Visiting Anchorage, Alaska? 12 Tips from Local Residents

by Janis on March 8, 2011

View of Anchorage from Flat Top.

Every Tuesday is Travel Tip Day  

Today: 12 Tips to Anchorage, Alaska from Local Residents  

Going to Anchorage, Alaska? 

We interviewed a group of friends who live in Alaska year round for their recommendations on the best things in Anchorage.  

Here’s the locals’ list of 12 things to see, do, eat and drink while enjoying Anchorage, Alaska:        

From Jo Ann Malloy:        

1. Take a Hike up Flat Top.       

For a fabulous view of Anchorage and the surrounding area, hike Flattop Mountain.  The trailhead is 13-miles from downtown Anchorage, about a 30 minutes’ drive.  If you don’t have a car, Flattop Mountain Shuttle on 4th Ave between C & D streets will take you to the mountain and give you a ride back downtown with several hours in between, all for $22 per person.         

2. Have a wine flight and with some delicious food at Crush Wine Bistro and Cellar.  We loved the “All day I dream about Syrah“ and “The Tao of Dao“ flights along with Charcuterie & Cheese plate, the baked Mac & Cheese and several of the evening’s chef specials like beef and portabella bundles with blue cheese. When you find your perfect wine from flights or by the glass, you can visit the retail store upstairs to buy a bottle or two to take with you.     

3. Visit the Native Heritage Center in Northeast Anchorage to gain an understanding of Alaska’s first residents.        

Local Alaskans share their insider tips on Anchorage. Black row, from left, clockwise; Monte Davis, Jeff Jones, Sue Johnson, Beep Johnson, Damien Cass, Jo Ann Malloy.

 

From Tom “Beep” Johnson:    

4. Load up on Anchorage’s best bread, made fresh daily with natural ingredients at the House of Bread at 8130 Old Seward or at the other location in Wasilla. They bake different kinds of bread every day of the week. Beep’s favorites are the parmesan basil and the garden herb made with tomato juice in the batter.       

5. Enjoy a movie for $3 while eating and/or drinking at The Bear Tooth Theatrepub.    This 12,000 square foot location combines a bar, restaurant, movies and live entertainment into one destination. The Bear Tooth offers freshly prepared food and draft beer and wine for consumption inside the theatre while watching the movie. Alternating rows of movie seats have replaced with tables, allowing you to eat and drink in comfort while watching the movie. A separate seating area allows underage movie goers the same dining and movie experience minus the beer and wine. Reserved seats are $5 per person.     

From Sue Johnson     

6. See moose and other wildlife at Kincaid Park  on Anchorage’s west side by the airport. This park allows you to get deep into the woods and is home to Anchorage’s largest moose populations. Reach by driving west on Raspberry Road.   Park at the Kincaid Outdoor Center or “chalet.” If you want to test yourself, try the 6-mile Lekisch Loop; it’s the hilliest competition-certified 10K in the country.     

Sue warns, “Be careful not to get between a mother and her baby and don’t take dogs.”     

7. Book a flight tour. See Denali or any number of spectacular Alaska sites. One option from Lake Hood Seaplane Base: Rusts Flying Service  offers floatplane day tours ranging from bear-viewing to Denali.  

 From Monte Davis:   

 8. Take a hike on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.  Hiking is easy from downtown Anchorage on the 11-mile-long paved trail.  Pick up the coastal trail on 2nd Avenue, only two to three blocks from most downtown Anchorage hotels.  

 9. Enjoy gourmet pizza at Moose Tooth’s Pub and Pizzeria   at 3300 Old Seward Highway.   Spicy Thai Chicken is Monte’s favorite pizza while Sue loves the Raspberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad. Moose Tooth also brews beers, from Polar Pale to Pipeline Stout.      

 10. Ship home a taste of Alaska at 10th & M Seafoods   in downtown Anchorage.  From the cool waters of the 49th state, 10th & M ships fresh or frozen salmon, halibut, crab, and shrimp almost anywhere in the world.    

11. View bald eagles, tundra swan geese and other wildlife at Potter Marsh.  A 1,550 foot boardwalk allows you to walk over the marsh and across watery openings, the perfect habitat for a rich variety of birds.  From May to August, gulls, Arctic terns, shorebirds such as yellowlegs, and occasionally trumpeter swans are present during spring and fall migration.      

From Damien Cass:     

12. Eat at the Glacier Brew House in downtown Anchorage.  Damien loves the bread pudding.             

The best thing about Alaska is the local residents.    

Have you visited Anchorage, Alaska?  What are your favorite Anchorage discoveries? Please post in comments.     

Other related Alaska posts:     

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