Anchorage, located on coastal lowlands in south-central Alaska, is the most populous city in the state with more than 40% of the Alaska's total population residing within the metropolitan area. Downtown Anchorage is very pedestrian-friendly, and with 135 miles of paved trails, bicycle friendly, too! You can see six mountain ranges from Anchorage, making the area popular for outdoor adventures, including rock climbing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, whitewater rafting, and more. Anchorage's longest days are almost 22 hours long, so golfers can tee-off as late as 10pm on one of Anchorage's four golf courses.
Anchorage was incorporated in 1920 after the area was selected as a construction port for the Alaska Railroad. With the development of commercial air transportation and the need for a military presence that could reach the Soviet Union, Anchorage continued growth throughout the 20th century. When the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field was discovered in 1968, Anchorage rapidly expanded on the heels of commercial oil interests. Today, Anchorage benefits from a diverse and stable economy based on several sectors, including mineral extraction, military, transportation, and tourism.
You might be surprised to discover that Anchorage benefits from a moderate maritime climate with the summer months bringing warm, sunny high temperatures in the mid-60’s and average winter daytime temperatures the 20’s. Winters are dry, with most precipitation occurring from July to October.
The metropolitan Anchorage bus system, called People Mover, provides 14 bus service routes on many of the city’s major streets. Limited weekend service is available, and the suburbs of Eagle River and Birchwood are also served during commuter hours. The Alaska Railroad offers passenger service between Seward, Fairbanks, and Whittier, with daily service during the summer months. The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the largest of several airports within the Anchorage municipality, and offers both year-round and seasonal flights to a variety of destinations.
Cost of Living in Anchorage
Anchorage provides a great quality of life and plentiful outdoor activities, but the high cost of housing contributes to an overall cost of living around 32% higher than the U.S. average. Use these cost of living tools to see how your current budget will fare in Anchorage.
The Anchorage School District is made up of 70 elementary schools, 29 middle schools, and 23 high schools serving more than 48,000 students.
Providence is the top-ranked medical facility in Anchorage. This regionally ranked hospital provides general medical and surgical services in the fields of cardiology, diabetes treatment and cancer treatment, to name a few. If you’re relocating to Anchorage, get to know the medical resources accessible to you:
Anchorage Real Estate
Anchorage is one of the most expensive markets for home buyers, with a median home price above $255,000 in most neighborhoods. Use the links below to explore available homes in Anchorage.
Hotels in Anchorage are like that of any other in the United States, with the conveniences and amenities you would expect. Some of the most comfortable and affordable options are bed and breakfasts, and for a unique Alaskan experience, explore the many wilderness lodges and resorts that are easily reached from Anchorage. Use the links below to find places to stay in Anchorage.
With more espresso stands, per capita than anywhere in the U.S., you are never far from a caffeine-fix in Anchorage. Some of the local favorites include Side Street Espresso, Perfect Cup, and SteamDot Coffee. The Snow City Cafe serves up interesting breakfast fare, including a reindeer sausage omelet. You will never run out of locally-harvested salmon and shellfish options in Anchorage, and if you crave some southern flavor, the Gumbo House serves up Louisiana-style cooking that will transport your taste-buds to Cajun country. Explore a variety of Anchorage restaurants using the links below.
Things to Do in Anchorage
If you love the outdoors, you will love Anchorage. Get to know the city with a sightseeing tour, then explore the easily navigable city on your own. Potter Marsh is one of the most accessible and scenic wildlife viewing areas in Anchorage, and home to more than 220 species of birds. The Denali National Park and Preserve is home to some of Alaska’s most rugged landscapes and diverse wildlife. You can tour the Denali by train on a multi-day excursion in the comfort of a luxury railcar. In the summer, Alyeska Resort opens their trails to downhill-mountain biking enthusiasts where you can take a rental bike to the top of the mountain on a chair lift and then ride down on challenging and fun trails groomed especially for downhill biking.