PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
When Is The Best Time to Visit Anchorage, Alaska?
Located in Southcentral Alaska, Anchorage sits at the edge of Cook Inlet – with the Knik Arm to its north and the Turnagain Arm to its south. Although it is the largest city in Alaska (by population), Anchorage still maintains a walkable downtown with a small-town field. Because so much of the city’s appeal focuses on the natural beauty of the region, most people agree that summer is the best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska!
In Anchorage, the summer “season” runs from May through September. During this time, temperatures are relatively warm and range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are three key tips to remember for visiting Anchorage during the summer months!
- Pack plenty of layers since weather conditions during the summer months can be unpredictable.
- Your packing list should include waterproof outerwear, boots or closed-toe shoes, and moisture-wicking garments. Don’t forget your sunglasses, a hat, and most importantly – bug spray!
- Prices in Alaska can be higher than those found in the rest of the United States since Alaska is remote and many of its popular travel destinations are far from major cities.
Summertime in Anchorage, Alaska
Summer in Anchorage means new-born moose calves, the annual appearance of Beluga whales along Turnagain Arm, salmon returning to spawn, and seasonal glacier cruises along local waterways. Visitors can still go dogsledding during the summer months, on carts pulled by dogsled teams, or atop glaciers in Girdwood and the Matanuska Valley. Of course, the warmer weather means adventure seekers will have plenty of opportunities for kayaking, hiking, biking, and summer day trips!
With so much to do and see in Anchorage, you can plan the perfect vacation without leaving the area. There are plenty of family-friendly and adventurous activities for all! Here are our top 10 favorite things to do in Anchorage if you visit during the summer:
- Get outside! The best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska is in the summer, when hiking and biking are at their best! Explore the 32-mile Moose Loop or the hiking trails of Chugach State Park. You can even climb Flattop Mountain – it’s the most-climbed mountain in Alaska, due to its proximity to downtown Anchorage and the minimal equipment you need to reach the summit.
- Take time to smell the flowers! Visit the Alaska Botanical Gardens to see the more than 1,100 varieties of annuals and perennial plants they have onsite. You can also take a downtown detour through the Delaney Park Strip’s Centennial Rose Garden to see the beautiful blooms!
- Go fishing. Visit Ship Creek, Anchorage’s urban salmon fishery, and rent a complete fishing package (including a non-resident fishing license) for the day. If you’re lucky, you may just catch your dinner.
- Take a trolley ride through town. Anchorage’s Trolley Tours begin May 4 and run all summer long. The tours are one hour in length and feature lots of information about local history and tales. Highlights of the tour include Earthquake Park, several historic neighborhoods, and the world’s largest floatplane base, Westchester Lagoon.
- Experience Anchorage’s lakes. Kayak, bike lakeside paths, or hike mountain trails overlooking Eklutna and Portage Lakes.
- Visit historic gold mining sites! Local destinations like Indian Valley Mine National Historic Site or Crow Creek Historic Gold Mine offer great opportunities to learn about the rich history of Anchorage and its surrounding area.
- Ride the rails. You can take a train trip from Anchorage to Talkeetna or explore the Spencer Glacier Whistle stop during a day trip to either location.
- Spend a day at the beach. Cool off during the hot summer months with a trip to Mirror Lake, Beach Lake, or Portage Creek. You can even rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard to add to the fun!
- Explore local culture. Learn about Alaska’s unique aviation culture, military history, and more at one of the city’s local museums.
- See native wildlife! Beluga whales are easy to spot off the coast of Anchorage between July and August when they are in pursuit of the salmon in Cook Inlet. Other native wildlife species can be seen from above – book a flightseeing tour to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of Anchorage and the animals that live in Chugach State Park and Denali National Park. If you want to see Alaskan wildlife, the best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska is definitely during the summer.
- Bonus activity – visit scenic glaciers along the Trail of Blue Ice! This flat, accessible route is ideal for walking or biking and is a great way to see glaciers up close.
Working Up An Appetite In Anchorage
With so many things to do and see in Anchorage, you’re sure to get hungry. One of the best-kept secrets of this town, however, is the culinary scene! And the best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska for the food is the summer months, when native berries, fish, and other local delights are in season. If you visit Anchorage, be sure to try the Alaska King Crab, Alaska Salmon, Halibut Cheeks, locally sourced Yak, Reindeer sausage, native berries, and yes – craft beer. Anchorage’s food scene is unlike any other in the rest of the United States and is something you have to experience for yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and make those reservations now – Anchorage, Alaska is calling!