Things To See And Do In Bootleggers Cove:
- Go on a historic ride on the Anchorage Trolley Tours.
- Join the Coastal Trail walk at Elderberry Park.
- Treat yourself at the highly-rated Snow City Cafe.
- See the Art Deco 4th Avenue Theatre, a landmark thats been standing and entertaining since the 1940s!
- Chat to those in the know at the Alaska Public Lands Information Center.
Check Out The Street Art
Anchorage has a lot of fun street art. You really cant miss the colorful murals spread across 4th and 5th Avenue. The alleyways between B & F are known locally as Ziggys alley as one artist covers the walls with images of Alaska, but he is a white dude If you are looking for a beautiful Native painted mural, then head over to the Covenant House on 8th and Barrow for beautifully created by Apayuq. The Greetings from Alaska mural is located on 5th and Fairbanks.
Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary
Located in south Anchorage, Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary is described by visitors as a birders delight. Home to 220+ species of birds, visitors can enjoy a walk along the 1,550-foot-long boardwalk or visit the wetland habitat. Migrating birds visit in all seasons, which makes this a great year-round destination.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Anchorage
What part of Anchorage should I stay in?
Is downtown Anchorage safe at night?
Yes, Downtown is a safe area to walk at night and a great place to stay in Anchorage.
What are the bad parts of Anchorage?
Anchorage is in general a safe city but you can avoid walking at night in the Fairview and Mountain View areas.
What are the best places to stay in Anchorage without a car?
Due to proximity to the main attractions, shops, and restaurants Anchorage Downtown is thebest area to stay without a car in Anchorage.
What is the best boutique hotel in Anchorage?
What is the best month to visit Anchorage?
are the best months to visit Anchorage as the weather is the warmest.
Can you see the Northern Lights in Anchorage, AK?
Yes, you have a chance to see the northern lights if you stay in Anchorage between late September and April.
I hope you enjoyed reading this city tour. In this blog post on where to stay in Anchorage, I talked about the best places to stay from luxury to budget as well as Airbnbs in each area. I also gave you some information about the things you can do there so you could pick the perfect one for you!
Enjoy your stay in Anchorage Alaska,
What To Do In Juneau
If you are keen on exploring the wild side of Juneau, hop on to a wildlife excursion!
You may get to see some amazing animals like bears, whales, eagles, seals, and goats up close!
Plus, exploring Alaska on foot is a great way to experience this gorgeous state.
If you have the stamina, the 250 miles of hiking tracks in Juneau are worth exploring.
These trails let you see some amazing natural beauty including meadows, mountains, lush forests, and mining ruins.
You can make Alaskas Capital Inn Bed & Breakfast your home base for exploring Juneau!
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Day : Glacier Cruise In Whittier
One of the best things to do in Alaska is take a glacier and wildlife cruise and you dont want to miss out on this wonderful tour.
The best option to do this if you dont have a car is to do the 26 Glacier Cruise in Whittier. You can take the Alaska Railroad or bus to get there and back and its timed with the tour departure. The Alaska Railroad option is more expensive than the bus and both of them travel the incredibly beautiful drive between Anchorage and Whittier. Learn more about the options and costs here.
This excursion takes about 12 hours, so that will take the whole day, but its well worth it!
Stop And Smell The Flowers
Downtown Anchorage is full of historic charm and lots of blooming flowers in the summer. If you stick to the area from Ship Creek to the Delaney Park Strip, but particularly 4-6th Ave., youll be rewarded with a quirky historic aesthetic and hanging flower baskets and gardens. The baskets downtown were created with our state flag as inspiration with stars of blue on a field of gold. The town square has a lovely flower garden worth stopping by to see. Even as far as 15th ave there, are flower baskets hanging from giant fishing poles.
If you are around in the winter, then check out the town square for ice skating and twinkle lights. Our winters are so dark, and Anchorage explodes with lots of twinkle lights to keep you entertained while walking downtown.
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Day : Portage Glacier
Portage Glacier is just a 30 minute drive from Girdwood with lots of activities and scenery to explore.
Make sure to stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see many beloved Alaska animals such as bear, moose, caribou and more. This is an excellent photography opportunity and a place to learn about Alaskas many animals.
At Portage Glacier, you can take a boat tour across a lake to see the glacier, or you can hike Portage Pass to see it on foot. There are also many miles of trail leaving from the visitor center to check out other glaciers and to see spawning salmon in season. Learn more here about visiting the Portage Valley and the many things to do!
Day : Alaska Railroad From Denali To Fairbanks
The train trip from Denali to Fairbanks is much shorter at four hours and leaves in the late afternoon. This allows time for another hike or visiting the sled dog kennels or exploring the entrance area at the park.
Make sure to get to the train depot early and not miss your train!
