Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Iditarod 41

Photos and stories from the last great race.

Anchorage: 36°/50°/Partly sunny

Fairbanks: 31°/57°/Mostly cloudy

Juneau: 33°/56°/Partly sunny

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Attractions around Anchorage

Two women enjoy the setting sun from Point Woronzof Overlook Park on Monday night as the warm glow reflected off the Anchorage skyline and Knik Arm behind them.

ADN

Two women enjoy the setting sun from Point Woronzof Overlook Park on Monday night as the warm glow reflected off the Anchorage skyline and Knik Arm behind them.

More on Alaska travel highlights

Mat-Su, Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, Copper River accommodations

Southcentral towns outside Anchorage often have a wide selection of lodging to accommodate visitors who come to town for a weekend's relaxation, to fish or to show off the state to relatives.

Inside Passage lodging: Juneau, Ketchikan and more

Visitors to Southeast Alaska have a lot of choices in lodging, from chain hotels in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan to fishing and hunting lodges tucked away on the shores of the Inside Passage.

Western Alaska lodging: Kodiak, Nome, Bethel and more

Western Alaska's grand expanse of terrain, water and wildlife attracts many visitors with an interest in the outdoors. Its larger cities -- Kodiak, Bethel, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and Nome -- put up quite a few visitors and governmental and commercial guests for the night.

Northern Alaska lodging: Barrow and Kotzebue

Hotels in Barrow and Kotzebue, in Northern Alaska, cater to tour groups, which arrive by plane from Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Interior lodging and restaurants: Fairbanks, Denali and more

Interior Alaska has a broad range of accommodations, from rustic cabins to hotel suites with kitchens.

Anchorage-area hotels, B&Bs, hostels, lodges and resorts

Lodging in Alaska

Green buses shuttle visitors into Denali

Flightseeing at Denali

Denali campground guide

Bus service to Denali

Limited offer: Drive Denali for free

Tundra wildlife and natural history tours

Rafting the Nenana reveals Denali's wet side

Alaska Railroad to Denali

Reserve campsite, bus ticket early for Denali trip

Hiking and backcountry camping at Denali

Denali Institute ecosystem courses

Hotels, campgrounds, lodges welcome visitors

Driving Denali in autumn

Denali climate and sunshine

Driving to Denali

Ferry and cruise trips near Anchorage

Driving in Anchorage

Day trips south of Anchorage

Day trips north of Anchorage

A city of parks

Savvy shopping in Anchorage

Finding history

Attractions around Anchorage

Downtown Anchorage attractions

Kayaking a perfect sea -- Prince William Sound

Rafting and kayaking are good across North

River kayaking and rafting in Alaska

Kayaking the icy waters

Harvesting glacier ice

Ice worms on the glacier

Why is glacier ice blue?

Worthington Glacier

Kennicott Glacier

Matanuska Glacier

Exit Glacier

Glaciers in the distance

Other glaciers reachable by land

See the glaciers up close

Roadside glaciers

Flightseeing at Denali

Flightseeing over Alaska's bush

Flightseeing in Alaska

Big catch, big cash

Ecotours in Alaska

Alaskans cruise Alaska

Health inspections of ships

Cruise lines serving Alaska

Alaska ports of call

Cruises in Alaska

Bird Creek is considered instant outdoors

Inside Passage camping

Arctic welcomes campers

Public-use cabins are convenient and inexpensive

Zoo, botanical garden, city parks and much more

Airport Visitor Information Centers

The Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's airport centers can be the first stop for tourists on their Alaska adventure. Knowledgeable volunteers are ready to assist with answers, information and planning. There is a center in the airport's South Terminal baggage claim area, one in the North Terminal's lobby area and one in the North Terminal's secure area.

WHERE: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily in South Terminal; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. mid-May through mid-September in North

COST: Free

PHONE: 266-2437, 266-2657

WEB: anchorage.net

Alaska Botanical Garden

Nestled in the foothills of East Anchorage, the 110-acre garden delights visitors, inspires gardeners, and educates adults and children. Nature trails through the boreal forest connect three perennial gardens, a rock garden, a formal herb garden and forested areas with native wildflowers. 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. daily June through August or by appointment. The annual Garden Fair is June 26-27 and includes a children's village, music, food, plant and craft vendors, garden speakers and a garden art show and sale.

WHERE: 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road, south of Tudor Road

WHEN: Daily (daylight hours)

COST: $5 adult, $10 family, free for children 2 and younger

PHONE: 770-3692

WEB: alaskabg.org

Alaska Zoo

The zoo provides homes for orphaned and injured animals and educates the public on 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 and Tibetan yaks. 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 from May 15 through Sept. 19.

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; winter 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily

COST: $12 adults, $9 seniors 65 and older and military, $6 youths ages 3-17, free for children younger than 3. Annual passes available.

PHONE: 346-3242

WEB: alaskazoo.org

Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge

More than 130 species of birds have been sighted in the refuge, so bird-watchers will love it. The refuge stretches 16 miles along the Anchorage coastline, but its most popular spot is Potter Marsh. At the marsh, boardwalks take 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, bald eagles, owls, 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

COST: Free

Chugach State Park

The 500,000-acre state park is the third-largest state park in the country and serves as Anchorage's backyard playground, 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 the Anchorage overlook, offering 360-degree views of the city, Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains.

WHERE: East of Anchorage

WHEN: Daily

COST: Free; parking fee of $5 or a $40 annual pass

PHONE: 345-5014

WEB: www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/chugach/

Earthquake Park

When the 1964 Good Friday earthquake struck Alaska, this portion of Anchorage was full of homes. The 9.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed the area, dropping many 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 cuts through the park, connecting with downtown and Kincaid Park.

WHERE: West on Northern Lights Boulevard near Aircraft Drive

WHEN: Open daily

COST: Free

Far North Bicentennial Park/Hillside Park

The parks include more than 4,000 acres of rolling, forested hills. Miles of trails are 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 summer when salmon are in the creek.

WHERE: Off Tudor and Abbott roads

WHEN: Open daily

COST: Free

PHONE: 343-4474

WEB: muni.org/parks/index.cfm

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. Access policies can change without notice. Call ahead for organized tours.

WHERE: Hatchery Drive, Fort Richardson

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

COST: Free

PHONE: 428-1348

WEB: adfg.state.ak.us

Kincaid Park

The park includes about 1,400 acres of rolling, forested hills. It has 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 in the summer. The multi-use paved trails are open for winter biking, hiking and snowshoeing. The other trails are for ski use only. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail ends at the park chalet; a bike path also enters the park from the east along Raspberry Road. 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. Kincaid Chalet summer hours, noon-9 p.m. daily; winter chalet hours noon-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

COST: Free

PHONE: 343-6397

WEB: muni.org/parks/index.cfm

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