Anchorage was a central hub for our trip. We had originally landed in Anchorage and we have departed from Anchorage.
Anchorage is probably the largest city in Alaska. According to wikipedia Anchorage has a population of about 300,000 people which is about a third of the entire population of Alaska. Anchorage is located in the southern part of Alaska not far from Chugach State Park. The beautiful Chugach mountains are visible when driving south on Seward Highway, Interstate A3 towards Girdwood.
Anchorage is a fairly large modern city. It has plenty of good restaurants and hotels. Some recommended restaurants are:
- Glacier Brewhouse located at 737 W. 5th Avenue. - Good for lunch and dinner.
- Orso located at 737 W. 5th Avenue. (both restaurants are in the same building.) - Good for Dinner.
- Snow City Cafe - locate at 1034 West 4th Avenue. - Good for breakfast.
Anchorage is also a major railroad hub. There are trains from Anchorage that travel to Faibanks in the north and Seward in the south. We have taken a day trip to Hurricane. This is a 12 hours day trip that passes Wasilla, Talkeetna before it stops on the Hurricane bridge opening a view to some of the more beautiful glaciers in the Denali National Park. After a 30 minute stop the train goes back to Anchorage. The Alaska railroad is the last "whistle stop" railroad system in the US. Most of the locals that live off the grid use the railroad to shop for supplies and get to major cities in case of emergency. The train ride is a good opportunity to meet them and chat with them.
Another cool place to visit in Anchorage is the Imaginarium. It's a sort of a museum where you can view some of the early alaskan history. There is a room with some practical scientific experiments that kids can enjoy.
Anchorage has many hiking destinations the longest of them is from Eagle River north of Anchorage all the way to Girdwood to the Southeast of Anchorage. This trail is going through the middle of Chugach National Forest.
We also visited other major cities in Anchorage's vicinity: Wasilla and Palmer to the North and Girdwood to the South.
There is some wildlife that could be seen on the outskirts of the city. There are approximately 1,500 moose that reside close to Anchorage.