At the western end of downtown Anchorage Snow City Café has some of the best breakfast food in town. There will likely be a worthwhile wait for a table, but there is drip coffee available in the waiting area. Try the eggs benedict with salmon or crab cakes. Or if you’re in more of a hurry to get into the outdoors then stop by one of the many Kaladi Brothers Coffee locations in Anchorage. The coffee is locally roasted in Alaska and truly the best around.
Hike up Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park. On a clear day you can see much of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage, the Cook Inlet and maybe even Denali in the Alaska Range far to the northwest. The Flattop Mountain Shuttle will take you up there from the city if you don’t have a car. Or rent bikes from Pablo’s Bicycle Rentals or Anchorage Bike Rentals and cruise around Kincaid Park… Just be sure to watch out for moose.
The fish tacos at the Bear Tooth Grill are delicious and the location is conveniently close to downtown, but my favorite lunchtime spot is Midnight Sun Brewing. Daily specials include taco Tuesdays and posole on Thursdays, but everything on the menu is amazing. Their beer is also some of the best in town.
If you decide to stay in the city for the afternoon, check out the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the cultural history of the state. If the Boar Tide is changing in Turnagain Arm, there are a number of scenic pull-offs along the Seward Highway to watch paddle boarders and surfers catch the wave…. Yes you can surf in Alaska! While along Turnagain Arm keep an eye out for bald eagles and white beluga whales.
Remember you’re in Alaska so stick with the seafood. Fresh crab, halibut, and salmon should be your go-to’s. Humpy’s Great Alaska Ale House is your stop for fish and chips and other local food. For a higher end dining experience reserve a table at Simon & Seafort’s and cross your fingers that Halibut Cheeks are on the menu that day.
There are a number of micro breweries in Anchorage such as the aforementioned Midnight Sun Brewing, Anchorage Brewing Company, King Street Brewing Company and the Broken Tooth Brewing Company. If beer isn’t your style head to South to try a custom crafted cocktail. Their Moscow Mule is my favorite, but they are also famous for their gin cocktails.
Keep in mind that sunset might be as late as 11:30pm in the middle of the summer. If you’re still awake, check out the show at Lake Hood or Point Woronzof Park. Lake Hood is the largest seaplane base in the world and reflects the sun perfectly if you sit on the deck or grass in front of the Lakefront Hotel. If you have a car then head around the north side of the Anchorage airport, past Earthquake Park, to Point Woronzof Park to watch the sun set behind Sleeping Lady (the mountain to the west) and prepare for the roar of jets taking off right over your head.
7 tips for visiting Anchorage
- If it is wintertime prepare for only a few hours of sunlight.
- If it is summertime prepare for it not to get dark.
- Don’t worry if you don’t see Denali from the city because it is usually covered in clouds.
- Bring a jacket. Even summer days can be cool.
- Check out some local music since big name bands rarely make it up here.
- Eat fresh seafood!
- Slow down for moose while driving. And give them plenty of room if you see them on the trail. Moose kill way more people than bears.