Free Things to Do In Anchorage: Anchorage, Alaska is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities. However, many visitors to the city may not realize that there are plenty of free things to do in and around Anchorage that offer a unique and memorable experience. From hiking to sightseeing, here are some of the best free things to do in and around Anchorage.
15 Free Things to Do In Anchorage
- Tony Knowles Coastal Trail: The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is an 11-mile trail that follows the coastline of Anchorage. The trail offers stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and the city skyline. The trail is popular among locals and visitors alike, and it is open year-round. Visitors can hike, bike, or even cross-country ski on the trail depending on the season. The trailhead is located in downtown Anchorage near the Alaska Railroad Depot.
- Anchorage Market and Festival: The Anchorage Market and Festival is held every weekend from May to September. The market features over 300 vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to fresh produce. Visitors can also enjoy live music, food vendors, and a beer garden. The market is located in downtown Anchorage and admission is free.
- Alaska Native Heritage Center: The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a museum and cultural center that showcases the history and traditions of Alaska’s Native people. Visitors can explore the center’s exhibits, attend cultural presentations, and participate in hands-on activities. The center is located in northeast Anchorage and admission is free.
- Eagle River Nature Center: The Eagle River Nature Center is located in Chugach State Park, just a short drive from Anchorage. The center offers hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and educational exhibits about the park’s ecosystem. Visitors can also attend guided nature walks and programs led by park rangers. Admission to the nature center is free, but there is a fee for parking.
- Chugach State Park: Chugach State Park is the third largest state park in the United States and is located just outside Anchorage. The park offers hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can also explore the park’s glaciers and mountains. There is no admission fee to enter the park, but visitors must purchase a parking pass.
- Anchorage Museum: The Anchorage Museum is a museum of art, history, and science located in downtown Anchorage. The museum features exhibits on Alaska’s history, culture, and art. Visitors can also attend lectures, films, and other events at the museum. Admission is free on the first Friday of every month from September to May.
- Alaska Public Lands Information Center: The Alaska Public Lands Information Center is a resource for visitors to Alaska’s public lands, including national parks and wildlife refuges. Visitors can learn about the history and ecology of Alaska’s public lands, as well as plan their trips to these areas. The center is located in downtown Anchorage and admission is free.
- Ship Creek: Ship Creek is a popular fishing spot located in downtown Anchorage. Visitors can fish for salmon and other fish species in the creek. The area also offers scenic views of the city skyline and the Chugach Mountains. Fishing licenses are required for anyone 16 years or older, but there is no fee to fish in the creek.
- Potter Marsh: Potter Marsh is a wetland area located just south of Anchorage. The marsh is home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, eagles, and waterfowl. Visitors can hike on the boardwalk trail that winds through the marsh and offers views of the surrounding mountains. There is no admission fee to visit Potter Marsh.
- Anchorage Trolley Tours: The Anchorage Trolley Tours offers a free, one-hour narrated tour of downtown Anchorage. The tour covers the city’s history, culture, and attractions. Visitors can hop on and off the trolley at any of the designated stops along the route. The tours are offered from May to September and are a great way to get an overview of the city.
- Earthquake Park: Earthquake Park is located on the west end of Anchorage and offers a unique look at the aftermath of the 1964 earthquake that devastated the city. The park features interpretive signs that explain the geological and historical significance of the area. Visitors can also enjoy scenic views of the Cook Inlet and the Alaska Range.
- Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum: The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of aviation in Alaska. The museum features exhibits on Alaska’s aviation pioneers, the military and civilian planes that have flown in Alaska, and the state’s bush pilots. Admission is free for children under 5 and for active military members.
- Independence Mine State Historical Park: The Independence Mine State Historical Park is located about an hour’s drive from Anchorage and offers a glimpse into Alaska’s gold mining history. Visitors can explore the historic buildings, artifacts, and mining equipment that were used in the early 1900s. The park also offers hiking trails and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
- Alaska Botanical Garden: The Alaska Botanical Garden is located in south Anchorage and features over 1,100 species of plants that are native to Alaska. The garden also features a peony collection, a vegetable garden, and a greenhouse. Visitors can explore the garden’s trails, attend educational programs, and participate in seasonal events. Admission is free for children under 6.
- Downtown Anchorage: Downtown Anchorage offers a variety of free activities and attractions. Visitors can stroll through the city’s parks and gardens, including Town Square Park and Delaney Park Strip. They can also explore the city’s public art, including murals and sculptures. And for those who love to people watch, downtown Anchorage is a great place to do so.
In conclusion, Anchorage offers plenty of free activities and attractions for visitors who want to experience the city’s natural beauty, history, and culture. Whether you’re interested in hiking, fishing, or exploring museums, there’s something for everyone in Anchorage. So pack your bags and head north to Alaska’s largest city for a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Free Things to Do In Anchorage
What are some free outdoor activities in Anchorage?
Answer: There are plenty of free outdoor activities to do in Anchorage, such as hiking, fishing, and biking. Some popular places to explore include Chugach State Park, Kincaid Park, and Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
Are there any free museums in Anchorage?
Answer: Yes, there are a few free museums in Anchorage, such as the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center on the first Friday of each month, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum for children under 5 and for active military members, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center for children under 5.
What are some free events in Anchorage?
Answer: There are many free events throughout the year in Anchorage, such as the Fur Rendezvous Festival, the Summer Solstice Festival, and the Anchorage Market and Festival.
Can you see the Northern Lights for free in Anchorage?
Answer: Yes, you can see the Northern Lights for free in Anchorage during the winter months when the conditions are right. Some popular places to view the aurora borealis include Eklutna Lake, Hatcher Pass, and Arctic Valley.
What are some free places to visit in Anchorage families?
Answer: There are many free places to visit in Anchorage for families, such as the Alaska Zoo, the Alaska Botanical Garden, and the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge.
Is there free public transportation in Anchorage?
Answer: No, there is no free public transportation in Anchorage. However, visitors can take advantage of the free downtown trolley during the summer months.
What are some free cultural attractions in Anchorage?
Answer: Some free cultural attractions in Anchorage include the Alaska Native Heritage Center for children under 5, the Anchorage International Film Festival, and the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra’s free summer concerts.
Are there any free tours in Anchorage?
Answer: Yes, there are a few free tours in Anchorage, such as the Alaska Public Lands Information Center’s walking tours of downtown Anchorage and the U.S. Forest Service’s ranger-led tours of the Chugach National Forest.