Every now and then, a destination will take me by surprise. Anchorage, Alaska, was one of those cities. I had envisioned an icy wilderness, but Anchorage offers so much more than winter sports. With all its natural splendor, there's no wonder it's such a popular spot to visit. Anchorage is the outdoor enthusiast's dream, but it also offers a host of great restaurants and bars. Here are a few things I would definitely fit into an Anchorage itinerary.
A Northern Lights Late Night Special trip with Salmon Berry Tours. This evening tour not only takes participants on a snowshoeing expedition in search of the famous Northern Lights, but it also includes a delicious dinner of house-made soups, breads and desserts. This company also offers dogsledding tours.
A halibut sandwich and a frothy beer in a Mason jar at F Street Station. This is a popular local watering hole with delicious food and a communal block of cheese at the bar that patrons can nibble from. (I find the hygiene of this suspect, but if it's high-quality cheese, I'm not going to turn it down!)
Dining with a view at the Crow's Nest. On the 20th floor of the Hotel Captain Cook, this fine restaurant's windows showcase stunning views of the surrounding city as well as Mount McKinley. The award-winning menu features Alaskan seafood, and there's a 10,000-bottle wine cellar. On second thought, I may just spend my entire Alaskan vacation in this restaurant.
A cup of soup and a sandwich on fresh bread at Europa Bakery. This bakery is touted as one of Alaska's best, but I think I'll need to stop in and sample the breads and coffee (all of them) before I give my personal opinion. Apparently it serves a great latte!
Indulging in chocolate from all over the world at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge. This place sells chocolate bars from various countries, and it serves house-made truffles and espresso. This would be a great spot to warm up with dessert and a good book.
Enjoying a local festival, such as the Make it Alaskan Festival in November. This festival highlights local arts and crafts, but if that's not your cup of tea, Anchorage puts on an annual film festival, a beer festival, its unique Fur Rondy Festival and plenty of hockey games. There's certainly something for everyone!
I think this trip would be complemented by a trip to Denali National Park. That way, you achieve a balance of outdoor activities and relaxing experiences within Anchorage. Where would you like to go in and around Anchorage?