A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Anchorage: 45°/65°/Partly sunny
Museums, flowers, parks and shopping
Alaska Railroad Depot
The Anchorage depot is home to the historic Alaska Railroad and was built in 1942. In addition to the regular coming and going of trains, on display at the depot is an antique train engine that was used to build the Panama Canal. There are many historical photos in the depot, and there is a gift shop.
Where: 411 W. First Ave.
When: Open daily
Alaska Public Lands Information Center
Take a walk, watch a movie or get a map at the center, home to enormous amounts of information and exhibits about Alaska. There are natural history exhibits, a variety of movies about the state that screen regularly, and a one-hour live program at 2 p.m. daily with special speakers and visitors, including animals from the Alaska Zoo and mushers. At 11 a.m. daily there is a guided Capt. Cook walk. Visitors are invited to join the informative walk to Resolution Park and learn about Cook's travels to Alaska. The center has a trip-planning area and sells passes to state and national parks. Geographic information stations include topographic maps and GPS data. Information is available on the Alaska Marine Highway and public-use cabins.
Where: 605 W. Fourth Ave.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Alaska State Troopers Museum
The museum tells the history of law enforcement in Alaska as a territory and as a state. It features exhibits, original art, memorabilia and photographs, including trooper uniforms and a restored 1952 Hudson Hornet police car. There is a gift shop.
Where: 245 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 113
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays
Phone: 800-770-5050, 279-5050
Anchorage Light Speed Planet Walk
Visit the sun and the nine planets of the solar system -- including the recently exiled Pluto -- on this walk through downtown Anchorage and along the Coastal Trail. Take one step per second and you'll travel the equivalent of the speed of light. There are informative signs about the members of the solar system. The sun is at G Street and Fifth Avenue; Mercury is at Fifth Avenue and H Street; Venus is in front of the Hotel Captain Cook on Fifth Avenue; Earth is at Fifth Avenue and L Street; Mars is in Elderberry Park; Jupiter is at the Westchester Lagoon dam; Saturn is at Lyn Ary Park; Uranus is at the top of the Point Woronzof hill; Neptune is along the trail; and Pluto is near the Kincaid Park chalet.
Where: Starting downtown at Fifth Avenue and G Street
Anchorage Market and Festival
The market is one of Anchorage's most popular attractions for visitors and locals alike. Food, arts, crafts and a beautiful setting near Ship Creek make the market an excellent shopping experience. Vendors will sell Matanuska Valley vegetables, herbs and flowers. Local artists and crafters provide framed photographs and artwork as well as jewelry, clothing and pottery. Food choices include reindeer hot dogs, pizza, halibut tacos, salmon quesadillas, funnel cakes and a variety of ethnic foods. There are more than 300 vendors, free live entertainment on the stage and buskers in the aisles.
Where: Third Avenue and E Street
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, May 16 to Sept. 13
Cost: Free to browse
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
The state's largest museum brings thousands of years of history and beautiful artwork together in one place. On May 30, the museum debuts its $106 million expansion, which features new display space, a new shop and a new cafe with outdoor patio.
The summer's main exhibit, "Gold," on display May 30 to Aug. 2, will dazzle visitors with more than 300 gold objects. The exhibit, curated by the American Museum of Natural History, includes a gold-plated room, doubloons from sunken Spanish galleons, jewelry from Hellenistic Greece, Susan Sarandon's Oscar and other items. The museum will add an Alaska-specific gold exhibit, "Pay Dirt," explaining why there is gold in Alaska, how gold has affected the state's economy and what life was like during the Gold Rush.
The museum's permanent collection depicts 10,000 years of Alaska history, including Native subsistence lifestyles, European exploration, Russian-American history and contemporary times. The museum also features art of the north from travelers, adventurers and Native artists. On the first Friday of each month, the museum hosts free live music, art openings and a Singles After Hours mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. The Anchorage Museum Shop features unique works from Alaska artists and artisans.
Where: 625 C St.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, May 30 to Sept. 15; open until 9 p.m. first Fridays
Cost: $8 adults, $7 seniors and military, free for children 17 and younger, but a $2 donation is suggested; the "Gold" exhibit will cost an additional $12 adults, $7 members, $5 ages 3 to 17
'Aurora -- Alaska's Great Northern Lights'
While visitors may enjoy Alaska's long summer days, they miss the spectacular northern lights. The aurora is visible indoors at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts via a 40-minute digital show set to music. The show includes rare images of the aurora borealis filmed in Alaska since 1981.
Where: Sydney Laurence Theatre, 621 W. Sixth Ave.
When: Hourly shows from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, May 24 to Sept. 1
Cost: $8.75 adults, $7.75 seniors and military, and $6.75 children
The charming theater-cafe-bookstore has been in business for more than 15 years. Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse has an eclectic offering of a different play each month, including Alaska originals and classic and contemporary works. The theater is in one of Anchorage's oldest structures, built in 1915. The cafe features beer and wine, appetizer plates and desserts. There also are poetry readings and special events.