Youll arrive in Fairbanks in the evening, usually around 8pm. I recommend finding a place to stay close to downtown so you can get there quickly and be able to explore the next day on foot.
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Bootleggers Cove Where To Stay In Anchorage For Sightseeing
Bootleggers Cove is located just west of Anchorage Downtown and sandwiched in by the sea. This neighborhood offers museums, nice restaurants as well as spectacular landscapes by the Knik River. There is something here for all tastes!
FUN FACT: Bootleggers Cove got its name due to the fact that it was a favored location among alcohol smugglers during the prohibition era. The location had access to both the port and the train station while simultaneously being hidden from the view of the authorities at Ship Creek.
Doesnt it sound like a cool area to stay in Anchorage? Nowadays, its a great place for sightseeing as you not only have the historic Anchorage Trolley and the Alaska Public Lands Information Center to learn more about the culture and history of the area, but you are within walking distance of the Downtown attraction and the waterfront of Cook Inlet too!
- Join the historic Anchorage Trolley Tours
- Go for a stroll at Elderberry Park
- Have a nice meal at Snow City Cafe
- Visit the Alaska Public Lands Information Center
- Join a tour to discover wilderness life and glaciers
- Have a walk by Knik River
- Check out the planet walk
What To Do In Girdwood
Girdwood was initially known as Glacier City for the frozen behemoths that border its mountains.
And seeing them is a must if youre in the area! There are a couple of great ways to see glaciers in the summer:
- The first option is to take the ski lift/ aerial tram at Alyeska Resort up Mount Alyeska. From right around the summit, youll be able to see not one but seven glaciers in the distance!
- The second option is to drive to Portage Lake and take a boat tour to Portage Glacier. If you want to skip the boat tour, you can also hike to Byron Glacier. From Portage Lake, you can see Shakespeare Glacier.
- The third option is anAlpine Air helicopter tour with a glacier landing! Its definitely a pricier option, but is a fantastic experience!
But there is more to do than check out glaciers!
My main recommendation is to not leave Girdwood without visiting Virgin Creek Falls!
This easy and short 5-minute hike will take you to Alaskas most scenic moss-blanketed waterfall. Youll have to watch your step as it can be muddy here and there are giant tree roots to traverse. But a short distance later, youll be enveloped in a scene out of Rivendell !
If its hot out and you dare to get in, bring water shoes as the rocks on the bottom are incredibly slippery. .
For more Girdwood adventures, there is even a gold panning tour you can take to try your luck at striking it rich.
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Anchorage Is The Hub To The Rest Of Alaska
Anchorage is the hub to the rest of Alaska. There are some wonderful restaurants and breweries and the waterfront is quite lovely. The museums are great for rainy days. If you do not have a car, make sure to stay at a hotel that provides a shuttle. The downtown is walkable, but there are many places a bit outside the city center that are worth seeing. I love Alaska, so I’ll surely be back in Anchorage again.
- From $107.10 per night8.1Very Good364 reviews
Location and kitchen facility. Safeway is just nearby with a good membership gas station. Laundry is open 24H. Besides, Aptel offers luggage deposit service. We stayed two days from July 31, then we went to Kenai and left our luggages in hotel. Thus our SUV became more comfortable for 6 people. The front-desk staff, Jennifer, was very kind to help us in the morning on Aug. 2 when we first checked out. We came back on Aug. 5 and left Anchorage next day. It is just 9 miles from the hotel to the airport.
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What To Do In Valdez
Valdez has a lot to offer for adventure seekers.
Theres plenty to do on the nearby Chugach Mountains which are blanketed with more than 600 inches of snow every year from snowcat and heli-skiing to ice-climbing on frozen waterfalls.
If youre visiting in the summer, you can also do a helicopter tour or glacier cruise and kayak or hike this town many beautiful natural areas.
Check out my Valdez Guide with 21 fantastic things to do in Valdez for more.
We stayed at this AirBNB which was the cutest A-Frame!
If youve never used AirBNB before, you can book through this link for $65 off your first trip!
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Day : Sightseeing In Kenai Fjords
Today, youll board a sightseeing tour in Seward that will take you out into Kenai Fjords National Park. As the name suggests, these fjords are massive waterways that are home to some of Alaskas greatest sea life, including humpback and orca whales, seabirds like puffins, and plenty of otters.
My preferred tour provider in Seward is Major Marine Tours, though there are others to choose from. Ive taken several tours with Major Marine Tours over the ages and put together a review of two different tours Ive done recently: the 6-hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise and the 8.5 Hour Kenai Fjords Northwestern Fjord Cruise.
As this tour will take up most of your day, the rest of the day can be spent at your leisure. For dinner, try The Cookery. Ive never been, but it has rave reviews on TripAdvisor and Ive heard great things from past Alaska travelers in my .
Accommodation Resources for Day 7
- Stay another night at your Seward accommodation.
