How to Spend 1 Glorious Day in Anchorage

You: I have one day in Anchorage, Alaska, what should I do?

Alaskan Sights and Bites: Hold our collective beer — we’ve got you covered!

So, you’re in Anchorage for the day and you’re looking for something to do. Rather than just spending the day roaming the streets looking for good spots to eat, drink, and take in the local sights, we’d like to help ensure you have a glorious day in Anchorage, making the most of your time here. 

A little background on us… We are Alaskan Sights and Bites, a tour operator based in Anchorage. We’re locals who realized we loved showing visitors about our city and giving folks like you a taste of the local Alaskan cuisine. If anything we cover in this guide inspires you to spend some of your precious Anchorage time with us, then check out our Small-Group Anchorage Excursions and read a little more about us.

Even if you don’t explore Anchorage with us, we still want you to have a great time, so this guide will also include plenty of information about places and activities that have nothing to do with us.

Disclaimer: Depending on when you read this, some activities we mention may not be available. Alaska is so far north that we get Winter with a capital W! It’s worth coming here at any time of year, but the available activities change, so be prepared. 

Take a Morning Walk in Chugach State Park

chugach mountains matanuska river valley

We find that most people who visit Alaska want to sample our great outdoors. People seem to have got it into their heads that Alaska’s parks, mountains, and woods are worth checking out… This reputation is absolutely deserved and Anchorage is perfectly positioned as it’s just a short drive from Anchorage to Chugach State Park. 

To some locals, the park is like our collective backyard, with miles and miles of hiking trails of differing difficulties. If this is your first time in Chugach, choose an easier route so that you can be sure you don’t get lost. After all, you need to get back into Anchorage for some food to satisfy that appetite you’ve just worked up!

Take an Anchorage Food and City Tour With Us!

Alaskan tour

You’re back in Anchorage and you’re hungry for two things… hearty food and local culture. That’s where we come in, as we’ve developed a Half-day Anchorage City Tour that serves up both in abundance. 

On this tour, you’ll be driven around Anchorage, learning about the city while also sampling our local fare. Anchorage’s position on the coast means we have some incredible seafood and the wilderness around us provides bountiful game, with local delicacies like reindeer sausage that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. 

This tour will leave you with a smile on your face, a full belly, and an understanding of local buildings, culture, and smatterings of history. Anchorage isn’t small enough to cover everything in this time, but we do a fine job of covering the bases!

Local Food in Anchorage

open raw oysters

If you don’t fancy our food and city tour, you’re still gonna need some grub to get you through the day. Head Anchorage for a taste of local cuisine. The city is home to lots of restaurants, cafes, and diners that celebrate Alaska’s culinary culture, but nothing screams Anchorage quite like seafood. 

Try the renowned Kincaid Grill and Wine Bar to try their seafood — all caught fresh and locally, so the menu changes with the seasons (and customer demands). For a totally different vibe, check out Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse for big portions of fish and chips, salmon and scallop fettuccine, and a whopping 1lb of steamed clams in white wine and cream. And anyone who doesn’t love seafood will find delicious steaks and burgers in both venues. 

It’s perhaps a little unfair to offer just two restaurants here, but there are so many great eats in Anchorage that we’d be here all day if we wanted to do it justice. 

Take a Spenard Food and Crime Walking Tour

Spenard and Anchorage had historically been considered separate cities before the unification of the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Borough in 1975. This means that Spenard has its own flavor — especially in terms of local history. 

We designed our Spenard Food & True Crime Walking Tour to help guests get a sense of the story. We’re storytellers first and foremost. We also take you to some of the best spots for food in Spenard. 

This tour explores dark themes and stories, and we enjoy a few strong drinks, which means that it’s not suitable for children. We look at the ‘60s and ‘70s in Spenard as the rapidly growing population brought rise to crime, mobsters, bikers, OH MY! We don’t glorify any of the historical crime and violence in Spenard (we say “historical” because it’s a much safer place now), but we also don’t shy away from telling the gritty truth of Spenard’s wilder days. 

This is the local history you won’t find in the guidebooks!

Some More Anchorage Highlights to See in One Day

There are too many great things to see in Anchorage to adequately cover everything here. So we’ll write down a few highlights below:

  • Anchorage Market and Festival — If you’re visiting on a weekend, explore the market for local crafts, food, and entertainment.
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center — Just a 40-minute drive south, you can see native Alaskan wildlife in a natural setting, including bears, moose, and caribou.
  • Alaska Native Heritage Center — Learn about Alaska’s native cultures through traditional dance, art, and exhibits.
  • Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum — Explore the history of aviation in Alaska, including some jaw-dropping vintage aircrafts.

That’s all we have time for today. We hope you’ve now got a slightly-too-full list of things to do during your 1-day visit to Anchorage. If you have any questions about the tours we mentioned on this blog, please get in touch. And if you’d like us to create a personalized experience for you, consider our Tailor-made Anchorage Tours!