Alaska Collection

It's a hotly-debated issue for visitors heading to Alaska—get out of Anchorage as soon as you possibly can or plan a night or two in the big city while you're there? Anchorage—should you see it or skip it?

Well, it's the hub of the state and home to Alaska's main airport. Chances are really good you'll be touching ground in Anchorage at some point. So, here are some tips on making the most of it.

Culture! Let's start with the outstanding Anchorage Museum. Here, the story of Alaska comes to life in a unique blend of classical works, provocative emerging artists and visiting exhibits. Then, there's the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where you can explore the vibrant and diverse histories and culture of Alaska's 11 major cultures. Head to the Anchorage Farmers Market on Saturdays from May through October for farmer-direct produce, unique souvenirs and a chance to meet some locals.

The shining exterior of the Anchorage Museum and the plaza out front.

Photo credit: Anchorage Museum

An Inupiaq House at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Photo: An Inupiak/St. Lawrence Island Yupik village at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Photo by Ashley Heimbigner

Great local food. Anchorage is packed with interesting and independent cafés and restaurants. There are those classic reindeer sausages, outstanding seafood and the mile-high pizzas at the famous Moose's Tooth, among many other great options.

The people! This is where Alaskans live, work, meet, organize, solve problems and face the world. Grab a coffee at Steam Dot or Kaladi Brothers, then head to Town Square Park, where there is often live music right in the heart of the city—it's a great spot for people-watching.

Make it a quick stop. Most visitors come to Alaska for wildlife, glaciers and adventure. It's true that these can all be accessed from right in Anchorage. But if you're planning on seeing the mountains and the coast, or exploring places like Kenai Fjords and Denali national parks, you're better off considering Anchorage to be the jumping-off point and hit the road straight away.

A crosses a city road in front of a van.

Photo: Even if you don't leave the city, you can't escape Alaska's nature. Photo by Roy Neese

City break. Chances are, you didn't come to Alaska to see a city. So stay focused on the wilderness and keep moving. Grab a bite to eat in Anchorage upon arrival and then hit the road!

Either way—whether you stay or you skip—contact our team of Alaska locals for the real scoop and to discuss how a few days in Anchorage could work for you.

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