Alaska is big and remote, and a magnet for lovers of natural beauty, outdoor adventure and wildlife encounters.
Icelandair offers regular cheap flights to Anchorage from the UK and Europe for fishing, bear spotting and epic national parks primed for exploration. Before you discover the great American outdoors, what about a taste of the great Nordic outdoors? Iceland shares similar northerly latitude and stunning natural gems. Sure, Alaska's got bears and moose, but we've got puffins and some super-pretty horses.
When you book flights to Anchorage with Icelandair you have the opportunity to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
The Anchorage area is home to about 40% of all Alaskans, so you're getting back to nature but with civilization close at hand. There are malls, museums, and cool places to eat and drink.
Check out the beloved network of cycling routes - the best sampler is the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Plus there's first-class wilderness at your doorstep - the mountains of the Chugach State Park are a playground for outdoorsy locals.
In town, the Anchorage Museum is Alaska's finest showcase, celebrating the history, ethnography, and art of the state. Its Alaska Native collections are perfect for digging below the surface of the region. The Alaska Native Heritage Center is another great place to learn more, through recreated indigenous villages, storytelling, dancing, and craft.
Get a true taste of Alaska with fish: halibut and salmon are ubiquitous, but there's also king crab, mussels, shrimps, and oysters, fished from some of the most pristine waters in the world. There's also game meat - be brave and try caribou steaks, or hot dogs made from reindeer.
You may be surprised by the ethnic diversity found in Anchorage's population - and it's nicely on display in the international cuisines on offer. You can snack on flavors ranging from Polynesian to Vietnamese, and even Tibetan.
The city may be small and remote, but there's no escaping the food trends found in the Lower 48 states: food trucks offer fun options, and microbrewed Alaskan beer is super-tasty (it may have something to do with that crystal-clear water).
Visiting Anchorage gives you a perfect opportunity to experience the awesome natural beauty of southwest Alaska and the unique wildlife found here, including bears, moose, wolves and caribou.
The city is close to five national parks, which burst with attractions like glittering glaciers and sharp-edged peaks. The biggest magnet: Denali National Park and Preserve, which contains North America’s highest mountain. Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) soars to an impressive 20,310ft.
One of the best excursions is the Denali Star tour on the Alaska Railroad. You'll constantly be pressing your face against the windows on this spectacular 12-hour rail journey from Anchorage north to Fairbanks. The train stops at Denali National Park on its route.