Its’ hard to imagine coming to Anchorage, Alaska and not exploring the region further to such destinations as Denali, Seward, or Talkeetna but regularly I receive calls from cruise passengers and business travelers that only have one day to spend in Anchorage before departing and are seeking suggestions on what they should do and where they should go with their limited time. For visitors who have less than a full day in Anchorage, there are many great local sites to visit. The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center in downtown is within walking distance from many downtown hotels including the Sheraton Anchorage, which is located just two blocks away. In addition, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must see if you are interested in experiencing Alaska Native culture first-hand through storytelling, authentic Native song or dance, and artist demonstrations. Be sure to budget enough time at the Center to visit the life size native dwellings and meet each village site’s host who enjoy sharing their culture with you. The center offers courtesy shuttle service from various downtown locations during the summer months if you don’t rent a car.
Guest’s who have a full day have many more options to choose from. If you want to see wildlife and experience flightseeing, take a flightseeing trip on a float plane to Redoubt Bay Lodge to see brown bears in their natural habitat. Or if you would rather go fishing instead of bear viewing, is only a short flight from Anchorage to one of many fly-in fishing hot spots. Regardless of the length of time in Anchorage, budget time to explore downtown Anchorage. Take a stroll down 4th Avenue and be sure to stop by the Anchorage Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Visitor Log Cabin where you can pick up a walking map of downtown. Near the Log Cabin is the Alaska Public Lands Information Center which has great exhibits, short movies on Alaska subjects, as well as a book store specializing in Alaska travel. Its one of my favorite places to visit while downtown. Downtown Anchorage has many excellent art galleries, including Artique, and local dining establishments such as the Glacier Brewhouse.