before the arrival of Europeans. Opened in 1999, this aboriginal heritage center is a must for those seeking to learn more about the region and what to do in Anchorage! There’s also a restaurant and, to top it all off, a library for reading enthusiasts.

2. The aisles of the fascinating Anchorage Museum

Alaska Museum, Anchorage

Photo credit: Flickr – C Watts

If you’re visiting Anchorage, you’ll want to stop off at the Anchorage Museum, a gigantic cultural space dedicated to art, ethnography, history and the natural sciences, all housed in an ultra-modern building in the heart of the city. Popular with local schools, it’s also of great interest to tourist families, even if you don’t speak the language – in addition to Inuit dialects, the English accent in Alaska can throw off even the most seasoned English speakers – as audioguides are provided. If you’re passing through town, don’t hesitate to drop in!

3. Chugach State Park trails

Chugach State Park, Alaska

Photo credit: Flickr -Paxson Woelber

Tired of the city? Let’s take a deep breath of fresh air in the Chugach forest: located south of the city, it comprises an insane natural park. From coastline to year-round snow-capped mountains, fabulous lakes and majestic glaciers, nature lovers will be in for a treat!

Don’t miss a trip to the Portage Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula, just six kilometers from the small town of Whittier: it’s one of the most beautiful in America, but how much longer before global warming gets the better of it? Make the most of it while you can, and head for Chugach State Park! And in winter, the marked trails used for summer hiking are transformed into sumptuous cross-country ski trails.

4. Flattop Mountain

Flattop Mountain, Anchorage

Photo credit: Flickr – Daniel Weber

This 200-metre mountain – yes, it’s not Mont Blanc, but it’s well worth the detour – also located in Chugach National Park, is the most climbed mountain in Alaska. When you come to visit Anchorage, you can’t help but catch a glimpse of it: just to the east, Flattop Moutain gives the lucky and courageous who hike the marked trails to its summit a splendid panoramic view of the city and the coast. What’s more, it’s not uncommon to come across some charming wildlife: marmots are the real inhabitants of the area, and they too take pleasure in wandering around.

5. Alaska Aviation Museum

Alaska Aviation Museum, Anchorage

Photo credit: Flickr – mark6mauno

In Alaska, one out of every 80 residents owns…an airplane. Most of them are seaplanes, used to visit friends far away on the coast! Located on the Lake Hood floatplane base, this spectacular museum offers a wide range of cultural activities: some 30 aircraft are on display, and visitors can enjoy a meal, learn about the history of aviation in Alaska, take flying lessons and even… pretend to be a pilot in one of the two flight simulators on site!

6. Hilltop Ski Area

Hilltop Ski Area, Anchorage

Photo credit: Flickr – Eli Duke

This superb ski area is a must when you’re looking for something to do in Anchorage in winter. Created in 1984 in the heart of Bicentennial Far North Park – just a stone’s throw from the Chugach Forest – it has all the amenities you need: restaurants, chalets for rent, marked snowshoeing trails, ski and snowboard lessons and – our favorite, and likely to become your family’s favorite – husky-drawn sleigh rides!

7. Alaska Zoo

Zoo d'Alaska

Photo credit: Flickr – C Watts

This animal park is a popular destination throughout the country. A visit to Anchorage would be incomplete without a detour to this zoo set in dozens of acres of rolling hills! The 250,000 visitors a year make no mistake: in addition to the hundreds of birds and mammals, you can also enjoy a wide range of exhibits: the caretakers showcase their expertise with the animals, much to the delight of tourists, and it’s possible to access, with a guide, many areas normally reserved for the center’s « staff ». If you’re looking for something to do in Anchorage and you love animals, the Alaska Zoo is the place to be!

8. H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark

Well, nothing to do with nature and the tranquility of the great outdoors: here, we present you with 5200 m² of aquatic leisure facilities, with covered play attractions – it’s cold in Alaska, even if Anchorage is located to the south of the region; Opened in 2003, it was at the time the fifth largest indoor water park in the United States!

There are scary slides, but also powerful roller coasters and small boats. For the more timid visitors to Anchorage, a simple swim in the blue lagoon, in the shade of the mushroom fountains, will undoubtedly be enough to keep them happy. In short, if you’re still trying to figure out what to do in Anchorage and bad weather is deterring you from exploring the surrounding area, come to this space with your loved ones: the little ones can even get their kicks in the little baths!

How to get to Anchorage

Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport is located on the city’s west coast. Of course, air travel remains the best way to get to Anchorage, and our partner Ulysse will help you find a flight at preferential rates.

Although the town is relatively poorly served by a modest road network, it can be reached by road: by car, for an unforgettable road-trip, or by bus, since numerous buses connect it to other cities on the American continent – if, of course, the traveller is prepared to endure a journey of several days! In addition, several rail lines link the city with the rest of the continent.

Once you’re here, the car and…the seaplane, remain the preferred means of getting around: there’s almost no public transport available when you come to visit Anchorage! So it’s best to rent a car as soon as you arrive at the airport, for example.

Where to stay in Anchorage?

Anchorage is an American city, of course, but let’s not forget that we’re in Alaska, a rather special territory. The city offers several types of accommodation, each with its own advantages, depending on your profile as a traveler visiting Anchorage. If you’re on a budget – in Alaska, everything’s expensive, including tourist accommodations – you can opt for a room in the city center, with all the usual amenities: you can find the hotel of your dreams in Anchorage by searching on this hotel comparison site.

For typical, family-style accommodation that’s undoubtedly less expensive, don’t hesitate to choose one of the many guesthouses and typical inns outside the city, to immerse yourself in Inuit culture: yes, before it became a city, Anchorage was an ancient village inhabited by this community. Or how about a chalet in one of the nearby ski resorts? And if you prefer a flexible, affordable solution, opt for Airbnb, the platform that offers a wide range of accommodation in the area – much to the delight of seasonal workers and tourists alike – and for a very reasonable price, you’ll be able to enjoy a pied-à-terre that suits you, and a flexible solution to make you feel right at home!

To help you choose where to sleep during your stay, visit our article  » Where to stay in Anchorage  » .

Now you know how to make the most of your visit to Anchorage, and the charms of this very special region during your stay. But will you be able to decide what to do in Anchorage and… where to start?

Map of hotels and accommodations – United States