I live in Anchorage Alaska, I have lived here for around 10 years. And as someone who has lived in Anchorage, it’s like any other place that any person lives. I go to the store, work, I go to the movies etc. But one of the biggest reasons that people move to Anchorage is that they went to be close to the outdoors.
When I first moved up here, I was the very opposite of an outdoorsy girl. In fact, tell an the opposite of an outdoor person.
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But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do. Anchorage is a vibrant town with lots of things to do all year round. It’s a matter of figuring out what you’re interested in, showing up for it.
If you want a more personalized experience during your visit of Anchorage and Alaska, I’ve also recommended several tours that will give you a behind the scenes look at some local breweries, the classic infamous Anchorage Trolley, and some escapes into the the wilds that will positively thrill you. I hope you’ll check them out.
Number one: Anchorage International Film Festival
Every year in December, good hosts the Anchorage International Film Festival. From all over the world are selected and shown at theaters across town for 2 weeks. For two years, is actually a programmer for this Festival. It was truly a fun and exciting event. If you would like to see some amazing films then this Festival is a really good opportunity to see what Anchorage thinks is special.
Anchorage International Film Festival has two specific programs that I think are worth sharing. Swine is they do a short film contest during the film festival. 4 items are chosen and filmmakers are given just a couple of days to turn those four items into a film that is submitted and shown just a couple of days later. The second program that the Anchorage International Film Festival has is a section of films dedicated to telling the stories of alaskans by alaskans.
Number two: Alaska Zoo
The Alaska Zoo is a unique experience filled largely with animals that are local to the area and climate. They have their own polar bear who is adorable. The zoo is built at the base of the mountains and truly feels like a wilderness escape. It’s lush trees create lots of shade, and it’s enclosures meld right into the landscape and pathways of the zoo.
Number three: FlatTop Mountain
Flat Top Mountain is a hike that is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Getting there is easy you just hop on the main road and then hop on the Elmo and follow it up until you get to the parking lot. It is not however, easy hike. Be sure the locals tell it they do it all the time, it has become easy because it is so popular. But it’s actually quite the ascent for the short space that it is. It’s very narrow at some parts and there’s no handrail.
I have been up there a handful of times, every time I thought I was going to lose my stomach. But, use are stunning and definitely not to be missed. For those who want to get outside but don’t want to travel very far to do it, Flat Top Mountain is a really great option.
Number four: Saturday/Farmers Markets
Saturday markets. There are half a dozen or so local Saturday markets and various parts of town during the summer from June through September. And from May through September, there is a bigger Market located downtown off of 3rd Street. At the market you’ll find all sorts of artists, makers, and music to delight you and Intrigue you.
Number five: Coastal Trail
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is probably my favorite part of Anchorage. It is a 26 Mile Trail that lines the coast line of Anchorage, downtown and ends at Kincaid Park. The section starts from Westchester Lagoon and goes through till Earthquake Park is probably my favorite. People ride their bikes, go on walks, go on runs, and bring their dogs and their kids. During the winter they are plowed specifically for cross-country skiers.
Number 6: Spenard Roadhouse
Anchorage isn’t exactly known for its culinary, if you are looking for some really good classic style I highly recommend the Spenard Roadhouse. It is by far my favorite restaurant in Anchorage. Friendly to the needs of those who are gluten free. Plus, they use mostly local produce to keep it simple and sustainable.
The super tots are my favorite appetizer, though they may not be gluten-free friendly. And I always recommend getting the Bacon of the Month as it changes every month.
Number 7: Girdwood
The drive to Girdwood is one of the most stunning and beautiful drives you will ever go on in your life the water from the inlet comes to the edge of the mountains and you ride along to the very edge of it once you get to Girdwood you have a 2 options: your first option is to drive into Girdwood, a the cute little town nestled into the base of the mountains. Or you can drive a little bit further and visit the wildlife sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary is a conservation that you can visit animals who have been wounded or separated from their parents or who need long-term call care. It’s a really great chance to see these animals and habitats that is almost natural to what they would be living in otherwise. And your visit goes to support a really great cause protecting these species from being over Hunted, poached, etc. The drive to Girdwood is about an hour away however.
Number 8: The Anchorage Museum
The Anchorage Museum, is maybe one of the smaller museums I’ve ever been in. A world-class collection of Alaskan art and Alaskan native artifacts. They are concert building on its location and recently included a new Wing which you should not miss. My favorite part of the museum is the bP exhibit which is all about movement, cassidy, gravity. Basically it’s a bunch of toys. And it is great!
Number 9: Bear Tooth theatre
The Bear Tooth theater is a 1 screen Theater that serves pizza, does, delicious food while you watch your movies. Make sure you come early because the lines do get long and you’ll want to make sure that you get a good seat. The Bear Tooth is owned by the same people who own Moose’s tooth, which is the local pizza joint which is regularly voted the best pizza. So if you would like a shorter waiting line for Anchorages best pizza, going to Bear Tooth might shorten your way, plus you’ll get to see a movie.
Number 10: The Midtown Mall
The Midtown mall is having a resurgence in popularity. Recently the stores REI, Nordstrom Rack moved in. There is a Planet Fitness Gym there as well, well as a snooty coffee shop and a really decent burger joints. Opening soon we’ll be a grocery store and if you need to get your nails done, you can get them done there. There is also an upscale brow bar called brow chica Brow Bar which does an amazing job of waxing.
All in all there is way more to do than these 10 things to do in Anchorage, Alaska. But this is a good start. Whether you’re looking to move to Anchorage or just visit for a while there’s a little something for everybody here no matter what it is that you’re into.