People usually go to Anchorage for its winter resorts, hiking trails and wildlife viewing. The mountains visible from downtown Anchorage create very beautiful and wild scenery. Fear not for there are enough malls to keep you busy if nature is not your thing. However, no vacation in Alaska is complete with taking a dog sled ride and hiking up a glacier and Anchorage is a good base for such activities. And don't be afraid to taste some less-expect food items such as reindeer sausage (we promise you are not eating Rudolf).

WHAT TO DO

Anchorage is a great place to do some wildlife viewing. It's quite common to spot bears even in residential areas. Go to Denali or Katmai National Parks to spot the local wildlife such as black and brown bears or moose. If you want to spot some eagles head to Potter's Marsh. And if you want to see them all in the same place, head to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (a refuge for orphan, injured or ill animals).

Really close to the town you'll find plenty of popular winter resorts. You can practice pretty much any winter sports in places such as Alyeska Resort or Hilltop Ski Area. During the summer, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is popular among both those who like to walk/jog or bike. If you want to do some hiking head to the Glen Alps which have some great trails both for hikers and bikers.

Nothing defines Alaska better than a dog sled ride. Although you'll have to head out of Anchorage and go to Seward to book such an activity, it's totally worth it. And just 50 miles south of Anchorage you can view of the most spectacular glaciers in Alaska.

GETTING THERE

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is the largest airport in Alaska and is the second largest hub for Alaska Airlines, which makes it quite easy to find a flight to Anchorage . The airport is located just 4 miles from downtown Anchorage.

If you drive to the airport you can save both time and money on Anchorage airport parking by booking in advance.

WHERE TO STAY

There are quite a lot of hotels in Anchorage but they are quite expensive (rumor has it that a certain hotel has the highest prices in Anchorage than anywhere else in the US). Fear not for there are quite a lot of alternatives for those on a budget: hostels in Anchorage . Even downtown prices are a fraction of the ones you'd find at hotels.