More than twice the size of Texas, there’s nothing quite as big as America’s 49th state: Alaska. From breathtaking glaciers to a fascinating array of wildlife, it’s difficult to describe Alaska’s terrain and scenery without resorting to trite superlatives. You must visit this land to comprehend it. Anchor your trip in the state’s largest city: Anchorage.
Culture and cod.
Although Anchorage is a relatively small city, it is surprisingly modern and has a diverse community. You’ll find excellent museums (like the Anchorage Museum at Rasmusin Center), restaurants (check out the Bear Tooth Theatrepub Café & Grill) and artistic venues (including the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and Cyrano’s Off-Center Playhouse).
Anchorage is also home to many gay-owned and gay-friendly accommodations (Hotel Captain Cook is our favorite), as well as a couple of gay bars. Like most smaller cities, Anchorage’s gay bars tend to attract people of all ages, genders and affinities. One bar you can’t miss is the extremely fun and friendly dance club, Mad Myrna’s—considered one of the best gay bars in America. Each June, the Alaska Pridefest events bring the whole rainbow community together against the backdrop of the city’s majestic landscapes.
Anchorage is known around the world for its legendary outdoor pursuits like exploring glaciers, whale watching and, most notably, the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race each March. While Alaska is ideally suited for outdoorsy travelers, the numerous cruise ships and trains that routinely depart from Anchorage and venture into the vast interior make it easy to enjoy the state’s natural beauty from a comfy and controlled environment.
Several LGBT-oriented cruise ship operators—notably RSVP Vacations, Olivia and Atlantis—book all-gay charter trips on some of the major lines that ply Alaska waters, including Holland America, Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Another way to explore the state’s rugged and largely unspoiled interior is via the scenic Alaska Railroad. From Anchorage, you can take an amazing day trip to Denali National Park (home to North America’s highest peak, the 20,320-foot Mt. McKinley) or hop aboard the Glacier Discovery train to Grandview where you can, as the train’s name implies, discover magnificent glaciers.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
For a less structured adventure, rent a car in Anchorage and explore nearby wonders at your own pace. Don’t miss the quaint town of Talkeetna, the charming village of Girdwood, the popular fishing town of Homer and Whittier, where you can kayak on Prince William Sound and enjoy several stunning glaciers.
When seasoned travelers talk about “trips of a lifetime,” they’re often referring to adventures had in Alaska. Book your trip to Anchorage next summer!
To stay informed about the city’s goings on, check out The Anchorage Press, a local alternative weekly publication with listings, events, news and reviews.
When you come to Anchorage, give yourself at least seven days to enjoy the city and explore the surrounding majestic land.