Hotel at a Glance: Hilton Garden Inn Anchorage
At the Hilton Garden Inn Anchorage, a complimentary shuttle to downtown runs from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and a 24-hour shuttle to airport is also available. Nearby are several of Anchorage's banner attractions, including the airport, the Dimond Center shopping complex, and downtown, home to the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, alight seeing and wildlife tours are also available as day trips out of Anchorage, and the hotel is only 45 minutes from Alyeska Ski Resort, which offers some of the lowest base-elevation skiing in North America. During the winter months, the Aurora Borealis is often visible from Anchorage, with better viewing just beyond the city. The hotel, which earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2013, features a 24-hour snack pantry and fitness center.
- Breakfast buffet: for $14.95, this buffet includes fresh baked goods, seasonal fruit, waffles, and eggs
- Grab a bite at the onsite Great American Grill.
- Take a dip in the heated indoor pool.
- In-room amenities: microwave, refrigerator, cable TV, free WiFi, and a Keurig coffeemaker
Anchorage, Alaska: Cultural Hub in the Last Frontier
Many western states in the U.S. boast about their stretches of untamed wilderness, but only Alaska can call itself the Last Frontier—an official nickname the state wears like a badge of honor. Even in its largest city, Anchorage, the great outdoors are never far away. Directly east lie the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Chugach Mountains. To the west, Prince William Sound's fjords and bays fill with waters from the Gulf of Alaska. More than 40 percent of the state's entire human population resides in Anchorage; so do sizable populations of black and grizzly bears, moose, wolves, and mountain goats.
It's incredibly easy to explore downtown Anchorage, thanks to the city's grid layout. There are several urban parks, and you can ride through a few of them on the paved, 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which hugs Cook Inlet along the coast (keep your eyes peeled for moose, which are frequently spotted here). On a clear day, you can see the jagged peak of Mt. McKinley in the distance.
Anchorage is also home to several interesting museums. At the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visitors learn about the state's indigenous peoples through interactive storytelling, artist demonstrations, and native dance performances. The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is a catch-all for all things Alaska, ranging from art and history to science and native culture. The second-floor gallery houses full-scale and miniature dioramas depicting important scenes from Alaska's history, such as whaling expeditions in the arctic and the 1964 earthquake.