Girdwood Portage And Seward
After leaving Anchorage, your first stop on this road trip will be in Girdwood. Girdwood is only 40 miles away from Anchorage courtesy of AK-1 S, meaning that itll take under an hour to get you to your destination. Here, youll be able to visit the Alaska Wildlife Center. Alternatively, you can spend your early morning hiking around Portage Glacier before getting lunch in town.
In the afternoon, make your way over to Seward. This drive will take just under two hours, as Seward rests some 90 miles away from Girdwood. You dont have to explore Seward in the evening, but if you have the energy, you can take advantage of the gorgeous waterfront views the city boasts.
Youll have the whole of your second day in Alaska to explore Seward. Youll need it, too. The Seward Marina and Sealife Center are both teeming with wildlife. The local Exit Glacier area also makes for great mid-day hiking. Once youve worn yourself out on the natural features of the area, you can head back into town for a peaceful dinner.
On the last day of your trip , make your way up to Lowell Point in the early morning. From here, youll be able to look out over the Pacific Ocean and whale watch. Once youre finished, you can drive an hour and 44 minutes over to Girdwoods Alyeska Resort, where youll be able to enjoy a luxurious meal and snowy ski slopes.
If you do have time to stay in Seward for an extra day, make sure to book a cruise to the Kenai Fjords!
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Make Anchorage Your Base
Anchorage, Alaskas largest city with a population of about 290,000, sits on the Cook Inlet in the south-central part of the state. A 5½-hour flight from LAX, it offers visitors a variety of hotels, restaurants and museums. But its still wild enough that you might see a moose bolt across a city street, as I once did.
Anchorage sits at the geographic center of a range of adventure activities, with the glacier-clad Chugach Mountains rising to the east and volcanoes spiking the horizon across the inlet to the west.
Keep in mind one challenge travelers face everywhere this year: Car rentals are in short supply. Choose your hotel location carefully bunking in downtown Anchorage means there are plenty of restaurants, breweries and cafés within walking distance.
Canyoneering involves moving up and down steep slot canyons, using climbing, crawling and rappelling. And, in my case, praying, cursing and regretting my decision to leave L.A.
The excellent Anchorage Museum features the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, a collection of Indigenous Alaska artifacts, and through Nov. 28, an intriguing exhibit, Black Lives in Alaska. You can also visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center outside Anchorage, said Golden. It offers a fantastic introduction to native culture, with all the major tribes represented.
Getting Around In Alaska Road Trip Or Railroad
One of the biggest decisions youll face planning for your Alaska Itinerary is how youre going to get around. You can definitely visit Alaska without a car by utilizing the Alaska Railroad. Sometimes there is also bus service available. The routes vary quite a bit from year to year, generally bus service is available at least between Anchorage and Denali.
The Alaska Railroad is expensive as well as a wonderful adventure and the entire trip is absolutely gorgeous. If youre going to spend more than a day in Denali National Park, or if youre a solo traveler, you might save money by taking the Alaska Railroad instead of renting a car. You cannot drive in most of Denali National Park so your expensive rental car will be parked for the days you travel into the park.
Renting a car is also expensive but also gives you lots of flexibility. It is more economical with a family or group of friends traveling together. If you are renting a car, do not attempt to do a one way road trip, this will cost an additional $800-$1000 for a one way rental in Alaska .
With a car, you can stop anywhere you want for as long as you want, and its easier to carry food with you and get to the grocery store.
It is critical to get reservations for either a rental car or the Alaska Railroad well in advance.
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North Pole And Delta Junction
Most other Alaska road trip itineraries will have you turn around after Fairbanks and head straight back to Anchorage the exact same way you came. But I think its silly to retrace your steps.
Theres a lot to see if you continue heading southeast and loop back around to Anchorage via Routes 2 & 4. First up is the town of North Pole. Get it? North Pole, Alaska!
Much like the city of Santa Claus, Indiana, the town of North Pole, Alaska looks like Christmas all year long. In this adorable town, you can visit the worlds largest Santa Claus statue at Santa Claus House, a gift shop featuring holiday ornaments, fudge and cookies, and souvenirs. You can also get up close and personal inside the pen of reindeer outside the hours.
Continue south on Route 2 for 90 minutes to the town of Delta Junction and take a lunch break. This town has a grocery store and at least five restaurants to choose from.
After Delta Junction, youll be looking at three hours of driving until Wrangell-St. Elias. Some of this stretch will be monotonous. Other parts will have cool views of mountains and the Alaska Pipeline meandering over hillsides.
PRO TIP: Because this part of the state is more remote, its great for large animals. Keep an eye out for wildlife I saw lots of moose just off the road in this part of the state.
And if youve never used Airbnb, this might be a good area to give it a shot! There are several properties in this area you can book.