See Anchorage from afar on this photo tour

see-anchorage-from-afar-on-this-photo-tour

Anchorage SkylinePhoto courtesy of Frank Flavin | Visit Anchorage

Welcome to Anchorage

Locals like to say that Anchorage is just 30 minutes from Alaska. The biggest city in the state, with a population just shy of 300,000, has some of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas right in its backyard. Come along as we take a virtual tour of Anchorage.

Fourth AvenuePhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Fourth Avenue, the unofficial Main Street

Fourth Avenue serves as Anchorage’s unofficial main street, complete with boutiques, cafes, restaurants, museums and a theater. Many businesses along the street participate in the city’s First Friday by staying open late and providing live entertainment.

Town Square ParkPhoto courtesy of Roy Neese | Visit Anchorage

Anchorage’s favorite residents

Some 1,500 moose call the Anchorage area home, so it’s not uncommon to spot them, even in the heart of the city. To up your moose sighting chances, spend some time at Kincaid Park or Potter Marsh in the early morning hours.

Coastal Trail along Cook InletPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

The Coastal Trail

Life in Alaska is all about the outdoors, and you don’t have to leave the city for some fresh air. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a popular recreational trail for jogging, biking and cross-country skiing, hugs the shores of Cook Inlet for 11 miles between downtown and Kincaid Park.

Kincaid BeachPhoto courtesy of Teri Hendricks | Visit Anchorage

Sunset at Kincaid Beach

Kincaid Park ranks among the largest green spaces within the Anchorage city limits. This park on the western tip of the city, jutting into Cook Inlet, features almost 40 miles of trails, a fishing lake, 18-hole disc golf course and even a sandy beach (Kincaid Beach).

Westchester LagoonPhoto courtesy of Kathleen Bonnar | Visit Anchorage

An urban oasis

Westchester Lagoon, another favorite urban oasis, sits along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Come here for a sense of peace and quiet, whether you’re birdwatching, spotting salmon from the boardwalk or going for a jog.

Star on a leashPhoto courtesy of Jack Bonney | Visit Anchorage

Star, the reindeer

Keep an eye out for the city’s most famous resident as you walk around town. Star the reindeer lives along 10th Avenue but likes to go on leashed walks around town. An antlered occupant named Star has lived in the city since 1960.

Indian Valley MinePhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Panning for gold

The Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s put Alaska on the map, bringing in tens of thousands of people hoping to find their fortune. Modern day visitors can learn about the city’s gold mining history – and try their luck at gold panning – at the two area mines, Crow Creek and Indian Valley (pictured).

Habitat SculpturePhoto courtesy of Ashley Heimbigner | Visit Anchorage

The story of the North

Alaska’s largest museum, the Anchorage Museum, tells the natural, cultural and historical story of the North. The collection includes Alaska Native art, marine life tanks and interactive exhibits.

King crabPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

The bounty of the sea

Some of the world’s freshest seafood comes from the chilly waters of Alaska. No trip to Anchorage would be complete without sampling some seafood from the city’s restaurants. King crab and salmon appear frequently on menus, but you’ll also find rockfish, shellfish and halibut.

Winner Creek Trail BridgePhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Winner Creek Trail

Hikers in Anchorage have more than 300 miles of trails to choose from in the area. Among the most popular is the easy Winner Creek Trail through the Chugach National Forest. The six-mile out-and-back trail winds through a forest of spruce and ferns.

Eklutna LakePhoto courtesy of Juno Kim | Visit Anchorage

A lake escape

Eklutna Lake, a long lake fed by the Eklutna Glacier, is one of the most popular spots near the city to get out on the water. Rent a kayak and go for a paddle, or hike the trail along the northeastern side of the lake.

Bridge at ERNCPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Eagle River Nature Center

Chugach State Park, among Alaska’s largest state parks, sits within 40 minutes of downtown Anchorage. The Eagle River Nature Center, located within the park, offers 10 miles of hiking trails, perfect for wildlife viewing.

Glacier landingPhoto courtesy of Jara Haas | Visit Anchorage

Land of glaciers

Many a visitor to Alaska has a glacier on their must-see list. With more than 60 glaciers within a day’s journey, Anchorage is a great place to see one. Many of the state’s most accessible glaciers lie within the Portage Valley.

Portage PassPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Portage Glacier

The Portage Glacier is the star of the Portage Valley, measuring 10 stories tall and miles in length. Visitors can get an up-close view of the glacier on a sightseeing cruise on Portage Lake or by hiking Portage Pass (the only easy way to see the glacier on foot).

Portage GlacierPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Adventure on ice

One of the best ways to experience an Alaskan glacier is to strap on some crampons for a walk directly on the ice. Several flightseeing companies provide glacier landings inside Denali National Park.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation CenterPhoto courtesy of Teri Hendricks | Visit Anchorage

A walk on the wild side

A trip to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center brings visitors up close to some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife. The nonprofit organization offers a home for injured and orphaned animals, including moose, brown and black bears, and wood bison.

Northern LightsPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

See the northern lights

Come to Anchorage in the winter, and you’ll have the chance to see the aurora borealis. Some hotels even have a northern lights wake-up call, where you’re notified if the lights are visible. Some of the best spots in town to see the lights include the Glen Alps trailhead, Point Woronzof and the Eagle River Nature Center.

Iditarod start dayPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Coolidge | Visit Anchorage

Iditarod Sled Dog Race

On the first Saturday of March each year, the iconic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race kicks off on Fourth Avenue in downtown Anchorage. The early part of the race follows an 11-mile route through the city before heading out on the 1,000-mile journey to Nome.

Fur RendezvousPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous

Winter in Anchorage means Fur Rendezvous, Alaska’s oldest and largest winter festival. Fur Rondy, as it’s known by locals, features a lineup of quirky events, from outhouse races and snow sculpture competitions to sled dog races and an arts market.

Try to outrun these reindeerPhoto courtesy of JodyO.Photos | Visit Anchorage

The Running of the Reindeer

Perhaps the most popular event during Fur Rondy is the Running of the Reindeer. During this event, racers dash through the streets of Anchorage in an attempt to outrun a herd of caribou. There are races for men, women, couples and tourists.

Alaska Railroad Denali StarPhoto courtesy of Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star ranks among the most scenic train rides in the United States. Visitors can board the train in Anchorage for a journey to Talkeetna, Denali National Park or as far as Fairbanks.

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