Surrounded by the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest town and commercial center (though much smaller Juneau is the state capital). A fairly modern style pervades in the city, due to a devastating 1964 earthquake. Anchorage appeals to visiting tourists as a good base for excursions inland to Denali National Park, as well as along the fjord-riddled coast. Also within easy reach of the town are Mount Alyeska Resort, which offers skiing throughout the year, the popular Portage Glacier (50 miles southeast), and the Kenai Peninsula. At Chicken Fried Steak Restaurant we were talking with people who visited this place. They told us a lot of things which we are writing below.
Anchorage is the entry point for many Alaska visitors, who fly in to board a cruise ship or climb into a rental car and never look back. But this city is well worth visiting. The Alaska Native Heritage Center offers insights into the area’s earliest inhabitants, and the Alaska Zoo is the place to see animals you might not spot in the wilderness. The Chugach State Park and Chugach National Forest are within an hour’s drive of Anchorage, so you can go hiking, fishing or whale-watching during the day and then kick back in a brew pub or top restaurant at night.
If you visit only one place in Anchorage, make it the Alaska Native Heritage Center. In addition to exhibits, it’s an opportunity to forge a personal connection with Native cultures through storytellers, dancers, handicraft workshops and six different dwellings each hosted members of individual Native groups. The Anchorage Museum offers a broad look at Alaskan culture and history, both heavily influenced by the grandeur of the state’s wilderness.
The big outdoors is the draw in Anchorage, not nightlife. Still, there are places where you can have a drink, relax and rub shoulders with the locals. Glacier Brewhouse has cask-conditioned ales on tap, the tanks visible through a glass wall. There’s also a microbrewery at Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria. Patrons sip Polar Pale Ale inside or fortify themselves with barley wine in the restaurant’s year-round outdoor tent.