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Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska

Choose Anchorage, Alaska, for Your Adventure Cruise Destination

by Andrea Taylor

Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, embodies the best of both worlds: Not only can you escape to a rugged wildlife adventure, you can also stay in civilization and enjoy some of the finest cuisine, entertainment and night life the Last Frontier has to offer. Looking for an insider's perspective on Anchorage? Here are a few of our favorite places to hang in the Land of the Midnight Sun:

Stay Up Late

Summer is the perfect time to visit Anchorage, when the snows of winter are a distant memory and the weather is mild and sunny. It stays light late in Alaska around the summer solstice, so plan your trip during June or July—you can watch the sun set at midnight or later and, if you stay up long enough, see it rise around 4 a.m. Or, witness the late night sunshine from the bow of a cruise ship. Taking a cruise is a great way to see multiple points of interest in Alaska, something that might be difficult to do otherwise, given the enormity of the state.

Eat Amazing Food

You won't go hungry in Anchorage. The city is packed with serious eats around every corner, including fresh seafood straight off the boat from the Gulf of Alaska. While you're in town, make a reservation at Simon and Seaforts Saloon and Grill. The restaurant is the height of romance, with soft lighting and breathtaking views of the Cook Inlet right from your table. Looking for something a little more casual? Order a pizza and a Bear Tooth Ale, brewed locally at the Broken Tooth Brewery, or grab a growler to go from the Moose's Tooth Pizzeria.

Go For a Hike

You can't visit Alaska without strapping your best hiking boots and seeing the local beauty with your own eyes. One of the best places to do that is Eklutna Lake, located near Chugiak, approximately an hour outside of Anchorage. Eklutna Lake is situated in the Chugach Mountain Range, where the run-off from ancient glaciers collects into a crystal blue basin that makes up the body of water. Camping opportunities are abundant in the area, and don't forget to stop at one of the Russian Orthodox cemeteries along the way there to see the "spirit houses" built over each grave site.

Get Cultured

The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center is an absolute must-see while in town. The museum's many exhibits exemplify the art, history and the science of the country's most mysterious state, and the impressive facility includes a planetarium, an Imaginarium for hands-on exploring and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. The Center houses an expansive collection of Native Alaskan artifacts as well as some multimedia installations.

See a Live Performance

One of the largest performing arts centers in the state, the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, usually has something going on their three theaters. Whether you love opera, dance, classical music or plays, the center is the perfect place to catch a production. After the show is over, grab a nightcap at one of downtown Anchorage's many pubs, like Darwin's Theory, Humpy's or the Glacier Brewhouse. If coffee is more your speed, hop over to Kaladi Brothers Coffee for the best beans in the state. Be warned: You may find yourself addicted. Good news is, Kaladi ships to anywhere in the country, so you can enjoy the flavor of Alaska long after your trip is over.

Andrea Taylor Andrea is a Michigan State grad who loves the freedom of freelance writing.

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