About Anchorage

Anchorage is a unique destination located in one of the world’s most spectacular settings – Alaska.  Recognized as a four-time All-America City, Anchorage is a modern city surrounded by spectacular wilderness with adventures just steps from downtown.  The city possesses all the cultural amenities and activities one would expect from any urban center, but this one just happens to be surrounded by wilderness of mountains and valleys, glaciers and fjords, active and inactive volcanoes. Anchorage is known as both the “City of Lights” (winter) and the “City of Flowers” (summer). During summer the days seem endless. Dazzling displays of flowers adorn homes and storefronts, live music fills the air, while king and silver salmon are caught right downtown in Ship Creek. At first mention, Anchorage may stir up visions of igloos and Eskimos, but Alaska’s largest city is nothing like that at all. Much warmer than you may think, Anchorage sees an average temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) in the summer.

An area teeming with activity and filled with high-rise buildings, businesses, restaurants and hotels, Downtown allows you to experience both the historic and the modern within the space of several blocks. From the small log cabin that houses the ACVB Log Cabin Visitor Information Center, you will find yourself in view of such hotels as the landmark Captain Cook Hotel, the Anchorage Marriott and the Hilton Anchorage.  Nearby, the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts offers local and international opera, theater, dance, chorus and symphony performances. From that building’s second floor, take the Fifth Avenue skyway to overlook the town square as you walk toward the Egan Convention Center. Here you’ll also find the Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall. Finally, don’t miss Captain Cook’s Resolution Park platform at the Inlet’s edge. With the telescope available, you can close the 120-mile gap between yourself and Mt. McKinley and see why this 20,320-foot mountain is referred to as the “Great One.”

Facts about Anchorage

291,826. Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city with 41 percent of the state’s population. Note: Alaskans are very friendly. Do not be alarmed if residents smile and greet you or offer assistance; they only want you to have a great time!

Time Zone
Anchorage, and virtually all of Alaska, is in Alaska Standard Time, one hour behind Pacific Standard Time and four hours behind Eastern Standard Time.

Anchorage stretches from Portage Glacier to Eklutna, encompassing 1,961 sq. miles (507,923 hectares) – about the size of the state of Delaware.

Anchorage sits at the base of the Chugach Mountains along the coast of Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska. Alaska is actually the northern, western and easternmost point in the United States. The Aleutian Chain extends into the Eastern Hemisphere.

Sales Tax
There is no sales tax in Anchorage.

You can see the Chugach, Kenai, Talkeetna, Tordrillo, Aleutian and Alaska mountain ranges from Anchorage. Mount McKinley, 130 miles (208 km) north of downtown, can be seen on clear days. This 20,320-foot peak is the tallest mountain in North America.

Earthquake Evidence
The Good Friday Earthquake shook all of South-central Alaska on March 27, 1964. It is the strongest ever recorded in North America, measuring 9.2 on the Richter Scale.

There are approximately 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, 60 of which are within 50 miles of Anchorage. Portage Glacier, just 45 miles (72 km) south of downtown, is one of the most visited attractions in all of Alaska.

Alaska has about one registered pilot for every 58 residents, six times as many pilots per capita and 14 times as many airplanes per capita as the rest of the United States.

Electrical Service
Outlets in Alaska are 110 volts, 60 AC – the same as the rest of the United States.

Read more about Anchorage on Travel Alaska’s website.

Things to see & do in and around Anchorage

Summer comes to Anchorage ushering in the warmth of days without ends, really, as summer solstice arrives and the sun only barely sets on the distant horizon, Anchorage becomes a literal buzz of activity 24 hours a day. Anchorage at this time of year is appropriately called the “City That Never Sleeps”.

Ship Creek Salmon Fishing Derby – The King Salmon Slam’n Derby held in June on Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage is one of the most popular fishing derby’s in Alaska. Stop by Ship Creek in Downtown Anchorage and watch the anglers compete for cash and prizes.

Delaney Park Strip comes alive in the summer with countless music festivals and celebrations

Anchorage Museum, Alaska’s largest museum is the best way to experience Alaska’s art, history, science and culture. The Alaska Gallery provides a glimpse into the state’s rich history while its collections of Alaska art showcase renowned artists.

Alaska Heritage Aviation Museum is a tribute to Alaska’s colorful bush pilots and their faithful planes. Housed inside are 25 planes along with historic photos and displays of pilots’ achievements, from the first flight to Fairbanks (1913) to the early history of Alaska Airlines.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center, a renowned cultural center and museum in Anchorage, is an exciting place where all people can come to expand their understanding of Alaska’s first people.

Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit organization founded to operate, promote and maintain a four-theatre complex which serves as a social and cultural meeting place.

Anchorage Coastal & Wildlife Refuge stretches 16 miles between Point Woronzof and Potter Creek. Its extensive tidal flats, marsh communities, and alder-bog forest are home to the greatest variety of birds in the Anchorage area.  The refuge’s best known section is Potter Marsh, located south of Anchorage on the New Seward highway.