The outstanding collection at the Wells Fargo Museum was created in 1968 by the National Bank of Alaska and is dedicated to providing insight into native Alaskan culture and Alaskan history. It is one of the largest privately owned public displays within Alaska. The exhibits include artifacts as much as 2,000 years old, paintings from the best-known names in Alaskan history, hand-crafted baskets from each of the state's native groups, a collection of 1895 rifles, a collection of ivory carvings and more than 2,800 rare books about Alaska and its natives. Admission is free.
This coastal trail offers 11 miles (18 kilometers) of paved walking, skiing, biking and in-line skating heaven. It also provides unbelievable sunset views. Tony Knowles Coastal trail, built in honor of one of the city's former mayors and the former governor, is joined by many side trails that come from the midtown and south Anchorage districts. Along the way are mile and trail markers and, at Westchester Lagoon (one mile south of downtown), built-in fitness centers with pull-up bars, sit-up benches and general fitness information.
Kincaid Park is home to the city's largest moose population, but bipeds also enjoy the beauty of this former glacial area. With more than 1,400 acres (6.1 square kilometers), this wooded park has trails that wind throughout. Many interpretive sites and frequent postings allow for navigation through its beautiful, hilly expanse. You may access the park either from the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or by Raspberry Road. There is a large interpretive visitor's center available and many wide open areas where festivals are held. These trails are home to local and national skiing competitions and have also hosted Olympic tryouts.
In 1970 this magnificent area was declared a state park. Located within the municipality of Anchorage, Chugach State Park includes roughly 500,000 acres (202,343 hectares) of the Chugach Range and the surrounding landscape. The Eklutna Lake is the park's most unique proposition that beautifully mirrors the surrounding environs over its glassy surface. With a 5,000 foot (1,524 meters) vertical rise and three major campgrounds to the north of Anchorage, this wilderness area is filled with wildlife including moose, wolves, brown and black bears and more. It's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts offering a plethora of activities that allow one to get up, close and personal with nature.
Part of the Anchorage walking tour, this house was built by the self-proclaimed "18th person" to walk into Anchorage, Oscar Anderson, in 915. Restored in 1982, it is open for guided tours Memorial Day to Labor Day. At the museum one gets a glimpse of the life style of the Andersons, and learns more about the early history of Anchorage. Exhibits discuss a roughly ten-year period from 1915 to 1925. The home is directly adjacent to the paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail that follows the Inlet.
The main attraction at this multi-galleried museum is the Alaska Gallery, which features more than 1,000 pieces of history, artwork and photography by Alaskans. Five other galleries are housed in the downtown-area museum, showcasing a variety of temporary exhibits from all over the world, as well as a Children's Gallery that is sure to delight visiting families. Visitors to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center can also attend after-hours events, art classes, and lectures that are sure to spark the imagination.
This structure was moved in the 1920s from the tiny city of Knik, by horse and sleigh, 57 miles south to Anchorage. Church members began adding to the building (late 30s), but were interrupted by the war and did not complete its construction until 1952. A statue of a praying saint and a plaque commemorating Pope John Paul II's visit in 1981 are in front of this Cathedral. During the Pope's stay, he held a Mass attended by 50,000 people at the nearby park.
Nationally recognized muralist Wyland has painted a mural that is 400 feet in length and five stories in height (on the J.C. Penney's wall) depicting underwater whales with icebergs floating above them. The scene is particularly Alaskan because of the mountains of ice in the background and the fur seals shown resting on the icebergs. Elsewhere in the U.S., Wyland has painted humpback migrations and scenes of great blue whales (found in Pacific Coast cities along Hwy 101).
This one hour up-close-and personal glacier cruise brings you to the face of Portage Glacier. Narrated by a forest service representative, the cruise is informative and breathtakingly beautiful. Gaze up at this ancient wall of ice and witness it "calving," or sloughing off icebergs with its movements. A trip you will remember, the Ptarmigan boat and Portage Glacier are only a one-hour drive from Anchorage and reservations may be made online or by phone.
This 10-hour trip reveals Anchorage and the progress of its people and shows you Portage Glacier. The city tour explores the history and origins of Anchorage including details of the 9.2 earthquake in 1964. Explore the amazing Alaska Native Cultural Center with its eleven cultural groups displayed on 26-acres. Next, the unforgettable hour-long cruise to Portage Lake brings you face to the face with a glacier. A stop in Girdwood at the grand Westin Alyeska Prince Hotel. Tour prices: adults $108, children $54.
This large wooden platform offers terrific views of Cook Inlet (named for the man who discovered this waterway in 1778). A bust of Captain Cook and biographical and historical information are part of the monument. For 25 cents, visitors can peer through a telescope to look at Fire Island, Mt. Susitna or the Alaska Range across the Inlet. This is also a great way to get a closer view of the largest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet), 120 miles away. No admission is charged.
This is the town's center for many events and celebrations. During the summer, this flower-filled park hosts concerts and festivals; while in the winter, this is the location for some of the New Year's Eve fireworks and the town's Christmas tree lighting ceremony centers around the park's huge fir trees. This park has an outdoor amphitheater that holds 400 people where, strangely enough, even in winter the seats are filled during events and celebrations.