Anchorage

Photo © Charzotte

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Alaska Anchorage

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Introduction

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska with around 280,000 inhabitants living in the urban area, about 40% of the total population of the state. It is the main starting point for most travellers arriving by air and visiting Alaska. It is a consolidated city-borough referred to as a municipality. The urbanized city is defined by Muldoon Road to the east, Rabbit Creek Road to the south, and Cook Inlet to the north and west. Several small suburbs are within the Municipality of Anchorage while physically outside what most Anchorageites would call the "Anchorage" proper area. These include Eagle River and Chugiak to the north and Girdwood to the south.

Let's be clear, if you are looking for the "real Alaska" this is not it, but you can see it from here. Anchorage is a city - a real city with freeways, traffic, giant malls, tall buildings, crime and most other things one expects to find in an American city. It is an important hub and the gateway to other marvelous areas including the Alaskan Interior and the Kenai Peninsula, but is not really a tourist destination. While it is not the administrative capital of Alaska, it is the economic capital. There are good places to eat and plenty of shopping, but the city is just that, a city. A great place to gear up for a trip, but it's not particularly "Alaskan" except for the weather and its spectacular setting.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Downtown
  • Midtown
  • South Anchorage
  • West Anchorage
  • Spenard
  • East Anchorage
  • Hillside
  • Eagle River
  • Chugiak
  • Peters Creek
  • Bird
  • Indian
  • Girdwood

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Sights and Activities

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center, 8800 Heritage Center Dr (off Glenn Hwy in northeast Anchorage, next to Bartlett High School), ☎ +1 907 330-8000. Summer (8 May-24 Sep) 9AM-6PM daily, Winter (29 Oct-16 Apr) Sa 10AM-5PM. Culture Pass Joint Ticket (admission to Alaska Native Heritage Center and Anchorage Museum) $29.95 (free shuttle from downtown and between both museums) summer only. This is much more than just a static museum of glass display cases. The various native Alaskan cultures are all represented in this center. A large stage holds native dance performances as well as other types of events for visitors. Behind the center, a short trail around the lake takes you to several stations that show aspects of life in each of the native Alaskan cultures with native guides with short demonstrations and happily answering questions. Back inside, many items such as artwork, kayaks and ulu knives are on display. A small theater runs various films and there is a gift shop (with a second location in downtown Anchorage). $24.95, Seniors/Military $21.15, Children (Ages 7–16) $16.95, Children (6 and under) free.
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, (43 miles (69 km) south of Anchorage on Seward Hwy (milepost 79)), ☎ +1 907 783-2025. Apr-May 10AM-6PM, May-Sep 8AM-8PM, Sep-May 10AM-5PM. AWCC provides refuge for orphaned, injured or ill animals. With the purchase of an admission ticket, you can choose between driving the 1.5-mile loop or enjoy your time and walk through the grounds. Resident animals include brown bear, black bear, moose, musk ox, caribou, wolves, birds, porcupine, wood bison, elk and more. Also daily animal programs featuring some of the resident animals. Popular stop for tours between Anchorage and Seward/Whittier. Adults $15, Children 7-17 $10, Seniors 65+ $12, Active Military w/ID $12.
  • Alaska Zoo, 4731 O'Malley Rd (east of Lake Otis Pkwy in South Anchorage), ☎ +1 907 346-2133, e-mail: admissions@alaskazoo.org. A small, but charming zoo about 20 minutes from Downtown Anchorage. Visitors can see animals native to the Northern climates, such as Bald Eagles, Moose, Musk Oxen, Grizzlies, and a Polar Bear. A few animals have been rescued from the wild after sustaining life-threatening injuries that wouldn't enable them to survive on their own. Wednesdays feature zoo storytelling and animal encounters. No pets, balloons, firearms or any kind of smoking on zoo grounds. During the summer, there is a free shuttle that runs from downtown (4th Avenue and F Street) to the zoo and back. $15/adult, $10/senior, $7/3-17, free/under 2.
  • Anchorage Museum, 625 C Street (downtown between 6th and 7th Avenues), ☎ +1 907-929-9200. Summer (1 May-30 Sep) 9AM-6PM; Winter (1 Oct-30 Apr) Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM, closed M. The Anchorage Museum, the largest in Alaska, tells the multi-faceted story of the North, weaving together social, political, cultural, scientific, historic and artistic threads. With its major expansion in 2008-2009, it has become a must see. The museum features an extensive exhibit on the first peoples of Alaska, Alaskan history, a Discovery Center for hands-on exploration of the history and science of the North for all ages, and part of a Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. A 25,000 ft² (2,300 m2) expansion features new gallery space for the museum’s art collection and exploration of art of the North. Adults $15, 0-2 free, 3-12 $7, Seniors/Military/Students with ID $10. Culture Pass Joint Ticket (admission to Alaska Native Heritage Center and Anchorage Museum) $29.95 (free shuttle from downtown and between both museums) summer only.
  • Alaska Museum of Natural History
  • Anchorage Aviation Heritage Museum
  • Imaginarium: Science Discovery Center
  • Oscar Anderson House Museum
  • Wells Fargo Alaska Heritage Library & Museum
  • Hilltop Ski Area - good for skiing in winter

