A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 31°/60°/Mostly sunny
Juneau: 39°/63°/Mostly sunny
Airport Visitor Information Centers
The Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's airport centers can be the first stop for tourists on their Alaska adventure. There is a center in the airport's south terminal C concourse, one in the north terminal's lobby area and one in the north terminal's secure area. Volunteers can assist with questions and information.
Where: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Phone: 266-2437, 266-2657, 248-0162
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum
The museum overlooks Lake Hood, the world's busiest floatplane lake. It has 20 different airplanes on display, including a 1944 Grumman Widgeon amphibian plane and a Stinson L-1, an Army reconnaissance aircraft that's the only one still flying. The museum also offers a presentation of Alaska's aviation heritage and its flying pioneers and veterans. Exhibits include photo displays of early bush pilots and the Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame. A variety of aviation films is shown in the theater throughout the day. A new flight simulator is included with admission. There is a gift shop with unique aviation-related items.
Where: 4721 Aircraft Drive
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: $10 adults with discounts for military, $8 seniors and $6 children
Alaska Botanical Garden
The garden is nestled in the foothills of East Anchorage and delights visitors, inspires gardeners and educates adults and children. Gentle walking paths guide guests through two perennial gardens, a rock garden and an herb garden. A 1.1-mile nature trail with interpretive signs crosses the Iditarod Trail and has views of Campbell Creek, the Chugach Mountains and a natural wetland. Guided tours are offered at 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays June to August. There are special programs from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. The 10th annual Garden Fair is June 23-24 and includes a children's village, music, food, plant and craft vendors, garden speakers and a juried garden art show.
Where: Campbell Airstrip Road, south of Tudor Road
When: Daily (daylight hours)
Cost: $5 adult, $3 children ages 2-17 and seniors 60 and older, $10 family (suggested donation)
Alaska Heritage Museum at Wells Fargo
Thanks to the generosity of the Rasmuson family and the continued support of Wells Fargo Bank, the free museum is home to some beautiful and historical Alaska items. Visitors will see more than 900 Alaska Native artifacts and baskets that date back hundreds of years, ivory carvings, baleen baskets and artwork by Sydney Laurence, Fred Machetanz, Ted Lambert and others. A 46-troy-ounce gold nugget is on display. The nugget is 5 inches long and is the largest nugget on display in Alaska. There also is a noncirculating reference library of more than 2,600 books on Alaska subjects.
Where: Wells Fargo Bank building, 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd.
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, Memorial Day to Labor Day
Alaska Museum of Natural History Explore 100 million years of Alaska's natural history with a huge collection of Alaska rocks, minerals and fossils. The permanent collection includes four Alaska wildlife dioramas, numerous mounts of Alaska animals and birds and skeletal examples of moose, humans and a new beluga whale.
Where: 201 N. Bragaw St.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays
Cost: $5 adults, $3 children
Alaska Native Heritage Center
The center's main exhibit is "Living From the Land and Sea," an exploration of traditional hunting and gathering methods of Alaska Native peoples. Visitors can experience Alaska Native culture first-hand through storytelling, Native song and dance, artist demonstrations, Native games demonstrations and through six life-size replicas of Native dwellings.
Where: 8800 Heritage Center Drive
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May 13 to mid-September
Cost: $23.50 adults, $21.15 military and seniors 65 and older, $15.95 children ages 7-16, free ages 6 and younger; resident rates are $9.95 adult and $6.95 children
The zoo provides homes for orphaned and injured animals while educating the public on their natural history and conservation. Visitors can see and photograph Alaska wildlife including polar bears, wolves, brown bears, moose, caribou and raptors. Exotic species include Amur tigers, snow leopards, Bactrian camels, Tibetan yaks and an African elephant. Other animals include musk oxen, Dall sheep, lynx, black bears and porcupines. Daily Discovery Tours and Family Program Nights on Tuesdays and Fridays are popular summer events. Free shuttle service is provided to and from downtown Anchorage during the summer.
Where: 4731 O'Malley Road
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day; open until 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays Cost: $10 adults, $8 seniors 65 and older and military, $6 youth ages 3-17, free for children younger than 3
Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge
More than 130 species of birds have been sighted in the refuge, so birdwatchers will love it. The refuge stretches 16 miles along the Anchorage coastline, but its most popular spot is Potter Marsh. A boardwalk takes visitors into the heart of the wetland for easy bird watching, complete with interpretive displays of the refuge's animals and plant life. Some of the birds that call the Potter Marsh area home are arctic terns, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, grebes, gulls, ducks and other waterfowl. Salmon also return to the area. Nearby is the Potter Section House Historic Site, which once served the railroad.
Where: Mile 115 Seward Highway
When: Open daily
Chugach State Park
The 500,000-acre state park is the third-largest state park in the country and Anchorage's backyard, with access points from Eklutna in the north to Girdwood in the south, including several in Anchorage. The park is great for hiking, camping, mountain biking, animal viewing and even a little fishing. From the Glen Alps parking lot, it is an easy walk to Anchorage overlook, offering 360-degree views of the city, Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains.
Where: East of Anchorage
Cost: Free; parking fee of $5 or a $40 annual pass
When the 1964 Good Friday earthquake struck, this portion of Anchorage was full of homes. The 9.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed the area, dropping some of the homes into Cook Inlet. The quake, the largest recorded in North America, caused $68 million in damage in Anchorage. Today, the area is a peaceful park with outstanding views of downtown Anchorage and the Alaska Range. The park has a trail system with interpretive signs to help visitors understand the destructive power of the earthquake. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail winds through the park.
Where: West on Northern Lights Boulevard near Aircraft Drive
When: Open daily
Elmendorf State Hatchery
See king and coho salmon in Ship Creek and watch young fish - salmon and rainbow trout - in the hatchery. King salmon spawn from late July to August. The salmon viewing area, accessed from Post Road, is one of the best places to see king and silver salmon congregate.
Where: Reeve Boulevard and Post Road
When: Salmon viewing area, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; hatchery, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Far North Bicentennial Park / Hillside Park
The parks include more than 4,000 acres of rolling, forested hills. There are miles of trails perfect for hiking or mountain biking. Campbell Creek flows through Bicentennial Park. From the Spencer Loop trail, there is an outstanding view of Mount McKinley. Wildlife encounters are possible; be bear-aware during the late summer when salmon are in the creek.
Where: Off Tudor and Abbott roads
When: Open daily
Fort Richardson Hatchery
See five different fish species in a variety of life stages and sizes in both indoor and outdoor tanks. The hatchery is home to silver salmon, king salmon, rainbow trout, arctic grayling and arctic char. The char can be up to 4 years old. To access the hatchery, visitors must enter Fort Richardson; a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and registration are required.
Where: Fort Richardson
When: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; organized tours available weekdays
H20asis Indoor Waterpark
If the skeeters and rain are too plentiful for you, why not try out indoor warm-water fun? Attractions at the park include a wave pool, a lazy river, hot-tubs, a pirate-ship lagoon, a 150-foot water slide and a 505-foot Master Blaster water-coaster ride. The river is open for exercise too.
Where: 1520 O'Malley Road
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Cost: $21.95 adults, $16.95 for ages 3 through 12, free for ages 2 and younger
The park includes about 1,400 acres of rolling, forested hills.
There are beautiful views of Mount Susitna, Mount McKinley, Fire
Island and stunning sunsets. More than 35 miles of mostly wide trails are perfect for hiking or mountain biking. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail ends at the park chalet. Wildlife encounters with moose and bears are possible. There also is a disc golf course.
Where: West end of Raspberry Road
When: Open daily; gates open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.