Welcome to Anchorage, AK!
Welcome to Alaska, the 49th state! The largest state in land but one of the smallest in population, Alaska is a fascinating blend of nature, culture, history, art & survivalist. Anchorage is the closest to a big city you get in this big giant state. A blend of food, art & culture surrounded by everything from glaciers to national parks. There is lots of unique things to see and do - whether it be a museum, a fjord, interesting food, or just getting to know the friendly locals, its a fascinating piece of the US. It’s time to take on the Last Frontier and see what it’s all about!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Anchorage, AK
Alaska is home to unparalleled experiences and extremes that only exist in this far off piece of land. Where else can you walk on a glacier, or have the chance to meet a moose? Protections were set in place over a hundred years ago to keep this beautiful land pristine. Get ready for incredible and unparalleled adventure in the 49th state!
Finding Your Way
The best way to get around Alaskan cities is by foot or car. You'll find that the compact downtown areas are easy to navigate without wheels but only as long as you're in the city proper. Most of the major cities do have public transportation, like the People Mover bus system in Anchorage, or MACS in Fairbanks. But to get to the really cool stuff, you're going to want a car...or even a biplane!
To get to downtown Anchorage from Ted Stevens Anchorage Int'l Airport, you can drive, take a Lyft/Uber, or take the city bus. It’s about 7 miles to downtown hotels from the airport and some shuttle service. Most likely a rental car is your best bet while exploring unless Anchorage is just a stop on your way to the next part of the Alaskan frontier.
The U.S. purchased Alaska from the Russians in 1867, but it wasn't granted statehood until 1959! The Gold rushes of the 1890s would bring thousands of miners and settlers to the area, changing the state forever. During WWII, the location of Alaska led to the building of many military facilities, so don't be surprised if you see lots of soldiers around. In 1964, the "Good Friday earthquake" caused significant damage to Anchorage and other towns. This damage to a new state caused a renaissance, causing it to rebuild while maintaining what makes this state so unique. Thanks to the long history but short age, you'll find this amazing tourist destination devoid of cheesy tourist traps.
Why Am I Here?
Where else can you meet a moose, walk on a glacier and visit a vast national park all in one place?! Anchorage is a great home base while you explore this part of the country. A little bit of city, tons of nature, your eyes will never run out of fascinating things to observe & take in! It's all the comforts of home with the excitement of the last frontier.
In a state as large as Alaska, the weather can varies dramatically. Summer comes from May to September moving north, carried along by lengthening daylight hours. By July temperatures in the interior can reach well into the 90s while coastal areas rarely get above 65°! The display of fall colors is a feast for the eyes. Winter lasts from October through March. Climate change is causing warmer temps however. For this reason, tourists are flocking to the area to see the glaciers before they melt away.
Salmon! Smoked, raw, cured, jerky and even candy. All the seafood in Alaska is a showstopper. Everything is fresh caught and delicious. Reindeer hot dogs and sausages are pretty popular as well. Sourdough bread was brought from California during the Gold Rush, and has become a staple. You might want to try a moose burger too, just because you can!
Check out some of the Alaska native art. Native carvings are popular, as well as fur pieces like mukluk boots. Jade is popular too. Glacier mud is a great gifts for your spa-loving friends. And salmon candy? Yes please! But our favorite, if you're checking a bag, are ULU knives.
The people of Alaska dress in layers. Inner layers, insulating layers, and outer layers. All for warmth and protection from the elements. You will see everyone wearing waterproof boots or hiking boots, fleece or down vests, good socks, and a sprinkling of merchandise from the local brewery.
Facts: If a map of Alaska was put over a map of the lower 48, it would stretch all the way from Savannah to Los Angeles! In Alaska, winter nights are long and summer nights are short. And it is always dry. The northern lights, or the aurora borealis, can be seen when the sky is clear and dark.