Visiting & Birding in Anchorage


Alaska connects flyways for migratory birds coming to breed during summer from all over the globe, including the Americas, the Central Pacific, East Asia-Australasia, and even Africa. We have recorded over 521 species in the state, including some seen nowhere else in North America. We have ready access to wetlands, intertidal mudflats, forests, and alpine tundra in the Anchorage area. Birds will still be breeding during late June, and some early migrants will likely be starting to flock. Anchorage is at the intersection of the boreal and North Pacific rainforest biomes, so there is an incredible diversity of bird life here.

Over 80% of Alaska’s lands are public resource lands, including national and state parks, wildlife refuges, and forests, many of which are readily accessible from Anchorage by car, train, or boat. There is much wilderness to explore! Tidewater glaciers and seabird colonies are a couple of hours away to the south. The Alaska Range, including Denali, is a few hours drive to the north. There are also several commercial birding tours offered at this time of year. If you venture farther north or west, you can get some spectacular lifers.

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, and thus has much to offer in terms of cultural experiences, restaurants, and fun things to do. We hope you enjoy visiting our unique mix of urban and wilderness!

Birding information for the Anchorage vicinity and beyond:

Anchorage birding map:

Anchorage birding guide:

Audubon Alaska (lots of resources for birding in Alaska):

Anchorage Audubon Society (local checklist, rarities, birding guide, field trips):

Checklist of Alaska birds (University of Alaska Museum):

Yahoo Groups list server for birding in Alaska:

Restaurants in Anchorage:

Visit Anchorage 2018 Restaurant Guide:

Here’s a short list of fabulous downtown restaurants:

Glacier Brewhouse: Alaska regional, wood fired pizza & local seafood
F Street Station: bar with terrific food
Ginger: fresh Alaska seafood and Pacific Rim cuisine
49th State Brewing Co: craft brews, waterfront view
Haute Quarter Grill: Alaska seafood, contemporary American cuisine
Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse: fresh seafood to hamburgers, local beers
ORSO: fresh Alaska seafood, local pastas
Simon & Seafort’s Bar & Grill: Alaska specialties, seafood, pasta & waterfront view
Snow City Café: best breakfast in town served all day, soups and sandwiches
Fat Ptarmigan:  wood-fired pizza and pasta
Bernie’s Bungalow: large outdoor patio, great drinks, lots of beers on tap, fun food

Midtown restaurants not to miss if you’re out and about:

Moose’s Tooth Pizza
Middle Way Cafe

Local breweries in Anchorage:

Midnight Sun Brewing Company

Anchorage Brewing Company

King Street Brewing Company

Cynosure Brewing

Hiking around Anchorage:

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (paved trail, access right from downtown for walking or biking, spectacular views and wildlife):

Amazing hikes right in our backyard:

Chugach State Park:

Far North Bicentennial Park (large park right in Anchorage):

Campbell Tract (BLM lands with hiking and mountain biking trails):

Kincaid Park (large city park bordering ocean with lots of trails):

Potter Marsh (wildlife viewing boardwalk in south Anchorage):

Anchorage Coastal Refuge (state refuge right along coast, nesting Sandhill Cranes and other wildlife):

Biking in Anchorage:

Bike rentals in downtown Anchorage:

Bike rentals elsewhere in Anchorage:

Bike routes around Anchorage:

Maps of bike trails in Anchorage:

Mountain bike trails in Anchorage:

Bike rides by type:

Visitor information for Anchorage and the vicinity:

Top 20 Things to do in Anchorage

Anchorage Museum:

Alaska Native Heritage Center (beautiful cultural center, dances, crafts):

“Things to Do” on Visit Anchorage website:

Flat Top Mountain:
Take the once a day shuttle to Flat Top Mountain in the Chugach Range to hike and explore the mountain.

Alaska Native Medical Center (beautiful Native artwork, incredible craft shop):

See the entire Visit Anchorage website

Visitor Information Center:   (907) 257-2363, 524 W. Fourth Avenue, Anchorage

Railroad, flightseeing, state ferry:

Alaska Railroad:
Ride the iconic Alaska Railroad for spectacular service north to Fairbanks or south to Seward.

Rust’s Flying Service offers flightseeing from Lake Hood in Anchorage – not to be missed!

Alaska Marine Highway System:
The state ferry system is an amazing way to see birds, whales, and other marine life! You can take the ferry from Whittier to visit other parts of Prince William Sound, or take it out of Homer for a trip across the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak (where you could see shearwaters, albatross, and other seabirds). You could also take the ferry through the Inside Passage of southeastern Alaska to or from Seattle, for a spectacular voyage to or from the conference.

Just south of Anchorage:

Hiking and biking around Girdwood:

Rafting, hiking, canoeing at Spencer Glacier:

Hiking, rock-climbing, glacier tours, ice-climbing, kayaking, helicopter tours around Spencer Glacier and Girdwood:

Girdwood Brewing Company:

Crow Creek Mine Gold Panning in Girdwood – beautiful area and gold panning is surprisingly fun!

Alyeska Resort & Aerial Tram:

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center:

Farther south on the Kenai Peninsula:

Hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, wildlife-viewing galore!

Seward Seabird Festival:

Chugach National Forest:

Kenai Fjords National Park:

Hike to Exit Glacier and Harding Ice Field:

Alaska Sealife Center (Seward):

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge:

Kachemak Bay State Park (Homer):

Day Glacier Cruises from Whittier (Whittier):

Kenai Fjords Tours (Seward):

Major Marine Tours:

Sea-kayaking around glaciers and fjords:

Alaska white-water rafting:

Seward Brewing Company (Seward)

North of Anchorage:

Eklutna Lake and Glacier: Bike or hike to glacier; kayak on lake; camp

Matanuska Glacier:  Hike on a glacier – great photo ops!

Hatcher Pass:  Scenic drive, amazing hikes above treeline

Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Dog Kennels:
Visit 5-time Iditarod Sled Dog Race winner Martin Buser’s Happy Trails dog kennel where you’ll meet the dogs and learn what it takes to be a winning musher.

Skydiving (Palmer):

Kesugi Ridge (Denali State Park):

Denali State Park (lots of hiking and camping):

Denali National Park and Preserve (spectacular hiking and camping):

Alaska white-water rafting:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (spectacular hiking and camping):

McCarthy and Kennecott Historic Mine:

Denali Highway (Paxson to Cantwell) (Arctic Warblers!):

University of Alaska Museum of the North (Fairbanks):

Dalton Highway (north from Fairbanks across the Arctic Circle to Deadhorse):

Breweries to the north:

Arkose Brewery (Palmer)

Denali Brewing Company (Talkeetna)

More information will be added over time.