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Alaska Airlines Center, situated inside the University of Alaska Anchorage's campus is the home turf of the UAA Athletes. This multipurpose, indoor arena plays host to basketball, volleyball and gymnastic events throughout the year which is attended by sports enthusiasts in large numbers. Alaska Airline Center plays host to the iconic Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament conducted every Thanksgiving in which top college teams from Alaska participate.
Planes dating from 1924-1960 are located here, painstakingly restored, and situated next to recorded entries and information about their use and pilots. Pioneer aviators' gear and brief biographies are in the main building. Placard after placard relate stories of these aviation heroes, many of whose lives were ended prematurely by their dangerous occupation. WWII artifacts and accounts are here also, giving testament to the prominent role Alaska played during that war.
Spanning 110-acre (44.5 hectares), the Alaska Botanical Garden includes native perennials, an enclosed herb garden and an outdoor rock garden. Created in 1991 by volunteers, the garden has become an educational resource as well as a stunning showcase of Alaskan plants and wildflowers. Paths throughout allow for easy travel and a 1.2-mile (1.9 kilometer) hike provides views of the Chugach Mountains. One unusual feature is a still-used dog-mushing trail that travels through the garden.
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is remarkable for its programs, life-sized village displays, craft-making workstations and friendly, knowledgeable Alaskan Native staff. This museum presents 11 distinct cultural groups of Alaska within its 26 acres (10 hectares) and is a must-see for anyone interested in knowing Alaska's history and its native people's way of life. Located just ten minutes east of downtown, the grounds are bordered by the Chugach Mountains. Expect to be entranced by storytelling, drumming, hands-on crafts and Native dancers. A gift store and cafe are onsite.