Alaskan Cruisetour Photo Gallery

Day 11 (May 27, 1999) - Anchorage

4th Avenue
Looking down 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage.

A moose dines near the roadside not far from the Anchorage airport.

Morning in Anchorage revealed yet another beautiful day - mild temperatures, mostly clear skies, but a rather chilly wind. We had the morning free - our first big chunk of free time since departing the Sun Princess. We used the opportunity to explore parts of downtown Anchorage and to do some last minute shopping. It was also our first opportunity to do any shopping since leaving Ketchikan, so we made the most of it.

Anchorage is by far Alaska's largest city. With around 300,000 people, it's population makes up half the state's population. The many bedroom communities nearby probably result in the Anchorage area supporting well over half the state population. As the primary business and financial center for Alaska, it's economy does not rely heavily on any particular activity, though it certainly does feel the effects of the oil industry.

The city of Anchorage is not particularly picturesque. It's very much like any other US city of similar size: tall buildings, streets full of people, strip malls, and the like. So, I ended up taking very few pictures on this, the last full day of our vacation.

Mom at Earthquake Park
Mom at Earthquake Park, looking out over Turnagain Arm.

In the afternoon, we took a city tour. The tour was enjoyable, but as with most Princess-run land tours, we spent the bulk of the time on board the bus, with few photo opportunities. The tour ended with a visit to the new Alaska Native Heritage Center, a museum of native cultures near the city limits.

The ANHC just opened its doors in May 1999, so was somewhat on the incomplete side when we visited, but it was nevertheless fascinating. There are a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor static displays depicting the various Alaskan native cultures, as well as a variety of live shows and arts demonstrations. The staff is friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic - the staff is also somewhat large, so there is always somebody nearby to help explain the various exhibits, especially outside. Many people expressed an interest in returning to the center in the evening, and shuttles from the hotel were available to help them do so.

Though I would have liked to spend a bit more time at the center, I had to return to the city as I had made arrangements to have dinner and a few beers with a couple of my pals from The WELL. We stopped first at the downtown bar known as Darwin's, a small, funky little place with just the right kind of atmosphere to enjoy a few brews and chat. We then proceeded to the Glacier Brewhouse for an excellent dinner, and even more brews, before I had to return to pack my bags and get ready to go.

Float Plane
A float plane taxis at one of two float plane bases in Anchorage.

...of Anchorage.

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Copyright © 1999, Pete Hanson