Anchorage - Alaska's Largest City with Over Half the State's Residents

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Blue Poppy / Getty Images

If your Alaska cruise is embarking or disembarking in Seward, there's a good chance you will have a flight into or out of Anchorage. It's as far north as Helsinki, and almost as far west as Honolulu. Although Anchorage is on the Cook Inlet, cruise ships usually dock at Seward, which is a few hours south of Anchorage. Cruise ships shuttle passengers to the cruise port at Seward on either a 3-hour bus ride along the Seward Highway or on a 4.5-hour scenic ride via train on the Alaska Railroad.

If you only have a short time in Anchorage, you might want to explore the downtown area. The city is flat, with interesting shops to explore and many restaurants and bars that are perfect for sitting outside and people-watching.

If you have longer in Anchorage, you can obtain lots of information and suggestions for things to do at the excellent tourist office on the corner of 4th Avenue and F Street downtown.

Let's take a walking tour of downtown Anchorage. In addition to just looking at the buildings and street art, you might want to see checkout some of the best things to do in downtown Anchorage.

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Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall

Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall

Trip Savvy / Linda Garrison

I thought the name of this mall was very appropriate - it's on 5th Avenue (in Anchorage, not New York)!

We enjoyed a delicious lunch outdoors at Phyllis' Restaurant, which was right across the street from the Fifth Avenue Mall in downtown Anchorage.

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Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Trip Savvy / Linda Garrison

Downtown Anchorage has many modern buildings and is much like any other American tourist city with about 275,000 residents. The city does have interesting historic pieces and art that remind you of Anchorage's past like the old ore bucket seen in the next photo.

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Old Ore Bucket in Downtown Anchorage

Old Ore Bucket in Downtown Anchorage
Linda Garrison

This ore bucket, now a planter, was part of Gold Dredge #5 used in Nome, Alaska in the 1940's and 1950's. Gold Dredge #5 produced over 100,000 ounces of gold.

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The Bear and Raven Statue in Downtown, Anchorage, Alaska

The Bear and Raven Statue in Downtown, Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

Downtown Anchorage has numerous interesting statues and murals.

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Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

Having a large stuffed bear guarding your shop is a good way to attract tourists.

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Small Park in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Small Park in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

This small Anchorage park is lush, green, and has beautiful summer flowers. 

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Flowers at Visitor's Center in Anchorage

Flowers at Visitor's Center in Anchorage
Linda Garrison

This old log cabin sits next to the Anchorage Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The summer flowers were marvelous.

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Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

Almost every store in Anchorage has a bear out front to keep away shoplifters!

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Anchorage - Air Crossroads of the World

Anchorage - Air Crossroads of the World
Linda Garrison

This clever marker shows just how far (or how close) Anchorage is to the rest of the world.

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Old 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage, Alaska

Old 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

The banner hanging over this old restored theater celebrates Alaska Statehood in 1959.

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Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

Bear in Downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

Another bear!

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Street Scene in Anchorage, Alaska

Street Scene in Anchorage, Alaska
Linda Garrison

We sat in an outdoor bar along 4th Avenue and enjoyed watching the tourists stroll the streets of downtown Anchorage.

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