Quality Suites Historic Downtown
325 W. 8th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 274-1000
Fax: (907) 274-3016
Arts & Museums
Nationally recognized muralist Wyland has painted a mural that is 400 feet in length and five stories in height (on the J.C. Penney's wall) depicting underwater whales with icebergs floating above them. The scene is particularly Alaskan because of the mountains of ice in the background and the fur seals shown resting on the icebergs. Elsewhere in the U.S., Wyland has painted humpback migrations and scenes of great blue whales (found in Pacific Coast cities along Hwy 101).
In the Fifth Avenue Mall, this non-profit museum is operated by volunteers and funded only through contributions. A unique story is told in its exhibits. Alaskan law enforcement was unusual. Troopers have had a challenging time providing law enforcement to this "frontier" state with its small population and immense mass. The exhibit includes an original 1952 Hudson Hornet patrol vehicle, an authentic state trooper's office and a display of equipment used to enforce the law. A gift shop is also on the premises. Admission: Free
The IGCA, while not new to Anchorage, is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and innovative museums in Alaska. With a newly renovated gallery in the heart of downtown, the IGCA regularly exhibits experimental works of art from Alaskan and internationally renowned artists. Recent exhibitions have included FREEZE, an outdoor, hands-on installation where visitors tour through larger than life, iced works of art in the downtown park strip. Now for the cream: this museum is free to the public. Additionally, inquiring visitors are often allowed to drop by the studios of resident artists to watch creativity come to life. – Christine Keene
Alaska's first elected governor was William Egan, and this convention center was named in his honour. It is the state's largest convention and meeting center, with more than 40,000 square feet of conference area. More than a block in length, it features a front wall made entirely of curved glass parallel to Fifth Avenue. The lobby houses a constant display of Native art, including sculptures, beading and carvings. There is no admission fee for viewing the center.
In the heart of downtown, Myron Rosenberg's gallery is chock-full of photographs so beautiful and varied, they might cause you to forget your schedule. This internationally known photographer balances insight, humor and respect, while capturing Mt. McKinley and other outstanding Alaskan scenes on film. The photographs can be shipped anywhere, can be purchased in custom sizes and are available as note cards. Come in and take the time to enjoy a look through his catalog or peruse the many selections hanging in the gallery.
With free summer concerts held in front of the building at noon (Wednesday's & Friday's) and the Log Cabin Visitor's Center just next door, this old City Hall is frequently bustling with activity. Housing the office of the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, the building, originally built in 1936, is a two-story structure that served as the city's first government seat. The lobby holds a permanent exhibition of photographs and artifacts of early Anchorage. It is open year round.
This place is a much more entertaining destination than you might guess. Daily programs at 2pm include discussions led by park rangers, zoo personnel or guest presenters. These experts talk about a variety of topics such as nature, wildlife and natural, local features. The presentations occasionally include a visit from an Alaskan animal. Check out the hourly videos of bears, earthquakes and more. Hundreds of maps are available here, as well as a computer planning station to assist in mapping a day of trips, hikes and adventures. No admission charge.
Since the late '80s, this museum has provided a place for children to learn about the miracles of science. The exhibits housed here include a bubble lab, planetarium/galaxy room, displays of reptiles and hands-on Alaska marine life. Permanent displays share the floor with traveling exhibits. A busy schedule of outreach programs offers learning opportunities for children all over Alaska. Summer camps and daily year-round educational programs bring fun and science together. Admission: Adult $5; children and seniors $4.50.
See the rare Byron Birdsall stone lithographs from the 80s and admire the ceramic pieces created by artist Robin McLane. Check out the variety of Alaskan wildlife art by Donna Gates King and Ed Tussey. See the selection of pastel originals by Guitta Corey, then browse through a variety of modern artwork and in contrast, the Native masks created by Lester Newell. This gallery has a huge selection with 90 percent of it being Alaskan art.
Come here for that "one of a kind" gift. Since 1971, it has carried the best Alaskan artists' work for viewing and purchase. See Byron Birdsall's distinctive paintings and the artwork of Barbara Lavallee, illustrator of the Mama Do You Love Me? children's books. Other artists worth mentioning include Judi Rideout with her wildlife prints and Sharon Hults, capturing Alaska in watercolor. The gallery sells a variety of paintings, sculpture, prints, ceramics, jewelry and other artistic gifts. This is a wonderful place to browse. Full spectrum of shipping options and online shopping are available.
Known for its selection of original fine art only, this store also has special departments for furniture, interior design and gift shopping. The gallery contains predominantly Alaskan artworks, in a variety of media including drawings, paintings, sculpture, fiber art, pottery, ceramics and glass. The spacious gallery is located on the first floor of a large office building, directly across from the Hotel Captain Cook and is only blocks from the delightful Glacier Brewhouse.
The Alaska Railroad covers 500 miles from Seward to Fairbanks. In 1985, the Railroad was purchased by the State of Alaska from the federal government. Rebuilt and improved on in 1997, the first floor is designated for passenger ticketing and tour information, and has historical photos of the Railroad's development dating back to 1914 when the construction began. Many different tours are available for purchase, including float trips, glacier cruises, sightseeing flights and jet boat safaris. Call for prices and tickets.