Museums of Anchorage Alaska

by Allen Cox | Photo © Roy Neese

Anchorage is home to nearly a dozen museums. You can take your pick based on your interests. One museum in particular ranks among the top for its world-class exhibitsthe rich stories of Alaska history, art and culture, from prehistory to the present.

Located downtown within easy walking distance to major hotels, the Anchorage Museum houses a significant permanent collection covering Alaska art, history, science and indigenous culture. In addition, the museum includes the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Imaginarium Discovery Center and Thomas Planetarium.

Don’t miss the Alaska Gallery, a timeline of Alaska history that includes unique artifacts, such as a twisted girder from the 1964 quake and a cross-section of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

The kids in your party (including the adult variety) will find the Imaginarium particularly fascinating. This 9,000-square-foot facility serves up more than 80 interactive, hands-on exhibits designed to let you explore art, history and science through play in several unique areas. In the BP Kinetic Space exhibit, you’ll explore the world of physics. In Planetarium Hall, take a journey through the atmosphere, into the solar system and beyond into the universe. Have some fun exploring the science of surface tension, shape and light reflection among bubbles and spheres in the Bubble Space. Kids five and younger can have fun in the TOTE KidSpace where science, art and history take the shape of play. And, finally, explore the world of natural history in the interactive area.

Alaska has 11 major indigenous groups, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center features more than 600 artifacts that were selected and interpreted with the help of Alaska Native advisers. The main exhibition, “ displays these artifacts, which were sourced from the Smithsonian’s own collection.

Between gallery visits, grab lunch at the museum’s Muse restaurant, serving Alaska favorites, such as Alaska smoked salmon BLT’s and seasonal halibut burgers. For more information about The Anchorage Museum, go online at anchoragemuseum.org. For information about visiting Anchorage, go to anchorage.net.