In addition to the wonderful outdoor activities and fabulous food and fun that Anchorage offers, we also are fortunate to be home to a number of museums. This week, we are focusing on three, but there are many other notable museums here - just because they aren’t discussed below does not mean you should overlook them. You can learn more about these cultural centers!
The Alaska Aviation Museum offers exhibits honoring aviation, those who are or were part of it, and the rich role aviation has played in the development of Anchorage and Alaska. Located near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on the shore of the nation’s busiest floatplane base, Lake Hood, the museum features legendary bush pilots, the military and more. There are numerous cool aircraft on display as well.
Another must-see museum is the Anchorage Museum at the Rasmusen Center, located downtown at the corner of 6th Avenue and B. The museum is home to a number of permanent exhibits exploring Alaskan art, history, and Native culture. For example, visit the Alaska Gallery, a timeline of Alaska history features artifacts from the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 (the largest earthquake ever recorded to hit the North American continent) and also the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center houses hundreds of indigenous Alaska artifacts.
Six other exhibits are currently underway, ending between September 2 and October 21st. Ascent 20,320 focuses on scientific expeditions on the slopes of Mt. McKinley. Glories of the Greatland showcases the brilliant photography of Bradford Washburn, one of the world’s more adventurous photographers and cartographers. Inspiring Generations: The Olympic Legacy of the Last Frontier, tells us about Alaskan Olympians and their stories. Romantic North features landscape paintings by celebrated artist explorers such as Sydney Laurence and show us the mystery and majesty of Alaska through painter’s eyes. The High One: Reaching the Top educates about the history of climbing the Mt. McKinley. The True North exhibition brings home the harsh and romantic realities of living in the North.
Another not-to-be-missed museum is the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Located in Northeast Anchorage, it is a little harder to get to, but is worth the trip and is another big favorite of locals. A shuttle is available in summer from downtown, and a package deal of museum admission, transportation, and Heritage Center admission is offered to visitors. This museum shares the heritage of Alaska’s 11 major indigenous cultural groups. In addition to great exhibits, live performances of song, dance, and stories help to bring the experience home.
Rain or shine, there’s a lot to do here. The museums of Anchorage are a treasure that we at the AABBA know you will enjoy.
Marilyn, host of 11th Avenue B&B, is one of the member Innkeepers of Anchorage Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association. She is an avid supporter of the arts in Anchorage.