Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anchorage: Big...Wild...Transit!

(Complimentary outbound air travel provided by Delta Air Lines. Delta flies nonstop between Anchorage and Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle.)

The Ted Stevens International Airport. Transit-friendly and a great place to sleep at, too!

Between Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) and city centre:

Bus 7A (The "A" means it's a Line 7 bus that goes to and from the airport)

The airport is itself a treasure trove of unique photography opportunities. After taking in the scenic views of the snow-capped mountain range rising beyond the runway, turn around and check out some well-made taxidermy and intriguing Native Alaskan art on display throughout the terminals and concourses.

Arriving/Departing by Rail or Bus:
Alaska Railroad (mid-May to mid-September) to and from points within the state. Not applicable on a national or international scale.

Arriving/Departing by Boat:
Not applicable as nearest port of call for the Alaska Marine Highway is over 50 miles away.

Maps and guidebooks are free at information kiosks and hotel desks. For an official online version of the transport map, click here.

Main transit systems:
People Mover (bus)

More than just maps and guides, the Log Cabin is also a stop for trolleys and shuttles

Most of the centrally-located points of interest are within walking distance of each other in downtown, so a bus ride is completely optional. Start your journey at the Log Cabin, nickname of the Visit Anchorage Information Center, located on the corner of 4th and F. Looking for a totem pole? Walk a couple of blocks north and you'll find two in front of the Alaska Railroad station. Also nearby is the north entrance to the mixed-use Coastal Bicycle Trail, at 2nd and H. Before starting on that trail though, visit Capt James Cook's statue at 3rd and L, which provides a high-level observation deck view of Cook Inlet and the vessels sailing along.

As far as meals go, take a detour from the usual seafood temptations (you're in Alaska, after all) and pounce on a reindeer hotdog sandwich, topped with grilled onions and teri-mayo!

For a reasonable fee, you can hop on the Anchorage City Trolley Tour for a relaxing narrated drive along central city streets and surrounding areas of interest. A must-go for history, geology, aviation and nature enthusiasts. You may even spot moose!

The Log Cabin also serves as a pick up and drop off station for the City Trolley Tour and the free shuttle to the nearby Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Most bus transfers are done at the Transit Center, located at 6th and G.


Transit Notes:
The very affordable one-day People Mover ticket covers unlimited riding on all bus lines. It's worth it even if you'll only use it to/from the airport.

My Secret Photo Ops:
St Innocent Russian Orthodox Cathedral (4th and Turpin)
Air Crossroads of the World (4th and F)

This Air Crossroads sign makes for great browsing as you eat reindeer hotdogs.

And yes, it's possible to use Anchorage as a base for making extended trips to other Alaska cities and national parks, such as Whittier, Denali and Fairbanks.

Order your travel kit today at Visit Anchorage!

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