Are you looking for the best things to do in Anchorage? If so, then I can help you.
I have traveled to Alaska multiple times and one of my favorite attractions in Alaska is Anchorage town.
There are a lot of amazing Anchorage tourist attractions to explore which I will be covering in this article.
From hiking in the mountains to spending a chill day at the beach, there are lots of Anchorage activities to indulge in.
Did you know Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska? Yes, you heard me right!
This is why it is a popular base for hikers and road-trippers in Alaska. Trust me, if you are planning a road trip to Alaska, you cannot miss out on visiting Anchorage and spending a few days here.
Are you looking for the top sights to explore in Anchorage? Then, read below my list of the 21 Best Things to Do in Anchorage for Your Bucket List!
Things To Do in Anchorage: 21 Best Tips For Your Bucket List
Stop At The Visitor Information Center
The first thing that I would recommend you to do is make a stop at the Visitor Information Center.
The Visitor Information Center is a beautiful log cabin building with a sod roof.
It is located in Downtown Anchorage Alaska and the best place to start your Anchorage tour.
Here, you can get a lot of information on the fun and cool things to do in Anchorage Alaska.
Tickets Here: City of Anchorage Sightseeing & Food Van Tour
Plan To Walk Around Downtown Anchorage
During my multiple visits to Alaska, I always love to walk around in downtown Anchorage Alaska.
This Alaskan town is a flower paradise in the summer with flowers blooming everywhere.
Plus, you have lots of restaurants for eating and shopping opportunities available here.
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Downtown Food & History Walking Tour
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Spenard Area True Crime Walking Tour
Take A Tour Aboard The Anchorage Trolley
If Anchorage is indeed on your Alaska itinerary, then one of the top things to do in Anchorage AK is riding on its historic trolley car.
You can take this 15-mile guided tour where you will learn so much about this town’s history and its present.
Learn about interesting Anchorage attractions on the way and if you are lucky, you might even see a moose or two!
That’s not all, you also get a discount coupon booklet that you can use at the downtown Anchorage stores and restaurants.
Tickets Here: Anchorage: 1-Hour Trolley Tour
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Deluxe Trolley City Tour
Run, Walk, Or Bike The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Are you an adventure seeker like me? If yes, then one of the best things to do in Alaska for you is The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
This is an 11-mile-long hiking/walking/biking trail that begins in downtown Anchorage and ends in Kincaid Park.
I ran the Coastal Trail several times and even participated in a 5K so, when I tell you the views are stunning here, you better believe it.
You can do a lot of things here apart from running and walking, such as birdwatching, wildlife sightseeing, and more.
As a result, it is one of the best things to do in Anchorage.
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Coastal Trail 3-Hour City Bike Tour
Visit Earthquake Park To Learn About Anchorage’s 1964 Earthquake
If you are looking for some unique things to see in Anchorage, then you should check out the Earthquake Park.
In 1964, Anchorage experienced an earthquake that measured 9.2 on the Richter scale which lasted four minutes long.
As a result, an entire coastal neighborhood slid into the ocean. This is why this tragedy is commemorated in Earthquake Park.
Here, you can learn more about this earthquake and how it affected the town and the surrounding areas.
You can relax in this 134-acre park and enjoy the panoramic mountain views surrounding it. Trust me, this is one of the best places to visit in Alaska.
If you are going on an Alaskan Cruise, check out my updated Alaska Cruise Packing List.
Learn About Native Culture At The Alaska Native Heritage Center
Are you traveling with children? Then, one of the best places to visit in Alaska is the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
This is a living history museum where visitors can learn about this area’s indigenous people and their culture.
You can walk through 10,000 years of native Alaskan culture and visit art exhibitions, play games, dance, and watch movies to learn about it.
You will find six authentically-restored Native village sites here where each representative answers questions about their culture.
The Anchorage Museum
Did you know that the Anchorage Museum is the largest in Alaska?
Yes, that’s right. But what bowled me over was that it is located in a contemporary glass building and is the best place to learn about Alaska.
You can explore the interactive exhibits here that utilize technology and artwork.
Learn about the native culture through the art gallery where you will find sculptures, photographs, videos, and so on.
If you also want to learn more about Alaska and the people here, then the Anchorage Museum is one of the top things to do in Anchorage.
