Anchorage, AK

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The heart of Anchorage has a city feel, but the many nearby parks and wooded trails that surround the city give visitors a chance to enjoy the wildlife in their natural habitat. Surprisingly, Anchorage is one of the best places to see moose (arguably better than Denali N.P.), and a decent place for seeing bears. Mudflats created by glacial run off and even Mt. McKinley, North America's highest peak, can even be seen from Anchorage.

#1 - Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park
Aside from providing access to the Coastal Trail, this park features a playground, picnic tables, a large pond which is great for kayaking, and an iron sculpture. There is a small boat ramp (think kayaks and canoes) and a set of lifejackets for public use.
Coordinants: 61.207170, -149.917417
#2 - Glacial Mudflats
As glaciers advance, they scrape up the dirt below and grind it into an extremely fine powder which is carried away in the runoff water. Eventually this powder settles out and creates the mud flats that dominate Anchorage's landscape. In some places this "Mud" can be up to 90 feet deep. It's easy to get stuck if you walk out onto the mud, and can be fatal if the tide comes in.
Coordinants: 61.209774, -149.929991
#3 - Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
A paved trail follows the edge of Cook Inlet from Downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park. It is a great path for walking, biking, and jogging with several scenic views along the way. You may see a moose grazing alongside the trail, but they are much more prevalent in Kincaid Park (which starts where this trail ends). If you are in downtown Anchorage and looking for a scenic bike ride, consider taking this trail to Kincaid Park and back.
Coordinants: 61.201485, -149.954045
#4 - Earthquake Park
Earthquake Park features a monument to the area's earthquake and tsunami history with plenty of informational plaques. A scenic outlook provides a view of downtown Anchorage, the mudflats and Mount Foraker. On a clear day, you can even get a good view of Mount McKinley.
Coordinants: 61.198446, -149.970417
#5 - Kincaid Park
Kincaid Park has a beautiful trail system and visitor center. It is accessible from the Coastal Trail and by car. In addition to the paved and gravel trails, the park features 18 holes of disk golf and access to the shoreline. Many of the trails are bike accessible, but some of the more rugged ones are best reserved for hikers. This is the best place in Anchorage to see moose because they tend to congregate near the trails after they reach the fence surrounding the Anchorage Airport.
Coordinants: 61.154749, -150.041142
#6 - Anchorage Light Speed Planet Walk
This scaled down model of our solar system allows you to experience the relative sizes of the sun and planets and their relative distance from each other. The scale was chosen so that a leisurely walk mimics someone traveling the speed of light, with each step you take equaling the distance light travels in 1 second. The entire walk should take about 5.5 hours (The time it takes light from the sun to reach Pluto), but you can experience the path at post-luminal speeds by renting a bicycle from one of the local bicycle shops.
Coordinants: 61.217348, -149.895205
#7 - Anchorage Visitor's Center
The Anchorage Visitors Center is housed inside an authentic sod-roof log cabin. Inside, you will be greeted by a helpful staff and possibly even an Iditarod race dog. Information on Alaska, Anchorage, local trails, and wildlife is available to visitors.
Coordinants: 61.218344, -149.893153
#8 - Anchorage Museum
This multifaceted museum features science, history, and art displays. There is a large collection of traditional Alaskan Native artwork, tools and clothing as well as contemporary Alaskan art. The hands-on Imaginarium Discovery Center contains interactive, fun exhibits that the whole family will enjoy. Here, you can surround yourself in a soap bubble, create miniature tsunamis and, and help build a wax volcano. The upper floors of the museum are reserved for traveling displays.
Coordinants: 61.215737, -149.883851
#9 - Ship Creek
An easy walk from downtown, Ship Creek is a salmon spawning ground and flows west to Cook Inlet. Stop at the salmon viewing platform to watch the fishermen or look for salmon and other fish. If you are a fisherman, try fishing for king and silver salmon right in Ship Creek. The king salmon run goes from early June until July 13th. Silver salmon run from late July to late October
Coordinants: 61.223805, -149.886040
#10 - Alaska Native Heritage Center
The center is located on 26 acres, and has replicas of six traditional Native Alaskan homes. A set of "Village Sites" are arranged around the lake representing the indigenous groups of Alaska. There are also indoor displays of each culture, native dancers to perform cultural dances, and native artists display their traditional artwork. Admission is ~$25
Coordinants: 61.234773, -149.708419

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