Chugach State Park
Chugach State Park / iStock.com / Leieng
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Moose in Kincaid Park
Moose in Kincaid Park / iStock.com / Alaska_icons
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Tlingit totem pole
Tlingit totem pole / iStock.com / centrill
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Nautical Display
Nautical Display / iStock.com / saknakorn
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Anchorage and Denali
Anchorage and Denali / Visit Anchorage / Ken Graham Photography
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Kayaking at Eklutna Lake
Kayaking at Eklutna Lake / Visit Anchorage / Nicole Geils
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Anchorage
Port
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Alaska's big city — with an ideal location between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet — started as a tent camp in 1914 and still feels like a sleepy frontier town more than 100 years later. Cruise passengers tend to fly in and head right to the ports of Seward and Whittier. But linger in Anchorage, and you gain a better understanding of the state's history and people.

What We Love

Wildlife: Bald eagles fly above the office buildings, moose regularly annoy gardeners, and even bears occasionally show up on city streets.

Food Scene: Sample local products at favorite spots, including Snow City Café, where you can dive into a Kodiak Benedict (poached eggs on Alaska Red King Crab cakes) or the Ship Creek Benedict (eggs on salmon cakes). You can also grab a reindeer sausage (with or without chili sauce) from one of the vendors on Fourth Street.

Best Known For

Alaskan History: Historic and cultural attractions abound at places like the top-flight Anchorage Museum, where you can learn about Arctic aviation and view a large Smithsonian collection of historic Native Alaskan artifacts.

Views: Anchorage is surrounded by wilderness, and there are lots of opportunities to get a closer look, including scenic drives, mountain climbs, and flightseeing trips with a bush pilot to Denali.

Who It's Best For

Cultured Travelers: Discover something new about the history of our 49th state at the city's museums and other attractions. There is much for adults and kids alike — including a small zoo where you can meet Alaskan wildlife.

Active Types: The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail comes right into downtown and runs along the water for 11 miles. Choose whether you want to hike or bike (rentals are readily available).

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It's an Expensive City: If you decide to add time in Anchorage, you'll find rental cars running upward of $55 a day, and hotels starting around $200 per night.

Fran Golden
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger