The idea that a cosmopolitan, modern city can exist in Alaska may come as a surprise to those 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 62F 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.
Anchorage Travel Tips
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 deal with rising tourism numbers and its links to downtown Anchorage are good.
One of the best ways to get to your Anchorage hotel - and around the city thereafter - is by hire car and 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.
It is also possible to get to Anchorage by boat as the city is a top cruise destination.
Anchorage may not be the most accessible location in the world, but that is not to say it is
The downtown area is quite compact for walking, which means booking into a central Anchorage hotel makes perfect sense. On the other hand rental cars and the PeopleMover buses cover locations a little further away.
You could consider hiring a bike to cover the trails though, as the city has 200 miles of them to zoom along.
To get to attractions out in the wilderness, it may be necessary to arrange excursions, which staff at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage 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.
What to pack:
Head to Anchorage hotels in winter and you are going to need plenty of warm clothing.
Temperatures can drop to lows of 9F. Hats, gloves, a scarf and padded jackets are essential.
In the summer months, on the other hand, Anchorage can be surprisingly warm - hitting 65F in the middle of June.
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.
Needless to say, if you are heading out on a snowmobile or for a spot of ice sheet fishing you are going to need to wrap up warm.
What to do and where to go?
Contrary to popular belief, Anchorage - the largest city in Alaska - did now grow as a result of the
whaling industry, but because it was chosen as a railroad construction port in the early 20th century.
It has an interesting history that is sure to surprise and it has become something of an alternative
culture destination. The following Anchorage travel guide contains some of the highlights.
Dimond Center Mall
Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse
Bering Expedition Landing Site
Arts and Culture
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Anchorage Museum of History and Art
Oscar Anderson House Museum
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Parks and Recreation
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Area: 5,079 sq km
Currency: US Dollar ($)