Wake up to glimmering glaciers and the soul-stirring Alaskan wilderness on your doorstep.
What other city can you go micro-brewery hopping followed by a showstopping performance by the northern lights? Not only is Anchorage full of eye-popping natural beauty, but it’s brimming with pubs, bars, restaurants, art and quirky museums. It’s a stone’s throw from the stunning Chugach State Park and the gateway to unforgettable views on the Scenic Seward Highway. Our local guides will help you explore Anchorage Intrepid style. You could be searching for Alaska’s ‘Big Five’ (moose, bears, caribou, wolves and Dall sheep), chasing the northern lights, learning about Alaska's Indigenous cultures or getting to know the locals over some craft beers. After Anchorage, why not continue your adventure to the epic Denali National Park or explore the unique ice formations on Matanuska Glacier.
Our Anchorage tours & holidays
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Highlights of Anchorage
See the soul-stirring northern lights
Seeing the northern lights (also called the aurora borealis) is a once in a lifetime experience. You don’t have to travel too far from downtown Anchorage to see Mother Nature put on one of her finest shows. Watch the sky illuminate with majestic green, blue, purple and red lights. Alaska is one of the best places in the world to see this natural wonder as there’s hardly any light pollution. The waiting game is half the fun and makes seeing them even more magical.
Learn about Alaska's Indigenous cultures
Alaska’s Indigenous People have a rich and diverse history, traditions and culture. Anchorage is located on Denaʼina Ełnena, the traditional homelands of the Athabascan people and the Native Village of Eklutna. Learn about Alaska’s 11 Native cultures through storytelling, dance, art, music and workshops. You can also visit six authentic Native dwellings at Lake Tiulana to experience some of the traditional ways of life for Indigenous People.
Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC)
Alaska has its own ‘Big Five’: moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and grizzly bears. The AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals all year-round, providing spacious enclosures and quality animal care. You’ll have the chance to learn about some of Alaska's iconic animals and see how they are nursed to recovery to continue their life in the wild.
Drive the (ever so) Scenic Seward Highway
Trust us, this isn’t your standard drive. This 127-mile road between Anchorage and Seward is a tourist attraction in itself. You'll drive past vast salt water bays, dazzling glaciers, lush alpine valleys and moody ocean fjords. There's something interesting to see at every twist and turn, and you'll want to hop out of the car every two minutes to take a photo.
Enjoy Anchorage's lively brewery scene
There aren’t many things that taste better than a cold beer after a long, active day. It might surprise you to hear that Anchorage’s microbrewery scene is one of the best in the US. Some of our favourite breweries include 49th State Brewing Co., Broken Tooth Brewery and Glacier Brewhouse. Rug up around an open log fire if it's cold, or soak up some rays on the outdoor deck. Wash your beer down with some fresh Alaskan seafood or wood-fired pizza.
Explore Chugach State Park
Chugach State Park is an outdoor-lovers playground with heaps of walking trails, cycling routes, white-water rapids and breathtaking views. The rugged landscapes are dotted with snow-capped peaks (in winter), huge glaciers, glittering lakes, cascading waterfalls and resident wildlife. There’s something for everyone whether you want to hike, camp, ski or raft, or simply relax and bask in the park’s natural beauty.
Anchorage tour reviews
Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travellers are required to produce:
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
- All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
- If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine
Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy
If you’re travelling from further afield you can fly into Anchorage Airport. Over 200 flights arrive daily with direct flights from major cities in the US as well as European and Asian destinations. Major airlines include Delta, Alaska Airlines and American. The ferry is another option. The Alaska Marine Highway operates ferries to service 30 communities from Bellingham in Washington to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Chain.
If you’re coming from Canada you can drive via the Alaska Highway which runs 1300 miles from British Colombia to Alaska. If you’re travelling from the lower 48 states you can also get to Alaska via Dawson Creek in BC.
The most convenient way to get around Anchorage is by car, but downtown is compact enough to get around on foot. You can also explore on foot or by bicycle. There are loads of scenic points along the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail from downtown. There is a public bus system called People Move which services the Anchorage, Greater Anchorage and Eagle River areas, but services aren’t too regular so it’s best not to rely on this. If you don’t have a car but want to explore further afield, you can catch the train with the Alaska Railroad.
The coldest month is January with an average daily high of 32°F, but temperatures can dip much lower than this. There’s plenty of snowfall in winter and loads of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The summer sees average highs of 70°F and the days are long. Around the time of the summer solstice the sun sets for just a few hours – a bit of a bizarre experience but plenty of time to explore the great outdoors!
The best time to visit really depends on what you want to see and do. If you want to see the northern lights, it’s best to go between late fall and early spring, although winter gives you the best chance as it’s the darkest time of year. For snow sport enthusiasts, winter through early spring is prime time. Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy Anchorage’s lively beer gardens, spot wildlife and see the surrounding wilderness in full bloom with wildflowers.
What to pack depends on what time of year you visit, but you can’t go wrong with lots of layers, a comfortable pair of walking shoes, a waterproof and windproof coat, a hat and gloves. Layering is key as you’ll be able to adjust if the sun comes out while you’re eating lunch outside or a cold wind blows in while you’re up the mountains. Another essential for all seasons is a decent pair of sunglasses - the sun glares brightly against the snow and there are over 20 hours of sunlight in the summer. If you’re continuing your adventure to Denali National Park, Matanuska Valley or Kenai Fjords (or anywhere else where’ll you be hiking and doing lots of outdoor activities), don’t forget a sturdy pair of hiking boots and other essential gear for your trip.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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