Anchorage is the state capital and largest city in Alaska. Given its status, it acts as the remote state’s hub for all things commercial, administrative, educational and cultural, containing plenty of museums, shops, restaurants and arts venues. The city’s location means that, for much of the year, Anchorage resembles a veritable winter wonderland, although summers are pleasant here. Much of the city is sparsely laid-out, meaning that it covers a huge expanse of land. This means that, barring the city centre, you’re unlikely to find yourself as part of a massive crowd, making a visit worthwhile for anyone who wants a peaceful break. Anchorage has a culture which sets itself apart from mainland America, fusing western and Inuit traditions.
To be on the safe side, a 4x4 car would help to make winter and rural driving in Anchorage a lot easier than it would be with something smaller.
Driving in Anchorage
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Some drivers in the city tend to be on the aggressive side. To get on their good side, obeying local driving laws is a must.
If driving on the Seward Highway while it’s snowing, the law states that you must keep your headlights on at all times.
Some of the minor routes in Anchorage may have several cracks on the surface, caused by winter weather and drivers using studded tyres.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Alaska Native Heritage Center, which tends to be closed during winter, is a museum with a difference. It celebrates the cultures of various native tribes of the state and has a big stage where native hold dance performances and provide talks. There are paintings and textiles on show too.
For something a little different, why not visit the Anchorage Museum of History and Art? Aside from focusing on Alaskan history, it also houses art works from local painters including Sydney Lawrence. A recent addition to the site is a children’s museum.
Up in the mountains, there are a huge number of ski resorts in Anchorage including the Alyeska Resort and Hillberg and Hilltop Ski Areas. It’s possible to get lessons from qualified instructors if you fancy giving going on-piste a try.
To buy truly authentic Alaskan souvenirs, the best place to go is the Anchorage Market and Festival. Open for most of the year, it sells fresh food, arts, crafts and unique souvenirs which cannot be found in some of the indoor malls.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the main air terminal serving Anchorage and the state of Alaska. It‚Äôs around three miles southwest of downtown Anchorage and serves a handful of destinations throughout North America, not to mention parts of Europe.
The airport is connected to the Seward Highway by the International Airport Road, which goes eastbound. The highway will take you northwards towards central Anchorage.