Where: 413 D St.
When: Hours vary, but play performances are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays
Cost: Plays are $17.50 adults, $15 seniors, students and military
Delaney Park Strip
The long, blockwide downtown park is the home for a variety of festivals during the summer months. Additionally, it has tennis courts, volleyball courts, softball diamonds, a train engine built in 1943 that kids can play on and the beautiful Centennial Rose Garden. During its long history, the park has served as a firebreak and an airstrip.
Where: Between Ninth and 10th avenues and A and P streets
4th Avenue Market Place
The Alaska Experience Theatre, now in its 29th year, presents "Alaska the Great Land" and an earthquake simulator at the popular downtown mall. After the movies, browse through the rest of the mall, which includes art galleries and other shops. Free exhibits include a Fred Machetanz art exhibit, a historical walking tour of Anchorage, a Tlingit totem pole and earthquake photos from 1964. There also are Native performances Mondays to Saturdays.
Where: Fourth Avenue and C Street
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
Imaginarium Science Discovery Center
The hands-on science center is great for kids -- and for adults who still like learning. It includes a planetarium, hourly science demonstrations, exhibits on flight and space, an Alaska marine touch tank, a bubble lab, physics, a life-size T. rex, reptiles and an activity station. There is a gift shop. The center also provides statewide outreach programs. The Imaginarium will be closing in September in preparation for a move into the Anchorage Museum in 2010.
Where: 737 W. Fifth Ave.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $5.50 adults, $5 children
Log Cabin Visitors Center
The Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's downtown location is a hub of activity and information; the log cabin has a huge variety of visitor brochures, free guides and information. Talk with the friendly volunteers, who have firsthand knowledge of Anchorage. The charming building is surrounded by a colorful flowering park.
Where: Fourth Avenue and F Street
When: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily June to August; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily May and September
Music for Little Ones
Music and dancing for the kids.
Where: Peratrovich Park, Fourth Avenue and E Street
When: Noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, June 2 to Aug. 11
Music in the Park
Pack a lunch or buy one from local vendors and enjoy some live lunchtime tunes. Music varies from jazz to big band and top 40.
Where: Peratrovich Park, Fourth Avenue and E Street
When: Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, June 4 to Aug. 29
Oscar Anderson House Museum
The house, built in 1915 by Swedish immigrant Oscar Anderson, is one of the city's first. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Anchorage's only house museum. Many of the original artifacts belonging to the family are in the home.
Where: 420 M St.
When: Guided tours from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays, June 1 to mid-September
Cost: $3 adults, $1 children ages 5-12
Russian Orthodox Museum
While the museum is only a few years old, the history of Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska is much older, with the first missionaries arriving in 1794. Items on display include processional banners, rare icons and a kayak frame used by missionaries. Many of the museum's artifacts represent a blending of Russian religious traditions with Alaska Native cultures. Some artifacts date back to the 18th century. Holy Trinity Chapel is attached to the museum and open to the public. The museum includes gift and coffee shops.
Where: 605 A St.
When: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays
Phone: 276-7257, 258-7257
SegTours of Anchorage
Hop aboard a two-wheeled Segway for a guided tour of downtown Anchorage that includes Town Square, Ship Creek, Resolution Park and the historic town site. Tours are between 90 minutes and two hours. Reservations required.
Where: 325 E St.
When: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day
The popular urban fishery is great for salmon anglers who have only a few hours, or for sightseers who want to watch the big fish head upstream.
Where: Near the railroad tracks north of First Avenue
When: Open daily; fishing times vary
Cost: Free to watch
Town Square Park
Town Square should be part of every visitor's itinerary, with its beautiful flowers and full schedule of summer events and festivals. The small park is next to the Alaska Center for Performing Arts. Also in the park is a water fountain, and it has an excellent view of the Whaling Wall, painted by artist Wyland.
Where: Between Fifth and Sixth avenues and E and F streets
When: Open daily
WildRide Sled Dog Show
Learn about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from the Seavey family, which includes three generations of Iditarod mushers. The show guides visitors through the history of sled dogs, stories from the trail and demonstrations of the dogs' athletic abilities.
Where: 185 E. Ship Creek Ave.
When: 1 and 4 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day
Cost: $19 adults, $9.50 children; special rates for Alaska residents
Phone: 561-6874, 1-888-221-6874
'Wild Salmon on Parade'
For the seventh summer, Alaska artists will turn molded salmon sculptures into creative, beautiful and unique art. Up to 25 artists are expected to participate, and the fish will be displayed throughout downtown. Many of the colorful and creative pieces are outdoors. A map is available on the Web site.
Where: Downtown Anchorage
When: June to August