Anchorage

Eric Benshetler
Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, but it’s still smaller than most and easy to drive in. East-west avenues are numbered. North-south streets are lettered on the west side of the city and appear to be place names in alphabetical order on the east side. This is a good place to buy anything you forgot; I found a Best Buys to pick up more film, for instance. We didn’t plan much time in Anchorage, although there are a couple good museums according to the AAA TourBook. Hotel rooms are more numerous and at better rates than other towns, too. I had read an on-line cruise comment by a Dawn Princess passenger in May that said the Glacier Brewhouse had great food. It does! It appears to be a very popular place, so if you go I suggest calling ahead for reservations. (Check their web site for a menu and other details - www.glacierbrewhouse.com.) We ended up waiting for close to an hour for a Sunday evening dinner without reservations. There are several nearby art and gift shops, so my wife and I went exploring while the boys played cards at the restaurant’s large lobby area that’s shared with several stores and restrooms. There’s a $2 public parking lot just past the restaurant on the NW corner of G and 5th if you have trouble finding a spot. Since we enjoyed it so much, we decided to eat lunch at the Brewhouse on Wednesday afternoon when returning from Seward before returning the car. It’s only a little out of the way when coming up from Seward to the airport. Even at 2 PM, the place was very busy although we didn’t have to wait for a table this time. I think the parking lot is reserved for businesses during weekdays, but we lucked out and pulled into a metered spot right in front of the restaurant. On this second trip to Anchorage, we drove to Earthquake Park which is a slightly past the airport on Northern Lights Boulevard on the right side. There’s a short trail and descriptive plaques at the edge of a neighborhood that dropped about 30 feet toward Cook Inlet during the 1964 magnitude 9.2 earthquake. The park was fine, but not worth driving out of your way. I saw more photos of the earthquake damage in books at the souvenir shops, and there’s not much evidence at the park itself other than the steeply sloped terrain. Gas prices were at their best in and around Anchorage, cheaper than in Seward and much cheaper than the Denali area.

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