Anchorage was built in 1914 for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. In 1964 the city was hit by a big earthquake. Therefore, there aren't many old buildings. Except for some museums the city has little to offer, but its surroundings do. Anchorage is mainly a supply point and gateway to rugged Alaska.
Anchorage has almost 300,000 inhabitants, this means almost half of Alaska´s population.
The city is in the south of Alaska, on the Cook Inlet, a deep inlet of the Pacific. Anchorage is just a little more north than Oslo, but not by far as far north as Iceland's capital Reykjavik. East of the city are the Chugach Mountains and north are the mountains of the Alaska Range. When the weather is clear you can see the snowcapped peak of Mount McKinley (6194 m).
Because of its northerly location, winters in Anchorage are strong and summers relatively cold (between 11 and 19 degrees Celsius in July).
The local economy is based on five pillars: oil and gas, military, transport, public administration and tourism. Although oil and gas extraction takes place at great distance, the oil and gas companies have their offices in Anchorage. Other than that there are no less than three large military bases near the airport. The airport is an important hub for cargo transport between Asia and North-America. A large proportion of Alaska's goods are imported through the port. Although Juneau is the capital of Alaska, there are more officials living and working in Anchorage. Furthermore, the city is the gateway to the rest of Alaska: Anchorage welcomes about four million travelers annually.
The city's airport is located about seven kilometers south west of the city center. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is easily accessible by rental car. The airport is on the International Airport Road, which connects to Minnesota Drive. The route to the airport is clearly indicated on road signs.
Anchorage's bus system is called PeopleMover. On most lines there is only one bus per hour in both directions. Also, drivers often do not follow the official timetable.
Except for the city center, Anchorage is a wide stretched city. Therefore, a rental car is an ideal means of transport. The streets going from north to south are called Avenue (starting with First Avenue in the north), the east west connections are called Street (starting with A Street). Thanks to this system it is not difficult to determine your position in Anchorage.
Most people rent a car to explore the city's surroundings. Please be aware that the roads are often damaged due to the harsh winter weather.
Anchorage has a wide range of hotels in every price range. Therefore, it is not difficult to find suitable accommodation outside the high season. Most tourists stay in hotels near the Museum of History and Art. Outside Anchorage, in the Mat-Su Valley, there are many chalets, cabins, resorts and motels. If you would like to go to Alaska in summer, we recommend booking your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Anchorage, we recommend Google and the following sources: