Of all the cities I’ve visited, I can honestly say that Anchorage is one of my favorites. I don’t know what it’s like in the winter (a cold, dark, frozen-over hell, people in the South like to imagine), but in the summer, it’s absolutely amazing. I visited Anchorage two summers ago during the same trip where I took the pictures in this post, and I’ve missed the city ever since.
For me, cities are about five main things: the sights, the people, the food, the sports, and the skyline. Anchorage has it all. Well, okay… Anchorage’s only professional sports team is the Alaska Aces of the ECHL (also the league of the Atlanta Gladiators ~ Go Glads!), so they are somewhat lacking in that department. However, the rest of the boxes can be checked off easily.
Anchorage is a beautiful city surrounded by the towering slopes of nearby mountains and the blue-gray waters of Cook Inlet. I’ve seen mountains all over the United States, but Alaskan mountains are just something different. I think it’s because they’re so prominent whereas “tall” mountains elsewhere in the country tend to be perched on ground that’s already elevated. In Alaska, the mountains rise out of the earth and appear to be utterly enormous to anyone at sea level.
The people in Alaska are extremely friendly. I’m not sure if that’s just because they put on happy faces for tourists in the summer or because they’re jovial people, but I can’t recall any rude interactions during the entire week I was there. However, I must say that people need to learn how cart corrals work; I saw more stray carts in the parking lot of the Anchorage Walmart than I have seen anywhere else in the country.
As for food, I’ll just give the obvious choice: Moose’s Tooth pizza. Just go. If you ask the people at whichever hotel you stay at where to go for good food, that’s probably where they’ll direct you. Now admittedly, I hadn’t heard of it before I visited, so I wasn’t uber-hyped or anything for their pizza. I thought it was very good, but if I’d seen in a “Top Ten Pizzas in America” list like I did some months after my visit, I probably would have been disappointed… so maybe I’m hyping it up too much for you right now? I’m sorry. You should still go. It’s also worth mentioning that I ate at the Anchorage Hard Rock Cafe since eating at Hard Rock Cafe is one of my urban rituals. Anchorage has a small Hard Rock, but it’s still the same good food and good music you’ll be familiar with.
Anyways, this post is getting kind of long for a not-gallery. I’ll probably post a follow-up in the future detailing individual things to do in and around Anchorage.
(Photocredit to Mark Van Dyke at http://www.markvandyke.net/ under the license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode )