Whether you dream of hugging a husky, trekking alpine terrain, or immersing yourself in local heritage and culture — a trip to Anchorage is a must for every Alaskan adventurer.
With so much on offer, it can be hard to choose. So, to make things a little easier, we’ve handpicked some of the best things to see and do during your visit, below. But if you just want one thing to do in Anchorage, we think our Anchorage Walking Tour for Foodies is the best way to get a taste for the city (we’re not sorry for the pun).
Have a Drink at the Birdhouse Inside Chilkoots
If you like to have a drink or two when soaking up the vibes of a city, Anchorage has you covered. The Birdhouse is a bar within a bar that pays homage to a famous local bar that burned down in 1996.
The Birdhouse had always been a unique place, with its floor covered in sawdust and peanut shells, and although it was always a small venue, it was always packed out. The birdhouse was an Anchorage staple and the locals missed it after the fire.
So, in 2011, the owner of Chilkoots (another local bar) decided to recapture the Birdhouse magic within Koots, creating his own version of it. This bar is as quirky as they get, with a lot of bawdy humor to go with it — so it’s not for the faint-hearted or easily offended.
For us, the strangest thing about the Birdhouse is the slanted bar. We’re not kidding: if you let go of your drink it may just slide the whole way along and off the end…
Fish for Salmon at Ship Creek
Any keen fishers reading are probably considering a trip to Alaska entirely because we have some of the best fishing in all of North America. While we aren’t fishing experts here at Alaskan Sights and Bites, we’re still Anchorage locals and we know a thing or two.
One of the most popular fishing spots in Anchorage is Ship Creek. It’s popular because visitors can fish for both king salmon and silver salmon. Needless to say, but some of the salmon here are so big that just one catch will result in potentially two dinner’s worth of delicious fish. Summer is the best time to fish for salmon, so plan your trip accordingly.
Watch a Movie at the Bear Tooth Theater Pub
If all this running around, partying, and fishing in Anchorage is tiring you out, you might like to chill out by watching a movie at the Bear Tooth Theater Pub.
No ordinary cinema, the Bear Tooth Theater Pub offers drinks, burgers, pizza, and various other classic pub fare, and you can have all of this while watching the movie. This is a great way to recharge your batteries between bigger outdoor adventures in Anchorage.
Go to a Spenard 2nd Saturday
Every month, on the 2nd Saturday, a neighborhood of Anchorage comes alive with festivities. This is the ‘Spenard 2nd Saturday’ and if you’re visiting Anchorage on the second Saturday of the month, you have to attend.
At Spenard 2nd Saturday, you’ll experience local food, local art, local music, and various other delights, it’s hard to summarize here. This is an authentic local experience, which is 100% our jam here at Alaskan Sights and Bites!
Cross Country Ski at Kincaid Park
Are you the outdoors type? Are you rugged and drawn to Alaska to prove to yourself and the doubters that you are the most rugged (ruggedest?) adventurer around? Well, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Looking for a great way to experience the beautiful Alaskan wilderness while also getting some exercise in the process?
If you’re visiting Anchorage in the winter and you’re looking for an adventure, why not try cross-country skiing at Kincaid Park? This epic park offers 20+ miles of groomed trails for skiers of all levels.
Anchorage Downtown First Friday Art Walk
Not to be confused with Spenard 2nd Saturday, this event takes place in Downtown Anchorage on the first Friday of each month. Different neighborhood and a different day, but that same local Anchorage personality.
The Downtown First Friday Art Walk is a monthly event that takes place in downtown Anchorage. Visitors can enjoy local art galleries, restaurants, and shops, all while taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Spenard Food Truck Carnival
The Spenard Food Truck Carnival is another popular event that takes place in the Spenard neighborhood. And, like most things in Anchorage, this also revolved around food.
From April onwards, the Spenard Food Truck Carnival occurs on Saturdays and Thursdays between 11am and 2pm. The carnival features local food trucks and live music, making it a great place to enjoy a meal and while drinking in the local culture and atmosphere.
Alyeska Slush Cup
The Alyeska Slush Cup is another winter event that any fans of fun and shenanigans should do their best not to miss. So, what is The Alyeska Slush Cup?
Skiers and snowboarders race down a slope and attempt to skim across a pond of icy water at the bottom. Participants are marked on the distance they can skim along the water. Simply put, this is a thrilling event that’s sure to provide plenty of laughs and entertainment.
Broadway Shows at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
If you’re a fan of plays, musicals, and other performing arts, the Performing Arts Center in Anchorage hosts a variety of Broadway shows and other performances throughout the year. As the shows are always changing, it’s pointless for us to list some of the most exciting shows as you may be reading this in a few months time.
Whatever you may choose to watch at the Center for the Performing Arts ‘s a great way to experience the arts scene in Anchorage while also enjoying some top-notch entertainment.
Anchorage Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge
The Anchorage Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge is an annual event that takes place in the winter. Participants jump into the freezing waters of Goose Lake to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Usually, this event takes place in December, but things may change. One thing you can count on though: the Polar Bear Plunge happens in the Winter! It’s a fun and unique way to support a great cause and get your adrenaline pumping, so keep your eyes peeled and sight up ahead of time if you’re visiting Anchorage in Winter!
What Fun Things Will You Do in Anchorage, AK?
With so many great things to see and do in Anchorage, you really are spoilt for choice. And while we couldn’t include all the amazing activities on offer, we hope this guide has sparked some inspiration for your next trip!
If you’re ready to take the next step in your Alaskan adventure, check out the range of private tours of Anchorage and group guided tours of Anchorage we have on offer. And please get in touch with us if you have any questions.