Like others have said; great place to visit, but not to live. The outdoor life is fantastic up here, but if you're looking for a trendy culture; you will find Anchorage lacking. There are some suprisingly excellent breweries (Midnight Sun, King St, Anchorage Brewing, etc) and restaurants. Crime seems to have spiked in recent years, but I don't have the data to back that up. If you do end up in the city; make the most of it. Find some recreational clubs and get out there and explore!
I lived in Anchorage for five years when I was in my late 20s. In my opinion, it's an excellent place to live for those who love the outdoors, particularly if they like winter sports. I spent a great deal of my time during winter skiing at nearby Alyeska Resort as well as going snowmobiling. Although I don't hunt, many of my friends do, and they always seemed to be going on fun hunting trips during the fall. I love to fish, however, and had plenty of chances to do so in the aptly named fish Creek, which runs right through the heart of Anchorage.
During my time in Anchorage, I lived in the Muldoon area. While it's not reputed to be the safest neighborhood in the city, I had no significant problems with personal safety when I lived there. I will say, though, that the nightlife could be a bit rough and would highly recommend always going out with a friend, although that's a wise move no matter where you live these days. I also wouldn't recommend Anchorage o those who don't enjoy outdoor activities or who need access to a wide variety of cultural activities. The scenery, however, is simply stunning.
One of the things that was both good and bad when I lived in Anchorage was that the city gets a huge number of tourists during the summer season. The energy that the tourism industry brings to the city after the long, gray winters was definitely welcome, but there were also plenty of times when getting a table in a good restaurant was almost impossible, and most of the popular bars were overflowing all summer long.
If you enjoy outdoor activities and cold weather, Anchorage (or Alaska, really) is great. During the winter, you might see the northern lights, go snow machining, or skiing and during the summer, there's camping, fishing, or taking a cruise. However, if you live and work here and don't participate in those activities frequently, it can be challenging. The amenities and services at businesses are not near the levels you'll find in "the lower 48" and it's not as though there is a huge selection when it comes to where you can go for goods and services. There are a few decent restaurants, but overall, it's disappointing to see the lack of variety and quality when you're looking to eat out (there are very few Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican or other restaurants but quite a few Asian and American restaurants that are mediocre at best).
The winter is dark, cold and long and during the summer, it can feel manic due to the influx of tourists and the long hours of daylight, so it's definitely a place of extremes. If you have limited experience driving on snow & ice (as I did), it can be intimidating at first because some drivers don't seem to acknowledge the road conditions; if you're cautious and have snow tires and 4 wheel drive, it's fine but you still have to be wary of other drivers and of moose crossing the road. After 7 months of snow, ice, sanding and studded tires assaulting the roads, they're usually in bad shape by summer and this means there's construction and repaving every summer, all summer. It doesn't get much warmer than about 60 degrees in summer and if it does, people claim the weather is glorious (though I would disagree; it's simply better than the 20 degrees and icy or 56 degrees and rainy you might normally experience).
Anchorage doesn't seem to have a strong sense of community or character, possibly due to the transitory nature of workers and tourists, and the city government seems a bit off. It could be the isolation and lack of a county or other organizations give it free reign to behave as it pleases with the usual checks and balances. The center for performing arts tries to provide a good lineup of events throughout the year, but you just don't get as many big names and acts as you might elsewhere due to the remote location.
The cost of goods and housing is very high so it seems you need a high-paying job to live here unless you're willing to have roommates. If you must live here, it's worth getting out to see other parts of the state so you can get a sense for something other than Anchorage - Kodiak, Nome, Talkeetna, Homer, Seward, Valdez, Sitka, Juneau, and more are great to visit if you're already this far north.
If you are looking to take a vacation to a place that is full of scenic wonders and natural beauty, you must plan your next trip to the moutainous wonderland of Anchorage, Alaska. Ever since I have traveled to Anchorage, AK, my dreams have been forever filled with thoughts of making a new life for myself in this outdoor lover's paradise. If you want to visit a vast land full of lush trees, majestic mountains, and wonderous wildlife that will create a truly soul enhancing experience for you, Anchorage, Alaska is the place you should go.
In Anchorage, there are many ways that outdoor enthusiasts can experience a wonder of nature that just can't be found in any of the other 50 states. If you enjoy hiking down tree covered trails that provide a stellar view of giant mountains, you totally have to visit Denali National Park & Reserve. Denali National Park has 6 million acres of prestine all natural beauty and is home to Mount McKinley, the largest peak on the continent. If you don't want to hike the trails but you still want to visit this paradise, there are also buses that you can drive you around this gorgeous, mountain fantasyland.
If you would like to mix a little bit of the convenience of city life with an outdoor experience unlike that of any other place I've ever been, Anchorage also has an ecclectic metropolitan area that is full of fine dining restaurants, comfortable hotel rooms, and cute little shops that sell unique items you can purchase to bring home as a reminder of your trip. I, myself, prefer to camp, but I did enjoy heading into town to check out the wide variety of local crafters that sold their creative items at the Anchorage Market And Festival which is open 10 am to 6 pm from May to September.
If you want to spend your next vacation in a place that I think is like heaven on earth, you must book your next trip to Anchorage, Alaska. Full of natural wonders and a city full of history and charm, Anchorage, Alaska is by far one of the most beautiful places on earth.
When our long-awaited Alaskan cruise ended, we opted to spend two days visiting Anchorage, Alaska before heading home. We visited in May and the Anchorage weather was wonderful! Temperatures during the day were mild, and evenings just cool enough for a light sweater.
After exploring some of the six mountain ranges surrounding Anchorage, we strolled through the city streets. We were pleasantly surprised by the abundance of vividly colored flowers that seemed to be growing in every vacant spot! It was very pleasing to the eye.
With miles of coastline and water, finding fresh seafood at any of the several Alaska restaurants was a breeze! The food was delicious. Be sure to visit Peggy's Restaurant. It's Alaska's oldest family-owned restaurant, and a spot that you should not miss!
Anchorage is home to a number of clubs for nightlife entertainment. The casual atmosphere of the Great Alaskan Bush Company II is a unique experience that must be included in your itinerary.
Our cruise was awesome and our Anchorage visit made our Alaskan vacation absolutely perfect!