Close to HomeTony Knowles Coastal Trail- This lovely trail puts recreation right outside our front door.Guests enjoy biking in the summer or just taking a stroll. It's not unusual to see the sun settingover Cook Inlet as late as 11:00 pm. There is eleven miles of spectacular scenary where eagles, moose,and a wide varietyof shorebirds can be seen. I have rushed guests away from the breakfast table to seebeluga whales fishing in the inlet or a moose munching along the trail. From our house, it's a two anda half mile walk on the trail to town. In winter, the trail is groomed for cross-country skiing.
We have wilderness in our backyard. My recommendation for an unforgettable evening would be to have dinner, then a drive up the Glen Alps Road. Mountain turns take you to the Chugach State Park. At the top, there is a handicap accessible overlook where you can view one of our late night sunsets. There are wonderful trails into the mountains from this point, the most notable being "Flattop."Anchorage has the largest float plane base in the U.S. Fishermen and hunters, sightseers and folks just trying to get from point A to B take off on little planes from the canals which join Lakes Spenard and Hood. Derek and I like to grab a picnicand bike the mile to the lakes and watch the planes land and take off. There is a grassy spot and a couple of picnic tables. It doesn't sound like much - but watching the float planes take off and land is just "plane"entertaining. If you get there late afternoon, there is a deck at the Millenium Hotel where you can do the same thing with a burger and a brew. Nearby there is a charming Aviation Museum. Admission is free.
I always take my relatives for a thrilling ride up the enclosed gondola to the top of Mt. Alyeska, training ground for Olympic champions. There is a world-class restaurant at the top, but we usually buy a cookie and drink at the snack shop and take in the view, which can include the local ski-divers. My mother and I rode the gondola up in the pouring rain. We could hardly see anything, but we still had a great time.
Whittier. Within a one hour drive from Anchorage, there is a fabulous one day glacier cruise. The ancient
ice is a gorgeous blue, and a visitor can watch seals basking on ice floes or adorable sea otters floating on their backs
with the rest of their family. There are seabirds everywhere, but I like the tropical looking Puffin. It is all crowned
by the majestic mountains surrounding Prince William Sound.
Hike the trails along the Seward Highway (Turnagain Arm) Derek and I have spent many happy hours hiking along theSeward Highway. All are within an hour of the city. One of the hikes offers views across Cook Inlet and has very little elevation rise (perfect for us over-the-hillers that would rather not GO up the hill too far!). It follows the roadbed of the old Seward Highway.
There is a nice parking area, and along the way you'll find viewing scopes, picnic areas, benches, and white beluga whales
(be surprised). If you would like something more ambitious, I'd be glad to recommend one the will show you what it's like
up and out there.
Many visitors will want to see Denali. So many people love it, it can be a zoo. Unfortunately, accommodations can be
expensive and you get to join a crowd. The alternative we prefer is one that can help you experience the beauty
and the romance of the high rolling tundra, the chance to see (and trip with) working dog teams, and meet friendly
people in a rustic setting near the small town of Healy. We recommend taking three days (minimum) to see Denali.
Drive to Earthsong Lodge and spend the night. Take a short drive in the morning to meet the bus taking you into the
park, return for a good night sleep at Earthsong for your second night, then home.
Hatcher Pass Road and Independence Mine - This is my very favorite day trip from Anchorage. A drive to Palmer (50 mins)takes a visitor up a winding road bordered by a lovely creek washing over white granite boulders, up through the seasons,summer, spring, and finally snow and winter at the top. There are good restaurants and verdant hikes at the pass. Wildflowerscan be found at the right elevation. I tell guests I feel like I've been in a green dream when I return. It's a little used andspecial place.
Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau
Anchorage wildlife viewing
Glaciers and mountains near Anchorage
Wildlife hotspots near Anchorage
Alaska Weather Cam plus video shots
Trail Bed and Breakfast