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Unforgettable Anchorage in a Day: A Cruise Ship Adventure

Docking in Seward

Our Alaskan adventure began 7 days ago aboard the Norwegian Jewel in Vancouver covering many great adventures such as Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and Glacier Bay. Our final destination was Seward (pronounced like Sewer with a D), Alaska. We were ready to get off the ship and. explore Anchorage in a day.

From cruise ship port in Seward, we hopped on a bus to Anchorage, traveling along the scenic Seward Highway. This road, known as the National Scenic Byway, is one of the top things to experience when traveling from Seward to Anchorage or vice versa. The drive along the Turnagain Arm offered us breathtaking landscapes and a chance to spot wildlife like bison along the way. It’s truly remarkable to see how beautiful a place is when it’s untouched.

Anchorage in a Day: Earthquake park
Walking in Earthquake Park

Kincaid Park

Upon reaching Anchorage, our first stop was Kincaid Park. This sprawling natural park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. I was blown away when I opened AllTrails to find zig zagging paths across the entire park. We then explored the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a multi-use path that hugs the coastline. It’s ideal for biking, walking, and wildlife spotting. Along the way, we encountered moose and met some hikers who were walking the trail. They told us they had seen moose, bears, and bald eagles on their trek!

Moose sitings in Kincad Park
Moose sitings in Kincad Park

Downtown Anchorage in a Day

Next, we made our way to the Alaska Train Station and ventured into the downtown area. A highlight of our visit was the Anchorage Visitor Center, housed in a historic log cabin. Here, we collected national and state park junior ranger badges for the girls and learned more about Anchorage’s rich history and attractions. It was fascinating to discover so much about the area in such a charming setting. The volunteers at the Visitor Center were so lovely and a pleasure to talk to.

Downtown Anchorage Visitor Center
Downtown Anchorage Visitor Center

Native Heritage Center

Anchorage in a day has so much more to offer beyond the initial sights. The Alaska Native Heritage Center provided us with a fascinating insight into the indigenous cultures of Alaska through exhibits, live demonstrations, and interactive displays. For art enthusiasts, the Anchorage Museum is a treasure trove of Alaskan art, history, and science, offering something for everyone.

Alaskan Wildlife Up Close

We also visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where we saw native Alaskan animals up close, including bears, moose, and bison, in a natural setting. For a unique perspective of Anchorage, we took a scenic flightseeing tour, offering breathtaking aerial views of the city and surrounding wilderness. Seeing Alaska from the sky was a highlight we won’t soon forget. Another great spot is the Alaska Zoo which we heard was a great place to see all the local wildlife up close and personal.

Earthquake Park memorial
Earthquake Park memorial

Final Stops in Anchorage

Our final stops included Ship Creek, renowned for its salmon fishing in early summer, and Earthquake Park, which serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating 1964 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Walking through Earthquake Park and seeing the land’s raw power left a lasting impression on us. We were feening for some warm soup and found Pho Lena to be a pleasant treat. Their XL bowl of Pho was gigantic and enough for the 4 of us to split.

Pho Lena - Pho XL bowl
Pho Lena’s Pho XL

This day in Anchorage, filled with natural beauty, wildlife encounters, and a touch of history, made for an unforgettable conclusion to our Alaskan cruise adventure. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking to soak in the beauty of Alaska, Anchorage in a day offers something for everyone. From its scenic trails and parks to its rich cultural heritage and wildlife, Anchorage is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression. The locals we spoke to talked about how amazing the summers are with extended day light to go 4×4’ing, camping, hiking, fishing and more. If you love the great outdoors, then Alaska is calling you!

If we had gone in the summer time and had a few more days, I would have gone to the Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward!

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