Spontaneous travel experiences are often the most fun, but with so many adventures to have in Anchorage preparation is key. Planning ahead and having an idea of what to expect will help you focus on the real reason you’re going to Anchorage: the great people and the great outdoors. Be sure to read this while planning your trip to this spectacular port city in Alaska.

Interesting options for getting to Anchorage

There are non-stop flights available from six U.S. cities that fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, a short bus ride away from downtown. Anchorage can also be reached by driving through British Columbia, but be aware that you will need a passport to travel through Canada.

Taking a cruise line will allow travelers to see the beauty of Alaska with glaciers, mountain ranges, and the open ocean in full view.

A consistent accommodation scene

Visitors have a reliable and diverse choice of places to stay in Anchorage, including hostels for budget travelers. Everything from major hotels in downtown to great independent hostels are an option. Be sure to book in advance. Hotels are often full during the summer and independent lodgings may close in the off-season.

Fun for all seasons

4th Street in downtown Anchorage

Anchorage may be warm in the summer but winter gear may be necessary. In the mountains or out on the water, visitors should prepare for changes in temperature by bringing extra layers and a raincoat. If you’re planning on traveling to Anchorage during a shoulder season, choose autumn before the snow has fallen and the days are still relatively long.

Winter is the perfect time to experience Anchorage’s seasonal traditions, like the two-week long Fur Rondy. Keep an eye out for the Running of the Reindeer and traditional dog sled racing, a couple of the liveliest activities.

About all of those Anchorage experiences

Visitors to this Alaskan city will get the best of both worlds: a thriving downtown area with shopping and nightlife alongside outdoor adventure and unique wildlife. Proximity to the sea means feasting on locally-caught seafood at one of the many restaurants around town. Head to Midtown Anchorage, home to some of the best eateries in the city.

Flattop Mountain

Take a Hike up Flattop Mountain for beautiful views. The mountain is 13 miles from downtown but for those without a car, there is a regular shuttle bus that takes you to the start of the hike and back.

Camping and fishing are popular pursuits. Catch your own king salmon or see moose running through the outdoors while you really get in touch with the outdoors. To get in touch with the past, a trip to the Native Heritage Center in the northeast part of the city allows travelers to learn more about the first inhabitants of Alaska.

cruising through the woods

Getting around in Anchorage is challenging without a car, but there are bus services for the local area and taxis for going farther afield. The city is bike-friendly and has more than 120 miles of urban trails to explore, so it’s worth getting at least a bike rental at the start of your trip.

Alyssa is a freelance writer, perpetual traveler, and lover of all things related to cheese, chocolate and wine – though never at the same time. Currently, she’s based in London and working with Hipmunk on their #CityLove campaign.

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