Tickets Here: Anchorage Museum General Admission Ticket
Elderberry Park Is A Great Place For A Picnic
After exploring downtown Anchorage, I found Elderberry Park to be one of the top places to visit in Anchorage.
Here, you will not only find a beautiful view to enjoy but also a playground that will keep your young ones occupied.
Plus, since it is located next to the Alaska Railroad, you can also watch the trains pass by.
Sometimes the conductors blow a whistle and wave to the passersby. How amazing, right?
Trust me, watching a sunset here is one of the top cool things to do in Anchorage.
Tickets Here: From Anchorage: Matanuska Glacier Full-Day Tour
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Winter Wonderland Photo Tour
Visit The Oscar Anderson House Museum
If you are visiting Elderberry, then don’t forget to visit the Oscar Henderson House Museum.
Oscar was one of the early settlers of Anchorage and as such, had first-hand participation in the development of Anchorage.
He lived in this wood-frame house until he died in the mid-1970s. The house was remodeled and restored to its early 1900s look.
Visit Delaney Park Strip
One of the oldest parks and one of the top things to see in Anchorage AK is the Delaney Park Strip.
This one-block-wide by eleven-block-long area has been used in various ways over the years.
From being an airstrip to a gold course, this outdoor community space is currently used for events, sports, festivals, and more.
Make Anchorage Market A Downtown Anchorage Destination
One of the most entertaining things to do in Anchorage Alaska is to visit the Anchorage Market.
You can visit the market on Saturdays and Sundays and buy farm-fresh produce and other interesting items.
If you wish to buy hand-crafted Alaskan souvenirs, then this place is perfect. Just don’t forget to haggle!
Look For Moose In Anchorage!
One of the things that I love about Anchorage is that you can find wild moose while exploring the town.
A lot of visitors expect to see a moose when making a trip to Anchorage.
So, always keep a lookout for moose when around Anchorage Alaska.
They are mostly active in the early morning and early evening so, you can plan your tours accordingly.
Tickets Here: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: Admission Ticket
Stock Up On Supplies While In Anchorage Alaska
If you are road-tripping in Alaska like I usually do, then one of the best places to stock up on supplies is Anchorage.
I have done the Anchorage to Seward road trip and could get everything from here easily.
You will find here all the famous stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and more.
Here are my tips on what to know before visiting Alaska.
Kincaid Park Has A Lot To Offer
One of the cool things to see in Anchorage is Kincaid Park, a 1,500-acre park.
Here, you can indulge in several outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, running, and more.
Plus, you also get to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Denali and Cook Inlet.
This is also a great place to view moose and black bears. Along the coast, you may also see bald eagles soaring high overhead.
Visit Anchorage’s Sandy Beach
If you feel up for a hike with great rewards at the end of it, then the moderate two-mile hike from Kincaid Park to Kincaid Beach is for you.
After reaching here, I could see the tall bluffs behind and the expansive Cook Inlet in the front.
Although the water was a little too chilly, the beach was perfect for long walks and chilling.
Be careful when wading out into the mudflats as the tides of Cook Inlet change dramatically.
One of the top things to do in Anchorage is have a bonfire and beachcombing on Kincaid Beach.
Scramble Up And Down A Sand Dune
For those who love playing with sand, there is also a huge dune that juts up into the trees of Kincaid Park.
You can climb up it, slide down, dig holes in the sand, or sit at the top and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains and ocean.
Trust me, visiting the Kincaid Sand Dune is one of the really fun things to do in Anchorage with family.
Taste True Wilderness at Far North Bicentennial Park
Are you looking for wild things to do in Anchorage AK? If yes, one of the best attractions in Alaska is the Far North Bicentennial Park.
It is 4,000 acres in area and features a lot of fun hiking trails to explore. There are five major trails and two minor trails to explore ranging from easy to rugged.
All trails are multi-use. The park is open year-round for all outdoor enthusiasts.
One thing to remember is that this place is swarming with bears in the summer. So, pay attention to the warning signs, make noise when visiting, and carry bear spray!
Tickets Here: From Anchorage: Chugach State Park Winter Walking Tour
Get Tranquil At The Alaska Botanical Gardens
If you are visiting the Far North Bicentennial Park, then also plan a stop at the Alaska Botanical Gardens.
This 110-acre botanical garden is considered a living museum and was established in 1993.
