About Anchorage

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska with a population of more than 320,000. Our community covers nearly 2,000 square miles from Portage Glacier on Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet to the historic Native village of Eklutna on the Knik Arm. This includes 30 other diverse neighborhoods including the downtown high-rises, Chugach State Park and a portion of Chugach National Forest. In fact, the Municipality contains more than 500,000 acres of preserved parkland and miles of Alaska’s most spectacular wilderness. In addition, we are framed on the north by Denali, the highest peak in North America, and the agriculturally rich Matanuska-Susitna Valley; on the south by the Kenai Peninsula; the east by Prince William Sound and the west by Cook Inlet and the great Alaska Range. Protected by the Chugach Mountains and warmed by Japanese currents of the Pacific Ocean, Anchorage has a temperate, maritime climate. Spring and fall are characterized by warm, pleasant days; the average temperatures rise rapidly and precipitation amounts are very small.

  • Snow City Café (1034 W 4th Ave) – One of the best breakfasts in town, best hash browns (possibly) in the world.  Opens at 7:30 am, and even on a weekday, there might be a wait.
  • 49th State Brewing Company (17 W 3rd Ave) – A downtown spot with a big menu including venison and yak burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and local microbrews.
  • Middle Way Café (1200 W Northern Lights Blvd) – Located in Spenard, great spot for soups, salads, sandwiches, and breakfasts.  Local ingredients, great coffee, fresh pastries.  The pizza place next door (Hearth) is owned by the same people and features wood-fired pizzas for dinner.
  • Spenard Roadhouse (1049 W Northern Lights Blvd) – Located in Spenard, think comfort food and cocktail bar.  Great menu for dietary concerns, with lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  • Beartooth Grill (1230 W 27th Ave) – Attached to the Bear Tooth Theatrepub, the grill features mainly Mexican fusion cuisine with cocktail bar and local microbrews.  The fish tacos are excellent.  Great menu for dietary concerns, such as vegetarian or gluten-free.
  • Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria (3300 Old Seward Hwy) – The best local pizzas, numerous beers brewed on site, including homemade root beer and cream soda.  This place is everyone’s favorite, and may have a long wait during peak hours.  Fair warning.  Pro tip: the Bear Tooth Theatrepub has the exact same pizza with almost no wait.
  • South Restaurant and Coffeehouse (11124 Old Seward Hwy) – Located in south Anchorage.  Tapas, small plates, and larger entrees, plus a cocktail bar. 
  • Kaladi Brother’s Coffee – The local coffee, as ubiquitous in Anchorage as Starbuck’s is elsewhere.  Numerous locations all over town.
  • Simon & Seaforts Saloon & Grill (420 L Street) – Located downtown.  A local favorite with great atmosphere and views of the inlet.  A favorite place for sunset. 
  • Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop (multiple locations including downtown) – A local favorite.  Crusty, traditional breads, sweet and savory croissants and scones, hearty muffins, fresh baked cookies, frosted cakes, tarts, multi-grain granola, a variety of daily sandwiches, and holiday specialties.

Activities & Places of Interest: Anchorage has a variety of outdoor, cultural and performing arts activities to offer with something for everyone. 

  • Beartooth Theatrepub (1230 W 27th Ave) – cheap tickets on indie and second-run movies, and a full-service restaurant right in the theater.  Pizza and Mexican fusion cuisine, and they bring it to you while you watch the movie.  Check out their website for movie listings.
  • Tony Knowles Coastal Trail – Follows Cook Inlet along the edge of downtown, great for a scenic walk or run.  Bike rentals available in the summer. There is also an award winning walking/biking/skiing trail system throughout town.
  • Anchorage Museum (625 C St) – Just what it sounds like, located right downtown.  There is an interactive children’s museum, permanent displays of Alaska and Alaska Native art, and traveling exhibits.  The restaurant attached to the museum, Muse, is pretty good as well.
  • William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery (N Reeve Blvd) – Because the fish need to be kept in tightly controlled environments, there is some cool mechanical and electrical engineering that went into this facility.  It’s also a 1% for art facility, so there is some beautiful fish-based art by local artists.  There is a walk-through space that’s open to the public between 8 am and 4 pm.
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – This one is a bit of a drive, located in Portage Valley, which is about 40 minutes south of town, but worth it if you want to see some amazing wildlife.
  • Alaska Native Heritage Center – The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) is a living cultural center that promotes active observance of Alaska Native culture and traditions.
  • Anchorage Botanical Garden
  • Earthquake Park
  • Kincaid Park
  • Alaska Center for Performing Arts


  • Alaska Fur Exchange (4417 Old Seward Hwy) – traditional crafts and other gifts made by Alaska artists.  Many of the same craftspeople whose soapstone carvings are sold downtown are featured, but without the downtown markup.
  • 4th Avenue, downtown – The main drag for all the delightfully kitschy souvenirs you could desire!  Also some nice galleries and coffee shops.
  • 1200 W Northern Lights Blvd – A strip in Spenard with Middle Way Café, Kaladi Brother’s Coffee (the local coffee), Title Wave Books (fun second-hand bookstore), a fair trade store (Grassroots) and one of those sushi restaurants where everything runs by on little conveyor belts (OEC Revolving Sushi Bar).

Kenai Fjords Tours

Kenai Fjords Tours is one of ALASKA’S BEST WILDLIFE AND GLACIER CRUISES. It is based in Seward, Alaska, a beautiful coast town that is 2.5 hour drive from Anchorage.

A 20% discount is offered for our conference attendees/spouses and it applies to 4 of their cruises: Spring Resurrection Bay Tour, National Park Tour 11:30am, Resurrection Bay Tour, and National Park Tour w/ Fox Island 10am. The discount is valid for booking now, with travel dates from May 10-19, 2024. More info can be found by clicking the image below. Use this link to Book Now!

Alaska Sealife Center

Alaska Sealife Center could be another interesting stop while being in Seward and offered a special 20% discount for our conference attendees and their companions from May 10 through May 19. Please use the online portal to purchase your tickets with promo code ASCEColdRegions2024 at checkout.

26 Glacier Cruise

Phillips Cruises &Tours, LLC offered The site is available, and from April 30 to May 18, your guests can start making their reservations. Please click here to book with discounted rate.