A Two Day Anchorage Itinerary
Updated March 2023, 2 Day Anchorage Itinerary: Anchorage in a Weekend was originally written in September 2015
Got two days in Anchorage, Alaska and not sure what to do?
I’ll be honest, Anchorage isn’t the highlight for most tourists in Alaska. I get it, most people come to Alaska for the nature, not the cities. Pair that with high crime rates and not a whole lot of attractions, which explains why Anchorage doesn’t make most traveler’s itineraries.
With all that said I do get emails from readers that find that they will have a day or two to kill in Anchorage and want suggestions on what to do there, or just to flat out ask if they should even include Anchorage on their itinerary. So, after living near Anchorage my entire life, here is a 2 day Anchorage itinerary to show you the highlights of what the city has to offer.
Just start planning? Check out my post Travel Alaska on a Budget
Day 1 In Anchorage
One your first day in Anchorage, plan to spend it getting to know the city a little better by bicycle, museum, and good food.
Start by grabbing breakfast over at Bear’s Tooth Grill (don’t go into the theatre side though, the breakfast at the theatre is far inferior). Hint- my favorite is the Cotija tacos. Another local favorite is Snow City Cafe located in downtown Anchorage.
Next, head downtown and spend a couple of hours over at the Anchorage Museum. The first floor has the Imaginarium, which is a great place to take kids if you’ll be traveling with little ones.
The second floor has all kinds of Alaska native artifacts and displays as well as informative information on Alaska history. The third floor usually displays traveling exhibitions, so be sure to check the website to find out what’s there when you’ll be in Anchorage. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for Alaska residents, $12 for kids (3-12 years), and children 2 years and under are free.
If it’s a weekend in the summertime after your museum visit, make your way over to the Anchorage market real quick to have a look around and grab a quick snack from one of the many local food vendors. If it’s outside the May-September months that the Anchorage Market operates, I’d recommend heading for a light lunch at one of the many cafes around downtown Anchorage.
After the market or lunch, head out on bicycles for an active afternoon along the Coastal Trail. You can rent bicycles from Downtown Anchorage Bicycle Rentals (they even rent bicycles for winter riding too). Spend the remainder of the afternoon cruising the Coastal Trail with scenic views of the inlet and Knik Arm.
After returning your bicycles back, and quick change, head back out on the town for dinner. I recommend trying South, Crow’s Nest, Crush, Orso, or Spenard Roadhouse (I recommend trying to make reservations in advance).
After dinner, you can continue on your night and hop around the downtown Anchorage bars.
Traveling to Anchorage on a budget? Check out Free Things to do in Anchorage
Day 2 In Anchorage
The second day of your weekend in Anchorage will take you just south of the city on one of the most scenic drives in the world to nearby Girdwood.
Start day 2 of your Anchorage Itinerary with brunch over at South.
After breakfast, take a drive down the Seward Highway for some scenic views, slowly making your way to Girdwood. The Seward Highway has many pull-offs for photo opts, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing.
Looking for more ideas? Check out my Anchorage Travel Guide With 20 Things To Do
Once you arrive in Girdwood, I recommend taking on a small trek to enjoy the town a little better. You can do a brief walk to Virgin Creek Falls, a longer meandering down the Winner Creek Trail, or if you’re looking for something intense (and it’s summer) you could try the Northface of Alyeska.
After you’ve burned off breakfast, grab lunch at one of Girdwood’s many restaurants. Recommended restaurants are Jack Sprat and Chair 5. If you want to sneak in an afternoon beer head over to Girdwood Brewery.
After lunch, head back for Anchorage making all the stops you skipped along the Seward Highway on the way down. Upon returning to Anchorage, if you’re traveling with kids, go over to the Alaska Zoo to see some of Alaska’s animals.
If the zoo doesn’t interest you, I recommend making the hike up Flattop, to spend the late afternoon enjoying some panoramic views of the city from there. The Flattop Hike is a 3.3 miles return from the Glen Alps Trailhead.
After the hike up the mountain, you’ll probably be hungry. Time to head over to one of the best pizza places in the country, Moose’s Tooth. If you can stand to wait for a table (no reservations) head to the restaurant, if not call and order some pizza and then pick it up along with a growler and bring it back to your room.
Where To Stay In Anchorage
Bent Prop Inn & Hostel Downtown
| Booking.com | Hotels.com |
Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites
| Booking.com | Hotels.com |
The Hotel Captain Cook
| Booking.com | Hotels.com |
Don’t want to do the planning? Check out these tours!
- Best of Alaska in a Day Tour from Anchorage
- Price: $140.00
- Anchorage City Tour with Alaska Native Heritage Center
- Price: $99.00
- Alaska Brewery and Railroad Experience from Anchorage
- Price: $279.00
- Turnagain Arm and Alaska Wildlife Tour from Anchorage
- Price: $99.00
Have Any Questions About This 2 Day Anchorage Itinerary?
Ask your Anchorage in a weekend questions in the comments section below!
Need Travel Insurance For Alaska?
Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.
14 thoughts on “2 Day Anchorage Itinerary”
Thanks for the great ideas for Anchorage!
Good suggestions! A friend recommended your blog when I told her about my upcoming plans to visit Alaska in 2019. My first stop in Anchorage, so this helps give me a rough outline. Thank you 🙂
Glad to hear that you’ve found this helpful. I hope you enjoy your time in Alaska and in Anchorage.
Myself and my boyfriend are planning a trip to Alaska and were looking for things to do on a couple day stop-over in Anchorage between activities we wanted to do on the Kenai Peninsula and up toward Denali National Park. I’m very happy to have come across your blog during planning stages, it’s been very helpful 🙂
A couple days in Anchorage will be nice in between so much outdoor adventuring! Hope you guys have a blast in Alaska. You can always let me know if you have any questions that come up.
Good ideas I will keep in mind for my upcoming visit!
Hope you have a great trip to AK!
Will keep this in mind for some our visitors this summer for reference, along with your free things in Anchorage post. Most of our relatives coming want to explore Denali and Kenai Fjords but aren’t sure what to do in Anchorage.
Ah, the influx of family is soon to start! Definitely check out my ‘One Week in Alaska’ roadtrip series for potential ideas. Lot and lots to see in AK 🙂
No prob! Have an amazing time
Good jam-packed itinerary. I think I may try to follow this with a few addendums of course when I’m in Anchorage for a couple days after my cruise this summer.
Of course, fill in the blanks with what interests you! I would like to do one of the Inside Passage cruises sometime. Have fun out there.