Sightseeing in Anchorage

Select Local Merchants

  • The Alaska Zoo
    In the late 1960s, Anchorage's grocers held a contest to see who could sell the most toilet paper. One of two first-place prizes was $3,000, but the victor chose the other—a baby Asian elephant. He quickly realized he couldn't take care of her, so he put her up in the heated barn of local horse rancher Sammye Seawell. Sammye fell so in love with this small pachyderm that she began housing other abandoned creatures—enough to fill a zoo. More than 40 years later, The Alaska Zoo's keepers and veterenarians continue this simple but powerful mission: to rescue orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals of the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and similar regions. Today, the zoo’s habitats house more than 110 animals from 53 cold-loving species. In semiaquatic zones, polar bears nap, harbor seals swim, and river otters attempt to solve calculus equations. In terrestrial environments, amur tigers play with a ball attached to a zipline, and black bears lounge in a hammock made from recycled fire hoses. Other habitats house residents such as snow leopards, reindeer, and wolves. In addition to caring for these animals, staffers conduct Iditarod-focused educational events in March and use animal-themed light displays to celebrate both the summer solstice and approaching winter holidays. They also raise awareness for wildlife through educational programs, such as seasonal adventure camps and zookeeper shadowing, and join in conservation efforts, such as serving as ambassadors for Polar Bears International and the Toupees for Bald Eagles Project.
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    4731 O'Malley Rd
    Anchorage, AK US
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
    The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) shelters orphaned, injured, and ill animals that could not otherwise survive in the wild. Bears, elk, and coyotes roam in a natural-habitat enclosure where they are regularly fed, rehabilitated, and given medical attention under the direction of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The AWCC seeks to educate the public about protecting Alaska’s native species with educational programs and tours. Patrons can also see the animals living in near-wild conditions, with bald eagles swooping to the ground in search of prey and wood bison plodding through 65 acres of tidal terrain. The latter comprise the only herd of wood bison in the U.S.: the species had been extinct in Alaska for more than a century until the AWCC acquired its herd from the Yukon as an effort to reintroduce the animal to the state.
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    Mi Post 79 Seward Hwy
    Girdwood, AK US
  • Alaska SeaLife Center
    Dedicated to studying and rescuing the animals of Alaska’s unique marine environments, the keepers of Alaska SeaLife Center facilitate encounters with marine life at an array of exhibits. Integrating the terrain of Resurrection Bay, the exhibits give guests an up-close view of animals at their most natural. Harbor seals sun themselves on the rocks, 2,000-pound steller sea lions glide ballerina-like through the water, and a giant Pacific octopus gestures with all eight arms during a solo rendition of “Y.M.C.A.” Alaska SeaLife Center’s veterinarians also work behind the scenes at the I.Sea.U, a refuge for rescued marine mammals that has helped rehabilitate otter pups, walrus calves, and beluga calves.
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    301 Railway Avenue
    Seward, AK US
  • Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
    The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum takes visitors on a flyby of the the state's aeronautical history. The vast facility—composed of five hangars of planes and exhibits, a restoration hangar, and three theaters—covers aviation history from the early days of flight to modern military aviation. More than 20 vintage aircraft can be found throughout, including a 1931 Fairchild Pilgrim 100B, a 1943 Grumman G44 Widgeon, and a 1981 Boeing B737-290C. Meanwhile, the museum's spot on the south shore of Lake Hood—the busiest seaplane base in the world—gives visitors a glimpse of modern planes in action.
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    4721 Aircraft Drive
    Anchorage, AK US
  • Sitka Summer Music Festival
    Alaska Center for the Performing Arts augments the cultural landscape of Anchorage with a schedule of entertaining events throughout the year. The non-profit organization welcomes audiences to take in musicals, concerts, ballets, and comedy shows in four stunning venues. The spacious Atwood Concert Hall features a dramatic starburst ceiling that mimics the aurora borealis, while the smaller Discovery Theatre sports saucer-shaped discs to aid in acoustics.
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    165 E 56th Ave
    Anchorage, AK US
  • Turning Heads Kennel
    Racing enthusiasts Travis Beals, set to run the Iditarod this year, and Sarah Stokey care for the energetic and high-speed pups of Turning Heads Kennel. Together they lead dog-sled tours in winter and summer, giving tourists an authentic glimpse into a sled dog’s life before setting them loose on the trails of Seward on unique, custom-build dog sleds. Tours are designed to be easygoing enough for beginners, giving them time to stop for a snack, enjoy the scenery, and take pictures.
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    31722 Herman Lierer Rd
    Seward, Alaska US

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