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What started as a small town built around a railway station ended up being the largest city in the Last Frontier, and while Anchorage is a sprawling metropolis by Alaskan standards, most of its footprint is mostly mountainous and uninhabited—but that just means its backdrop is quite a thing to behold. Backed up against the Chugach Mountains and cradled by the Knik and Turnagain Arms, what Anchorage might lack in sophistication, its natural beauty more than makes up for in spades (with a few to spare).
With so much natural splendor around, you’ll be tempted to get out and romp around outside—and with the midnight sun helping you along in the summertime, you’d be right to! With hikes, day trips, and gasp-inducing vistas aplenty, the only trouble you’ll have getting outside is deciding where to go. But don’t forget to check out the city while you’re here. While the downtown area is small, its art galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, and shops come in all shapes and sizes, and you’ll still find plenty of trails, Native Alaskan history, breweries, and other sights while you’re around town, too. Winter or summer, Anchorage is the perfect place to plunge into the natural beauty of Alaska—or kick back with a drink and soak up the views.