Map of Anchorage, Alaska Area
Anchorage, Alaska is often not a place you think of visiting on your summer vacation. Other than being known as one of the most popular cities in Alaska, Anchorage seems to be one of the U.S.’ hidden gems.
Anchorage, Alaska is known for its incredible outdoor adventures – hiking trails, rivers, lakes, and glaciers. Anchorage is also known for its immense population of unique wildlife – moose, bears, whales, salmon, and more.
Continue reading for more information on where you can spot and visit all that Anchorage has to offer, as well as more information on the city itself and whether to consider Anchorage for your next big move.
What is Anchorage, AK Known For?
Anchorage, Alaska is well known for its natural beauty and the wildlife that inhabits the area. There are many attractions and places to check out in Anchorage that offer you a first-hand glimpse into all Anchorage has to offer.
Here are the top 3 places you need to add to your places to visit while in Anchorage:
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is located about an hour’s driving distance from the center of Anchorage, Alaska. It has made our list of places that Anchorage is known for due to housing an array of wildlife call Anchorage home:
- Musk Ox
- Much More!
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a 1.5-mile loop sanctuary that houses rescued Alaskan wildlife. Their mission is to provide a safe place and care for the animals while also researching preserving the species and educating the public.
You can chose to walk, bike, or drive along the sanctuary’s loop and observe all the wildlife housed within the park/ They also offer free daily educational programs that you can attend on your visit.
They are open daily, but their hours do vary based on the month of the year. You can view their hours, as well as purchase online tickets here.
The Portage Glacier is known as one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska sitting on the end of Portage Lake. Not only is the sheer beauty of the glacier jaw-dropping, but so is its size – miles long and over 10 stories high.
During the summertime, you can enjoy a boat tour across Portage Lake out to take a look at the glacier. Along the cruise, a tour guide will school you in all things about Portage Valley – the wildlife that calls it home and its history.
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is an 11-mile trail located in Downtown Anchorage. With multiple inlets throughout the city, the trail allows you to walk, run, or bike all 11 miles or just a small portion.
Along with checking out Downtown Anchorage along the trail, you can also catch a peek at native wildlife and some of Alaska’s most popular mountains:
- Chugach Mountains
- Mount McKinley
- Mount Susitna
Guided bike tours are available along the trail. For more information on the bike tour and to book yours click here.
Where is Anchorage, AK On the U.S. Map?
Anchorage, Alaska is located on the west coast of the United States. More specifically in south-central Alaska. Anchorage is found on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm.
Anchorage is considered one of the four municipal governments/entities in Alaska.
How Big is Anchorage, AK?
Anchorage, Alaska is the fourth largest area in the United States – larger than the smallest state in the U.S. (Rhode Island). Anchorage clocks in at around 1,700 square miles.
Anchorage is also the largest city in Alaska by population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2019 estimated population count sits at 291,826. The city houses about 40% of the state’s population.
Is Anchorage, AK a Good Place to Live?
Anchorage, Alaska is a great place to live if you enjoy all things outdoor, especially fishing and if you love the winter. You have to be okay with living through the state’s long and dark winters.
Anchorage is a great place to live if you are a young adult. They have the second most affordable public universities within the U.S. – just $5,855 average annual tuition. It is a bit of a trade-off because the cost of living is a bit higher than most places.
Anchorage has plenty to offer for the outdoorsy young adult, including:
- Numerous hiking, running, walking, and biking trails
- Breweries with great local beers
- Great job availability – especially among the oil/gas, tourism, fishing, and construction industries
Anchorage is not a great place for the elderly and retired to live. In addition to the extremely long and cold winters, there are not very many senior housing options within the city. Retirement money will also not stretch as far as other places due to the high cost of living.
What Are the Best Areas to Live In Anchorage, AK?
Anchorage has a lot to offer when it comes to the housing market – urban and remote options. The average home value throughout the city is $348,000. Some of the best, more affluent places to live house properties well above that average though.
The top 3 neighborhoods to live in Anchorage, Alaska are listed below:
Population: about 4,500 people
Median Home Value: $348,000
South Addition is the cheapest and least populated neighborhood on our list, but probably the best overall neighborhood to live in Anchorage. South Addition is a historical community filled with mid-century modern homes built in the 1940s.
South Addition is a suburban area within Anchorage with great schools and tons of small locally own businesses. The community is great for young adults and families.
Population: about 14,000 people
Median Home Value: $515,000
Huffman O’Malley is much more populated and expensive than the first contender on our list, but with price comes quality. The community is mainly composed of residential properties. Shopping, dining, and parks are all located within a short distance.
One possible downside to Huffman O’Malley that is is known as a popular destination for tourists and visitors to plant their stay.
Population: about 12,240 people
Median Home Value: $580,000
In Hillside East you get much more land per property which is likely what makes it more expensive to buy here. Within the community, you have access to native wildlife and spectacular views of the Anchorage scenery.
Hillside East also tends to be a popular nesting ground for yearly tourists and visitors.