Animals are a very visible part of the population

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA: The banks of Ship Creek is just steps from downtown where you can land a monster salmon in the shadow of Anchorage high rises, and that’s only one reason why people from all over the world come here with the dream to catch a trophy fish.

Anchorage is the place where fish tales come true and the ”big one” is just a cast away. Ship Creek is one of the most popular sport fisheries in Alaska and has a king salmon run from mid-May to early July. Ship Creek also has a silver salmon run from mid-July through August. For the best fishing, try going out at slack high tide, or one to two hours before and after high tide. A special advice is to join the Slam´n Salm´n Derby, held annually in June with prizes for biggest fish caught during the peak of the king salmon run.

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More of Alaska’s fishing spots are just a short drive from downtown Anchorage. Head north to the Deshka and Susitna rivers, or south to the Kenai and Russian rivers. Don’t forget to buy general fishing license. The largest salmon caught in Alaska weighted 97 pounds or 44kg, and the largest halibut was 459 pounds or 208kg.

Bear viewing. Animal residents are a very visible part of the population and glimpse of a bear is common. Alaska has brown, black and polar bears and brown bears are active all summer. Polar bears live much farther north than Anchorage, but several companies offer single and multi-day polar bear trips that begin and end in Anchorage. Head to the Zoo for a guaranteed wildlife viewing, including two polar bears.

More wildlife. Glaciers are among the most popular stops. These natural gems are easy to find, with blue ice stretches as far as the eye can see and getting a look at these icy wonders doesn’t take a lot of effort. Alaska has more than 50 percent of the national parkland in the United States, and many with easy reach from Anchorage offering plenty of variety, for rafting, kayaking or a day of fishing.

Special events. From fireworks to midnight sun, this city loves to celebrate, and they have invented a few reasons to revel that aren’t found anywhere else. For every club, cause, cultural group and concert promoter, there’s a happening. Some take place in Anchorage’s parks and auditoriums. Others are quiet and even quirky neighborhood jams and weekly farmers’ markets. There are even a few premiere parties set in the woods.

Ask for advice. It may be the warmest day of summer, but if you spend it standing on a glacier or out on the water, you may need to adjust to conditions. Weather conditions can vary greatly, and it doesn’t hurt to start the day prepared for change. Alaska is a pretty casual place; so bring comfortable clothes. Bring a raincoat; while Anchorage averages less than 3 inches of rain in each summer month, it never hurts to be prepared. Staff at visitor information centers knows Alaska best and they are full of helpful ideas for your visit.

Dining. Anchorage dining includes some of the freshest seafood in the world, which chefs offer up in a variety of mouth-watering creations. From plump, cold-water Kachemak Bay oysters, to Alaska king crab, fresh-caught halibut, and wild salmon – the staple of Alaska seafood, Anchorage restaurants have it all. King Crab and shellfish have unique flavors that integrate beautifully into bouillabaisse and delight eaten simply out of the shell.

Afternoon. King Crab Benedict is a local favorite or enjoys a salmon quesadilla or reindeer sausage to be found along the downtown streets. Any day is filled with potential and ways to combine activities, attractions and wildlife. Get more information at VisitAnchorage.net

Winter or summer? With almost half the state’s total population, Anchorage celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2015. But is Anchorage a winter or summer destination?

“Our fun isn’t strictly in summer. We are the number one Winter City in America and out winter festival, Fur Rendezvous, was crowned Best Winter Carnival in the world by National Geographic”, says Julie Saupè in VisitAnchorage.

Make it Happen!

Touch Down: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is just six miles (10km) from downtown, easily accessible by taxi, bus or hotel shuttle. The airport has 150 daily passenger flights and 5 million passengers yearly. Driving to Alaska is the ultimate road trip.

Stay: Alaska is big. Nearly 365 million acres means the sky is the limit for adventures. A central location like Anchorage allows you to make the most of road, rail and sea connections. This link makes it easy to learn more visitanchorage.net

Eat: ORSO serves the finest wild seafood perfectly prepared, Brew House beers, handcrafted cocktails outstanding wine list. ORSO, Address: 737 W Fifth Ave., Ste. 110, is the place where Alaskans gather to eat and drink, the place to celebrate for both large and small parties. Kincaid Grill, Address: 6700 Jewel Lake Rd. Creative cuisine of Chef Al Levinsohn, Anchorage's renowned award-winning seafood chef.

Play: The nightlife is certain to entertain and summer can feel like a giant jam session as well known artists take advantage of some extra sunshine at outdoor concerts.

Mini Guide: Anchorage has no sales tax and is Alaska’s shopping Mecca. Artists showcasing original works and locally produced products. The city’s fine jewelers present a modern-day gold rush and local artists show their works in coffee shops and galleries.

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