off the beaten path, Anchorage, Alaska, Things to do in Anchorage
Flat Top Mountain in Anchorage, Alaska || Photo by  Nicole Alexander via Trover

If you’re headed to Anchorage, Alaska, you’re probably thinking “I’m already going off the beaten path!” But that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. While the Fur Rondy is fun and the hipster culture is great, there are just some things that visitors miss when they come to Anchorage. That means everyone needs a little “insider’s guide” to the city.

The Market That the Locals Use

Taking place on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the warmer months, South Anchorage Farmers’ Market is the perfect place to pick up fresh, seasonal produce directly from the nearby Matanuska Valley.

As you stroll along with the locals, the aromas of some of the cooking booths leave your tummy rumbling, while the music of a nearby busker fills the air.

Tents sell a colorful choice of meats, breads, coffees, jams, honey, and vegetables. If you want something to take home, some stalls sell locally made ornaments. You won’t find “Made in China” on the back of any of these.

The best time to visit the market is at 9 a.m., before it gets too busy, or later, when the stalls start to discount some of the leftover stock. Either way, you’ll find your money goes far and helps the local community at the same time.

Salmon Fishing in Ship Creek

Located by Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ship Creek is the perfect spot from early June to September to see salmon spawning in the rapid waters of the gravel bed creek.

If you are feeling lucky, you can get a rod and go catch your own dinner. If you don’t succeed you can always go to Sullivan’s Steakhouse instead.

With the backdrop of Anchorage and the relaxing sounds of the river, the shore side is the perfect spot for a family picnic.

Many migrating species of birds, such as the plovers, sandpipers, and godwits, take advantage of the shallow waters to enjoy their own feast, which make the spot even more enjoyable for nature enthusiasts.

Just be careful where you step; one or two tourists have been known to get stuck in the mud by the riverbank.

3-D Neon Golf

Some people have played a round of crazy golf on family holidays, and it seems to be the staple of any tourist destination in the United States. However, you don’t come across many like this one.

Putters Wild is an indoor course, which is handily open seven days a week. The novelty comes from playing in the dark with only the neon-lighted course guiding your way around.

3-D glasses add to the bizarre atmosphere, with sharks, polar bears, and turtles popping out of the walls along the way.

It’s not the cheapest at $12 for 18 holes but with an arcade next to it, which features games such as air hockey and pool, it’s a guaranteed bit of fun on a rainy day.

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series. Check out this article I wrote about finding cheap hotels in Anchorage!

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