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Alaska Cruises Anchorage, Alaska (ANG-kuh-ridge)
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Current Population: 291,826 (2010)
Borough Located In: Municipality of Anchorage
Taxes: 12% Bed, 8% Rental Car

Location and Climate
Anchorage, the most populated municipality in Alaska, is located in southcentral Alaska at the head of Cook Inlet. It is 3 hours flight time from Seattle. The community lies at approximately 61.218060° North Latitude and 149.900280° West Longitude (Sec. 28, T013N, R004W, Seward Meridian). Anchorage is located in the Anchorage Recording District. The area encompasses 1,697.2 sq. miles of land and 263.9 sq. miles of water.

Average temperatures in January range from 8 to 21 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, average temperatures range from 51 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Annual precipitation is 15.9 inches and annual snowfall is 69 inches.

History, Culture and Demographics
In 1741 Russian sailors led by the Dane Vitus Bering came upon Alaska's mainland. They were followed by British, Spanish and American explorers, including Captain James Cook in 1778. In 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. from Russia. The discovery of gold in 1887 and in the Interior in 1922 sparked development in the area. Construction began in 1914 on a federal railroad from the port of Seward, 126 miles south of Anchorage, through the coal fields of Interior Alaska, to the gold claims near Fairbanks, 358 miles to the north. The midpoint construction headquarters was Anchorage, and by July of 1915, thousands of job seekers and opportunists had poured into the area, living in a tent city on the banks of Ship Creek near the edge of the present downtown. That July produced the "Great Anchorage Lot Sale," a land auction that shaped the future of the city. Some 655 lots were sold for $148,000 or an average of $225 each. A month later, the town voted to call itself Alaska City, but the Federal government refused to change its name from Anchorage. The City of Anchorage was incorporated on Nov. 23, 1920. From 1939 to 1957, major military impacts and government construction of roads, airports and harbors throughout Alaska contributed to the growth of Anchorage. The Port was completed by the early 1960s. The Greater Anchorage Area Borough was formed on Jan. 1, 1964. The Good Friday earthquake in 1964 destroyed a large part of the city. During the 1970s, the development of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline brought rapid growth to Anchorage; population, office space and housing tripled within a ten-year period. On Sept. 15, 1975, the City and Borough governments were unified, along with the cities of Girdwood and Glen Alps.

The population of the community consists of 10.4% Alaska Native or part Native. Anchorage has a history of cultural diversity. Many residents participate in nearby recreational and subsistence activities. Anchorage has over 162 parks, including 10 large reserves. Recreation activities include downhill and cross-country skiing, ice hockey, fishing, golf, swimming, hiking, biking and camping. The George Sullivan Sports Arena, Alaska Performing Arts Center, Egan Convention Center and many other facilities host cultural and entertainment events.

According to Census 2010, there were 113,032 housing units in the community and 107,332 were occupied. Its population was 7.9 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 66 percent white; 5.6 percent black; 8.1 percent Asian; 2 percent Pacific Islander; 8.1 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 7.6 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Economy and Transportation
Anchorage is the center of commerce for the state. Oil and gas industries, finance and real estate, transportation, communications, and government agencies are headquartered in Anchorage. Numerous visitor and tourist facilities and services are available. Over 8,500 military personnel are stationed at Fort Richardson and Elmendorf AFB. Seasonal factors contribute to a fluctuating, though low, unemployment rate. 912 residents hold commercial fishing permits. Most permit-owners fish in Bristol Bay, Kodiak or Cordova.

Controlled airports include the State-owned Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Lake Hood Float Plane Base, the Municipality's Merrill Field, and U.S. Army and Air Force facilities. The Port of Anchorage handles 85% of the general cargo for the Alaska Railbelt area. There are five terminal berths, with 3,488 linear feet available. Several barge and trucking companies are available. The Alaska Railroad connects Anchorage to Seward, Whittier and Fairbanks.
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Anchorage Visitor Information and Recommend Activities

Log Cabin Visitor Information Center
Located at the corner of 4th Ave. and F Street. Phone 907-274-3531. Anchorage's visitor center, this Alaska sod roofed log cabin features free maps, brochures and information about activities in Anchorage and Alaska.

The Alaska Public Lands Information Centers
Located in the Historic Federal Building at the corner of "F" Street & 4th Avenue. Alaska Public Lands Information Center is ready to answer your questions about Alaska's public lands. Free Alaska natural history movies, The Alaska Natural History Association Book store, and wildlife display.

Anchorage Museum Of History And Art
Located at 121 W. 7th Ave. Phone 907-343-4326. One of the most visited attractions in Anchorage. Great Alaska history display. Also a great place to have lunch. Open 9am to 6pm daily during the summer.

The Alaska Experience Theater
Located at 4th Avenue market place, 333 West 4th Avenue. This theater features a 180 degree wrap-around screen and shows "Alaska the Greatland". This 40 minute 70mm Omnivision film was filmed from helicopters, trains and river rafts. This unique motion picture brings Alaska alive in a three-dimensional experience.

Bike Riding Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Downtown Bicycle Rental - W. 333 4th Avenue. The ten-mile long paved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail starts downtown. Ride through Earthquake Park to Kincaid Park. Moose are often seen along the trail. Phone 907-279-5293

Anchorage Downtown Saturday & Sunday Market
Located in the parking lot at 3rd & E Streets. Over 300 vendors offer wide variety of foods to eat, spectacular and unique works of art, handmade crafts and gifts by Alaskan artisans, collectibles, antiques and so much more. Continuous, family friendly entertainment. You'll experience an eclectic blend of musicians, dancers, magic and specialty acts such as multicultural and Alaskan indigenous on stage presentations also clowns balloon artist and a variety of roving entertainers. Hours of operation: The Anchorage Market & Festival is open every Saturday and Sunday starting May 10 and ending September 7 from 10AM-6PM.

Alaska Zoo
Located at 4731 O'Malley Rd. off the Seward Highway. Phone 907-346-3242. Features more than 50 species of Alaskan wildlife including bears, moose, Dall sheep, otters, wolves, and musk oxen. Located on 25 acres of beautiful Anchorage hillside.

Alaska Native Heritage Center
Located 10 minutes north of Anchorage off the Glenn Hwy, Muldoon Rd. North exit. Phone 907-330-8000. This 26 acre wooded site offers a variety of unique experiences to learn the traditional ways of the Alaska Native Cultures. Allow at least 2 hours to visit. Open May 6 - September 3, Admission adults $24.95, Seniors/Military $21.15, and $16.95 for children. FREE SHUTTLE from the downtown visitor center.

Anchorage Lodging, Hotels and Bed & Breakfast


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Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
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