Some posts on the Adventures of Nicole contain affiliate links to various products & services, meaning I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you click or book via some of these links. Read up more on my Disclaimer page.

shoot the aurora, how to shoot the aurora , aurora, eagle river, eagle river alaska, aurora borealis, northern lights, baldy, skyline, alaska

A Two Day Anchorage Itinerary

Updated March 20202 Day Anchorage Itinerary: Anchorage in a Weekend was originally written in September 2015

Got two days in Anchorage, Alaska and not sure what to do?

I’ll be honest, Anchorage isn’t the highlight for most tourists in Alaska. I get it, most people come to Alaska for the nature, not the cities. Pair that with high crime rates and not a whole lot of attractions, which explains why Anchorage doesn’t make most traveler’s itineraries. With all that said I do get emails from readers that find that they will have a day or two to kill in Anchorage and want suggestions on what to do there, or just to flat out ask if they should even include Anchorage on their itinerary. So, after living near to Anchorage my entire life, here is a 2 day Anchorage itinerary to show you the highlights of what the city has to offer.

Just start planning? Check out my post Travel Alaska on a Budget

Anchorage, Anchorage Alaska, Alaska, Airport Park, Airport Park Anchorage
The iconic view of Anchorage from Airport Park

Day 1 In Anchorage

One your first day in Anchorage, plan to spend it getting to know the city a little better by bicycle, museum, and good food.

Start by grabbing breakfast over at Bear’s Tooth Grill (don’t go into the theatre side though, the breakfast at the theatre is far inferior). Hint- my favorite is the Cotija tacos. Another local favorite is Snow City Cafe located in downtown Anchorage.

Next, head downtown and spend a couple of hours over at the Anchorage Museum.  The first floor has the Imaginarium, which is a great place to take kids if you’ll be traveling with little ones. The second floor has all kinds of Alaska native artifacts and displays as well as informative information on Alaska history. The third floor usually displays traveling exhibitions, so be sure to check the website to find out what’s there when you’ll be in Anchorage. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for Alaska residents, $12 for kids (3-12 years), and children 2 years and under are free.

If it’s a weekend in the summertime after your museum visit, make your way over to the Anchorage market real quick to have a look around and grab a quick snack from one of the many local food vendors. If it’s outside the May-September months that the Anchorage Market operates, I’d recommend heading for a light lunch at one of the many cafes around downtown Anchorage.

After the market or lunch, head out on bicycles for an active afternoon along the Coastal Trail. You can rent bicycles from Downtown Anchorage Bicycle Rentals (they even rent bicycles for winter riding too). Spend the remainder of the afternoon cruising the Coastal Trail with scenic views of the inlet and Knik Arm.

After returning your bicycles back, and quick change, head back out on the town for dinner. I recommend trying SouthCrow’s NestCrushOrso, or  Spenard Roadhouse (I recommend trying to make reservations in advance).

After dinner, you can continue on your night and hop around the downtown Anchorage bars. Favorites of mine include Whale’s Tail and Bubbly Mermaid (both serve great food too).

Traveling to Anchorage on a budget? Check out Free Things to do in Anchorage

Downtown Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska, 4h Avenue Theatre, 4th Avenue Theatre Anchorage, 4th Avenue Theatre Alaska
Downtown Anchorage

Day 2 In Anchorage

The second day of your weekend in Anchorage will take you just south of the city on one of the most scenic drives in the world to nearby Girdwood.

Start day 2 of your Anchorage Itinerary with brunch over at South.

After breakfast, take a drive down the Seward Highway for some scenic views, slowly making your way to Girdwood. The Seward Highway has many pull-offs for photo opts, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing.

Looking for more ideas? Check out my Anchorage Travel Guide With 20 Things To Do

Crow Creek, Crow Creek Alaska, Crow Creek Mine, Girdwood, Alaska
Crow Creek Mine

Once you arrive in Girdwood, I recommend taking on a small trek to enjoy the town a little better. You can do a brief walk to Virgin Creek Falls, a longer meandering down the Winner Creek Trail, or if you’re looking for something intense (and it’s summer) you could try the Northface of Alyeska.

After you’ve burned off breakfast, grab lunch at one of Girdwood’s many restaurants. Recommended restaurants are Jack Sprat and Chair 5. If you want to sneak in an afternoon beer head over to Girdwood Brewery.

After lunch, head back for Anchorage making all the stops you skipped along the Seward Highway on the way down. Upon returning to Anchorage, if you’re traveling with kids, go over to the Alaska Zoo to see some of Alaska’s animals.

If the zoo doesn’t interest you, I recommend making the hike up Flattop, to spend the late afternoon enjoying some panoramic views of the city from there. The Flattop Hike is a 3.3 miles return from the Glen Alps Trailhead.

After the hike up the mountain, you’ll probably be hungry. Time to head over to one of the best pizza places in the country, Moose’s Tooth. If you can stand to wait for a table (no reservations) head to the restaurant, if not call and order some pizza and then pick it up along with a growler and bring it back to your room.

Flattop, Flattop Hike, Flattop Anchorage, Anchorage, Anchorage day hikes, Chugach State Park, Alaska
The view from the top of Flattop

Where To Stay In Anchorage

Budget

Bent Prop Inn & Hostel Downtown
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Midrange

Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Splurge

The Hotel Captain Cook
Booking.com | Hotels.com |

Don’t want to do the planning? Check out these tours!

Have Any Questions About This 2 Day Anchorage Itinerary?

Ask your Anchorage in a weekend questions in the comments section below!

Need Travel Insurance For Alaska?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

More Posts from Alaska:

14 thoughts on “2 Day Anchorage Itinerary”

  1. Good suggestions! A friend recommended your blog when I told her about my upcoming plans to visit Alaska in 2019. My first stop in Anchorage, so this helps give me a rough outline. Thank you 🙂

  2. Hey Nicki,
    Myself and my boyfriend are planning a trip to Alaska and were looking for things to do on a couple day stop-over in Anchorage between activities we wanted to do on the Kenai Peninsula and up toward Denali National Park. I’m very happy to have come across your blog during planning stages, it’s been very helpful 🙂

    Priyanka

    1. Hi Priyanka,
      A couple days in Anchorage will be nice in between so much outdoor adventuring! Hope you guys have a blast in Alaska. You can always let me know if you have any questions that come up.

  3. Will keep this in mind for some our visitors this summer for reference, along with your free things in Anchorage post. Most of our relatives coming want to explore Denali and Kenai Fjords but aren’t sure what to do in Anchorage.

    1. Ah, the influx of family is soon to start! Definitely check out my ‘One Week in Alaska’ roadtrip series for potential ideas. Lot and lots to see in AK 🙂

  4. Good jam-packed itinerary. I think I may try to follow this with a few addendums of course when I’m in Anchorage for a couple days after my cruise this summer.

    1. Of course, fill in the blanks with what interests you! I would like to do one of the Inside Passage cruises sometime. Have fun out there.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top