Anchorage is a base for many great Alaskan adventures, but plenty of fun can also be had within the town itself. Get to know Alaskan locals and indulge in natural wonders without packing a tent. Here are our five favorite things to do in downtown Anchorage.
Bar Crawl Through Downtown
There are many more nightlife options in Anchorage than one might expect. Start your night off at Williwaw, a rooftop bar with a hidden speakeasy (check the phone booth next to the elevator for the password), or head to King Street Brewing Company if you’re in the mood for craft beer. Finish off at Darwin’s Theory, the local dive, for some terrific local color.
Salmon Fishing at Ship Creek
Thanks to an honest-to-goodness salmon run threading through downtown, Anchorage locals often spend the summer months fishing for king and coho in the waters of Ship Creek. You can strap on waders and cast your own line, provided you have a fishing license. They’re sold at 6th Avenue Outfitters, along with equipment, fishing packages and other supplies.
Shop for Tax-Free Souvenirs
Did you know that there’s no sales tax in Alaska? Take this opportunity to grab some unique souvenirs for the folks back home. Oomingmak Anchorage Cooperative sells hand-knit products made from the super-fine, extremely warm fur of the musk ox. And hit up Alaska Wild Berry Products for delicious treats such as chocolates and berry preserves.
Explore Far North Bicentennial Park
You probably don’t have to pack bear spray to go for a walk in the park. Then again, your local park probably isn’t as big as Far North Bicentennial Park. This 4,000-acre slice of Alaska wilderness hosts a vast network of trails, a beginner ski slope, the Alaska Botanical Garden and, yes, a small grizzly population. But they tend to take the winter off.
Take Off on a Flightseeing Trip
Thanks to the remoteness of many towns, Alaskans tend to travel by plane a lot. That means Anchorage is home to plenty of pilots for hire, and they’ll take you farther than you could possibly get by yourself. Touch down at far-off national parks like Katmai and Lake Clark or take in Denali or the Chugach mountains from above.