Anchorage Facts

The idea that a cosmopolitan, modern city can exist in Alaska may come as a surprise to those visitors who assume the whole state is a freezing wilderness, but Anchorage proves it is possible to be urbane and sophisticated here, even if you do need some thermal underwear.

Actually, the city is very hospitable in the summer, with temperatures reaching highs of 66F in June. Most tourists tend to come to Anchorage hotels in the summer, but winter sports fans and die-hard snow lovers often make trips during the colder months too.

Admittedly, many of Anchorage's activities revolve around the great outdoors, but tourists can find reprieve from the elements if they book into the right hotels in Anchorage. Once you acclimatize; however, you'll be want to venture out and take plenty of photos to impress friends and family back home.

Travel Tips

Getting there
Despite its remote location, Anchorage is an international travel hub and is served by most major airlines. Its links to major US cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Phoenix are solid. The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was recently revamped to accommodate global airlines and meet the demand rising tourism numbers. The Lakefront, formerly Millennium Alaskan Hotel, offers complimentary shuttle transfer to and from the airport.

Cruising to Alaska is also one extremely popular way to reach Alaska during the summer months. Cruise ports near Anchorage make for a close connection between the city, the wilderness and your cruise ship.

Getting around
It may take a while to get to Anchorage, but when you arrive, it is an extremely convenient city to visit. The downtown area is quite compact for walking, with great venues, museum, and cultural centers to visit. On the other hand rental cars and the PeopleMover buses cover locations a little further away.

You could consider renting a bike to cover the trails though, as the city has 200 miles of them to zoom along.

Alternatively, you may want to hire a car. The Milepost Anchorage travel guide is an essential tool for motorists as it offers detailed information about every route in and out of the city.

To get to attractions out in the wilderness, it may be necessary to arrange excursions, which staff at The Lakefront can help you with.

However, should you venture to Anchorage in the winter, you may find that sitting around a roaring log fire in one of the city's bars or restaurants is more appealing than venturing outdoors.

How to Pack
Every season is more enjoyable with the right clothing and gear and for Anchorage, pack with plenty of layers.

In the winter, temperatures can drop to lows of 9F. Hats, gloves, a scarf and padded jackets are essential especially if you plan to head out on a snowmobile or go ice fishing. Bring your wool socks and warm boots so you can enjoy your winter carnival and the northern lights.

In the summer months, on the other hand, Anchorage can be surprisingly warm – hitting 66F in the middle of June. The weather can change quickly so being prepared with a light jacket and sweater will ensure a more memorable experience.

Regardless of the ambient temperature in the summer, however, some sturdy outdoor gear is essential. Anchorage is a haven for outdoor pursuits fans and the rugged landscape can be challenging without the right kit.

What to Do and Where to Go
Anchorage began as a tent city, basically to support those people looking to secure their fortunes in gold. Years, later when oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay, Anchorage grew to support the building of the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline. Today it's an international city boasting world class entertainment at the end of a beautiful wilderness.

Famous landmarks:
Alaska Botanical Gardens
Dimond Center Mall
Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse
Ship Creek
Turnagain Pass

Arts and Culture:
Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Anchorage Museum of History and Art
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Oscar Anderson House Museum
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

Parks and Recreation:
Anchorage Zoo
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Chugach State Park
Hilltop Ski Area

Population: 291,826

Area: 5,079 sq km

Language: English

Currency: US Dollar ($)

Nearby Hotels