Salmon fishing, whale watching, kayaking… there are water adventure opportunities abound in Alaska. But don’t go there thinking that there’s not much to do on land. Because this is certainly not the case. Alaska has plenty of cool land activities to offer and things to do.
Anchorage is an excellent place to begin a tour of Alaska. One of the very charming things that you’ll notice right away about Anchorage is the visitor’s center: a log cabin with a sod roof. That’s right, grass grows right up out of the roof. You’ll also find the historic City Hall, which opened in 1936 and today houses an interesting display of early Anchorage. From the City Hall, you can take a guided Historic City tour to explore Anchorage’s roots. Don’t forget to check out the 4th Avenue Theater, which is a beautiful display of Art Deco style architecture.
Now before you embark on any outdoor adventures in Anchorage, make sure to visit the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers’ Co-Op. Here you’ll find products made from qiviut, (pronounced kiv-ee-ute) which is the luxuriously soft undercoat of the musk ox. This wool is said to be of equal weight as sheep’s wool, be a whole 8 times warmer! This is why the wool has been woven into garments by natives of western Alaska for many years.
Now once you are geared up in your new qiviut gear, you’re ready to do some outdoor exploring in Anchorage. You’ll find several different great places to go for an invigorating hike here, the most popular of which is Flattop Mountain. This hike consists of a 1.5 mile steep trail. Once you make it to the top, you are rewarded with a glorious panoramic view of Anchorage.
One of the coolest things about Anchorage is that it is a modern metropolis that is located right in the heart of the wilderness. This means that while you have the opportunity to visit modern attractions such as the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and the Alaska Museum of Natural History, you are also just a step away from Alaska’s unique wildlife in its natural habitat. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a non-profit organization, is a wonderful place to visit to learn more about the animals of this chilly climate. Here you have the chance to get personal with grizzly bears, wood bison, coyotes, salmon, bald eagles, deer, elk, and others across a 65-acre terrain.
From Anchorage, you can continue your tour of Alaska by traveling south on the Seward Highway. This is a wonderful way to glimpse the rugged beauty of Alaska. The highway is a National Scenic Byway that passes through Alaska’s spectacular countryside. You’ll pass by the muddy waters of the Turnagain Arm, and icy blue glaciers that appear to hang precariously, almost tumbling into the sea. You’ll find little hidden waterfalls and clusters of wildflowers around every bend. The Seward Highway offers a look into the amazing geography, geology, and climate that is the land of Alaska.