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.
Lives suddenly seem cheap. Violent crime and serial killings spill blood on the streets. Partying is a way of life. People are on their toes, trying to stay one step ahead of danger, cons, and scams.
But this is all normal for a boomtown in America. If this sounds like a thrill, then you’ll love joining us on a deep dive into Anchorage’s criminal history with a half-day food and drink tour like no other!
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 period.
Kim’s father, John F. “Johnny” Rich, was a major player in the underworld of Anchorage, Alaska, 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 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.
This tour includes stories and factual true crime events that some may find disturbing and/or shocking.
The Blue Market AK
1406 West 31st Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99503
This tour is offered from Wednesday to Saturday weekly.
Minimum of 2, maximum of 9 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.
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.
21 and older
This tour is R rated, it is not suitable for children.
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-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. From gourmet reindeer sausage and fresh seafood dishes to specialty handmade desserts and coffee, beer or wine, there’s something for every palate! All the while learning 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 just a few blocks away from the meeting point at a local eatery.