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Anchorage, Alaska

Winter adventures that aren't too crazy near Anchorage?

I'm heading up to Anchorage in late February with 10 (!) of my friends from Seattle to see the Iditarod start and experience Fur Rondy.  What other activities in and around Anchorage are worthwhile?  Our group ranges from 30-40 years old and no one has (or is bringing) kids.  We're fairly adventurous, but we don't have a ton of equipment (could we rent gear somewhere?).

3 Answers

top answer by
Tony from Seattle

I'm going to circle back and answer my own question, post-trip!

Priority one for us was the Iditarod (usually late Feb), and it didn't disappoint.  We went to the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage (4th avenue).  It's a big of a madhouse, but fun for a bit.  Pro-tip- bring chemical handwarmers and toe warmers.  If I were to do it over again, I'd only spend a bit at the start line, and instead would spend more time at 15th and Cordova, which is on the route.  There you have way less crowds and you'll see folks drinking bloody marys in front of their apartment buildings.  Way easier to take pictures, too.  Here's one of ours:

We also aimed for Fur Rondy, which has all sorts of ridiculous events.  It features a Duct Tape Ball (a formal ball with people dressed entirely in duct tape!), snowshoe softball, the "running of the reindeer", outhouse races, fireworks, and more. The running of the reindeer was hilarious-- hundreds of costumed lunatics being chased down a snowy downtown street by 6 terrified reindeer.  Here's us in costumes at one of the stranger bars in Anchorage, Bernie's Bungalow Lounge.

The best view of in town was Simon & Seafort's, in a non-descript office building.  Go inside, head to the bar side (right) and order their scratch margarita near sunset.  They also have a brandy ice (a crazy thick alcoholic milkshake) that you can order but it's not on the menu.  Stunning!

Craziest thing we did was Glacier City Snowmobiling Tours our of Girdwood (30 miles south of town, $200 p/p for a full day).  We rode snowmachines for 20 miles to Spencer Glacier, which was amazing.  Here's a picture of me in an ice tunnel there:

Foodwise, Spenard Roadhouse is great to keep the tourists happy.  Relatively cheap and creative food/cocktails.  To go old-school, head to F St Station (it's a bar/restaurant on F street downtown with amazing scallops, calamari, and eggs benedict on weekends).

Other cool activities we did:

  • Rent cross country skis at REI ($15/day) and head to Kincaid Park, where they have hundreds of miles of lit trails (or you can pick up trails in town).  Tons of trail maps here.
  • Climb Flattop Park Trail (or part of it) for killer views of the city and water.
  • Walk the Coastal Trail from downtown along the water (it runs all the way from downtown to Kincaid).
  • Anchorage Museum is damn nice for a town this size.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anchorage (city)
  2. Bernie's Bungalow Lounge (attraction)
  3. Simon & Seafort's (restaurant)
  4. Glacier City Snowmobiling Tours (attraction)
  5. Spencer Glacier (attraction)
  6. Spenard Roadhouse (restaurant)
  7. F St Station (attraction)
  8. Kincaid Park (attraction)
  9. Flattop Park Trail (attraction)
  10. Anchorage Museum (attraction)
5 thanks

answered first by
Cailey from Anchorage

Go out to Alyeska Ski Resort! You can rent snowboards or skis! The drive out there is awesome with the scenery , it's out in Girdwood which isn't far from Anchorage !

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alyeska Ski Resort (hotel)
  2. Anchorage (city)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Alyeska Ski Resort in the Turnagain Arm. Even if u do not ski, its a great place to go.  And don't forget to stop at Skinny Dicks Halfway Inn, hehe, yup, that's the name.  Hatcher Pass outside of Wasilla is beautiful, drive thru it if the road is okay.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alyeska Ski Resort (hotel)
  2. Turnagain Arm (attraction)
  3. Hatcher Pass (attraction)
  4. Wasilla (city)
  5. Skinny Dicks Halfway Inn (attraction)
2 thanks

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