Anchorage, Alaska is the biggest city in “the last frontier” and the northernmost city in the United States. While it is known to have some bone-chilling winters, the 375,000 residents are a testament to the staying power of this city with its popular attractions in the great outdoors.
Many people that are planning to relocate to Anchorage may have trouble thinking about what to do for fun once they are up there. They can put that confusion to rest now, because both Anchorage and the state of Alaska offer some of the world’s best outdoor activities. The lush landscape provides a dramatic backdrop for whatever activity interests you and can often bring people closer together with Mother Nature. Here are several popular outdoor activities and local attractions that offer some fun while you are living in Anchorage.
Top Nature Activities
- Horse Trekking: One of the most exciting ways to experience Alaska’s natural beauty is by trekking through the mountains on horseback. You can head out on an easy 1.5 hour tour, half/full days tours, or even spend the night out in the Chugach Mountains. Horse trekking is perfect for all ages and can be just as much fun in the winter.
- Fishing: Even if you have never visited Alaska before, you know that the state is synonymous with world class fishing. You can catch the salmon of your dreams in Anchorage or you can head out for some better, less crowded fishing holes in less than an hour’s drive.
- Flattop Trail Hike: Some of the world’s best hikes are located near Anchorage. A local favorite is the Flattop Trail Hike. The trail itself is amazing, but the best part is the spectacular views that keep getting better and better as you go higher. The 3 mile loop hike is accessible for all ages and is a rewarding way to see some natural Alaskan wonders.
- Snowboarding/Skiing: Colder temperatures keep the thick winter coating of snow around all year and there is always some good snowboarding or skiing nearby. If you have never tried it before then you are in for a treat – Alaska offers some of the best snow sports around. There are 6 great mountain ranges surrounding Anchorage that give the locals the vertical thrills they are looking for on the mountain.
- Denali Park: You have all heard of the famous Denali Park in Alaska because it is home to America’s tallest mountain, Mt. McKinley, which stands 20,300 feet tall. Visiting the park almost guarantees you will see firsthand some of Alaska’s wildlife including the grizzly bear, moose, wolves, and hundreds of other interesting creatures.
- Portage Glacier: One of the largest and most breathtaking glaciers in Alaska is the famous Portage Glacier that is only a short boat ride away from Anchorage in the Chugach Mountains. There are daily tours that take you out on a boat to get up close and personal with the glacier.
- Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race: The famous dog sled race takes place every first Saturday of March. Mushers and their dog sled team must complete 1,049 mile journey over 9-15 days going from Anchorage to Nome. This is the most popular sporting event in Alaska and is a must see if you are moving to Anchorage.
- Alaska Native Heritage Center: A fun way to experience native Alaska is by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center. They have multiple hands-on exhibits, shows, and demonstrations that teach the public about the 11 native cultures of Alaska. This is a good educational experience for both kids and adults, whether you live in Alaska or are just visiting.
- Anchorage Museum: After completing a $106 million renovation in 2010, the expansive Anchorage Museum has once again established itself as a world class museum with exhibits featuring Alaskan art, history, and culture.
- Aurora Winter Train: The road from Anchorage to Fairbanks is a long scenic route that all Alaskans should witness. The natural wonders of Alaska are right in front of your eyes as you wind through the winter wonderland. The scheduled stops aren’t set in stone because of the potential weather problems and the train only runs in the winter, giving you something fun to do even during the colder months.