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Anchorage has a relatively mild climate compared to much of Alaska's interior, though temperatures can plummit in winter (December - February). Average highs during this time are around -5 °C, while average lows are around -12 °C. The record low is -39 °C though so bring loads of warm clothing during this time. Summers are short and last from June to August when average highs are around 18 °C and lows around 10 °C. The record is set at 29 °C but you should consider yourself lucky with temperatures approaching this maximum. Rainfall is relatively low throughout the year, with most of it falling during the summer and early autumn months (August-October). Snow is common from October to April, with most of it falling from December to February.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-5.9 °C-3.4 °C0.6 °C6 °C12.4 °C16.4 °C18.4 °C17.2 °C12.9 °C4.7 °C-2.7 °C-5.3 °C
Avg Min-13.1 °C-11.4 °C-7.7 °C-1.9 °C3.8 °C8.4 °C10.9 °C9.7 °C5.3 °C-1.8 °C-9.4 °C-12.2 °C
Rainfall20.1 mm19.8 mm17.5 mm17 mm18.5 mm29 mm43.4 mm62 mm68.6 mm51.6 mm28.2 mm28.4 mm
Rain Days4.64.74.54.34.267.79.9118.85.56.6

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Getting There

By Plane

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is located about 7 kilometres southwest of the city. Route 7A of the Anchorage People Mover bus system serves the airport's North and South terminals once every hour in each direction, connecting it with the downtown Transit Center and the Dimond Center mall. Taxis, shuttles and rental cars are all available as well.

Alaska Airlines has flights to/from Chicago, Portland, Denver, Fairbanks, Honolulu, Juneau, Los Angeles, Nome, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as some smaller regional airports in Alaska. Northwest Airlines serves Detroit and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Air Canada has flights to Vancouver, American Airlines to Chicago and Dallas, Continental Airlines to Houston and Seattle and Delta Airlines to Atlanta and Salt Lake City. US Airways serves Phoenix and further away there are flights to Frankfurt with Condor and to Taipei with China Airlines. Also, Japan Airlines has flights to/from Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo, and Korean Air to/from Seoul. Several smaller airlines serve a few main US cities and many regional airfields across Alaska.

To add, the Lake Hood Seaplane Base is the world's busiest seaplane airport with destinations througout Alaska.

By Train

The Alaska Railroad runs from Seward through Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks to North Pole, with spurs to Whittier and formerly Palmer. The railroad is famous for its summertime passenger services; but it also plays a vital part in moving Alaska's natural resources — primarily coal — to ports in Anchorage, Whittier and Seward as well as fuel and gravel for use in Anchorage. Their cargo trains connect to the lower 48 through the Port of Seattle by barge, but there are no passenger connections to Canada (Via Rail) or to the lower 48 (Amtrak).

