We’ve compiled the best of the best in Anchorage - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Alaska Native Heritage Center

    East Anchorage

    On a 26-acre site facing the Chugach Mountains, this facility provides an introduction to Alaska Native peoples. The spacious Gathering Place has interpretive displays, artifacts, photographs, demonstrations, Alaska Native dances, storytelling, and films, along with a gift shop selling crafts and artwork. Step outside for a stroll around the adjacent lake, where seven village exhibits represent 11 cultural groups through traditional structures and exhibitions. As you enter the homes in these villages, you can visit with the hosts, hear their stories, and try some of the tools, games, and utensils used in the past.

    8800 Heritage Center Dr., Anchorage, Alaska, 99504, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $29, Closed mid-Sept.–mid-May
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  • 2. Anchorage Museum


    This striking, contemporary building with first-rate exhibits is an essential stop for visitors who want to celebrate the history of the North. The star of the museum is the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, which features more than 600 objects from Alaska Native cultures and short films that teach visitors about modern-day Native life. Wander the Art of the North galleries, filled with works that showcase Alaska landscape, history, and beauty. The Alaska exhibition shares Alaska's diversity and history with a knock-out eye for design. Cap the visit in the 9,000-square-foot, kid-focused Discovery Center, which includes a planetarium. Curated exhibitions rotate regularly and frequently spotlight Arctic issues, Northern design, and the unique perspective of life at these latitudes. In addition, the gift shop is one of Anchorage's best places to buy Alaska Native art and other souvenirs.

    625 C St., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20, Closed Mon.
  • 3. Point Woronzof

    Perched between the airport and the coast, this city park provides an entertaining hodgepodge of nature and noise—you can enjoy beautiful views of Mt. Susitna while trans-Pacific cargo jets periodically roar overhead. Walk down to the beach and head east for a picture-perfect view of the city skyline framed against the Chugach Mountains. Just off the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, expect food carts and ice cream trucks as your reward if you make the 5-mile bike ride from Downtown.

    9700 Point Woronzoff Rd., Anchorage, Alaska, 99502, USA
  • 4. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

    Strollers, runners, bikers, dog walkers, and in-line skaters cram this recreation trail on sunny summer evenings, particularly around Westchester Lagoon. In winter, cross-country skiers take to it by storm. The trail begins off 2nd Avenue, west of Christensen Drive, and curls along Cook Inlet for approximately 11 miles to Kincaid Park, beyond the airport. In summer you might spot beluga whales offshore in Cook Inlet. Access points are on the waterfront at the ends of 2nd and 5th Avenues and at Westchester Lagoon near the end of 15th Avenue. When you get to the high points in the trail, look north; Denali is visible on clear days.

    Anchorage, Alaska, USA
  • 5. Alaska Aviation Museum

    West Anchorage

    The state's unique aviation history is presented here with more than 25 vintage aircraft, a flight simulator, a theater, and an observation deck along the world's busiest seaplane base. Highlights include a Stearman C2B, the first plane to land on Denali back in the early 1930s, a recently restored 1931 Fairchild Pilgrim aircraft, and a well-done exhibit on the Battle of Attu, the only North American land battle of World War II. You may see volunteers busily restoring an aircraft and docents eager to talk about their bush pilot experiences. A free shuttle to and from Anchorage Airport is available, as is luggage storage.

    4721 Aircraft Dr., Anchorage, Alaska, 99502, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $17
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  • 6. Alaska Botanical Garden

    East Anchorage

    The garden showcases perennials hardy enough to make it in Southcentral Alaska in several large display gardens, a pergola-enclosed herb garden, and a rock garden amid 110 acres of mixed boreal forest. There's a 1-mile nature trail loop to Campbell Creek, with views of the Chugach Range and a wildflower trail between the display gardens. Interpretive signs guide visitors and identify plants along the trail. Docent tours are available upon request, and events occur throughout the year.

    4601 Campbell Airstrip Rd., Anchorage, Alaska, 99507, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $12, Closed Sun. and Mon. mid-May–mid-Sept.
  • 7. Alaska Cake Studio

    If you prefer the focus of your coffee break to be on the baked goods, pop into Alaska Cake Studio Downtown. From creative cupcakes—their 350 recipes rotate daily—to cookies, croissants, and, of course, cakes, sweet treats delight.

    608 W. 4th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 8. Alaska Public Lands Information Center


    Stop here for information on all of Alaska's public lands, including national and state parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. You can plan a hiking, sea-kayaking, bear-viewing, or fishing trip; purchase state and national park passes; find out about public-use cabins; learn about Alaska's plants and animals; or head to the theater for films highlighting different parts of the state. The bookstore also sells maps and nature books. Guided walks to historic Downtown sights depart daily throughout the summer at 11 am and 3:15 pm. The center is housed in a federal facility, meaning a security screening is required to enter.

