Vacations

18 Things to do in Anchorage and Daytrips in Winter or Summer


Anchorage is the biggest city in the state (population 282,000) and has the largest airport in the state. So when you visit Alaska, you’ll likely end up spending some time there at some point. It’s a great jumping off point for your Alaska travels and I like to use it as a hub for adventure because so many tour operators originate out of Anchorage; ensuring that there are plenty of things to do in Anchorage!

Anchorage is surrounded by mountains and has one of the most stunning downtown views I’ve ever seen. There are plenty of things to do in Anchorage; there are some lovely walking/biking trails, museums, and gardens. However, I’m an adventure gal, and I feel those nearby mountains calling. Whenever I find myself with an extra day in Anchorage and look around at the Chugach mountains surrounding the city I think – “How do I get out there and play?”

Photo from Travel Alaska

Whether it’s Anchorage sightseeing or day trips outside of Anchorage, you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll also likely knock a few things off your bucketlist! Ummm – Glacier anyone? Northern lights? Or maybe you want to see a grizzly bear…from a safe distance of course!

Want more Alaska?

I’ve been to Alaska multiple times and have a great variety of unique things I did. Read all of my Alaska travel tours and tips here.

Best Time to Visit Anchorage Alaska

I’ve spent extensive time there in the summer and the winter, and both have their benefits. I generally prefer the winter because there are just less people in general traveling there. I also love winter in Alaska – hello dancing northern lights! It’s not as cold as you think in Anchorage and if you pack the right winter gear, you’ll be fine! The average high in the winter is 25F and low is 17F.


Take a look at my recommended Alaska winter packing list to make sure you stay warm.


In the summer you’ll certainly encounter more tourists, but the days are long and you an pack a ton of stuff in if you have the energy! Plus, there’s a lot of space around Anchorage! I think it also feels busier because all of the trains are running in the summer and nearly every Alaska railroad route goes through Anchorage! The average high in the summer is 61F and the low is 51F.

But for me the absolute best time to visit is the shoulder seasons of September and March. These also are the best times to catch aurora around Anchorage too because aurora is most active around the equinoxes. I love traveling in the shoulder seasons!

But basically you can’t go wrong in Anchorage in summer or winter!

What to do in Anchorage Table of Contents

Jump to these Summer Things to Do in Anchorage

Spencer Glacier Kayaking
ATV to Knik Glacier
Eklunta Lake Kayaking and Biking
Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic Full Day Train Trip
Visit the Muskox Farm
Visit Talkeetna for the Day
Ride the Alyeska Gondola & Hike
Sunset Photo Workshop
Visit the Anchorage Museum
Hiking in the Chugach Mountains
Anchorage Sunset and Cocktails
Eat Seafood
Bike the Coastal Trail

Jump these Winter Things to Do in Anchorage

Snowmobile to Spencer Glacier
Skiing at Mt. Alyeska
Fatbiking in Girdwood
Go Aurora Chasing Around Anchorage
Visit the Muskox Farm
Visit Talkeetna for the Day
Ride the Alyeska Gondola for Great Views
Visit the Anchorage Museum
Snowshoeing in the Chugach Mountains
Anchorage Sunset and Cocktails
Eat Seafood
Bike the Coastal Trail

I’ve been to Anchorage 3 times in winter and summer; all of these Anchorage things to do come from my personal experiences. These are all places I’ve visited personally or tours I’ve taken. I feel like it’s important to provide travel advice based on personal experiences, not just a list of things anyone can write from the internet. So – know that this is all my personal opinions and experiences with these companies and feel free to contact me with any additional questions – I’m a real person who’s traveled there and I’m happy to help!

Things to do – Day Trips from Anchorage

I love Anchorage, it has many cool things to do in city limits and just right outside the city (you can see all of those below). But my favorite thing about travel to Alaska is the great outdoors, and I prefer to use Anchorage as a hub and do more nature oriented adventure day trips from Anchorage! So that’s why I started with the day trips from Anchorage first!

1. Spencer Glacier Adventure Tour – Summer

Activities – Kayaking, glacier hiking, and flagging down a train!




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