Anchorage is Alaska's largest city. Visitors come here all round the year to challenge glaciers and the King Salmon, and in general enjoy the teeming wildlife and outdoor attractions. You can see everything from moose to bears and beluga whales in their natural element. The city itself is fully cosmopolitan with urban pleasures and museums galore, including some famous breweries. Given the size of the place and huge distances between towns and destinations nearby, a small plane would seem to be a more appropriate mode of transport. But at the very least, you will need to rent a car in Anchorage.
The first thing you can do is stop by one of the tourist information centers. One is at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) and another one is downtown, in a log cabin at Fourth Avenue and F Street. Assuming you have got a car for rent in Anchorage and you now have maps and tourist brochures, let us get on with the tour. Attractions worth visiting include the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Museum of History and Art. Other must-visit attractions include the Imaginarium, the Aviation Heritage Museum and the H2Oasis indoor water park. You may also want to visit the El Dorado Gold Mine and pan for gold.
The reason why most visitors come here is because of the wildlife and outdoor activities. You can get a taste of what to expect by visiting the Anchorage Zoo and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. At the conservation center, you can drive through the park and see the animals fenced into sections of their natural habitats. You will be able to see everything from bears and moose to elk, bison and eagles.
But in order to get up close and personal with bears and moose out in the wild, you would have to foray out into the Chugach State Park. You might drive through Alyeska and on to Hope, and you will be seeing a lot of wildlife on the way. You could, of course, visit the Denali National Park and bump into a bear or two in every stream. Denali is about 4-5 hours away on AK-3, and you will see interesting towns en-route such as Willow, Talkeetna, Susitna North and Sarah Palin's hometown Wasilla.
There are a huge number of agencies providing car rental in Anchorage for travelers. Most are located either at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) and nearby on Spenard Road, or by the water-front near the city center. The only way you can be sure you are getting the best deal is to compare all the agencies online, choose a deal you like and book your car right now.
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