While Juneau may be the official capital, the city of Anchorage is definitely the beating heart of Alaska. Nestled against the backdrop of the craggy Chugach mountains, this four-time All-America City winner offers all the activities and ammenitites of an urban center while being only a 30-minute drive from unspoiled wilderness.
While it is a year-round destination, most people choose to visit during the summer months, when the temperatures are moderate and the days are long (very long actually; the sun hangs in the sky for around 19 hours a day in summer). Given its expansive terrain and relative isolation, any road trip into and around Alaska requires careful planning and a newly-serviced RV, but once you've got the basics in place you'll be rewarded with an experience you 'll not quickly forget.
Anchorage is a city rich with history and a strong sense of culture and tradition and its many heritage centers and museums offer visitors an opportunity to discover this. One must-see attraction is the Alaska Native Heritage Center; a highly interactive museum that uses dancing, handicraft, art and storytelling to teach visitors about Alaska's ancient and significant Native American culture.
With such stunning surrounds, it should come as no surprise that Anchorage takes its outdoor recreation very seriously and on any given day you could find yourself fishing, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, panning for gold or even partaking in the old Alaskan pastime of dog-sledding.
The snow-capped tops of the Alaska and Chugach ranges always lay in sight here – a constant (but very pleasant) reminder to get out of the main city and explore Anchorage's exceptional backyard. Sitting just to the east of Anchorage, the Chugach State National Park is the third largest State Park in the U.S and welcomes nearly a million visitors a year. With a number of walking trails and uninterrupted views of rugged mountain peaks, alpine wildflowers, glacier-fed rivers, clear water streams and ethereal glaciers, this park is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. There's even on-site campgrounds for those wanting to make a weekend of it.