When is the best time to fly to Anchorage?
Although the assumption is that Alaska is a land of snow and sub-zero temperatures, the Alaskan climate is actually extremely varied, caused by the state's six different topographic regions. The far north is extremely dry and very cold, with Arctic conditions and temperatures average about -20 F, and the ground at Point Barrow remains permanently frozen to a depth of 1,330 ft. Between June and August, temperatures in the lowlands are surprisingly high, averaging in the 60s Fahrenheit and peaking as high as 90 degrees. The southeast tends to be fairly moderate, with damp, rainy and sometimes mild conditions. Temperatures in July average 56 degrees, while temperatures in January average around 30 degrees. The south and central areas tend to be similar, with slightly colder winter temperatures. Western Alaska tends to be rainy, while the Aleutian Islands in winter are damp and rainy, with fog. Heavy snows are common in the north and central regions of the state.
The best time to book flights to Anchorage and travel the area is during the warm months: June through August. The temperature averages around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and rainfall is minimal. If winter sports are your forte, plan to travel to Anchorage in February and trek the mountains or stay around for the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The months of December, January and February are cold and blustery in Anchorage, averaging around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you're a snow-lover, cheap flights to Anchorage can be found in the heart of winter. The Annual Anchorage Folk Festival occurs every January and features musicians and performers from all over the world. The festivals, which takes place over two weekends, features hundreds of performances, workshops, dances and other special events.
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska and is the travel, financial and commercial hub of the state. Despite what many travelers may believe, Anchorage is much more than snow, igloos and Eskimos. Flights to Anchorage are packed full of travelers eager to hit the Alaskan trails and ease down the rivers that make Anchorage one of the most desired destinations in the U.S. Before you book Anchorage flights and accommodations, consider your travel interests and plan an Anchorage vacation at the right time of year -- Anchorage has extreme peak and off-peak travel seasons.
Anchorage is a city in full swing, a far cry from the common misconception of bare wilderness. Most Alaska travelers find flights to Anchorage as their starting point to an overall Alaska vacation. Plan to stay a few days in Anchorage to enjoy the city escape before heading out to the wilderness, just a short drive from the outskirts of Anchorage.
Anchorage isn't so different than most other U.S. cities -- there are great restaurants, plenty of nightlife options and a great cultural landscape. Take some time read up on Alaska during your flight to Anchorage. There are plenty of day trips from the Anchorage area that appeal to any visitor. Travelers beware: moose and bears are common in the Alaskan wilderness!
From May through September, the Anchorage Saturday market is in full swing. Take a walk through Anchorage's Saturday market and stop by the hundreds of stalls and booths that sell everything from now boasts 350 stalls selling everything from Eskimo arts and crafts to plants, food and clothes. Local musicians and entertainers make their way through the crowds to keep the mood light and fun.
Also, be sure to witness the famous Iditarod Dog Sled Race, which takes place every March in Anchorage. The race, which began in 1925, is 1,131 miles long.
Getting around Anchorage
Anchorage’s public bus system offers a convenient way to get around town. Take the bus to the downtown area after your Anchorage flight lands and get an immediate tour. If your travel plans include a trip around the edge of Anchorage, it’s a good idea to rent a car. Save money by booking a package deal when you buy your plane ticket. Make sure you reserve early, though – especially for travel in June, July and August. These months are Alaska’s peak travel time and rental cars can get snatched up quickly.
Getting from the Airport to the City
Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport is about 4 nautical miles southwest of the city center. Travelers can reach Anchorage via public bus, and many Anchorage hotels also offer a shuttle service. Taxis and car rentals are also available.