Alaska's Urban Hub: Anchorage

Anchorage is an urban hub of Alaska, located in the south central part of the state. It is one of the oldest Alaskan cities, beginning with the "Anchorage Townsite Auction" in 1915, in which more than 600 lots were sold. Now it is a booming city with a vibrant population.

While the Anchorage summer days are not as long as in Fairbanks, the wealth of opportunities more than make up for it. The city is close the half million acres that make up spectacular Chugach State Park, and outfitters and renters are in abundant supply to choose your particular method of exploring: canoeing, hiking, biking, ATVs, "flightseeing," horseback riding . . . be sure to budget plenty of time for a trip to Anchorage!

Winter in Anchorage offers the usual gamut of cold-weather activities, from snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. But it offers a new one as well: skijoring. This popular sport involves cross-country skiing while being towed by a dog. It calls for any strong dog over 35 pounds (no poodles, apparently).

Anchorage has a beautiful nightlife, which can be enjoyed under a spectacular display of the Northern Lights if visiting in spring or fall. Enjoy a First Friday Art Walk, or the Hullabaloo on 3rd Avenue, a comedy and history lesson in one. The city hosts a variety of live music, pubs, and themed bars for visitors looking for a little urban entertainment.