Spenard Food & True Crime Walking Tour

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  • 3.5 Hours
  • Wed-Sat (weekly)
  • Walking Tour
  • Content WarningSuitable for 21 and over.

Spenard Food & True Crime Walking Tour

Picture the scene. It’s the late 1960s and early 1970s in Alaska. Pipeline construction has brought money flooding into the state. Anchorage is a wild and dangerous city. It’s a beacon of opportunity for working men and women from all over the country. It doesn’t take long for Anchorage’s population to double in size — and the crime rate duly booms too!

Brothels, bars, clubs, and gambling joints pop up overnight. Alcohol and drugs rain from the sky, fueling an already-raging fire. Plenty of people live in the fast lane, pulling in huge paychecks. Mobsters, prostitutes, bikers, and con artists set their sights on them, wanting a cut of the money for themselves.

All this debauchery set the scene for some remarkable stories, and we share the dirty details on this half-day tour in Anchorage. This excursion explores the city’s seedy underbelly during this notorious era, with most attention focused on the notorious Spenard neighborhood — the epicenter of it all.

This Spenard True Crime Tour covers some of the history and people mentioned in Johnny’s Girl, the nationally acclaimed memoir by Kim M. Rich. This fascinating book tells the tale of an ordinary girl living an extraordinary childhood in Anchorage, AK, during this time.

Kim’s father, John F. “Johnny” Rich, was a major player in the underworld of Anchorage in the 1960s. Her mother was Frances “Ginger” Rich, an exotic dancer and B-girl who suffered from mental illness. Kim’s father was brutally murdered when she was 15, a consequence of his lifestyle. This true story is the perfect companion piece for this Alaska food tour.

On this Anchorage half-day tour, we spend 3.5 hours walking this infamous neighborhood eating good food, having strong drinks, and exploring the true crime history of the city’s underground. We then end our night with drinks at one of the most famous bars in Alaskan history.

This 21 and older Anchorage food tour is not for the faint of heart, children, or the pious. While we do talk about factual, true crime events, which were terrible, our guides do not go into graphic detail. Our goal is to maintain an accurate retelling of historical events tastefully and intriguingly.

For more information about this one-of-a-kind walking food and drink tour, please feel free to get in touch.

Are you looking for more stories about Alaska’s past and present? Browse our full range of guided tours in Anchorage and the surrounding areas.

CONTENT WARNING:

This tour includes stories and factual true crime events that some may find disturbing and/or shocking.

Trip Details

Departure Time

2pm

Meeting Point

The Blue Market AK

1406 West 31st Avenue

Anchorage, AK 99503

Availability

This tour is offered from Wednesday to Saturday weekly.

Duration

3.5 hours

Group Size

Minimum of 2, maximum of 10 guests per group

*Our tours generally meet the required minimum, but occasionally we must cancel or reschedule a tour if we don’t have enough guests to meet that minimum.

Content Warning

This tour includes stories that some may find disturbing. While we do talk about factual true crime events which were terrible, guides do not go into graphic detail. Our goal is to maintain an accurate retailing of historical events in a tasteful and intriguing manner.

Age Requirement

21 and older

This tour is R rated, it is not suitable for children.

Fitness Requirements

All guests should be able to maintain an average adult walking pace — this includes the use of any wheelchairs on tour.

Map to Meeting Point

What to Expect

This tour kicks off when you join your engaging professional guide at a meeting point in the Spenard neighborhood in Anchorage. They’ll take you on a 3.5-hour guided walking tour through the heart of the neighborhood at a relaxed pace, with plenty of tasty stops along the way.

 

During your tour, you’ll visit some of the best locally-owned and operated small businesses in Anchorage and have the opportunity to try a wide range of regional and local favorite foods, drinks, and treats, including Alaskan cod tacos, a charcuterie board with locally sourced ingredients, and more! All the while, you will learn about the dark history of Anchorage in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

 

You’ll get a feel for the infamous Spenard neighborhood as you walk between the restaurants and shops we visit and each stop will last about 15 to 20 minutes. Rest assured as there’ll be plenty of chances to sit and relax as well. After soaking up the atmosphere of this one-of-a-kind city and neighborhood, picking up local insights and stories from your guide, and filling your bellies with local fare/drinks, this tour will finish at “Anchorage’s most notorious bar”.

Good to Know

  • *This tour requires moving on your own or with assistance (wheelchair) for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. Though seating at establishments is often available, it is not guaranteed. This tour is not suitable for guests who cannot move or stand on their own or with assistance for a period of 3 - 4 hours. People with hip problems, knee issues or other mobility problems should not take the tour.
  • We ask that guests arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their tour departure time.
  • Warning: We are not responsible for any food allergies or restrictions. If you have any, it is up to you to make sure that the food you eat on our tours doesn't trigger your allergies. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to cater to those with special dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc.). The locations we visit and food we offer change frequently and sometimes with little notice. This makes it extremely difficult to make sure alternatives are available.
  • This tour operates regardless of weather, except in the case that an extreme weather advisory has been issued by state or federal authorities, or an unforeseen circumstance beyond our control. Please be prepared for all weather conditions.
  • We actively seek to understand and appreciate the diverse backgrounds of guests, employees, and partners. Encourage equal opportunities for all, promote open dialogue, and foster an inclusive environment that makes everyone feel valued and respected, regardless of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, age, identity, or any other characteristic.
  • Our tours have a required minimum number of guests in order to run. On rare occasions tours may be canceled if this tour is not met.

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Price
FromUSD$140
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