Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska and is the state’s travel, financial and commercial hub. Despite what many travellers may believe, Anchorage is much more than snow, igloos and Eskimos. Flights to Anchorage are packed full of travellers eager to hit the Alaskan trails and ease down the rivers that make Anchorage one of the most desired destinations in the U.S. Before you book Anchorage flights and accommodations, consider your travel interests and plan an Anchorage vacation at the right time of year — Anchorage has extreme peak and off-peak travel seasons.
Anchorage is a city in full swing, and unlike the common conception of wilderness Alaska. Most Alaska travellers find flights to Anchorage as their starting point to an overall Alaska vacation. Plan to stay a few days in Anchorage to enjoy the city escape before heading out to the wilderness, just a short drive from the outskirts of Anchorage.
Anchorage isn’t so different than most other US cities — there are great restaurants, plenty of nightlife options and a great culture landscape. Take some time read up on Alaska during your flight to Anchorage. There are plenty of day trips from the Anchorage area that appeal to any traveller. Travellers beware: moose and bears are common in the Alaskan wilderness!
Although the assumption is that Alaska is a land of snow and sub-zero temperatures, the Alaskan climate is actually extremely varied, caused by the state’s six different topographic regions. The far north is extremely dry and very cold, with Arctic conditions and temperatures average about -29C, and the ground at Point Barrow remains permanently frozen to a depth of 405m. Summer temperatures in the lowlands are surprisingly high, averaging in the about 16C, and they have been known to reach 32C and up. The southeast tends to be fairly moderate, with damp, rainy and sometimes mild conditions, with temperatures in July averaging 13C and temperatures in January averaging -1C and the south and central areas tend to be similar, with slightly colder winter temperatures. Western Alaska tends to be rainy, while the Aleutian Islands in winter are damp and rainy, with fog. Heavy snows are common in the north and central regions of the state.
The best time to book flights to Anchorage and travel the area is during the summer months, June through August. The temperature averages around 21C and rainfall is minimal. If winter sports are your forte, plan to travel to Anchorage in February and trek the mountains or stay around for the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The winter months are cold and blustery in Anchorage, averaging around -12C, but if you’re a snow-lover, cheap flights to Anchorage can be found in the heart of winter.
Get ready to move around on Anchorage’s public bus system, called the People Mover. Take the People Mover to the city centre after your Anchorage flight lands and get an immediate tour. On weekdays, catch a bus every half hour until 9pm. Service is limited on weekends, but the buses run until 11pm. There are also hotel shuttles and cabs available for late night arrivals. If your travel plans include a trip around the edge of Anchorage, it’s a good idea to rent a car. Save money by booking a package deal when you buy your plane ticket. Make sure you reserve early in the summer though. Summer is Alaska’s peak travel time and rental cars can get snatched up quickly.