The Alaska Railroad Depot in Anchorage is downtown at 411 West 1st Ave, phone: +1 907 265-2494; +1-800-544-0552

By Car

Lighthouse outside Kenai, AK

Lighthouse outside Kenai, AK

© All Rights Reserved Daver141

Anchorage is also accessible from the Contiguous United States (locally referred to as "the Lower 48") and Canada via road. The Alaska Highway starts in northern British Columbia and terminates in Fairbanks. You can get to Anchorage via either the Parks Highway from Fairbanks or the Glenn Highway from Tok (the first major Alaskan town after crossing the Canadian border). The Seward Highway serves traffic entering Anchorage from the Kenai Peninsula to the south and its Alaska Marine Highway System terminals. Whittier has a ferry that goes directly to Juneau with a connection to Bellingham, Washington. The ferry ride takes 5 days.

In 2017 the Alaska Department of Transportation announced a 4-year, 2-phase Milepost 75-90 Rehabilitation Project to make major safety improvements to a busy crash-prone section of the Seward Highway from Girdwood to beyond the Portage curve toward Turnagain Pass. In July 2015 a tour bus crash at Milepost 79 (Portage Glacier Road and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center) killed one man and critically injured several others, causing a 10-hour traffic jam. During the summer months, up to 15,000 vehicles use this 15-mile stretch of Seward Highway daily. Although the project is not yet fully funded, construction on Seward Highway was scheduled to begin 2018.

Make sure to pick up a copy of The Milepost, which is widely regarded as the premier road guide for western Canada and Alaska. Most roads in these regions have small white posts every mile or so indicating the number of miles from the start of the road. The Milepost has extremely detailed route descriptions of all of the roads, pointing out everything from scenic viewpoints and campgrounds down to the names of small creeks the roads pass over. If you're flying in to Anchorage and then driving around the state, wait and pick up a copy of The Milepost at one of the local Costcos or WalMarts—the price there is around half of list price.

By Bus

Buses connect Anchorage with several major cities and towns in the southern portion of Alaska, as well as to Fairbanks.

By Boat

Because of the shallow conditions of the inlet and powerful tides, as much as 30 ft (9 m), only one large cruise ship, from Holland America Line, regularly calls in the summer on the Port of Anchorage, 2 mi (3.2 km) north of downtown. Since the port is mainly a cargo port, cruise passengers can not just walk through the port; instead, passengers are shuttled from the dock to the downtown mall. Beginning in 2017, the Port of Anchorage is undertaking an extensive 7-year port modernization program to upgrade its aging infrastructure, support larger deeper draft vessels, and future proof the port for another 75 years.

The vast majority of large cruise ships (over 200 calls each summer) stop at one of two deep water ports much further away from Anchorage: Seward, 127 mi (204 km) south on the Kenai Peninsula; or Whittier, 65 mi (104 km) southeast (mainly Princess). Whittier is also the closest harbor to Anchorage served by the Alaska Marine Highway. Many cruise lines provide transportation from their terminals in Whittier or Seward to Anchorage and may even include tours or your return air travel out of the state.

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Getting Around

By Car

Most of Anchorage is built on a grid system originally laid out by the railroad: numbered streets run east-west, starting at First Avenue in the extreme north of the city (at the Port and train depot) and ending up in the mid-hundreds at the south edge of town. Lettered streets run north-south, starting at A Street in the middle of downtown and going up to the west; east of A Street, the street names begin with sequential letters and are named after Alaskan cities and towns (Barrow, Cordova, Denali, etc.). This makes finding yourself on a map fairly easy, although the system gets less coherent outside of the downtown area. Note that the Seward Highway becomes Gambell and Ingra streets, while the Glenn Highway becomes 5th and 6th Avenues.

If you want to explore areas outside the city proper, renting a car is the way to go. Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

People Mover has buses throughout the metropolitan area. Fares are $2/trip or $5/day pass. Most bus routes have one bus in each direction per hour, but some routes increase it to two buses per hour during peak times. Buses are frequently late. Route 7A of the PeopleMover, Anchorage's bus system, has a stop located at the far south end of the airport taxi stand area. Every hour, there is one bus going downtown and one bus going to the Dimond Center mall in south Anchorage. If you're riding the bus to the airport, note that only Route 7A, not Route 7, stops at the airport.

