My Favorite Places in Anchorage

19 Nov

So, I thought I should post about some of my fav places to hit in Anchorage (and round about these parts). I don’t know the city really well yet but definitely have some spots I enjoy. Here’s a start to my list….

1. Favorite In-Town Walking Spot: Coastal Trail

The multi-use (read: walking, jogging, biking, skiing, etc.) Coastal Trail is nice as it takes you through woods, park-like areas, and right into downtown. And all along the coast (duh). It’s great for seeing flora, fauna, landscape (water and mountains), plane-spotting and on the right days people watching. 10 miles each way. And in the winter, great for cross country skiing and snow-shoeing. Below is a fuzzy iPhone picture of some local birds on the trail.

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2. Favorite Ice Skating Spot: Westchester Lagoon

The lagoon is right next to the Coastal Trail. They have a large pond-like area cleared for general skating, and a large track they keep cleared as well. It’s not thick enough to skate on yet, but should be in a couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to this!!! Below is the lagoon, but not the ice skating part (where you skate is behind the berms you see at the back of the picture).

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3. Favorite Breakfast Spot: Snow City Cafe

The food is good and the atmosphere is great (downtown, huge windows, extremely busy, warm and inviting). Thankfully you can make reservations for a few of their tables, otherwise expect to wait at least an hour on a weekend morning. Great benedicts, eggs, and pancakes. Not to mention lunches. http://snowcitycafe.com

4. America’s Best Coffee: Steam Dot

This place has the best coffee I’ve had in Alaska, not to mention the US (and pretty much everywhere in the world except Ethiopia), hands down. Exceptionally roasted (in-house) coffee, smooth espressos, perfectly steamed milk. I drive completely out of my way to go there. It’s worth the trip, and now they are opening a location closer by, in Mid-Town. If only they would open one downtown! http://steamdot.com

5.  Tastiest Cheap Eats: Hula Hands

Hawaiian food at it’s tastiest. I am not a huge chicken fan, and I could eat their grilled chicken every day. Combo plates of meats (we always go for the roasted pig and the grilled chicken) with a scoop of rice and a scoop of mac salad. Under 10$ a person. The large is big enough for two (though somehow we never share!). And yes, they have Spam (and Spam musubi). http://www.hulahands.com

6. Favorite Treat Spot: Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge.

This place is awesome for a chocolate fix. They make their own truffles, chocolate bars, and –  what I always go for – drinking chocolate. I’m talking about warm, pure, liquid chocolate, served in a tiny cup with fresh whipped cream on top. Sip it with a small spoon. I always have their spicy Mayan chocolate (which has a real kick), but their silky dark is also awesome. I try not to go more than once a month. 🙂  http://www.moderndwellers.com

7. Best Tea and Spice and Everything Nice: Summit Spice and Tea Company

These guys make the best spice and tea blends, in-house. I have loved everything I’ve tried from here. Right now they are also doing mulled cider, does anything say winter and holidays more than this? http://www.summitspiceandtea.com

8. Most Scenic Close-By Drive: Seward Highway to Girdwood

Just over 30 minutes, and stunning. I never tire of the scenery. The picture below is from last winter. It was extremely cold!

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I’ll keep adding to the list….

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