From the majestic waters of Cook Inlet to the natural wonders of the Chugach, Anchorage promises adventure with metropolitan appeal. With 1,500 moose, incredible national parks and 60 sparkling glaciers just a short drive away, Anchorage is a group’s wonderland.
“Anchorage offers some of the very best of Alaska, all in one place,” said David Kasser, vice president of tourism development and sales at Visit Anchorage. “The ‘must’ list for an Alaska trip — glaciers, moose, parklands, you name it — you’ll find it in and around Anchorage.
“The city is perfect for groups,” he said. “We are at the heart of road, rail and air travel for the state, and we have the hotels and restaurants to keep everyone very happy as they explore.”
The Eagle River Valley is often called “a miniature Yosemite.” With nature trails ranging from the ¾-mile Rodak Loop to the 24-mile Crow Pass mountain crossing, the Eagle River Nature Center has a route for all abilities. It’s also one of the most accessible entry points to Chugach State Park, a mountainous 500,000-acre preserve just east of Anchorage.
Traditional and contemporary art fill Anchorage Museum, the state’s largest museum, with works from Alaska and other circumpolar communities. Schedule a docent-led tour through the museum’s galleries. Anchorage Museum also houses hands-on science exhibits with an Alaska angle at the Discovery Center, and hundreds of Alaska-Native items in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.
Begin an exploration of the many different Alaska-Native cultures with stories, song and traditional dance presentations at Alaska Native Heritage Center. Life-size examples of traditional building types from the varied regions and biomes of Alaska stand around Lake Tiulana. Make sure to see the whale bones at the Inupiaq site — a favorite spot for picture-taking.
The Alaska Railroad grants special access to Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, a wilderness area deep in Chugach National Forest. The Glacier Discovery Train drops off passengers at the special whistle stop for a day of hiking, rafting or kayaking and trekking at Spencer Glacier. The train departs Anchorage daily all summer, traveling along scenic Turnagain Arm to the whistle stop and returning that evening.