By Foot

The area that can be explored by walking is the relatively compact downtown area. To plan your visit, drop in the unique Visitor Information Center, an authentic sod-roofed log cabin, at 4th Avenue and F Street, +1 907 257-2363, to pick up maps and brochures of the many points of interests and events (e.g., SUMMER MUSIC CONCERTS) within walking distance. In summer, downtown Anchorage, alive with flowers and alit with thousands of lights at night, is very popular and often crowded with tourists and those awaiting departure for, or arriving from, cruises. To extend your walking range, take advantage of the various free shuttles from downtown in the summer. Or rent a car or bike, or use the People Mover bus system, which has its Downtown Transit Center at 6th Avenue between H and G Streets.

By Bike

Anchorage features an extremely well-developed bike trail system, with over 200 miles f developed trails (120 of which are paved) winding their way throughout the city's parks and three green belts. The popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail parallels the waterfront from Downtown to Kincaid Park near the airport. Several companies offer bike rentals and trail tours. In the winter, many of the trails are groomed and used as ski trails.

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Eat

For a wide range of options, visit the Anchorage Restaurants website. From budget to top restaurants.

  • Bear Tooth Theatrepub, 1230 W 27th Ave, ☎ +1 907 276-4200. M-Th 10:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 10:30AM-11PM, Su 11:30AM-10PM. A wonderful pizza location, similar to the Moose's Tooth described below (although the menu differs a bit). It also features a movie theater in which you can eat dinner (they deliver it right to your seat) and imbibe from the wide selection of microbrews and wines. It mainly plays art house films and those that have been released for some time. It's a great place to spend an evening before taking a red-eye flight out of Anchorage as it's quite close to the Anchorage airport. Buy tickets in advance on the weekends—it can be very busy. The attached Bear Tooth Grill offers very different but equally delicious choices in a more traditional bar/grill restaurant setting.
  • Gwennie's. An Alaskan institution; must be seen to be understood. Down home Americana meets Alaska (think sourdough pancakes and reindeer sausage). Extremely touristy but also popular with the locals for good prices and big portions. Old-time Alaskan rusty things hanging on the walls.
  • Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, 3300 Old Seward Hwy (near New Seward and 36th), ☎ +1 907 258-2537. Brews their own beer and makes some fantastic pizza (all-ages welcome). Good atmosphere and walls covered with memorabilia about Alaska and beer. Can be busy. Frequently has outdoor concerts during the summer on the first Thursday of every month ("first tap" is age 21+). Must-go if you like beer. Has vegetarian selections. Medium prices; it's possible to save by splitting a large pizza. Menu and beer list online.

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Drink

Anchorage has many, many bars. Bars must close by 2:30am Monday-Friday, 3:00am Saturday & Sunday under municipal law. Bars can stay open until 5:00am in the cities of Palmer and Wasilla, about 45 minutes north. Anchorage also probably has more micro-breweries per capita than anywhere else (except maybe Portland, OR). All bars and restaurants in Anchorage are non-smoking.

  • First Tap Thursday - On the first Thursday of each month, Bear Tooth Theatrepub celebrates a new Broken Tooth Brewing draft beer with live music.
  • Bernie's Bungalow Lounge, 626 D St (between 6th and 7th; across the street from Nordstrom's entrance), ☎ +1 907 276-8808. This is a fashionable and friendly "martini-and-cigar" type of place. Good place to sit outside on the lawn in the summer, or to go upstairs to the Paradise Room for a fancy place to have a drink (although the upstairs is often booked for private gatherings). It's popular with well-dressed young people and businesspeople (during the daytime). The evening crowd is generally younger and the bar is embracing a larger hip-hop crowd. Usually busiest after midnight.
  • Chilkoot Charlie's, 1071 W 25th Ave (in Spenard), ☎ +1 907 279-1692. This is the largest bar within about 1,400 miles (2200 km). It's a huge spot that is always busy on weekends. The outside facade is deceptively small - there is a map on their website to navigate through all 10+ bars. There is usually at least one band playing every night (and usually a cover charge). Popular place to pick up dates, if you can hear above the noise.
  • Darwin's Theory, 426 G St, ☎ +1 907 277-5322. A quintessential "dive bar," Darwin's is popular with the locals. If you're interested in avoiding the generic tourist watering holes, Darwin's will wet your whistle. It's just a basic corner bar.
  • Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse, 610 W 6th Ave, ☎ +1 907 276-BEER (2337). Humpy's has dozens of beers on tap and a great pub food selection (esp. seafood) until midnight. It's popular with just about everyone. Beer-battered halibut—yum!

