Chances are, if you are coming to Alaska, you are going to spend at least some time in Anchorage, its largest city. With the exception of a few direct flights to Juneau, almost all Alaskan adventures begin here. But situated on the shores of the beautiful Prince William Sound, and with Denali National Park very close by, Anchorage is more than just a doorway to Alaska. It is a destination in its own right, and no matter what your itinerary, it is worth taking a day to see the city before moving deeper into Alaska.
There is simply no other American city that is so close to true wilderness. In the span of a short walk or even shorter drive, you can reach complete isolation and seemingly untouched natural beauty. Even inside the city itself, you are often reminded of how close you are to wild country, as moose often wander into town.
There are flights to Anchorage from most major American cities and several international direct flights are also available. Seattle is the closest city in the lower 48 states to Anchorage, and so there are multiple options for travel from Seattle to Anchorage, including flights, cruises and a long but beautiful drive.
There are several options for hotels in the city, from the 4-star Captain Cook Hotel to some very affordable motels. Business travelers, check out our list of the best business hotels in Anchorage.
Things to Do
If you’re a skiier, Anchorage is conveniently only about 30 miles from Alyeska Resort, Alaska’s largest ski mountain. If the pub is more your speed than the slopes, make sure you check out our top places to have a beer in Anchorage.
Once you’ve seen the city and are ready to head farther north, check out our guide to travel between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Photo by Alaskan Dude