Touristy things to do in Anchorage, Alaska


Original Post
Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488

So I'm flying here next weekend with my wife and meeting up with our inlaws. My wife and I will be there from Friday morning to Monday and my inlaws Saturday to Monday. What are short day trips suggestions are there for us to do. I've looked into deep sea fishing for Sunday morning after my inlaws arrive. Is there any cool easy day trips we can do that's drive able from anchorage or do something with a tour company? Nothing to physical because my inlaws will probably be tired from all the flying.

Chris Walden · · Soldotna, Alaska · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 545

Eat at Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizza (there will be a wait but your welcome), Drive along the Seward Highway, Hiking in the Chugach or Eagle River Area, Matanuska/Portege/Exit Glacier tours that should get you going... Enjoy AK it is pretty awesome up here!

KevinCO · · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 55

Definitely hiking up the Eagle River Valley. Buy a can of Bear spray first. Hike to where the trail is under the face of Eagle Peak, 6200 vertical feet above you.

Drive to Whittier and explore Portage Lake just before the tunnel.

Also along the way is a cool hike starting close to Alyeska where you use a hand operated trolley car across the river at one point on the trail.

See if any of the Sea Kayak outfitters at Whittier have a day rental on short notice.

Along the way to Whittier, check the schedule for the tidal bore in Turnagain Arm and stop at Bird Point to observe it if it works for your day trip schedule.

Turnagain Arm was named when Captain Cook was trying to find the Northwest Passage and had to turn around again. Turnagain Arm is in the top 5 in the world for tidal changes- 30 feet.

It is a longer drive, but road trip to Seward...beautiful drive.

But Eagle River and Turnagain Arm should take priority.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

I've been to Alaska a few times and what stands out were a couple of flightseeing tours. I took a plane to the Ruth Glacier from Talkeetna and another one out of Seward over the Harding Icecap. The small planes fly low, through the passes; it's gorgeous. There are others available for different areas, obviously.

They are pricey, though. And if you're going with your in-laws, well, you said they are tired of flying already.

Edit: You can get flightseeing tours that are only an hour or so, depending on how much time you have and money to spend. A drive to Seward and a short flightseeing tour would make for a fine day.

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488

Thanks for the advice. Hiking near Eagle River Valley looks awesome. I think that's something we can reserve a day for. I think my inlaws are coming in Saturday after lunch. Is this hike something we can do half day?

I'm trying to figure out what days we can do. My wife and I will land in Anchorage Friday early morning like 5am I think, we will probably spend a few hours getting a rental, checking in hotel and resting for a few hours. Maybe start our day at 10am and have the rest of the day free. Would this be a good time still to do the Eagle River Valley hike?

Saturday in-laws will come in so we will probably have to stay in Anchorage and do something half day until they arrive.

Maybe Sunday do the drive to Whittier or Seward and enjoy the views and drive back that same night?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll look into flight seeing tours too. I didn't even think about that.

Sam Lightner, Jr. · · Lander, WY · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,970

I've always enjoyed an evening at the Alaska Bush Company. It's kinda a climbing-trip-institution.

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488
Chris Walden wrote:Eat at Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizza (there will be a wait but your welcome), Drive along the Seward Highway, Hiking in the Chugach or Eagle River Area, Matanuska/Portege/Exit Glacier tours that should get you going... Enjoy AK it is pretty awesome up here!
Moose Tooth sounds awesome, I just looked it up on Yelp
KevinCO · · Loveland, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 55

Eagle River Nature Center/Trail Head is about 35 minutes from Anchorage. The sun sets about 9:45, but dusk will last longer than you are used to.

Definitely be careful with Bears and Moose, since the evening might increase the likelihood of an encounter. Bear spray is available at the Eagle River Walmart for $34 & $36, both with holsters. I doubt that spray would work on Moose, just get away behind a tree. Instead of Bear bells, I loudly click my hiking poles together when the trail is closed in.

You can go on a short hike and it would be well worth it. About 1.5 hours one way to the base of Eagle Peak and round trip 1 day-overnight to the pass at the head of the valley and access to large glaciers.

clint helander · · anchorage, alaska · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 438

Second on eagle River from the nature center and definitely fly with Talkeetna air taxi if you can afford it. It will rock your world.

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488

Not sure how traffic is around Anchorage, but would I be able to leave Anchorage to do the eagle river valley hike and be back at the airport by 2pm be OK? This would be on Saturday.

I think Friday my wife and I will try to either do the drive to Whittier and look for kayaking day rentals and/or do the drive on Seward Highway. And do the other on Sunday with the inlaws.

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488
clint helander wrote:Second on eagle River from the nature center and definitely fly with Talkeetna air taxi if you can afford it. It will rock your world.
I looked into Talkeetna air. If my in-laws are ok with it, we might try to do it Saturday afternoon after they fly in at 2:30pm. Hopefully they can accommodate those times.
JakeGano · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 0

You can hike Eagle River and be back by 2. 30-45 minutes town to trailhead depending on where in town you are. Hike as much or little of the trail as time allows. It's 23 miles one way and is very beautiful the whole way. Bring cash for parking. $5 if I recall.

sarcasm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2010 · Points: 465

Check out the new rock gym. Just opened August of '16
78 Ropes, all leadable plus a nice sized bouldering area.
http://www.akrockgym.com/

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 488

Thanks for all the reply. My wife and I ended up renting a car Friday morning, enjoyed the beautiful drive on Seward highway, spent a little time exploring Portage lake area and then ended up booking a very nice little cabin in Hope Alaska.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g31012-d113745-Reviews-Bowman_s_Bear_Creek_Lodge-Hope_Alaska.html

If you live in Anchorage and need a quick get away I would highly suggest staying here. It's a pretty awesome little spot and they have a 5 course dinner included in their booking. It was A++++. Same day we also ended up doing the class V rapids down the street on the Sixmile river? That was cool. Rest of the weekend we went to the Animal Refuge center by Portage, did the glaciar tour there, walked around the small downtown you guys have, and did the last minute hiking in Eagle River Nature Center. Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely come back and spend a lot more time up there. Maybe a multi day white water rafting trip with fishing involved.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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