Anchorage

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The gateway to Alaska, Anchorage is the state’s largest city and the place where the vast majority of visitors arrive by air — no matter what your final destination, you will likely start here. But don’t be too eager to pass through: Anchorage is home to the state’s best restaurants, shopping, museums and cultural attractions. 

Many outdoor and tourist activities start right here, from gold-mine tours to wildlife cruises on Prince William Sound, and an excellent network of nature trails and paved paths link downtown with the surrounding wilderness. The Lake Hood Seaplane Base is the largest in the world, and the very popular flightseeing planes to glaciers, lakes, Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park depart from there. Anchorage is also the hub for the scenic Alaska Railway, which runs south toward Girdwood and north to Denali. 

Nearly half of all Alaskans live here — in city of roughly 300,000 people — and many visitors are surprised by the breadth of Anchorage’s dining and entertainment scenes.