Start at the Log Cabin Visitor Information Center on the corner of F Street and Fourth Avenue and walk the easy grid system to find some of Alaska’s best bars, restaurants, museums, art galleries and boutiques. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which runs along the coast, offers a glimpse of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. If you visit on the first Saturday in March, you’ll witness the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, while summers bring a free concert series called Live After Five, featuring local and out-of-state musicians and a beer and wine garden.
Glen Alps Overlook by Jack Bonney
Windy paved roads carve their way up the Chugach Mountains and end near Flattop Mountain, Alaska’s most visited peak and a prime blueberry-picking spot. Even if you don’t hike the 3 miles (and 1,500-foot elevation gain) to the top, the drive to the Glen Alps Trailhead offers a breathtaking view of Cook Inlet — and a sense of the scale of the surrounding wilderness in contrast to the city of Anchorage. Only about 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage, Glen Alps offers such spectacular hikes as O’Malley Peak Trail, which involves crossing a river.