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Anchorage Travel Guide

Inside Scoop From Anchorage Locals

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Anchorage OVERVIEW
Moose stroll through town. Residents bike to work at 20 below zero. It takes more than an hour to drive from one end of town to the other—at highway speeds. Everything’s outsize in Alaska, including urban life. Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, has less than 300,000 metro-area residents. But at 1,955 square miles (as big as Delaware) with the Chugach Mountains to the east, the platinum waters of Cook Inlet west, more than a half-million acres of wilderness (inside the municipal limits), 223 parks and 250 miles of off-street recreation trail, it’s obvious what sets Alaska’s unofficial capital apart. “Big Wild Life,” the city’s tourism slogan, is sometimes thought to refer to the notoriously rowdy atmosphere found during February’s Fur Rendezvous and the March start of the Iditarod—understandable, but woefully incomplete. Nor does the general image of Alaska as a hurly-burly, conservative, backwoods redoubt apply to Anchorage. It’s a cosmopolitan place whose residents consider artisan beer, ...See More drive-through espresso, live-music taverns and outdoor recreation quasi-religious necessities. Where else is bicycle commuting in midwinter on cross-country ski trails a central fact of city life? Anchorage claims to have invented the studded, knobby tires for winter biking so avidly pursued by thousands. What other major city offers the chance to play golf at midnight in midsummer? Residents are accustomed to regular sightings of wild moose (1,000 of which live inside the city limits), enjoy some of the finest seafood on earth, embrace superb local brewpubs, coffee roasters and museums, and adapt to winter and summer as gifts, rather than seasons. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage Museum, Alaska Railroad, Chugach State Park, Alyeska Resort, Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria, Marx Brothers Café—are among the best of their kind in the country. For a place that perfectly blends outdoors and urban life, there’s none better than Anchorage. See Less
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