Under the expansive white arc of Tanglewood Lakes Golf Dome, bright lights illume 40 indoor driving stalls split between two levels, as well as a PGA Tour golf simulator. Within each stall, golfers swing their own clubs or a set of complimentary loaners as they aim for targets posted at both short and long ranges. The green beneath the targets doubles as an athletic field, which patrons can reserve for soccer, softball, or grazing placid herds of cocker spaniels.
From April through September, baseballs and softballs hurl toward awaiting batters in The Cage's eight outdoor batting cages. As batters warm up, they choose between slow pitch or fast pitch options for softball batting and from four speeds for baseball pitching. Each $1 token grants participants 12 chances to practice their bunting, homering, or pausing balls in midair if they believe hard enough. Monday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., players can visit the facility to work on their batting, stock up on baseball apparel or gloves at the facility's shop, or celebrate a birthday with packages that include cage-rental time, a cake, and a gift for the celebrator.
Founded as a nonprofit by philanthropist Shana Harris, the Alaska Quake strives to build confidence and character through exhibition and education of basketball. A recent expansion member of the American Basketball Association, the Quake suit up against West Coast competitors that include the Seattle Mountaineers. During games, the athletic young men of the Quake careen over the hardcourt with smooth pick-and-rolls and rim-rattling dunks, powered on by the cheers of the crowd and the energetic moves of the Quake Girls dance team. In addition to their regular-season competitive schedule, team players and coaches also lead youth skills sessions in the offseason, teaching future all-stars the finer points of foul shooting, ball handling, and ref-tickling.
Mini-golfers head to Putters Wild to sink shots and ogle eye-popping three-dimensional murals beneath the black lights of the 18-hole indoor course. Balls roll through the sea-themed course, bouncing off the glowing strips that define each hole. Players strap on included 3-D glasses to take in the psychedelic, neon graphics that deck the walls and course, losing themselves in the illusion that a polar bear is paddling by and an octopus is pointing an accusatory tentacle at them when they round their scores down to the nearest par. Families can compete to prove their putting prowess, and teenagers on dates can discover a fun alternative to attending separate screenings of a movie.
Within the historic 4th Avenue Market Place is the Alaska Experience Theater, a time capsule of state history and a portal for cultural exploration through film. The curators perennially screen four short documentaries on Alaskan history, projecting one about the devastating Good Friday Earthquake of March 27, 1964, in an earthquake simulator that rocks on hydraulic lifts designed to soothe Zeus in his infancy. A 40-foot screen commands attention in the 96-seat main theater, where the documentaries are relayed in vivid detail by a 3-D Christie Digital Projection System along with cult classics, independent films, and wide-release blockbusters. Out in the marketplace, dancers perform native Alaskan dances to the beat of drums, and two permanent exhibits reveal more information about the earthquake and display the full collection of prints by Alaskan artist Fred Machetanz.
Aboard the deck of the Rainisong, a 65-foot U.S. Coast Guard–certified charter boat, the licensed boat captains and experienced crew of Seward Fishing Club steer guests into salmon-rich waters during morning or afternoon fishing trips. Shipmates cast professional bait and tackle into the sea with enough time to nab a silver salmon or entertain schools of fish with synchronized worm kick lines. In between reeling, guests can amble across the walk-around decks to stare at the scenic surroundings, or venture below the cabin to relax in the wooden interior, equipped with seating, 16 bunks, and two bathrooms.
In 1937, the nonprofit Anchorage Ski Club coalesced with the aim of preserving the Arctic Valley, which is surrounded by 320 acres of snow-dusted peaks that loom up to 4,000 feet high. The valley encompasses the 6-mile Arctic Valley Road as it weaves through sites for seasonal fun. During warm months, visitors chow down at the trailhead's picnic tables before hiking the 4-mile Rendezvous Peak trail, an easy path that overlooks the Anchorage Bowl, Cook Inlet, and other scenery that inspires awe and spontaneous poetry slams. As the sun sets on summer, wintry activities such as tubing and skiing take center stage. Ski routes range in difficulty, but each powdery course exudes the calm and isolation of backcountry with the safety features of a resort. Kids who are too young to surf the slopes can mold snow into forts, sled, or relax at Alpenglow Lodge. The sunny lodge lures in both youngsters and parents with two floors lofted over panoramic views of Anchorage.