Visiting & Birding in Anchorage

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Alaska connects flyways for migratory birds coming to breed during summer from all over the globe, including the Americas, the Central Pacific, East Asia-Australasia, and even Africa. We have recorded over 521 species in the state, including some seen nowhere else in North America. We have ready access to wetlands, intertidal mudflats, forests, and alpine tundra in the Anchorage area. Birds will still be breeding during late June, and some early migrants will likely be starting to flock. Anchorage is at the intersection of the boreal and North Pacific rainforest biomes, so there is an incredible diversity of bird life here.

Over 80% of Alaska’s lands are public resource lands, including national and state parks, wildlife refuges, and forests, many of which are readily accessible from Anchorage by car, train, or boat. There is much wilderness to explore! Tidewater glaciers and seabird colonies are a couple of hours away to the south. The Alaska Range, including Denali, is a few hours drive to the north. There are also several commercial birding tours offered at this time of year. If you venture farther north or west, you can get some spectacular lifers.

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, and thus has much to offer in terms of cultural experiences, restaurants, and fun things to do. We hope you enjoy visiting our unique mix of urban and wilderness!

Birding information for the Anchorage vicinity and beyond:

Anchorage birding map:
http://ak.audubon.org/birds/alaska-birding-maps

Anchorage birding guide:
http://www.anchorageaudubon.org/?page_id=1047

Audubon Alaska (lots of resources for birding in Alaska):
http://ak.audubon.org/birds/birding-alaska-0

Anchorage Audubon Society (local checklist, rarities, birding guide, field trips):
https://www.anchorageaudubon.org/

Checklist of Alaska birds (University of Alaska Museum):
https://www.universityofalaskamuseumbirds.org/products/checklist.pdf

Yahoo Groups list server for birding in Alaska:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/search?query=akbirding

Restaurants in Anchorage:

Visit Anchorage 2018 Restaurant Guide:
https://issuu.com/visitanchoragealaska/docs/2018_official_anchorage_restaurant_

Here’s a short list of fabulous downtown restaurants:

Glacier Brewhouse: Alaska regional, wood fired pizza & local seafood
F Street Station: bar with terrific food
Ginger: fresh Alaska seafood and Pacific Rim cuisine
49th State Brewing Co: craft brews, waterfront view
Haute Quarter Grill: Alaska seafood, contemporary American cuisine
Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse: fresh seafood to hamburgers, local beers
ORSO: fresh Alaska seafood, local pastas
Simon & Seafort’s Bar & Grill: Alaska specialties, seafood, pasta & waterfront view
Snow City Café: best breakfast in town served all day, soups and sandwiches
Fat Ptarmigan:  wood-fired pizza and pasta
Bernie’s Bungalow: large outdoor patio, great drinks, lots of beers on tap, fun food

Midtown restaurants not to miss if you’re out and about:

Moose’s Tooth Pizza
Middle Way Cafe

Local breweries in Anchorage:

Midnight Sun Brewing Company
https://midnightsunbrewing.com/

Anchorage Brewing Company
https://anchoragebrewing.company/

King Street Brewing Company
http://www.kingstreetbrewing.com/

Cynosure Brewing
https://www.facebook.com/CynosureBrewing/

Hiking around Anchorage:

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (paved trail, access right from downtown for walking or biking, spectacular views and wildlife):
http://anchoragecoastaltrail.com/

Amazing hikes right in our backyard:
http://www.alaska.org/things-to-do/parks-and-trails

Chugach State Park:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/index.htm

Far North Bicentennial Park (large park right in Anchorage):
http://www.alaska.org/detail/far-north-bicentennial-park

Campbell Tract (BLM lands with hiking and mountain biking trails):
http://www.alaska.org/detail/campbell-tract-facility

Kincaid Park (large city park bordering ocean with lots of trails):
http://www.alaska.org/detail/kincaid-park

Potter Marsh (wildlife viewing boardwalk in south Anchorage):
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm%3Fadfg=viewinglocations.pottermarsh

Anchorage Coastal Refuge (state refuge right along coast, nesting Sandhill Cranes and other wildlife):
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm%3Fadfg=anchoragecoastal.main

Bike rentals in downtown Anchorage:
http://www.alaska-bike-rentals.com/
http://www.lifetimeadventure.net/anchorage-bike-rentals/
https://pablobicyclerentals.com/

Bike rentals elsewhere in Anchorage:
http://www.chainreactionalaska.com/
https://trekstorealaska.com/
https://www.rei.com/stores/anchorage.html

Bike routes around Anchorage:

Maps of bike trails in Anchorage:
http://www.trailsofanchorage.com/Maps/BikeMap.pdf
https://www.mapmyride.com/us/anchorage-ak/

Mountain bike trails in Anchorage:
https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8006879/anchorage

Bike rides by type:
https://www.bikemap.net/en/l/5879400/

Visitor information for Anchorage and the vicinity:

Top 20 Things to do in Anchorage

Anchorage Museum:
https://www.anchoragemuseum.org/

Alaska Native Heritage Center (beautiful cultural center, dances, crafts):
http://www.alaskanative.net/

“Things to Do” on Visit Anchorage website:
https://www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/

Flat Top Mountain:
http://www.hike-anchorage-alaska.com/
Take the once a day shuttle to Flat Top Mountain in the Chugach Range to hike and explore the mountain.

