Cruising to Anchorage, Alaska, is a dream come true for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and culture fans alike. Anchorage, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and unique blend of urban and wilderness experiences, offers a plethora of activities for cruise travelers. Whether you’re embarking on a short stopover or planning an extended stay, here’s a detailed guide to help you make the most of your time in Anchorage.
1. Discover Downtown Anchorage
Start your Anchorage, Alaska adventure by exploring the vibrant downtown area. Visit the Anchorage Museum to learn about Alaska’s indigenous cultures, history, and art. Stroll along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains.
2. Take a Scenic Flightseeing Tour
One of the best ways to appreciate the grandeur of Anchorage, Alaska’s landscapes is by taking a flightseeing tour. These tours provide a bird’s-eye view of majestic glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and pristine wilderness areas. Some of them, like this one, even land on glaciers.
3. Explore Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or Alaska Zoo
Get up close to Alaska’s wildlife at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This nonprofit sanctuary offers a safe haven for injured and orphaned animals, including bears, moose, caribou, and eagles. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about the region’s diverse fauna. Or visit the Alaska Zoo, located on 25 acres of Alaskan hillside. The zoo is home to over 100 birds and mammals including bears of all kinds, mountain goats, otters, Eagles, tigers, leopards, seals, camel, moose and soo much more!
4. Embark on a Glacier Cruise
Since you’re in Anchorage, Alaska, you can’t miss the chance to witness the glaciers. Book a glacier cruise to experience the awe-inspiring sights of massive ice formations calving into the ocean. Hubbard Glacier and Prince William Sound are popular options. Some cruise ships can get closer than others to the glaciers. If you want to get even closer go on a specific glacier cruise like this one.
5. Visit the Anchorage Market and Festival
If your cruise schedule coincides with the weekend, don’t miss the Anchorage Market and Festival. This bustling open-air market features local crafts, delicious food vendors, live music, and a vibrant atmosphere.
6. Indulge in Local Cuisine
Anchorage boasts a thriving culinary scene with a focus on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Try Alaskan king crab, salmon, halibut, and reindeer sausage. Check out local eateries and breweries for a taste of authentic Alaskan flavors.
7. Hike in Chugach State Park
Adventure seekers will find paradise in Chugach State Park, offering a range of hiking trails suitable for all levels. For a challenging trek, consider the Flattop Mountain Trail, which rewards hikers with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
8. Experience Native Culture
Learn about Alaska’s indigenous cultures by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Here, you can engage with native artists, explore traditional dwellings, and participate in hands-on activities that showcase the rich heritage of the region.
9. Take a Wildlife Viewing Tour
Join a guided wildlife viewing tour to witness the diverse fauna that calls Alaska home. Keep an eye out for bears, eagles, whales, and other native animals in their natural habitats.
10. Relax at Alyeska Resort
If you’re looking for relaxation, consider a trip to the Alyeska Resort. Enjoy the scenic tram ride to the top of Mount Alyeska, indulge in spa treatments, and savor gourmet dining while surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.
11. Bike The Coastal Trail
Rent a bike and pedal along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This scenic trail takes you over forested hills, coastal marshes, and one of the most transformed landscapes of Anchorage. You can explore the trail on your own or go through a guided company such as this one. You likely will encounter wildlife, such as moose or eagles. And it crosses over some of the worst damage from the 1964 earthquake.
12. Ride The Train
Alaska wouldn’t be Alaska without the Alaska Railroad. The train brought Alaska together by linking far apart towns. You can board the train in Anchorage and head to Seward, Prince William Sound, Denali, Talkeetna and Fairbanks. A fantastic day trip while in Alaska is the Glacier Discovery Train to Spencer Whistle Stop. It stops at many places that are only accessible by train!
Anchorage, Alaska, offers an array of unforgettable experiences for cruise travelers.
From exploring glaciers and partaking in outdoor adventures to immersing yourself in local culture and cuisine, the city has something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you’re seeking thrills, relaxation, or education, Anchorage’s unique blend of urban amenities and natural wonders will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Make the most of your cruise stopover by embracing the beauty and charm of this remarkable destination.
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Cruising Alaska Blog Series currently includes all about cruising to Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, and Seward. And coming soon: Haines, and Whittier. Be sure to subscribe to be notified when the posts are available!
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