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Sleep

Since about 2000, major hotel developers from the Lower 48 have been building new hotels along C Street from International Airport Road to just north of Tudor Road, with two more to open in 2017, making this half-mile stretch of C Street a new "hotel row" in Midtown (about 3 mi south of downtown and 3 mi east of ANC).

  • Alaska Backpackers Inn and Hostel (Hostelling International Anchorage), 327 Eagle St, ☎ +1 907 277-2770. Dorm beds $25, single private $50, double private $60.
  • Bent Prop Inn and Hostel Downtown, 700 H St, ☎ +1 907 276-3635, e-mail: downtown@bentpropinn.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. This hostel is one block from the downtown transit center (served by all PeopleMover routes except 1) and about seven blocks from the Alaska Railroad Station. Close walking distance to many downtown restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping venues. $30 dorm bun, $72 private room.
  • Arctic Adventure Hostel, 337 W 33rd Ave, ☎ +1 907 562-5700. Check-out: noon. Quiet Location, clean, friendly, modern and well-equipped kitchen, free tea and coffee, free pancake breakfast, Wifi, ample secure parking, close to Walmart. dorms $24, private rooms $48.
  • Earth Bed & Breakfast, 1001 W 12th Ave, ☎ +1 907 279-9907, fax: +1 907 279-9862, e-mail: info@earthbb.com. In Downtown Anchorage, it caters to mountain climbers, fishermen, photographers and other adventurers from around the globe. Continental breakfast is served daily daily from 7AM-9AM. Rooms start at $59.
  • Spenard Hostel International, 2845 W 42nd Pl, ☎ +1 907 248-5036, fax: +1 907 248-5036, e-mail: stay@alaskahostel.org. 9AM-1PM (Summer), 7PM-11PM (Summer and Winter). This hostel is a bit of a way out of the center of town but is a really clean and friendly environment compared to the inner-city alternative. The staff is helpful, and you can help them around the hostel to earn a free night there if need be. It is serviced by PeopleMover route 7.
  • Comfort Inn, 111 West Ship Creek Ave, ☎ +1 907 277-6887, fax: +1 970 274-9830. Convenient location easy walking distance from the creek, the railroad, the weekend market and the downtown area. Courtesy bus to the airport.
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton, 101 W 48th Ave, ☎ +1 907 762-7000, fax: +1 970 762-8000.
  • Motel 6 Anchorage - Midtown, 5000 A St, ☎ +1 907 677-8000, fax: +1 907 677-8640. According to the general manager, this one has the distinction of being the most expensive Motel 6 in the country, if not the world, during the peak summer season (2007 rates started at $139 per night).
  • Puffin Inn of Anchorage, 4400 Spenard Rd, ☎ +1 907 243-4044. Bed and Breakfast
  • Jarvi Homestay, 14321 Jarvi Dr, ☎ +1 907 561-3349. When you want to appreciate Anchorage without concrete and crowds, try "a healthy way to stay". Calm, peaceful, low key. Great breakfasts, too.
  • Anchorage Marriott Downtown, 820 W 7th Ave, ☎ +1 907 279-8000, fax: +1 907 279-8005.
  • Hotel Captain Cook, 4th & K, ☎ +1 907 276-6000, toll-free: +1-800-843-1950.
  • Dimond Center Hotel, 700 E Dimond Blvd, ☎ +1 907 770-5000. 3 stars

View our map of accommodation in Anchorage or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 61.216583
  • Longitude: -149.899597

Accommodation in Anchorage

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Anchorage searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 21. Last edited at 9:40 on Jun 12, 19 by Utrecht. 27 articles link to this page.

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