You can visit this park year-round but the best time to visit is from early June to late September when the garden is blooming.
There is also a rock garden, and herb garden and you can learn about Alaskan history when visiting the Alaska Heritage Garden.
One of my favorite things about this place is that the plants grown here are donated to local food banks.
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Botanical Garden Walking Tour
Visit Lake Hood Floatplane Base
It has been said more people in Alaska own floatplanes than cars!
That said, owners of planes can wait several years to have a spot for their plane at the Lake Hood Floatplane Base.
So, of course, I find one of the most fun things to do in Anchorage to be walking Lake Hood and Spenard to watch these floatplanes take off and land.
Lake Hood is home to two hundred floatplane takeoffs/landings a day, which is why it is known as the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world.
It can become a top item on your USA travel bucket list!
Take A Tropical Vacation At Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse
It is always summer at the Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse, which is why I love visiting this place.
This greenhouse is named after Mann Leiser, who is considered the ‘father’ of Anchorage’s beautification program. He used colorful flowers in planters all over town to make the town attractive.
Once you enter the greenhouse, you will hear the birds singing, notice landscaped gardens and koi fish swimming in pools.
This place is home to hundreds of plants from around the world and you can take a self-guided tour to learn more about it.
Undoubtedly, it is one of the very best history museums in the US!
Enjoy the Northern Lights Or The Midnight Sun
Of course, how can I miss one of the most epic things to do in Anchorage AK – watching the Northern Light or the Midnight Sun?
If you are traveling between September end and early April, then you may be lucky to view the spectacular Aurora Borealis. All you need is a little planning.
On my last trip to Anchorage AK, I was lucky enough to witness this nature phenomenon.
But if you visit in summer, then you will be greeted with the Midnight Sun.
Be prepared for almost 24 hours full of sun at the height of the summer. Before and after the Solstice, the sun dips to the horizon and then rises again.
Trust me, both of these Anchorage events are a sight to behold and worth the trip!
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Northern Lights Tour
Tickets Here: Anchorage: Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Photo Tour
Where to Stay in Anchorage
The Hotel Captain Cook – If you are looking for a luxury hotel, then the Hotel Captain Cook is a good choice.
It is located 7 blocks from Anchorage Museum and offers gorgeous views of the Chugach Mountains or Cook Inlet from each room.
Comfort Suites Anchorage International Airport – A great hotel to consider for staying near downtown Anchorage Alaska is Comfort Suites Anchorage International Airport..
You have many facilities here such as an indoor heated pool, fitness center, and more.
Hyatt Place Anchorage-Midtown – For the best facilities, Hyatt Place Anchorage-Midtown is perfect. This 3-star hotel features modern, spacious rooms, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a fitness center as well.
Packing Tips for Traveling To Alaska
These packing tips will help you stay organized when you begin packing for Alaska: How To Pack Lightly For Your Alaska Trip
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring with you on your Alaska journey. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have.
I received this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use.
These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel.
I never leave for any trip without bringing my Bobble filtered water bottle. I find it is a great size to fit into a backpack or tuck into my pocket.
It is BPA-free and its replaceable filter ensures safe water to drink whenever and wherever it is filled up.
And this packable durable travel backpack is another great option when traveling to Alaska because it folds into a little pouch which would help when packing.
Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you.Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for international travel.
This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.You will be walking more than usual while in Alaska.
These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.
Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors.
If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better.
You will want a waterproof jacket/windbreaker when visiting all the Anchorage attractions. It is cool in the evenings most everywhere in Alaska, depending on when to are traveling to Alaska or the tours you select.
A waterproof jacket, like this Columbia women’s waterproof one, would be perfect for any conditions you encounter when exploring all the things to do in Anchorage.
Here is a less expensive option, the Cheering lightweight waterproof windbreaker. It comes in several colors too.
These polarized vintage round sunglasses also offer UVA/UVB protection. the polarized lenses will decrease or eliminate any glare.
Mirrored lenses are very trendy and these unisex polarized mirrored sunglasses also protect from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
These unisex thermal gloves are lightweight and have an elastic cuff that will keep the fingers warm.
This unisex skully beanie is soft and stretchy and comes in many many colors to choose from and will keep your head warm.
If you are looking for sun protection, this unisex foldable quick dry sun-protective baseball cap is a great choice.
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There are really so many things to do in Anchorage, especially if you visit Alaska in September.