The Great Land = The Best Family Vacation

Anchorage, Alaska, is the perfect spot for your next adventure

By Susannah Ferguson, publisher of Macaroni KID Columbia, Mo. December 11, 2023

It's trip planning season and if your family is split between an outdoor adventure or big city getaway, give 'em both. When you head north to Anchorage, Alaska, you get all the amenities, convenience, and excitement of an urban vacation, plus the amazing scenery, wildlife, and outdoor experience of Alaska.

This article is sponsored by Visit Anchorage.

Anchorage, Alaska is way more than just glaciers and grizzlies (although those are pretty great). It's also full of unique dining experiences, one-of-a-kind tours and trips, and a cultural melting pot. Oh and did we mention it's seriously family friendly? Here are just a few of the many reasons why our next family adventure is definitely happening in Alaska.

Jack Bonney

1. Get Wowed by Wildlife
When you think Alaska, you think wildlife, right? And with good reason. In Anchorage alone there are 1500 resident moose so you're pretty much bound to run into one (talk about a photo opp). Not to mention the bald eagles, bears, Dall sheep, mountain goats, and beluga whales. Seeing wild animals in their native habitats is better than a trip to the zoo any day.

JodyO. Photos

2. Local Park Perfection
Fans of National Parks will love Anchorage with great access to five of the most scenic parks on the planet (Denali, Kenai Fjords, Katmai, Lake Clark, and Wrangell-St. Elias). Add in the many state parks like Chugach (a mere 15 minute drive from downtown) and you've got endless outdoors to explore. What's even better about Alaska parks? The natural features that are hard to find in the lower 48. We're talking glaciers (so many glaciers!), 20,000+ foot mountains, ice fields, fjords, and even volcanic landscapes. Plus many of these scenic wonders are far less crowded than national parks down South, meaning more nature appreciation and less frustration.

Ashley Heimbigner

3. Broaden Your Cultural Horizons
Anchorage is known as Alaska's largest Native Village with a variety of cultures and tribes living in and around the city. Experience something new at some of Anchorage's many museums and cultural attractions, many with special kid-friendly exhibits perfect for curious minds. Besides cultural institutions and historical parks, hit up a science center and learn about earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural phenomena. Talk about shaking up your day.

JodyO. Photos

4. Fresh Food for the Entire Family
Delicious food is a vacation must and Anchorage won't disappoint. Ultra-fresh seafood like oysters, crab, salmon, and halibut are always on the menu. But don't forget to try more unusual offerings like yak burgers or reindeer stew. And we know what you're thinking — hello, we have kids, where's the McD's? Anchorage is packed with kid-friendly options that'll fill up your less adventurous eaters (think mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and the usual kid fare).

Juno Kim

5. Take a Terrific Tour
Packed with activities for the entire family, Anchorage has fun for everyone. Get a beautiful bird's-eye view with a flightseeing tour or hit the water on a scenic boat trip. Hoping to strike it rich? Take the kids gold panning. You can jump aboard a train for a rail tour that'll take your breath away or try your hand at dog sledding (even in the summer!). There's no shortage of things to keep everyone living their Alaska dreams.

Visit Anchorage

Still not convinced that Anchorage is the ideal place for your family vacation? Consider the following:

  • Anchorage has one of the highest coffee shops per capita of any place in the country.
  • For more adult tastes, there are 12 unique breweries in town alone.
  • Forget bedtime, in June you'll find up to 22 hours of functional daylight so you can really pack in the fun.
  • The Northern Lights. Need we say more?
  • Anchorage has had a city symphony longer than Alaska has been a state, that's a legit art scene.
  • Diversity abounds. In fact, East High in Anchorage is the second most diverse high school in the country with over 94 native languages represented by its students.
  • More than 8000 rooms are available in the city, from rustic cabins to luxury lodges, your perfect bed awaits.
  • Imagine the holiday card you'll be sending next year with the Alaskan wilderness in the background.

Ralph Kristopher

Consider Anchorage for your next adventure and get lost in the great land. Because there really is snow place like Alaska.