By GEOFF CAPLAN
Shore Excursions offers exciting guided tours of Anchorage with shore excursions for cruise ship customers. Our Alaska Interior Excursions are also very popular. You can explore the sights of Anchorage with a local guide. Discover the city’s pioneer history, see Bootleggers Cove, admire views from the Chugach Mountains, and more!
You might also want to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and take a cruise across Portage Lake. Then, there is the possibility to hike to Flat Top Mountain for amazing vistas!
Tucked between towering mountains and a bright blue inlet, Alaska’s largest city is a scenic destination for those seeking natural splendor. From here, a range of adventure awaits, from glacier cruises to kayaking trips to salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula.
You’ll also admire the Chugach Mountains. Anchorage’s mountain peaks are home to ski areas such as Arctic Valley, Hilltop Ski Area, Alyeska Resort, and Hillberg Ski Area.
During the winter, you’ll find great snow conditions at many of these ski areas as well as amazing ocean and tidal views from high peaks. You can also explore backcountry or heli-skiing in these Alaskan mountains.
For a shorter hike with incredible views, try Flattop Mountain Trail. Located just a short drive from downtown, this moderate hike offers stunning views of the city and surrounding Chugach Mountains. It’s also popular for berry picking, paragliding, and camping.
Earthquake Park is a 134-acre wooded park commemorating the 1964 earthquake that forever changed Anchorage. Measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale, it remains the most powerful earthquake recorded in North America.
The quake occurred on March 27, 1964, and lasted 4 minutes. It shook the city to its foundation and killed an estimated 139 people.
While not all of Anchorage’s buildings were destroyed, some suffered major damage. Soil liquefaction, landslides and other ground failures caused extensive damage to roads, sidewalks, paved streets, water and sewer systems, electrical systems and buildings.
A side trail in the park reveals the strange rippling hills and cliffs left behind by the devastating earthquake, which showed that nature can be just as powerful as man. It’s a reminder that earthquakes can happen anywhere, and we all need to be prepared for them.
This narrated Anchorage Alaska Scenic 2-Hr City Tour brings you to the area’s top landmarks including Earthquake Park and Lake Hood Harbor, as well as Beluga Point, Potter Marsh and a wildlife refuge. You’ll also watch pilots expertly land floatplanes on Lake Hood and enjoy views of the Cook Inlet and surrounding mountains.
The 191.7 acre park known as Point Woronzof is an excellent choice for nature lovers and bird-watchers. It is home to many migratory birds and boasts incredible views of Cook Inlet and Mount Denali.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs through the park, offering stunning views of the Anchorage skyline and surrounding mountains. The park is also a popular destination for skiing and snowshoeing in winters.
A quick detour from downtown, it is a must visit for travelers. It offers sweeping views of Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet.
During the tour, you’ll have a chance to watch seaplanes at Lake Hood and spot local moose. You’ll also get to visit Earthquake Park and Point Woronzof where you can enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline set against the backdrop of the Alaska Range.
This Anchorage Alaska Scenic 2-Hr City Tour is an excellent way to see the best of the city with an expert guide. Fully narrated by an Alaskan local, this fun 15-mile sightseeing adventure shares unique history and local gems.
This beautiful Alaskan city is filled with great museums, diverse cultural attractions and a host of natural wonders. Whether you are looking for a short weekend trip or a longer vacation, Anchorage has something to offer everyone.
Whether you are a local or a visitor, this scenic 2-Hr City Tour will take you to some of the best Anchorage attractions. From Earthquake Park to Point Woronzof, you will experience the highlights of this Alaskan city with an experienced driver-guide.
If you’re an aviation buff, head to the Lake Hood Sea Plane Base and the Alaska Aviation Museum. This museum is located near the world’s busiest floatplane base and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and displays restored vintage aircraft, photographs and other memorabilia to honor the pioneers of Alaska’s aviation history.
It’s also a great place to watch pilots in action on the strip and in the hanger as they take off and land on Lake Hood (and you can even walk through the control tower). There are many other attractions around this area for visitors to explore, but these three can be enjoyed together or on their own!
For a more active exploration, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a popular choice that takes visitors through the heart of the city. This 11-mile shoreside path is an easy ride for those traveling by bike or on foot, and you’ll have an opportunity to view some of the city’s most beautiful natural scenery.
Anchorage is the perfect gateway to Alaska, where you can explore glaciers and fjords in Kenai Fjords National Park, take a train to magnificent Denali National Park or try salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula.
A day trip to Potter Marsh, a protected marsh south of Anchorage, is a great way to experience Alaska wildlife in a unique setting. Hundreds of birds migrate here, including bald eagles and black-billed swans, while moose, beavers and a variety of other animals can also be spotted along the boardwalk trails.
If you’re a hiker, consider a walk up Flattop Mountain, the state’s most popular peak. The trail offers incredible views of the city and surrounding mountains all the way to the Alaska Range and Denali on a clear day.
Another scenic option is to hop on the Alaska Railroad for a trip to Whittier and Portage Valley, where you can ride through the longest road tunnel in North America. You can also visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see bears and other wildlife.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous day trip, you can head out of Anchorage to the tiny ski town of Girdwood. This is a nationally recognized destination that’s just an hour away. You can ride the Glacier Discovery train to Girdwood and Whittier, or a more affordable route is to take the Coastal Classic to Seward and ride the narrated lake cruise to Spencer Glacier.
Anchorage, Alaska’s ‘Big Apple,’ makes for the perfect home base from which to explore both big Alaskan scenery and small-town charms one day trip at a time. From artsy, mural-strewn ‘bergs to glacier hikes, from stunning lakes to cozy taverns, from fun road trips to train rides, there’s something for everyone!
Start your tour by driving to the McHugh Creek Day Use Area, a short drive from downtown. This stop is popular for its waterfall and views of Turnagain Arm, a body of water on the opposite side of the highway.
You can park at both the lower and upper parking areas (parking fees apply), or you can walk up a short path from the lower parking area to see the waterfall. It’s easy to spend an hour here, but you should plan for a half-hour extra if you want to walk out onto the rocky hill for unobstructed views of Turnagain Arm in both directions.
Hiking trails and a scenic picnic area round out the McHugh Creek area. The 3.3-mile Glen Alps Trail is a moderately challenging but rewarding hike that takes about 2.5 hours to complete.
Located just a half-hour drive from Anchorage, Glen Alps offers incredible vistas over the Chugach Mountains and Mount Denali. The park’s trailhead is a popular stop for day hikers and backpackers looking to get away from it all.
The Glen Alps trailhead is a jump off point for hiking, biking, climbing and berry picking trails in Chugach State Park. At about 2,200 feet, the trailhead is right at tree line, giving quick access to the alpine zone.
A sweeping panoramic view awaits you here, as well as a glimpse of the 495,000-acre park. It’s a great place to see Alaskan wildlife, too.
You can also pick your own berries here, and watch for bears and moose in the surrounding tundra. You may even spot a bald eagle or two.
Alternatively, you can take a 3-mile round trip hike to the summit of Flattop Mountain and enjoy sweeping views of Cook Inlet, the port of Anchorage and Mount Susitna. The hike can be challenging, but you won’t regret it!
The purpose of this article is informational about Alaska in general. Our Alaska tours can focus on specific locales and attractions that are well worth your while.
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