Alaska Native Medical Center (beautiful Native artwork, incredible craft shop):
http://anmc.org/

See the entire Visit Anchorage website

Visitor Information Center:   (907) 257-2363, 524 W. Fourth Avenue, Anchorage

Railroad, flightseeing, state ferry:

Alaska Railroad:
https://www.alaskarailroad.com/
Ride the iconic Alaska Railroad for spectacular service north to Fairbanks or south to Seward.

Flightseeing:
Rust’s Flying Service offers flightseeing from Lake Hood in Anchorage – not to be missed!
www.flyrusts.com

Alaska Marine Highway System:
https://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/where_we_go.shtml
The state ferry system is an amazing way to see birds, whales, and other marine life! You can take the ferry from Whittier to visit other parts of Prince William Sound, or take it out of Homer for a trip across the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak (where you could see shearwaters, albatross, and other seabirds). You could also take the ferry through the Inside Passage of southeastern Alaska to or from Seattle, for a spectacular voyage to or from the conference.

Just south of Anchorage:

Hiking and biking around Girdwood:
http://www.alaska.org/detail/winner-creek-trail
http://www.alaska.org/guide/girdwood-area-bike-trails

Rafting, hiking, canoeing at Spencer Glacier:
https://alaskanrafting.com/product/spencer-glacier-lake-tour/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvKzTvZfz3AIVyB-GCh0OPAZiEAAYASAAEgIQ4fD_BwE

Hiking, rock-climbing, glacier tours, ice-climbing, kayaking, helicopter tours around Spencer Glacier and Girdwood:
https://www.ascendingpath.com/

Girdwood Brewing Company:
https://girdwoodbrewing.com/welcome/

Crow Creek Mine Gold Panning in Girdwood – beautiful area and gold panning is surprisingly fun!
http://www.crowcreekmine.com/
http://www.crowcreekmine.com/new-page-2-1/

Alyeska Resort & Aerial Tram:
www.alyeskaresort.com/resort/about-aerial-tram

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center:
https://www.alaskawildlife.org

Farther south on the Kenai Peninsula:
Hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, wildlife-viewing galore!

Chugach National Forest:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/chugach/recreation

Kenai Fjords National Park:
https://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/index.htm

Hike to Exit Glacier and Harding Ice Field:
https://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/exit-glacier-area.htm

Alaska Sealife Center (Seward):
http://www.alaskasealife.org/

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge:
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kenai/visit/visitor_activities.html

Kachemak Bay State Park (Homer):
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/kbay/kbayl.htm

Day Glacier Cruises from Whittier (Whittier):
https://www.phillipscruises.com/

Kenai Fjords Tours (Seward):
https://www.alaskacollection.com/day-tours/kenai-fjords-tours/

Major Marine Tours:
https://www.majormarine.com/

Sea-kayaking around glaciers and fjords:
https://www.kayakak.com/

Alaska white-water rafting:
https://www.chugachoutdoorcenter.com/

Seward Brewing Company (Seward)
http://www.sewardbrewery.com/

North of Anchorage:

Eklutna Lake and Glacier: Bike or hike to glacier; kayak on lake; camp
https://alaskahikesearch.com/hikes/eklutna-lake/
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/chugach/eklutnalkcamp.htm
https://www.anchorage.net/discover/the-chugach/eklutna-lake/

Matanuska Glacier:  Hike on a glacier – great photo ops!
http://www.greatlandadventures.com/

Hatcher Pass:  Scenic drive, amazing hikes above treeline
http://www.alaska.org/detail/hatcher-pass

Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Dog Kennels:
http://buserdog.com/visit
Visit 5-time Iditarod Sled Dog Race winner Martin Buser’s Happy Trails dog kennel where you’ll meet the dogs and learn what it takes to be a winning musher.

Skydiving (Palmer):
https://www.alaskaskydivecenter.com/

Kesugi Ridge (Denali State Park):
https://alaskahikesearch.com/hikes/kesugi-ridge/
http://www.alaska.org/detail/kesugi-ridge-trail

Denali State Park (lots of hiking and camping):
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/denali1.htm

Denali National Park and Preserve (spectacular hiking and camping):
https://www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm

Alaska white-water rafting:
https://www.chugachoutdoorcenter.com/

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (spectacular hiking and camping):
https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm

McCarthy and Kennecott Historic Mine:
http://www.alaska.org/destination/mccarthy

Denali Highway (Paxson to Cantwell) (Arctic Warblers!):
http://www.alaska.org/guide/denali-highway

University of Alaska Museum of the North (Fairbanks):
https://www.uaf.edu/museum/

Dalton Highway (north from Fairbanks across the Arctic Circle to Deadhorse):
http://www.alaska.org/guide/dalton-highway

Breweries to the north:

Arkose Brewery (Palmer)
https://arkosebrewery.com/

Denali Brewing Company (Talkeetna)
https://denalibrewing.com/

More information will be added over time.