Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Iditarod 41

Photos and stories from the last great race.

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MUSEUMS: Airplanes to art make wonderful Alaska memories

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MUSEUMS: Airplanes to art make wonderful Alaska memories

You don't have to travel every corner of Alaska to gather a true sense of the state's history and culture, a reflection of its past, or the pulse of its present. You don't even have to leave Anchorage. The city's museum circuit will educate and fascinate visitors of all ages. Here's a list of can't-miss Anchorage museums:

Museums and more

Examples of Native arts and crafts at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Got culture? Dozens of museums feature art and Native creations.

List of museums in Alaska

Here is a city-by-city listing of museums in Alaska.

Anchorage history and culture

From the moment visitors arrive in Anchorage, they are surrounded by Alaska's cultural heritage. It doesn't require a visit to one of the community's excellent museums to get a taste.

Culture, industry and wildlife are Arctic Alaska's attractions

Native culture tours highlight the attractions of Northern Alaska.

You don't have to travel every corner of Alaska to gather a true sense of the state's history and culture, a reflection of its past, or the pulse of its present. You don't even have to leave Anchorage. The city's museum circuit will educate and fascinate visitors of all ages. Here's a list of can't-miss Anchorage museums:

Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum

Fittingly set overlooking Lake Hood, the world's busiest float plane lake, this museum has 20 airplanes on display, including a 1944 Grumman Goose amphibian, a 1928 Stearman, a Stinson L-1 and an Army reconnaissance aircraft that's the only type still flying. There's even an Alaska Airlines Combi jet. The museum also offers an overview of Alaska's aviation heritage and its flying pioneers and veterans, as well as a restoration hangar. Exhibits include photo displays of early bush pilots and the Alaska Aviation Hall of Fame.

WHERE: 4721 Aircraft Drive

WHEN: Summer: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily May 11-Sept. 15. Winter: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

COST: $10 adults, $8 seniors and students over 12, $6 children, free for veterans and active military

PHONE: 248-5325

WEB: www.alaskaairmuseum.org

Alaska Heritage Museum at Wells Fargo

The free museum is home to beautiful and historic Alaska items. Visitors will see more than 900 Alaska Native artifacts, including 80 hand-woven baskets that date back hundreds of years, ivory carvings, baleen baskets and art by legends Sydney Laurence, Fred Machetanz, Ted Lambert, Eustace Ziegler and others. The gem of the collection might be the 46-troy-ounce, 5-inch-long gold nugget, the largest on display in Alaska.

WHERE: Wells Fargo Bank building, 301 W. Northern Lights Blvd.

WHEN: Summer: Noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Winter: Noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

COST: Free

PHONE: 265-2834

WEB: www.wellsfargohistory.com/museums/museum_anchorage.html

Alaska Native Heritage Center

The world-class culture and education center shares the diverse cultures of Alaska's 11 indigenous groups with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Visitors can experience Alaska Native lifestyles firsthand through storytelling, song and dance, art and artist demonstrations, sports and games and six life-size replicas of regional dwellings.

WHERE: 8800 Heritage Center Drive

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, May 6-Sept. 3

COST: $24.95 adults, $21.15 military and seniors 65 and older, $16.95 children ages 7-16, free ages 6 and younger; resident rates are $9.95 adults and $6.95 children, free ages 6 and younger

PHONE: 330-8000, 800-315-6608

WEB: www.alaskanative.net

Alaska Law Enforcement Museum

The museum tells the history of law enforcement in Alaska as a territory and as a state with exhibits, original art, memorabilia and photographs, including Alaska State Trooper uniforms and a restored 1952 Hudson Hornet police car. There's also a gift shop.

WHERE: 245 W. Fifth Ave.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday

COST: Free

PHONE: 279-5050, 800-770-5050

WEB: www.alaskatroopermuseum.com

,b>Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

The state's largest museum brings thousands of years of history and beautiful artwork together in one place, and it's gotten even bigger in recent years after a massive, multi-phase expansion. Art, science, history -- it's all here, and there's something exciting for all ages (see Imaginarium listing for adventures in the museum for families and children). That includes the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, which features more than 600 indigenous Alaska artifacts. That 10,000-square-foot exhibit space alone includes many objects never before displayed, like an 1866 Gwich'in Athabascan tunic with dyed quill designs, one of the Smithsonian's oldest objects; an 1880s Inupiaq caribou skin parka; and a 1903 Tlingit crest hat made of woven spruce root.

WHERE: 625 C Street

HOURS: Summer: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, mid-May through mid-September. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday, mid-September to mid-May.

COST: $12 adults, $9 senior/military/students with ID, $7 Ages 3-12, Free 2 and younger.

PHONE: 929-9200

WEB: www.anchoragemuseum.org

Alaska Museum of Natural History

Explore a billion years of Alaska's natural history at "Alaska's Hands On Museum" and its touchable collection of Alaska rocks, minerals and fossils. The permanent collection includes a paleontology/archaeology pit, dinosaur and Ice Age fossils, and many touchable mounts of Alaska animals. There are plenty of Alaska birds, dinosaurs and geology, as well.

WHERE: 201 N. Bragaw St.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday

COST: $5 adults, $3 children and students 3-12, $4 military and seniors

PHONE: 274-2400

WEB: www.alaskamuseum.org

Oscar Anderson House Museum

Built in 1915 by Swedish immigrant Oscar Anderson, this is one of the city's first homes. 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-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday from June 4 to September 14

COST: Guided tours are $5 adults, $3 children

PHONE: 274-2336

Imaginarium Discovery Center at The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

If your museum exploration includes your children, or if you just want to see how far science has advanced since your junior high projects, make a beeline to the Imaginarium. Here, 80 exhibits and programs explore science in many mediums, from gravity to Alaska's aurora borealis.

WHERE: 625 C Street

HOURS: Summer: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, mid-May-mid-September. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday, mid-September to mid-May.

COST: $12 adults, $9 senior/military/students with ID, $7 Ages 3-12, Free 2 and younger.

PHONE: 343-4326

WEB: www.anchoragemuseum.org

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