Answers from Our Experts (1)
The most popular shopping items in Anchorage are Alaskan ulu knives, great for anyone who cooks to chop and dice herbs or garlic, jewelry made from local gold and shed caribou horns, and smoked meats and fish, especially salmon, reindeer and caribou. Downtown is teeming with souvenir shops, but most of them are cheesy, so head to one of the more authentic native craft centers, like the gift shop at the Anchorage Museum or the Alaska Native Arts Foundation Gallery. Wherever you shop, especially along the main downtown commercial drags of Fourth and Sixth avenues, look for the silver hand logo, a government program that guarantees these crafts were made locally by native Alaskans. The best place for smoked and canned specialty meats and fish — great gifts — is Indian Valley Meats on the Seward Highway about 20 minutes south of the city. Perhaps Alaska’s rarest specialty is Quiviut, wool form the underbelly of the Arctic Musk Oxen, softer and warmer (and more expensive!) than cashmere, and the only place to shop for it is at Oomingmak Musk Ox Producer Coop. Hundreds of Native Alaskans across the huge state knit at home and ship their wares to this cooperative, in the middle of downtown since 1969. If you miss out on shopping time, Sourdough Mercantile in Concourse C of the airport represents over a hundred local artisans and craftspeople.