More than 40% of all Alaskans live in the greater Anchorage area. It is Alaska's largest city, with a population of about 300,000.
Anchorage offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts keen to try something new.
A young, dynamic city with a fascinating past
With a population of around 300,000, Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and the gateway to a state full of adventure. The Greater Anchorage area is home to about 40% of all Alaskans. Founded in 1914 as a mere railroad construction camp, Anchorage has grown into an important port and cargo-transport hub where Alaska’s commercial heart beats.
On Good Friday in 1964, the city suffered a devastating earthquake. It was gradually rebuilt and experienced a boom in its economy when oil was discovered Prudhoe Bay, now the mainstay of Alaska’s oil industry.
Spectacular nature wonderland
A trip to Anchorage presents a great opportunity to experience the awesome natural beauty of southwest Alaska and the unique wildlife along its Pacific Coast.
Sharp-edged peaks and glittery glaciers adorn Alaska’s south-west shore. From Anchorage you can travel by sea and land to feast your eyes with the region’s natural beauty spots. It’s also near to two celebrated national parks, Chugach State Park (Alaska’s third-largest) and the Denali National Park and Preserve, which contains North America’s highest mountain, Mount McKinley, at 6,196m.
Being so far North, Anchorage is best visited between May and September when the summer days are long and the nights short. Temperatures often reach 23°C to 24°C in summertime, while in winter they can drop to such low levels as minus 30°C.
Good to know
Airport: Anchorage International Airport (full name: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport), which is Alaska’s biggest, is less than 5km southwest of the city centre.
Shopping: The Alaska Native Heritage Center offers a unique opportunity to buy authentic Alaska Native-made art and craft items such as masks, jewellery, paintings, dolls and more. For more general shopping needs, there’s the 4th Avenue Market Place, Anchorage’s 5th Avenue Mall (110 stores), Diamond Center and the Mall at Sears.