    605 W. 4th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 9. Alaska Railroad Historic Depot


    Totem poles and a locomotive built in 1907 are outside this station, the headquarters of the Alaska Railroad since 1915. Photographs and plaques inside explain the history of the railroad, which brought an influx of people into the city during the early 1900s. During February's Fur Rendezvous Festival, model-train buffs set up their displays here.

    411 W. 1st Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. mid-Sept.–mid-May
  • 10. Alaska Zoo

    South Anchorage

    Roam the trails and visit with the polar bears, caribou, brown and black bears, seals, tigers, snow leopards, moose, wolves, lynx, and a large array of birds that call the Alaska Zoo home. The zoo provides a wide array of programs included with admission, such as zookeeper talks and toddler story times, that concentrate on promoting the conservation of arctic and subarctic animal species. Throughout the summer for an additional fee you can join daily two-hour tours that include behind-the-scenes stops. The zoo is located in the foothills on the edge of town, but a summer-only shuttle leaves from the Downtown Visitor Center at 4th Avenue and E Street every hour. 

    4731 O'Malley Rd., Anchorage, Alaska, 99507, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $17
  • 11. Downtown Log Cabin Visitor Center and Visitor Information Center


    Housed in a rustic log cabin, the center's sod roof is festooned with huge hanging baskets of flowers. Anchorage is a major stopping point for cargo jets en route to Asia, and a signpost out front marks the mileage to many international destinations. After a stop in the cabin, step out the back door to the more spacious visitor center stocked with brochures. There are also two visitor information centers in Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, one in the north terminal and one in the south terminal in the C Concourse baggage-claim area.

    4th Ave. and F St., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 12. Girdwood Center for Visual Arts

    Though you'll go to Girdwood to ski or hike, you'll find yourself spending time perusing the crafts and artwork at this nonprofit co-op gallery. With pieces from more than 30 artists on display, there's plenty to look at—and you might end up taking care of any gift needs (from the trip or for the holidays) in one fell swoop.

    194 Olympic Mountain Loop, Girdwood, Alaska, 99587, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed. in winter
  • 13. Historic City Hall


    Offices of Visit Anchorage now occupy this 1936 building. A few exhibits and historic photos are right inside the lobby. Out front, take a look at the marble sculpture dedicated to William Seward, the secretary of state who engineered the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

    524 W. 4th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends
  • 14. International Gallery of Contemporary Art


    Anchorage's premier fine-arts gallery, the International Gallery of Contemporary Art has changing exhibits monthly and features some of Alaska's most forward-thinking work.

    427 D St., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.–Tues.
  • 15. Kaladi Brothers Coffee

    A local favorite since opening its first spot in 1986, Kaladi Brothers Coffee has espresso, lattes, baked goods, and more at 12 locations around town, most with free Wi-Fi access.

    621 W. 6th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 16. Oscar Anderson House Museum


    City butcher Oscar Anderson built Anchorage's first permanent frame house in 1915, at a time when most of Anchorage consisted of tents. Visits are by guided 45-minute tours only.

    420 M St., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10, Closed Sun. and Oct.–May
  • 17. Potter Marsh

    South Anchorage

    Sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, and other migratory birds, as well as the occasional moose or beaver, frequent this marsh about 10 miles south of Downtown on the Seward Highway. An elevated boardwalk makes viewing easy, and in summer there are salmon runs in the creek beneath the bridge. An old railroad service building just south of the marsh operates as a state park office.

    Seward Hwy., Anchorage, Alaska, 99516, USA
  • 18. Resolution Park


    This tiny park has a cantilevered viewing platform dominated by a monument to Captain Cook, whose explorations in 1778 led to the naming of Cook Inlet and many other geographic features in Alaska. Mt. Susitna, known as the Sleeping Lady, is the prominent low mountain to the northwest, and Mts. Spurr and Redoubt, active volcanoes, are just south of Mt. Susitna. Denali, Mt. Foraker, and other peaks of the Alaska Range are often visible from more than 100 miles away.

    3rd Ave. at L St., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 19. Ship Creek


    The creek is dammed right Downtown, with a footbridge across the dam and access from either bank. There's a waterfall; salmon running upstream from June through August; anglers; and, above it all, Downtown Anchorage. Farther upstream (follow Whitney Road and turn left on Post Road) is the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery—during the runs you can see salmon in the clear shallow water as they try to leap up the falls. Look for the wheelchair-accessible fishing platform on the trail directly north of the Comfort Inn.

    Ship Creek Ave., Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Fishery closed weekends Nov.–Mar.
  • 20. SteamDot Coffee and Espresso Lab

    In South Anchorage, coffee's next wave is brewing. SteamDot Coffee and Espresso Lab treats coffee lovers to quite the coffee-brewing show at its "slow bar." This is not the place to go if you're in the mood for syrup-heavy espresso drinks. SteamDot is all about the flavor of coffee.

    10950 O'Malley Centre, Anchorage, Alaska, 99515, USA

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