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04/29/2014 - Making The Most Of It: Day Trips From Anchorage

Making The Most Of It: Day Trips From Anchorage

Tourism in Alaska has boomed over the past few decades, and Anchorage has been at the heart of this explosion of interest. There’s no question about why people are coming in such numbers to explore Anchorage; with high-end resorts, fascinating local communities, and plenty of opportunities to dine in world-class restaurants, the luxury of spending a day - or longer - in Anchorage is undeniable. Add to that the beauty of its natural surroundings and a deep sense of history, and you have the perfect place to spend your holiday. Of course, there are fantastic day trips to be had here, ensuring that you and your fellow travellers will never run out of things to do and see here at the top of the world. From fishing, to cruises, to tours and much more, Anchorage spoils its visitors with a long list of possible adventures. Welcome!

Meet Alaska’s Bears

One of the most popular day trips from Anchorage is for a full or half-day session of bear-watching in the Alaskan wilderness, and those who have gone once say that they’d return again and again. This isn’t like watching a lone bear wandering about a zoo enclosure; on these trips, you’ll see them in the natural habitat, against the spectacular Alaskan skyline of forests and mountains. A short flight from Anchorage will bring you to either the famous Katmai National Park, or guide-led tours at others lodges and wilderness camps. Flight safaris are also available, allowing you to take in the majestic Alaskan wilderness and the sight of wild bears from the safety of a plane, with the aerial trail blazed by experienced guides and pilots. Most bear-watching trips last ten to fifteen hours, from the time to leave Anchorage to the time you return, giving you a full day of bear-watching excitement.

Whales and Glaciers

You may have gone cruising in the east, but nothing will prepare you for the experience of cruising here in the northwest corner of the continent. Getting to Kenai Fjords National Park or the stunning Prince William Sound is easy - it’s just a scenic bus, rail, or car ride south of Anchorage, and the journey is almost as beautiful as the destination. Once there, there are plenty of catamarans and day cruises available for a variety of interests. Wildlife lovers will want to visit Kenai Fjords for the sheer abundance of animals you might be able to spot there: whales (orcas, gray whales, and humpbacks are all regular visitors), porpoises, otters, Stellar sea lions, and plenty of sea birds will all keep you fascinated and entertained until it’s time to return to Anchorage. If you’re more interested in taking in awe-inspiring glaciers and the stunning changes they’ve brought to the Alaskan landscape, visit the calm waters of Prince William Sound.

If you’re planning on a longer stay in Anchorage, visiting both of these beautiful spots is well-recommended by those in the know. This is the perfect chance to see Alaska’s beauty firsthand, and with such an easy journey from Anchorage, there’s no reason not to explore these jewels of the north.

Cast A Line

People come from across the world to go fishing in Alaska, and you’ll soon see why. Anchorage is the right place to be if you’re looking to land a trophy fish or just tonight’s dinner, with plenty of opportunities ranging from day trips into the wilderness to just strolling downtown. After picking up your fishing license, it’s easy to go down to Ship Creek and try your luck at bringing in a salmon during their spring and summer runs; king and silver salmon are both plentiful there, and there’s nothing like a fresh-caught fish for dinner to make you feel like a real Alaskan. If you want to get out of the city for a day, fishing charters and guides are available to take you to where the fish are biting. (Although most anglers choose to make day trips of these expeditions, longer trips are also available from some guides.) Whether you want to go ice or fly fishing in the deep wilderness, or just sit by the edge of one of Anchorage’s 30 local fishing lakes, you’ll soon be letting go of your everyday worries - it’s impossible not to relax when you’re surrounded by such beauty.

Written and Provided by:  Jenni Jenks

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